Fantasy and Tolkien Read-Alikes
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
Sold by his parents to a magician, Nathaniel spends the next seven years training to take his place at a boring administrative job in a London controlled by magicians. But at night, he turns his attention to darker, more advanced magic. With his new knowledge, Nathaniel summons Bartimaeus, a sardonic, cunning djinn to take revenge on the magician who owns him. But Bartimaeus may be more than Nathaniel bargained for. First in the Bartimaeus Trilogy.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl, the last in a crime family fallen on hard times, concocts the perfect plan to regain his family’s former glory: kidnap a fairy and hold her for a substantial ransom. But he didn’t plan on the fight his would-be victim Holly Short would put up. Her friends on the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police) force go after Artemis, culminating in a battle fought with wit, old magic and high technology.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Angry at the loss of his mother, twelve-year old David retreats to his attic bedroom and his books. But in the darkness, those books begin to whisper to him, revealing a world in which he takes refuge. Reality slowly turns into fantasy, and David soon finds himself trapped in a world of twisted fairy tale, beasts and a king with a mysterious book.
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
The magical land of Prydain needs a hero to fight the evil Horned King, who threatens the peaceable land. Enter Taran, a lowly assistant pig-keeper, who longs to escape his dull town and fight heroic battles. But the journey from the pig sty to glory isn’t easy, and Taran needs the help of various characters in this humorous, epic coming-of-age story. First in the Prydian Chronicles.
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
On his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers that he the last of the immortal Old Ones, entrusted with preventing the forces of Dark from overcoming those of Light. But the Dark is gaining in strength, and Will must find the six Signs of Light before a final battle rages between the Dark and the Light.
Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
The world young wizard Blade has grown up in is full of wondrous creatures and enchantments, including his own griffin siblings. But every year, the sinister Mr. Chesney sends hordes of tourists from the nonmagical world through Blade’s homeland, forcing the population to play along. When Blade’s father Derk is given the task of organizing the tours, Blade and his family try to create a deeper magic to spell the end for Mr. Chesney.
Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Laura’s family has the distinction of being the discoverers of ‘The Place,’ an otherworldly realm where dreams can be captured to be performed in front of a paying audience. One of the few able to enter The Place, Laura is reluctant to take part in dreamhunting until her father suddenly disappears. The only clue is a letter he left behind, filled with puzzles about the true nature of dreams. As she struggles to understand his message, she uncovers a world where dreams are used for a terrible purpose.
East by Edith Pattou
When a large white bear appears on her family’s doorstep one cold day, Rose is compelled to accompany him to a far castle. There, a mysterious stranger joins her every night, burrowing under the covers so that she cannot see him. Is it the bear? Determined to find out, Rose sets in motion events that will take her to unimagined lands with mythical creatures.
The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The old, tumbledown Victorian home that the Grace children live in hides secrets and magical beings. But when the children discover Arthur Spiderwick’s secret library and a book called The Field Guide to the Fantastical World, they’re unprepared for the magical dangers in store for them. First in the Spiderwick Chronicles.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
In a world not quite the same as ours, children have been mysteriously disappearing. Lyra, a girl raised in the protected environment of Jordan College in Oxford, learns of secret struggles in the North and a tantalizing substance called Dust that might hold the key to the disappearances. But she is soon sent to live with the strangely sinister Mrs. Coulter, whose intense interest in Lyra’s welfare suggests the girl might have more powers than she realizes. First in the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
A dull summer of baby-sitting suddenly becomes a journey into an unimaginable land when Gregor and his little sister fall into the midst of Underworld. Populated by strange, violet-eyed humans, giant cockroaches and warrior rats, Gregor wants nothing more than to return home—until he discovers his long-lost father is a prisoner of the rats.
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Aerin is the rightful heir to the throne of Damar, but the Damarians cannot trust her because of the witch blood that runs through her veins. But her destiny is greater than the Damarians fear. When the wizard Luthe tells her the truth about her mother and gives her the Blue Sword, Aerin must claim her birthright by retaking the Damar’s greatest treasure, the Hero’s Crown, from the evil mage who seized it.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson has problems. He’s at his sixth different school in six years, he has ADHD, and he just vaporized his math teacher. After a minotaur tries to kill him, Percy is sent to Camp Half-Blood, where he learns that he is the son of the god Poseidon. But being a demigod has its own problems, and if Percy doesn’t return a stolen lightning bolt to Zeus, humankind might disappear. This fast-paced adventure is the first in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Four children stumble through the back of a wardrobe into a world caught in an eternal winter. The land is Narnia, and the children join forces with the lion Aslan to overthrow the witch and her followers. But the success of their quest must come at a terrible price. First in The Chronicles of Narnia series.
The Lost Years of Merlin by T. A. Barron
Emrys can’t remember anything before he wakes up on the seashore, with a woman who claims to be his mother. His growing magical powers and the fear villagers have for himself and Branwyn hint at a secret from his past. When they are attacked, Emrys strikes back, but is blinded in the process. Searching for his true self as he heals, Emrys decides to embark on a quest to find his true identity. First in the Lost Years of Merlin series.
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
Reason Cansino’s name may describe her mathematical abilities, but it also describes her defense against her grandmother, a woman whom Reason always believed practiced dark magic. Nevertheless, when Reason’s mother suddenly dies, Reason is sent to live with her unknown grandmother in Australia. Planning to escape, she steps through a magical door and finds herself in the heart of New York City. Just as Reason discovers that magic is very real, she finds herself battling an evil witch with no one to trust but another magical and mysterious teen.
The Once and Future King by T. H. White
The epic retelling of King Arthur and his kingdom of Camelot.
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman
Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world and Prince Humperdinck’s soon-to-be bride, is kidnapped by a rag-tag band of hapless adventurers. The mysterious Man in Black risks death by Rodents of Unusual Size and other terrifying beasts to rescue her in this madcap adventure filled with bizarre characters.
Redwall by Brian Jacques
The mice of Redwall Abbey are under siege from the evil rat Cluny and his followers. Only the lost sword of Martin can save the abbey, and young Matthias sets out to discover it.
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
As the seventh son of a seventh son, Thomas can see things other people can’t—such as the ghosts of long-dead soldiers that haunt his father’s farm. So his parents hope that he will make a good Spook and protect the countryside from the boggarts, witches and other beings that aren’t quite human. But when the Old Spook is away, the apprentice Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most feared witch in the county—and that’s only the first of Thomas’ worries. First in The Last Apprentice series.
The Rover by Mel Odom
The timid halfling Edgewick Lamplighter spends much of his time reading legends while working in the secret Vault of All Known Knowledge. When he’s sent to deliver a letter for his master, a gang of Boneblights attack him, but Wick’s quick thinking saves him—and impresses a bunch of pirates, who kidnap the hapless Wick. Tangles with thieves, a mystery surrounding stolen jewels and a showdown with a dragon await Wick, who must rely on all his accumulated knowledge to find his way back home.
The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
After hoping to be selected to join the Battleschool, fifteen-year-old Will is disappointed to be apprenticed to a mysterious ranger in the kingdom of Araluen. But he soon learns that becoming a ranger is harder, and more dangerous, than it first appears—especially when an evil lord is preparing to kill Araluen’s leaders. First in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Safe at her boarding school outside the Old Kingdom, Sabriel receives her father’s sword and necromancy tools—a certain sign that he is dead or trapped in the realm of Death. Intent on rescuing him, Sabriel enters the kingdom and enlists the help of magical creatures to battle an evil sorcerer determined to break down the walls between the living and the dead.
Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Kate is in London, and Cecelia is stuck back in the country, but the two young ladies have promised to exchange letters. Their correspondence takes a surprising turn when Kate discovers that the sorceress Miranda has been trying to poison her and Cecelia befriends a reluctant enchantress. This alternative history of Regency England mixes fanciful misadventures with love and romance for the two spunky heroines.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Young Tristan Thorn, in the throes of first love, promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. But doing so means he must pass through the wall from his Victorian English town into a fantastic realm both forbidding and strangely familiar. As his quest continues, Tristan discovers his star is actually a real, living woman—and he is not the only one looking for her.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Gen’s skill at thievery and quick thinking lands him in the King’s prison. But when the King’s scholar the Magus needs to find a magical stone, he overlooks Gen’s rogue character in order to make use of his gift for stealing. After a long, painful journey through enemy lands, Gen proves himself as an accomplished thief, but is that really who he is?
Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
Sixteen-year-old Aly wants only one thing: to be a spy like her famous parents. When they refuse, headstrong Aly sets out on her own, only to be captured and sold into slavery in the Copper Islands. There she meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, who strikes a bargain with her that could get her wish for adventure. But the islands are filled with intrigue and strange creatures that will require all the wit and courage Aly can summon.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Feeling out of place after moving from Arizona to rainy Washington, Bella finds herself drawn to the very unusual and beautiful Edward—even when she discovers he is a vampire. And when a rival group of vampires arrives in town, Bella finds more than her love of Edward at risk.
The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
Eddi McCandry is preoccupied with leaving one rock band and founding another when she’s followed down a dark Minneapolis street by a sinister man and a large black dog. Both man and dog are a faerie being who pulls Eddi into a war between the rival Seelie and Unseelie Courts.
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
When the Elf Queen of Fairyland kidnaps Tiffany Aching’s baby brother, the young witch is determined to get him back. Armed with an iron frying pan and allied with a raucous band of six-inch tall, blue Wee Free Men and a toad who was formerly a lawyer, Tiffany has to pit her own powers as a witch against a queen who mixes reality with nightmares.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
After accidentally releasing evil into the world, sorcerer’s apprentice Sparrowhawk realizes that he must fulfill a greater destiny than he thought possible in order to right his mistake.
- Lloyd Alexander
- Piers Anthony
- Terry Brooks
- Joy Chant
- C. J. Cherryh
- Susan Cooper
- Stephen R. Donaldson
- David Eddings
- John M. Ford
- H. Rider Haggard
- Barbara Hambly
- Katherine Kurtz
- Madeleine L'Engle
- Ursula LeGuin
- Fritz Leiber
- C. S. Lewis
- R. A. MacAvoy
- Anne McCaffrey
- Patricia McKillip
- Michael Moorcock
- Andre Norton
- Mervyn Peake
- Clifford Simak
- Jack Vance
- Evangeline Walton
- T. H. White
- Robert Anton Wilson
- Roger Zelazny