Twice this month people have compared my two books to Tolkein, saying that my first book, First Light, is like The Hobbit while the sequel, Wisdoms of the Light, is like Lord of The Rings. To have your writing compared to some of the greatest books ever written is incredibly sweet. I tear up every time I think about it.
I first discovered The Hobbit in High School, when a very remarkable teacher opened my eyes and heart to a new and magical world. It was my first step into the world of Fantasy books written for adults rather than children. My Saga isn't quite the same type of Fantasy, no elves or dragons, but I think I did take that urge to write a "great quest" from Tolkein's books. Both First Light and Wisdoms of the Light share that much in common with Tolkein's ideas - they are stories about the personal quest as well the bigger struggle of Good against Evil.
First Light isn't a children's book, but it is a lighter, more humorous mystery quest. In that respect it does fit in rather nicely with The Hobbit. Although I don't think Idrith would qualify as being like Bilbo Baggins. Most times he's more like Smaug! ;-)
But there's no denying that Wisdoms of the Light felt like I was writing a great saga, just like Lord of the Rings. I knew, by the time I'd reached half way and was still no where near being finished, that it was going to be a big book! It's over twice the size of First Light and the story plot is equally heavy. Although it is, ultimately, a story of Good triumphing over Evil I wept a buckets writing some of the scenes in Wisdoms of the Light. Which is ironic, since the first time I ever wept over a book was when Gandalf falls to his death in Lord of the Rings.
I don't think Harmion quite matches up to Gandalf in mystery and power. Harmion is far more human, but it is rather nice to look at the seven members of the Septar and compare them to the little band who set out with Frodo. Both sets of friends are full of personal frailties and fears, but still determined to make their world a better place. All held together by the loyal love of friends and family.