The Last Ringbearer is a very cool russian take on “The Lord of The Rings”. Imagine that LoTR was written from the point of view of the victors. That Mordor was not a dark kingdom bent on world domination by black magicks, but a burstling capital of mathematicians and astronomers on the verge of an industrial revolution. That Gandalf was not a wise and caring wizard, but a man stuck in the past, and afraid enough of technology to decide to wage war against it, so that the ways of magic are preserved, at any cost.
These fantastic “what ifs” are woven together by some very rational decision-making. The book suffers a bit in its narrative (the narrative switches from first person view to third person omniscient view to different characters quite suddenly sometimes), but it is some incredible food for thought.