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10 Fantasy Books With Elves and Dwarves You Probably Haven't Heard of Before

Fantasy Book Reviews by Author Aaron D. Schneider

We’re going to be looking at 10 fantasy books that you may not have heard of before, but where dwarves or elves, or both, don’t just exist but actually play a significant role in the story somehow. These books run the gamut from classic fantasy to modern fantasy settings. I’m going to stay story free and focus on a general summary. I will mostly talk about what interested me in the work and maybe even a bit about how it has influenced my own writing as a fantasy novel author!

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These Are The Books With Elves And Dwarves I’ve Reviewed On This Post:

Orcs Nichols REVIEW

Orcs Series

Author: Stan Nicholls

Dwarves Heitz REVIEW

The Dwarves

Author: Markus Heitz

Fury Heitz REVIEW

THE FURY OF THE ALFAR

Author: Markus Heitz

Crippled McMaken REVIEW

DWARVES OF ICE-CLOAK

Author: A. Trae McMaken

Gotrek King REVIEW

GOTREK AND FELIX

Author: William King

Mud War Schneider REVIEW

DWARVISH DIRTY DOZEN

Authors: Aaron D. Schneider and Michael Anderle

Cleric Salvatore REVIEW

THE CLERIC QUINTET

Author: R.A. Salvatore

Dissolution Byers REVIEW

WAR OF THE SPIDER QUEEN

Author: Various Contributors

Winterbirth Ruckley REVIEW

WINTERBIRTH

Author: Brian Ruckley

Wind Schneider REVIEW

OUTCAST ROYAL SERIES

Author: Aaron D. Schneider and Michael Anderle

1. Orcs Series

Author: Stan Nicholls

Orcs by Stan Nichols

So this might seem like a strange fantasy novel to start with considering that we are supposed to be talking about elves and dwarves and I bring up a book that centers around the perspective of the classic enemies of dwarves and elves, but my prime working concerning the short and bearded fellas we all know and love had its first germs of an idea:

Hard fighters, hated outcasts, too stubborn to die… yeah, that sounds about right, and there is the fact that even within the ranks of the Wolverines (the orcish warband) there is the prickly and surly (in all the best ways) dwarf, Jup.

Rough and brutal, this classic fantasy series doesn’t pull punches when it comes to raw battles, twisted betrayals, and all the other jagged edges you’d expect from a series where the usual monsters and foot soldiers of evil are the closest thing to good guys, but it’s fast paced, action packed, and there is a fair bit of grim humor to be appreciated here.

2. The Dwarves Series

Author: Markus Heitz

Dwarves Heitz REVIEW

Coming from across the Atlantic the German author Markus Heitz’s series centered around the adventures of young Tungdil, a dwarf who has, as a twist of fate it seems, been raised among humans, but through means both mysterious and malicious is drawn into an adventure that not only allows him to rediscover his lost heritage, but also puts him in a place to help save his people from a terrible evil.

 

With Tungdil being central to the narrative we get to be taken by the hand not only to discover the remarkable world that Mr. Heitz has created, but in particular Dwarvish culture as he has imagined it. We get to learn alongside our displaced dwarf and along with the great action and intrigue present in the series there is a great sense of discovery that we get to have.

Almost like a kind of whiskery Harry Potter getting introduced to the Wizarding World, only this time its metal fresh from the forge instead of wands and hearty dwarvish ale instead of whimsical candies.

3. The Fury of the Alfar

Author: Markus Heitz

Fury Heitz REVIEWAlso by the esteemed German, Markus Heitz, this series, set in the same world as the Dwarves series focuses on the elves of Dson Faïmon, also known as the Älfar. These sinister elves are not Tolkien’s elves, nor graceful, near angelic figures, nor playful, naturalistic sprites but rather a fierce, proud, and ruthless people that honestly reminded me of Moorcock’s Melnibonians. 

Wasting no time and centering around the dynamic actions of two central characters (at first) this epic fantasy series has two elves, Caphalor and Sinthoras, each willing to use terrifying methods to accomplish their goals, though the scope of those goals and the cost is what is going to eventually set them at odds and then the blood will flow.

It is a quick moving and engaging story of anti-heroes in a rich and textured world.

4. The Dwarves of Ice-Cloak Series

Author: A. Trae McMaken

Crippled McMaken REVIEWA much newer series than those listed previously this offering by Mr. McMaken is a fantastic epic fantasy series for anyone wanting great dwarvish stories that are willing to be expansive in what they explore. There is action, intrigue, drama, and the twists of fate to wonder or tragedy sure, but Mr. McMaken is willing to let us also see the small things, the fabric of life type of stuff that make the world feel lived in. This combined with characters you can’t help but root for, it is a worthy addition to the world of dwarvish fantasy literature.

Starting with the outcast dwarf, a prospector named Naen, but certainly not stopping there, this story is not just the tale of one dwarf but rather of a people as they grow, struggle, expand, and establish themselves. My hat is off to McMaken as a fantasy writer for weaving such a broad and deep vision of one of our favorite bearded fantastical peoples in a way that is both familiar and new.

5. Gotrek and Felix Novels

Author: William King and later Nathan Long

Gotrek King REVIEWIf you know me you know I love Warhammer and so this addition probably isn’t a surprise for anyone who’s been into Warhammer for more than a minute, though I’ve been surprised by some of the whippersnappers who haven’t been acquainted with this iconic duo.

Gotrek Gurnisson, a guilt-ridden, doom-seeking Slayer travels across the beautiful and terrible Warhammer world with his companion and personal chronicler Felix Jaeger battling, exploring, and generally causing mayhem all in the hopes that Gotrek can finally can die in glorious battle to wash away the stains of his past sins.

For as dark and grim as the premise might seem these stories are still a matter of high adventure as Fate seems determined to thwart Gotrek’s intentions of a worthy death at every turn with bloody results, much to Gotrek’s frustration and Felix’s bemusement.

Action, humor, and even a bit of suspense and horror (depending on the novel), this classic fantasy series is a fantastic romp through the Warhammer world and I’d be shocked to find anyone who gave the series an honest chance and didn’t fall in love with the pair.

6. The Dwarvish Dirty Dozen

Author: Aaron D. Schneider and Michael Anderle

Mud War Schneider REVIEWAlright, if you didn’t see this one coming I’ve got some sea-side properties in Kansas I’d like you to have a look at… Yes, this is one of my own series, and perhaps if you’re here on my site you’re already familiar with it (and good on you – I hope you left a review!), but for the moment let’s pretend like you aren’t.

As mentioned earlier the Dwarvish Dirty Dozen had some germs planted after reading Stan Nichols book and also watching the classic war movie The Dirty Dozen. With those bits bubbling around my skull I started thinking about the idea of what a group of Forlorn Hope dwarves might be like. From that sprang a question of what sort of army, culture, and world would these dwarves exist in where such things might happen. From this emerged the seeds which sprouted into my six book fantasy series.

Hard as stone and twice as stubborn the stories of the dwarves of the Bad Badgers have tunneled and brawled their way into the hands and hearts of thousands and I couldn’t be more thankful for that fact. Check it out if you haven’t. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

7. The Cleric Quintet

Author: R.A. Salvatore

Cleric Salvatore REVIEWYou know the Big Daddy of D&D Fantasy was going to make an appearance and while I’m sure many, many people are at least passingly familiar with his Drizzt series which center around the titular drow ranger we all know and love, not as many people may be familiar with this series.

Centering around the adventures and spiritual pilgrimage of Cadderly Bonaduce, scholar and cleric, it is a fantastic series for anyone looking for an engaging and heartfelt exploration of the Forgotten Realms setting.

But why is it on this list? Glad you asked, because while Cadderly is a human he wouldn’t have made it very far without the likes of the dwarvish Bouldershoulder brothers and the elf maid Shayleigh. As it might be guessed the Bouldershoulders, Ivan and Pikel, in particular hold a special place in my heart, but it is a testament to Salvatore’s skill among fantasy writers that each character in the little troupe will quickly grow in a reader’s affections.

8. War of the Spider Queen

Author: Various Contributers

Dissolution Byers REVIEWSpringing off of Salvatore and following him down into the Underdark we have this series which was overseen by the creator of Drizzt and the Drow as we know them, but each book in the six part series was created by a different author, providing a unique storytelling experience as a sampling of multiple talents through the course of an epic tale.

As might be guessed by the fantastic and sinister covers, provided by none other than Brom, this series isn’t about high minded heroes or altruistic adventurers. This is a drow story, dark, treacherous, and full of the kind of amoral savoir-faire that we’ve come to expect from these darkest of elves.

Following the efforts and machinations of a group of drow trying to figure out exactly what is going on with their demon-god Lolth you can’t come here hoping for an uplifting tale, but if you want an exploration of machiavellian minds and dastardly deeds then this pack of scheming wretches is going to be right up your alley.

9. Winterbirth

Author: Brian Ruckley

Winterbirth Ruckley REVIEWThis book comes from the Godless World series and while I never read the other books in the series, this one was an interesting fantasy read centering around the sort of hard nosed epic fantasy that will put you in mind of Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Combining warfare, politics, and a mysterious world that even the characters only have scratched the surface can be just what the doctor ordered for someone looking for a more somber and sober approach instead of high fantasy.

In regards to this list the elves of the series, often called the wights, were particularly fascinating to me. Blending elements of mystical and sinister into a kind of savage and alien people that leaves the humans around them uneasy and treading carefully.

10. The Outcast Royal Series

Author: Aaron D. Schneider and Michael Anderle

Wind Schneider REVIEWAlright, last one on the list and again this might be cheating, but going off of Winterbirth and Cleric Quintet where the main character is human, or close enough in Axe-Wed’s case, but there is a fantastic crew of supporting characters which includes the Wain Dwarves.

It might seem like tooting my own horn, but the Wain Dwarves are my invention and I do so very much love them, and they are in fact the thread which connects the Dwarvish Dirty Dozen series with the Outcast Royal. While traditional Sword & Sorcery typically avoids all but the most eldritch of non-human sentients, I decided upon setting out to create the Outcast Royal in a way that the world was big enough to accommodate the likes of dwarves and indeed more besides.

While the tale of the Thulian warrior woman is her own it wouldn’t be complete without the likes of Durra and Mehk Numi to come alongside her.

Thanks For Reading My Reviews on Fantasy Books With Dwarves And Elves; Discover MORE Books With Me!

I write fantasy books to share my stories that maybe, just maybe, are your stories too. 

My childhood was filled with the likes of Tolkien (Lord of the Rings), Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), Shakespeare, Salvatore and other literary greats. It was also touched by struggle, trial, murder and sorrow. These influences shape every story I author or co-author.  

So where others can paint their portraits within the bounds of decency and good sense (and honestly I applaud them for it) I’m afraid I color outside the lines a bit.

My stories will curse in anguish, shriek in terror,  and bleed from ragged wounds. There is horror and corruption and ignorance and cruelty to be found here, plumbing depths of ancient fears and the evil men do.

Yet these pitch black shades bring out the raw lines of light of courage, hope, perseverance, and redemption. Dirty faced and world worn tales of the lowly exalted, crooked made straight, and the lost being found.

If that sounds like the kind of fantasy books you want to read, I invite you to join me on these journeys dear reader. You can see all of our published books on this website or on Amazon. Come, take and read!