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The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien I liked Lord of the Rings well enough, but didn't love it. I prefer The Hobbit, the style of which is completely different. But Lord of the Rings...I don't read a lot of high fantasy literature, so until I read LotR, I didn't realize what flat and uninteresting characters archetypes make. Because that's what the characters in this trilogy are--archetypes. LotR has lots of plot but very limited character complexity and character development.

As you may know, many fantasy novels and series get accused of imitating Lord of the Rings too closely. For instance, I read Dennis McKiernan's Iron Tower Trilogy first, and it is widely accused of ripping off Tolkien. So is The Sword of Shannara. So while reading LotR, I took some notes on what elements I have seen imitated in other books. I might add to this list later, but I noticed the following:

-Ringwraiths chasing Frodo and companions: analog in McKiernan's The Dark Tide is the Vulgs chasing and attacking the Warrows on the way to Challerain.

-"Morgul-Lord": could be source of the word "Morgol" in McKillip's Riddle-Master trilogy.

-R.A. Salvatore uses orcs and the name Luthien.