This is, frankly, one of my all time favourite fantasy novels. I nearly read the copy at my local library to death until I found a copy of my own at a used book store in the late nineties (this was during that unfortunate OOP phase), and have proceeded to reread that till parts of it are protected by tape.
I cannot recommend it highly enough. Mithgar keeps to the tropes of fantasy cleanly enough to be accessible, and easily understood by anyone who has ever heard of an elf, or a dwarf, warriors, and dragons. But imaginative too, there are subtle touches to make the setting his own; Tolkein’s ground work is clearly visible, but he’s built upon it to something definitely unique.
This story, by its tropes is a fantasy. Sword and sorcery, magic, prophesy, myth and legend all come alive. Yet it does defy genre a little, it’s a compelling story of love, friendship, honour, pride, and the consequences of these.
The story is told in back and forth fashion as it follows the quest of the main characters, Elyn of Jord, and Thork of Kachar, to slay a dragon that has besieged both their peoples. It tells the story of Prince Elgo of Jord and his quest fir glory which led to Elyn and Thork setting off in search of a legendary hammer. The switchback timeline is carefully done so not to confuse (chapters start by clearly telling you when the scene takes place), and arranged to maximise suspense and provide the best understanding of the total story.
If you want a great introduction to fantasy, this book is a fine alternative to The Hobbit, and if you already know and love fantasy you should add this book to your collection post haste. Hate fantasy? Give it another try with this fine story.