11 Top Fantasy Books With Elves and Dwarves to Read Today

Fantasy books with elves and dwarves are a classic fantasy setup. Despite this, it can be surprisingly difficult to find books with both of these fantasy creatures.

If you’re searching for great stories about elves and dwarves, this list has a book for you.

Here are 11 top fantasy books with elves and dwarves to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each book. Every story on the list has a 3.75 average rating or above from Goodreads.

On the other hand, if you’d like a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.

Legends of the Dragonrealm by Richard A. Knaak


An omnibus of the first three novels in New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak’s epic fantasy series Dragonrealm – collected for the first time in one incredible volume.

In addition to writing one of the bestselling Warcraft novels of all time, Day of the Dragon, Richard A. Knaak is the author of the legendary fantasy series Dragonrealm.

Now available for the first time in one fantastic collection, the first three novels from this riveting series include:


In the ultimate war between humans and fiery shape-shifting beings, Duke Toma has unleashed every conceivable evil upon the world of the Dragon Kings.

Only one dares to challenge him: Cabe Bedlam, a youth with a magical sword that promises its bearer total mastery over man and beast alike.


Pitting his magic sword against the glittering scaled armor of the Dragon Kings, young Cabe Bedlam drove the shape-shifters back to their origins.

But from the Northern Wastes, the merciless Ice Dragon implements a lethal scheme to sweep mankind into oblivion. Now Cabe must embark on a perilous journey toward an epic confrontation.


The Death of the Dragon Emperor leaves both the Dragonrealms and human kingdom in ruins. Tomorrow’s hope – the Emperor’s hatchlings – live, protected by the human warrior Cabe Bedlam.

But the future teeters on the brink of disaster, and only Cabe and his good friend, the Gryohon, can save the dragons from losing their magic forever.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with elves and dwarves is Legends of the DragonrealmThis novel takes classic fantasy tropes and uses them to dazzle readers: an European-inspired world; elves, dwarves and dragons; and a grand, dragon-slaying quest to save a nation.

These ‘old favorite’ tropes also had enough of a twist that readers commented how interesting them found the world, the cast and the different creatures.

They also said that the story starts off with a bang, immediately got them invested in Cabe and his story, and kept a satisfying pace throughout.

Negative Comments

Some readers didn’t think that Legends of the Dragonrealm was the right book for them. These readers often described the book as riddled with world-building inconsistencies. The book would set up a rule but then break it. This was often true when the rule involved the main characters.

Other readers, however, said that they couldn’t connect with the characters. As such, they weren’t invested in them or their stories. Some mentioned that the main characters came across as stereotypical fantasy protagonists. Cabe, they said, is a standard brave and decent sword-wielding hero.

On the other hand, Gwen is the standard impossibly beautiful love interest who consistently needs rescuing. In her case, readers said this grated on them because she’s established as having far more experience and skill than Cabe.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini


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

Eragona fantasy novel famous in its first release for taking beloved fantasy elements and turning 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 The 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 The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars frustrated critics. Whereas ‘The 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.

Honourkeeper by Nick Kyme


In the ancient days of the Old World, long before the time of men, the dwarves and elves are at the height of their prosperity.

As King Bagrik of the dwarves and Prince Ithalred of the elves forge a trade pact, a vast horde of northmen attacks the elf settlement.

When King Bagrik’s son is slain, the dwarves join forces with the elves, eager for vengeance. Can the dwarves and the elves put aside their differences long enough to prevail over foe?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves and dwarves is Honourkeeper. Fans praised this fantasy novel, saying it was a treat for those looking for a story with a living-and-breathing dwarven culture, as well as a plot jam-packed with action, twists and turns. Its a story set completely in a dwarven world, painted in rich and vivid detail.

But aside from that, readers said that Honourkeeper is full of drama, intrigue and grand battles. It’s also one that gives a tragic and treachery-ladden backstory for the classic ‘dwarves vs elves’ enmity. 

Many mentioned how the book gripped their emotions, making them fear for the characters and feel their losses, while also inspiring them with admiration for the dwarves’ heroism.

Negative Comments

So what did critics say?

Overall, critics tended to describe the book as relatively predictable. For instance, much of the book’s plot involves treachery, but these readers saw through the deceptions quickly. As such, they thought Honourkeeper lacked suspense.

The Doom of Dragonback by Gav Thorpe


With the War of Vengeance over, the dwarfs of the Old World have begun to rebuild their empire. But they have been drastically weakened by their conflict with the elves, and as great earthquakes tear the mountains asunder, enemies old and new descend upon the dwarf holds.

To the west, in the Dragonback Mountains, the dwarfs of Ekrund think themselves safe from the threats faced by their eastern cousins. They are wrong.

As greenskins march into their realm in terrifying numbers and war beckons, the Angbok clan and their fellows must fight to save everything they hold dear. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another fantasy book with elves and dwarves is The Doom of Dragonback. This fantasy novel is a tragedy, but one that stirred fans’ emotions with its likable characters and immersive portrayal of dwarven life.

One of the aspects of the story that was most refreshing to them was that it was told from the perspective of a female dwarven character, something rarely seen in fantasy books. However, in terms of the characters overall, readers often praised the book for having characters that noticeably grew as they went through their trials.

Others mentioned that in addition to a well-paced plot, the story details the dwarves’ daily activities, worldview and culture in a way that brings them to life. This included ‘regular’ dwarves, not simply the typical dwarven king or warriors. 

Negative Comments

In terms of what readers didn’t like, critics typically had one main reason: the slow beginning.

However, they also tended to mention that afterward, the story’s pace speeds up and the overall tale gripped them.

The Elven by Bernhard Hennen


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: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves and dwarves is The Elven. This story includes a elf romance more of a subplot than a focus.

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. 

Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov


An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner.

By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom. 

Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.

Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala.

Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an Elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort, and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world…and by the king’s court jester (who may be more than he seems…or less).

Reminiscent of Moorcock’s Elric series, Shadow Prowler is the first work to be published in English by the bestselling Russian fantasy author Alexey Pehov.

The book was translated by Andrew Bromfield, best known for his work on the highly successful Night Watch series. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.96

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with elves and dwarves is Shadow Prowler. Fans went into this story expecting its heavy use of classic fantasy tropes. As such, they weren’t bothered by it and instead delighted in the book’s spin on common characters, origins and setups.

Readers also praised the fun and often hilarious interactions between the characters. Circumstances force fantasy groups typically at each other’s throats to work together, whether that be dwarfs and goblins or elves and orcs. Their clashes kept readers grinning.

Aside from that, readers mentioned that a combination of Shadow Prowler‘s lightning-fast pace and its smooth-talking, witty main character immediately absorbed them into the story.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Shadow Prowler, what did they say?

Typically, these were readers who couldn’t buy into the premise line. They either described the story as cliche overall or didn’t think the book added enough twists to specific tropes.

Other readers said that they thought that the main character, Shadow Harold, initially entertained them with his sarcasm. However, eventually the humor began to come across as predictable.

Dragon Champion by E.E. Knight


High in the mountains, deep in the safety of a cave, a brood of dragons is born. The four young ones are among the last of a dying breed — the last hope for dragons’ survival.

But hope shatters when a murderous group of slave-trader dwarves breaks into the cave, leaving a wake of death and destruction…

Only young Auron, a rare, defenseless gray dragon, manages to escape. Armed with nothing but his claws and a boundless determination to survive, he sets off in search of his kind.

But to find other dragons — or, at least, find out who’s killing them off — Auron will have to search a world of mercenary elves, vicious humans, and dangers of all kinds.

Finding allies in the strangest places — and finding himself along the way — Auron is about to make the trek of a lifetime.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.98

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another novel on our list of fantasy books with elves and dwarves is Dragon Champion, a coming of age tale told from the perspective of a dragon. While this story includes elves and dwarves, the main focus is definitely on Auron, Dragon Champion‘s scaled protagonist.

Readers characterized this as an action-filled story that adult fantasy readers and young adult readers would find delightful. They praised the story’s portrayal of Auron’s point of view, which several described as fascinating.

Unlike stories where the non-human characters come across as human in all but name, Auron has a perspective that comes across as inhuman.

Negative Comments

On the other hand, readers who didn’t enjoy Dragon Champion cited the on-going violence as a negative. Several of these readers felt there was too much brutality overall, but others focused on how much of it came from the hands of the protagonist.

For instance, the first chapter features the protagonist hatching – and then killing his siblings. Readers described the rest of the story’s tone as the same. It made the story’s antagonists disconcertingly justified and Auron seem like a cold-blooded killer.

Other readers, though, said that the fight scenes were so frequent that they lost their impact. Instead of inspiring excitement, the action-oriented moments lulled them into apathy.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


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

Our next fantasy book with elves and dwarves 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.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


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 and dwarves 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.

Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist


To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry.

Yet Pug’s strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of spacetime to being again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.17

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with elves and dwarves is Magician: Apprentice. Like several of the prior stories, this novel includes classic fantasy creatures, settings and quests.

Fans mentioned that this book had everything they loved about traditional fantasy while exploring those elements more deeply. However, it also had enough twists to the overall tale that the book didn’t feel over-familiar.

In addition, fans praised the book for its excellent characters and the different fantasy cultures. They immediately connected to all the characters in the cast, whether they be elves, dwarves, or dragons. Experiencing the characters’ coming-of-age stories was a treat, as was walking with them as they explored their world and weathered its turbulent politics.

Overall, fans said that Magician: Apprentice was an highly enjoyable classic fantasy, with many feel- good moments. A few commented that, given how many grimdark fantasy books there are, it was refreshing to immerse themselves in this uplifting story and spend time with its upstanding characters.

Negative Comments

What did critics dislike about Magician: Apprentice?

Mostly, these readers’ remarks focused on the book’s The Lord of the Rings influence or overall use of standard fantasy tropes. Whether it was the characterization of the main characters, the personalities of the fantasy creatures, or the locations in the story, the similarities came across too strongly to them.

Other critics focused on the characters themselves. Several of them mentioned that they either didn’t seem developed or that they were developed by narration rather than through character-defining actions or dialogue.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams


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 and dwarves 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.

11 Top Fantasy Books With Elves and Dwarves to Read Today

How Do These Fantasy Novels Compare?

11 Top Fantasy Books With Elves and Dwarves to Read Today


N.S. Mirage

I'm Natalie, an avid fantasy reader here to help readers find exciting, otherworldly books.

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