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Back in the late 80s/early 90s I read a great book with the following plot line:

Race of short people (not exactly hobbits, more like short elves or something) were living in peace in their little village. Their village was surrounded by a wall made of thorns. One night a bunch of evil wolves attack the village, the little folks man the walls and fight off the wolves. The main character is a really good archer. One thing leads to another and the main character and his friends in up in a castle, because evil is sweeping over the land and that is where the forces of good make their stand. Anyway the castle is overrun, the main character and some sort of human princess type and maybe a few others escape. The next book seems like it covers the escapees adventures. Ring any bells?

It was on the shelves of book stores around the same time that the Dragonlance books were coming out. I started the first book and never got a chance to read the other two in the trilogy, but I always wanted to.

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This is The Dark Tide (Iron Tower Trilogy) I read this about the same time as you and was stunned how similar to LOTR it was. But it's good. Like an old friend :)
The world needs more stories about little people.

According to this reviewer, the author, Dennis L. McKiernan, wrote it as an homage to Tolkien.

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  • Holy Freaking Cow. That's it. Thank you so much!!! – Erik Volkening Jul 28 '13 at 13:25
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    I just bought it on Amazon for a penny. Again, thank you so much. – Erik Volkening Jul 28 '13 at 13:43
  • I remember reading this back in middle/high school and also thinking it was really similar to LOTR. :D – Trish Ling Feb 6 '15 at 20:44
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    The first book(s) he wrote was the Silver Call duology, which was intended as a deliberate sequel to LotR. When Tolkien's estate squashed that thought, McKiernan's publisher asked him to modify it and to write his own "prequel" so that it would stand on its own. That has grown to, I believe, 15 novels, 2 short story anthologies and a graphic novel. – Michael Richardson Apr 12 '16 at 19:49
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    If you keep this background in mind, reading the portion of the Iron Tower where the Man, Elf, Dwarf and Not-a-hobbit must enter a dwarven stronghold past a Kracken guarding a magically locked door, discovering a location where a previous dwarven expedition had died, and killing a fear-demon and destroying a bridge over a chasm near the entrance at the other end of the mine which prevented the hordes of Not-Orcs from immediately pursuing them; it doesn't come across quite so much as direct plagiarism. – Michael Richardson Apr 12 '16 at 19:56

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