I’ve always really liked Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The first book is The Dragonbone Chair. It’s good high fantasy: elves, dragons, magic swords, political intrigue, and so forth. In plot and themes, it’s very Tolkeinesque, but much more accesibly written. A new king inherits the throne, and sets in motion a series of dark intrigues that threaten the fate of the world itself. Young scullery boy-turned-apprentice scholar Simon is swept up in events, and finds himself fleeing to the North, where the king’s brother has raised his flag in rebellion.
Lois McMaster Bujold has started writing fantasy, too, that’s quite good. The Curse of Chalion is a good place to start. A veteran, Cazaril, returning from long years of captivity in enemy lands, begs a position as a tutor to a young princess. When the princess is called to the capital by the ailing king, Cazaril learns that the princess and the entire, dwindling royal line is victim of a dark curse laid on the family generations ago. It’s more grounded than a lot of fantasy: all of the characters are humans, the setting is idealized medieval, but generally realistic.
If you like Cook, you’ll probably get a kick out of Steven Brust’s Jhereg novels. It’s high fantasy noir. The main character, Vlad Taltos, is a human assassin living in an elven (although they don’t use that word) city, trying to claw his way up the criminal underground. The books were written out of chronological order, so it doesn’t really matter too much where you start. I’d recommend going by date of publication, because it’s pretty cool how Brust slots all the pieces of backstory together as the series progresses. He’s also written a related series that details the earlier history of the same city, written as Three Musketeers pastiche, called The Phoenix Guard.
If you’re at all interested in urban fantasy, I can make some recommendations in that direction, too.