15 Best Fantasy Books With Elves You Can’t Put Down


Even since J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the magisterial The Lord of the Rings trilogy, fantasy readers have been captivated by elves.

For some, they give a story a Tolkienesque enchantment. Others are fascinated by the notion of mystical beings with a strong connection to nature. How they might view the world or live differently?

In either case, if you’re searching for fantasy books with elves, this is the list for you.

Here are 15 fantastic fantasy books with elves to read:

Below, I’ve included ratings and a summary of reader comments. For a comparison of these elf-centric fantasy novels side-by-side, here’s a chart.


Firstborn by Tonya C. Cook

Description

When the leader of the Silvanesti elves dies, conflict threatens to drive his sons apart.

While Sithas wishes the elves to withdraw more and more from any contact with other races, Kith-Kanan and his Wildrunners forge connections and trade goods with the humans of Ergoth.

As the world of Krynn watches, a new elven nation rises from the strife.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.87

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with elves is Firstborn. This story struck readers as classic fantasy done right. It’s a character-driven tale that centers around elves and delighted readers with its rich portrayal of them.

Fans praised the story’s world as well as its well-developed characters. Through an intriguing ‘fish out of water’ setup, Firstborn treated them to both ancient, powerful elven societies as well as the classical ‘close to nature’ angle.

Along a similar vein, readers also enjoyed the story’s themes – brotherhood, intrigue, war – and the characters that delivered them. Fans found the cast, their development, bond and clashes both thematically and personally gripping.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Firstborn, what did they say?

Typically, critics were those who expected a more plot-driven tale. When the story turned out to be character-driven, the story struck them as slow.

However, other readers said that portions of the story struck them as over-dramatic instead of emotionally captivating. Reading between the lines, it sounds like these critics may have felt this way because story’s plot seemed standard to them. Since the plot was predictable, it would have made less of an emotional impression.


Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Description

Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart.

They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then.

Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.

No one expected them to be heroes.

Least of all, them.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.99

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves is Dragons of Autumn Twilight. This book is considered a fantasy classic and many readers warmly recalled how much it drew them into the fantasy genre in their childhood.

Readers who reviewed it positively often said that Dragons of Autumn Twilight is the best of traditional fantasy done right. Every traditional trope readers loved – whether in plot, character type or setting – was here in great form. A common thread in their comments was how attached they grew to the characters, who all had different aspects for these readers to connect to them.

Fans also praised Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for creating an uplifting, hope-filled and clean fantasy. Many current fantasy books lean toward a cast of anti-hero protagonists, grim tone and detailed violence. As such, these readers appreciated the different angle the story took.

Negative Comments

Readers overwhelmingly gave Dragons of Autumn Twilight a 5 star rating. Given that, what dragged readers’ overall rating down to a 3.99?

As you might expect, the ‘traditional fantasy’ aspect was exactly what grated on critics. Dragons of Autumn Twilight was written 1984, where the traditional fantasy tropes the book uses were fresh. By now though, the same character types, plot lines and world are prolific in the fantasy genre. All of these elements were painfully familiar to these readers.

Even details that would normally flesh out the characters and give them surprising depth are by now common. As such, these readers perceived the characters as bland stereotypes and just couldn’t grow attached to them.

In the end, these readers recommended the book for younger readers who would be unfamiliar with the fantasy genre.


The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Description

Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the troubles that plagued the rest of the world.

Then the giant, forbidding Allanon revealed that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destroy the world.

The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara – Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all hope rested.

Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with elves is The Sword of Shannara, featuring Shea, a part-elven protagonist. Fans of this The Lord of the Rings-inspired fantasy novel enjoyed that it was a classic fantasy tale and said it was done beautifully.

Readers remarked that while the world-building is vivid, the characters captured their imaginations. This lovable team inspired them their devotion to each other as well as warmed them with overall themes of friendship, goodness, hope and more. 

Other readers enthused that The Sword of Shannara‘s exciting, action-packed plot was immensely compelling. Especially given how attached they became to the story’s characters, readers said this made it hard to put the book down. The battles in particular gripped them and had them on the edge of their seats.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? For the most part, readers who didn’t enjoy The Sword of Shannara objected to how similar it was to The Lord of the Rings. Several expected some similarities, but found far more than they’d anticipated.

Because of this, these critics perceived the book as persistently filled with over-familiar story elements. Instead of being moved by the story, they found themselves desensitized to it.


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Description

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it.

But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody.

Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor.

All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.04

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Our next fantasy book about elves is The Goblin Emperor. What does a book about goblins have to do with elves? It turns out that while the protagonist, Maia, is half-goblin, the other half is elven. The story is set in an elven court with a predominately elven character cast.

Rather than an action-packed tale about battles and wars, this story captivated readers with court intrigue and a coming of age story.

Readers praised the book for giving them Maia, the kindhearted main character. Especially given the current slew of grim dark fantasy novels around, he stood out to them as a refreshing change.

He’s a noble and heroic character that they immediately bonded with and wanted to see succeed. In particular, his efforts to improve his new kingdom him and serve his people endeared him to them.

Other readers mentioned the world-building. Some mentioned the nuanced way characters spoke to each other, which took into account the social standing of the person they conversed with. Others mentioned the description of court life. But in either case, readers thought the world was fascinating and vividly realized.

Negative Comments

Why didn’t critics like The Goblin Emperor? Overall, readers tended to cite either the plot or the way the author used language to portray court life.

In terms of the plot, critics said that it meandered: there didn’t seem to be a connecting thread between the events or an ultimate point the plot drove toward.

Others, though, were frustrated by the terminology the story used in its dialogue. For instance, Maia would use the royal ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ to refer to himself when he acted in the capacity of a monarch. While this was and is standard protocol for kings and queens, it nevertheless was too off-putting for critics.

Similarly, some were either confused or bothered by how the story used both ‘you’ (formal second person) and ‘thou’ (informal second person). While there’s a historical basis for using the terms, these readers found it grating.


Forsaken House by Richard Baker

Description

Half-demon, half-elf monsters infest the glades of the High Forest, the mountains around Evereska, and the very halls of Evermeet itself.

They claim a birthright that was taken from them so long ago even the elves who imprisoned them forgot they existed. For millennia the daemonfey army planned, grew, and waited. 

Until now… 

House Dlardrageth is an ancient cabal of demon-spawned sun elves who burn for vengeance against the elven realms that defeated them long ago. 

Araevin is an elf mage from Evereska who discovers Dlardrageth’s return and may have to spend his sanity to defeat them. 

Ten millennia of hubris, betrayal, failure, and retreat are coming to an end…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves is The Forsaken House. This elf-centric fantasy novel delighted readers with its tantalizingly rich portrayal of elven societies, histories, and culture.

Readers eager for an immersive world praised this story for giving them just that. Paired with intriguing characters, both female and male, this was a treat.

Often, stories with wonderful world-building can move at a snail’s pace. Not so here – The Forsaken House impressed fans with its fast-paced, action-packed plot. Many mentioned that the exciting fight battles had them racing through the pages.

However, tension didn’t come from just martial combat: readers also mentioned that this story was jam-packed with suspense and conflict from the political tensions straining the world as well.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Forsaken Housewhat did they say? For the most part, critics said that it was difficult to immerse themselves in the story because of the large amount of names and characters.

Along a similar vein, some readers said that because of the large character cast, several supporting characters came across as bland.


The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien

Description

The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part.

Book cover of The Silmarillion

The three Silmarils were jewels created by Fëanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord.

Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth.

The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Fëanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

It’s hard to find a fantasy book reader who hasn’t heard of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, but less have heard about Tolkien’s mythological epic, The Silmarillion.

This isn’t just a fantasy book with elves, but pretty much the fantasy books about them – virtually the entire book centers on them!

Positive reviews rave about its world-building, which they characterized as grand, rich and on a level rarely seen in other novels. Readers frequently said that this gives a deep sense of history not just to The Silmarillion story, but to Tolkien’s other works as well.

Negative Comments

So what did readers who didn’t enjoy The Silmarillion say? Well, it turns out that many of the reasons readers liked it were often the reason others didn’t.

These readers found that the novel’s historical writing style made the experience more like reading a history book. They also mentioned that new names, places and events might have made The Silmarillion epic in scope, but they also seemed to pop up non-stop.

This, plus the historical writing style, meant there wasn’t much time to learn about the characters or care about them.


The Elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey

Description

This is the story of Shana, a halfbreed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father and a human mother.

Her exiled mother dead, she was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or humankind.

From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that the all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves is The Elvenbane. This coming of age story gripped readers with its believable characters and nuanced characterization.

Fans remarked that the characters, which include those from various age groups and species, were all unique. Moreover, as they interact with their world, they grew and learn from one another.

Paired with this, fans often said that the story’s world-building was intricate and rich. Not only was it immersive by itself, but seeing the characters interact with it made both the cast and the world wonderfully complex.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Elvenbane, what did they say? Critics tended to have a common reason: the book’s pace. Several of them mentioned that it was slow and not much happened, plot-wise.


Elvish by S.G. Prince

Description

It’s against the law for elves and humans to fall in love. But laws can be broken.

When Venick is caught wandering the elflands, he knows the penalty is death. Desperate, he lies about his identity in hopes the elves will spare his life.

Ellina doesn’t trust the human, and not merely because he speaks the language of men. Men lie. In elvish, however, lying is impossible.

In a moment of intuition, Ellina decides to give Venick a chance: learn elvish, reveal his truths, and she will set him free.

That is not, of course, what happens.

As Ellina and Venick grow to know one another, their feelings start to shift. Then Venick uncovers a dark secret, and suddenly the fate of the elflands seems to rest in his hands.

But every choice comes with consequences, and Venick must decide if it’s worth risking his life to protect a race that hates him, all to save an elf he’s not allowed to love.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.18

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves is Elvish. This fantasy romance captured reader’s warms with its two lead characters and its enchanting writing.

Fans praised the book for its portrayal of Venick and Ellina, the protagonists, who both come across as convincing, fleshed out, and compelling. As the story progressed, readers felt more and more attached to the two and rooted for their romance. 

Fans also frequently mentioned the author’s, S.G. Prince’s, beautiful prose. Because of it, the story transported them immediately and powerfully into its world. Readers described this as giving Elvish a rich, evocative setting and vivid scenes.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Elvish, what did they say?

In general, they tended to have two main criticisms. The first was that while Venick and Ellina were realistic characters, their romantic feelings seemed out of sync with the pace of their relationship.

Some of these readers described their outward actions, for instance, as cool, whereas their inner dialogue was the complete opposite. Overall, these readers didn’t think the romance was organic.

Another reason critics cited was Elvish‘s plot. These readers said that it seemed more like a premise than a story line, with little action happening after the protagonists’ initial meeting.


Path of a Novice by R.K. Lander

Description

His face would kindle love, garner hatred, inspire loyalty – bring persecution.

An immortal half-blood becomes a novice warrior and joins the ranks of the Silvans as they battle Sand Lords and Deviants. He only ever had one dream; to become a Silvan captain in an army commanded by the dominant Alpine elves, colonizers of the Great Forest.

There had once been another dream though – to know who his father was, but years of unanswered questions later, he told himself it didn’t matter anymore.

Meanwhile, the powerful Alpine lords weave a story of racial superiority, relegating the native Silvans to second-class subjects. Village leaders, Spirit Warriors and Foresters are starting to rebel.

Fel’annár learns the true meaning of warrior hood when he travels as the only novice warrior in a multi-racial patrol into the Deep Forest. As he battles the enemy for the first time, a power unfolds, one he cannot control – does not want.

While friendships are forged, a destiny begins to unravel, one that is tied to a past he knows nothing about. For others though, it is only a matter of time before the truth is revealed and the danger becomes real.

Can Fel’annár overcome his fears, become the warrior he always wanted to be, or will his dreams be stunted by his own shrouded past? By one elf’s lust for absolute power?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.40

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Path of a Novice is another story on our list of fantasy books with elves. This novel tantalized readers with its well fleshed-out main character as well as its rich world.

In particular, fans said that Path of a Novice transported them into its world and intrigued them by continually adding new, beautiful layers and nuances. 

Negative Comments

Critics of Path of a Novice generally mentioned two reasons why they didn’t enjoy this story. The first was that the protagonist struck them more as a vessel for wish-fulfillment rather than a fleshed out character. To them, he seemed too perfect.

On the other hand, the second reason critics gave was the overall story seemed to share too many standard fantasy book elements. As a result, these readers thought the book was generic.


The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Description

Six thousand years before the One Ring is destroyed, Middle-earth lies under the shadow of the Dark Lord Morgoth.

The greatest warriors among elves and men have perished, and all is in darkness and despair.

But a deadly new leader rises, Túrin, son of Húrin, and with his grim band of outlaws begins to turn the tide in the war for Middle-earth – awaiting the day he confronts his destiny and the deadly curse laid upon him.

Deftly balancing thrilling battles with moments of introspection, Tolkien’s vivid and gripping narrative reaffirms his primacy in fantasy literature.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on the list of fantasy books with elves is The Children of Húrin, an epic and a tragedy by none other than J.R.R. Tolkien.

Fans highly recommended this story for readers interested in a tragic tale, as well as those who enjoy the mythological sagas. Written in a prose style that mirrors ancient epics, this story both has an epic scope and sounds like one as well.

Much like ancient Greek tragedies, The Children of Húrin predominately focuses on the theme of free will versus fate. Fans said Tolkien’s exploration of this was both emotionally powerful and insightful.

Several finished the book with the story still lingering in their thoughts, making them question whether it was ‘fate’ that caused the characters’ downfall or the protagonist’s own flaws.

Along a similar vein, readers agreed that the characters were brilliantly crafted. Without their depth, the ‘free will versus fate’ theme wouldn’t have been as moving as it was. From the main characters to the supporting cast, all of them were understandable and convincing, with admirable qualities as well as frustrating flaws.

Negative Comments

We’ve heard why fans loved The Children of Húrin, but what did critics say? Overall, these readers tended to be those who neither expected nor wanted the book to be a tragedy. Other critics were typically readers who didn’t enjoy the prose style. 

These readers expected the story would be about an epic quest and were disappointed that it was about an epic fall. As such, the book struck them as grim and depressing. Its flawed protagonist, Turin, came across as either frustrating or generally unlikable rather than as a tragic figure. 

As for the writing style, critics said that this made it difficult to connect with the story. In contrast to contemporary writing styles, ‘epic’ ones can come across as stilted or removed.

Because of this, these readers said that The Children of Húrin is better suited to people who enjoy mythological stories such as Beowulf rather than those who enjoyed The Lord of the Rings.


The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Description

Kellen Tavadon, son of the Arch-Mage Lycaelon, thought he knew the way the world worked. His father, leading the wise and benevolent Council of Mages, protected and guided the citizens of the Golden City of the Bells.

Young Mages in training – all men, for women were unfit to practice magic – memorized the intricate details of High Magic and aspired to seats on the council.

Then he found the forbidden Books of Wild Magic – or did they find him? The three slim volumes woke Kellen to the wide world outside the City’s isolating walls. Their Magic was not dead, strangled by rules and regulations. It felt like a living thing, guided by the hearts and minds of those who practiced it and benefited from it.

Questioning everything he has known, Kellen discovers too many of the City’s dark secrets. Banished, with the Outlaw Hunt on his heels, Kellen invokes Wild Magic–and finds himself running for his life with a unicorn at his side.

Kellen’s life changes almost faster than he can understand or accept. Rescued by a unicorn, healed by a female Wild Mage who knows more about Kellen than anyone outside the City should, meeting Elven royalty and Elven warriors, and plunged into a world where the magical beings he has learned about as abstract concepts are flesh and blood creatures – Kellen both revels in and fears his new freedom.

Especially once he learns about Demons. He’d always thought they were another abstract concept-a stand-in for ultimate evil. But if centaurs and dryads are real, then Demons surely are as well.

And the one thing all the Mages of the City agreed on was that practicing Wild Magic corrupted a Mage. Turned him into a Demon. Would that be Kellen’s fate?

Deep in Obsidian Mountain, the Demons are waiting. Since their defeat in the last great War, they’ve been biding their time, sowing the seeds of distrust and discontent between their human and Elven enemies.

Very soon now, when the Demons rise to make war, there will be no alliance between High and Wild Magic to stand against them. And all the world will belong to the Endarkened.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.01

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with elves is The Outstretched Shadow. This novel intrigued readers with its detailed, fully-realized world-building.

Whether it was the living-and-breathing cultures, societies or settings, The Outstretched Shadow impressed fans with its depth. Several readers commented that Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory take common fantasy tropes and bring out the best in them.

Others mentioned that, in tandem with the world-building, the characters themselves felt vivid and human. As such, readers found both Kellen’s coming of age story and the background characters engaging.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Outstretched Shadow, what did they say?

Both critics sand fans aid that the world-building and character development in this tale were excellent. However, to accomplish that, the story lingered heavily on these details. As such, readers consistently said that the book was slow.


Blood of Aenarion by William King

Description

The twins Tyrion and Teclis are the greatest high elf heroes still to walk the earth. They are as different to one another as darkness and light.

Tyrion is an unparalleled swordsman, a superlative warrior and tactician from birth. He inspires courage and loyalty in those around him. Champion of the Everqueen, he is Ulthuan’s greatest protector.

Teclis’s gift is magic. The greatest natural sorcerer of the age, his power rivals that of fabled Caledor. Wise councillor of the high elves, Teclis was amongst those who first taught magic to the race of men and gave them the means to defend themselves against Chaos…

From their humble origin in the wild lands of Chrace, Tyrion and Teclis were meant for a great destiny. They come from the line of Aenarion, the first king of Ulthuan and cursed champion of that magical island…

When the Witch King Malekith learns of the twins’ existence their lives are imperilled and they are taken to Lothern for their protection and to learn the arts of war.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on the list of fantasy books with elves is Blood of Aenarion. This fantasy novel gripped readers with its fast pace and exciting, epic battles.

Even as the story charged ahead at a breakneck pace, readers reported that it provided engaging and developed main characters as well as a character cast consisting of likable heroes and threatening villains.

The story, readers said, was compelling and a fun, familiar ‘sword and sorcery’ tale done right. Once they picked the book up, fans found themselves glued to the pages.

Negative Comments

Critics of Blood of Aenarion didn’t have a unified reason why they didn’t enjoy the book. For the most part, they characterized this as a light, fun read but not one that astounded them.

What if I had to pick a ‘most common’ criticism? If so, I’d say that critics generally thought that the story came across as a standard ‘coming of age’ fantasy. They seemed to expect a familiar tale, but hoped there would be more twists to it.


The Elven by Bernhard Hennen

Description

A fierce and merciless demon has been unleashed on the world, spreading destruction and bloodshed in both the human and the elven realms.

Northlander Jarl Mandred witnesses the ruthless attack on his men, and he seeks vengeance with the help of the elf queen, Emerelle.

Despite Mandred’s barbaric human nature, the queen orchestrates an elfhunt joined by the two strongest warriors in Albenmark to pursue the beast.

Farodin, the fiercest fighter in the land, and Nuramon, the healer, seize the opportunity to make history alongside Mandred in a life-defining series of battles waged in parallel universes.

The Elven is an epic tale, bringing heroes together across the boundaries of their worlds to avenge past losses and influence fates yet to be decided.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.07

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves is The Elven. Fans praised this novel for its characters, which they described as easy to love and enjoy. Many of them mentioned that they were a pleasure to get to know, and that it was wonderful to follow them through their adventures. 

Other readers praised The Elven for being a thoughtful and nuanced fantasy epic in general. These fans described it as moving them with themes of love, tragedy, friendship and more.

Overall, they lauded The Elven for its convincing and intricate portrayal of heroism and self-sacrifice. 

Negative Comments

So what did The Elven‘s critics say? In general, they had two criticisms.

The first was that the story’s pace seemed slow. The second was the book’s use of simple rather than poetic language. Because of this writing style, critics said the fight scenes in particular came across as dry. 


Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Description

One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter.

But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power.

With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?

The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next up is Eragon by Christopher Paolini. While a fantasy book with elves, it’s main focus is on Eragon, the titular human character, and dragon Saphira.

This epic story is known for taking beloved fantasy elements and mixing them into a swashbuckling, dragon-filled adventure.

Readers appreciated that much of what they loved seeing in fantasy books featured in this epic: supernatural abilities, sword-fighting, dragon riders, prophecies, elves, hidden realms and of course, the hero pitted against a seemingly invincible empire.

Readers said that Eragon swept them away into the world of Alagaësia and its many interesting characters. They often commented that fans of Lord of the Rings would find elements to this story that they’d enjoy.

Negative Comments

Unfortunately, the same reason that fans loved this fantasy book was the same reason that critics didn’t: the familiar tropes.

Its similarities to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars frustrated critics. Whereas ‘Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars with dragons’ delighted fans, these readers thought that Eragon was too predictable for their taste.

Because of this, several commented that the book might be better suited for first-time fantasy readers.


The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

Descriptions

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard — for Prester John, the High King, lies dying.

And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king.

Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. 

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power.

Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Our final fantasy book with elves is The Dragonbone Chair. This fantasy book captivated readers with its rich world-building and great characters.

Consistently, fans described the story’s world as grand and intricate, with each page bringing new lore and depth. The setting seemed to come alive, making them eager to know more.

Other fans praised The Dragonbone Chair for its character development. Simon, the protagonist, grows from what readers occasionally described as a petulant child to a mature warrior. Compelling and believable, this gradual change in Simon kept readers turning the pages.

Many mentioned how attached they became to him and how this made each trial and victory in the novel far more gripping and meaningful.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy The Dragonbone Chair say? Overall, critics focused on the book’s pacing.

They characterized the book as slow, with a barrage of descriptions centered on small details and long explanations.

Along a similar note, these readers also tended to say that the plot suffered because of this: it came across as meandering and plodding.


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