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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:56 pm 
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Ingólemo
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What books do you know of that are similar in style and structure to The Lord of the Rings? I read Jordon's Wheel of Time series (actually only up to book 8 or so due to the fact that I was reading them from my computer screen-long story). Which other books however would you recommend?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:26 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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I suspect this group will suggest you go back in time and take back the time you spent reading Wheel of Time and spend in reading more Tolkien. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:32 pm 
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The names in Stephen Donaldson's Lord Foul Bane series do seem to be a piss-take, I have to say.

Damn you Tolkien, I would have enjoyed that series if it wasn't for you spoiling me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:46 pm 
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Terry Brooks is lucky he isn't sued by the Tolkien Estate.
Link.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:07 am 
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In terms of a believable, integrated, complex alternative world, I'd say Frank Herbert's "Dune" - the original trilogy was very good; the supplementary books let the side down badly.

And the dreadful, dreadful prequels, written and published after his death by his son (and some other collaborator whose name escapes me) should be burned! Awful dross!

But the original trilogy is very, very good. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:46 am 
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Quote:
What books do you know of that are similar in style and structure to The Lord of the Rings?

None.

:D

(And, what yov said. ;) )

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but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:49 am 
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truehobbit wrote:
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What books do you know of that are similar in style and structure to The Lord of the Rings?

None.

:D


:agree:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:57 am 
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Purists! Pffft!














(I jest, in case you're wondering.)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:59 am 
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I'm pretty certain that's the first time Voronwë has ever been accused of purism. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:32 am 
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As far as quality goes, nothing compares to Tolkien.

However, the Dragonlance Chronicles is an entertaining trio of books. There's a fellowship made up of different peoples--Humans, Half-elf, Elf, Dwarf, and Kender (a Halfling race)--that performs various quests and experiences many adventures along the way. In that regard it's somewhat reminiscent of Tolkien.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:49 am 
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Tombadiddle, a acquaintance talked long and passionately about Dragonlance to me...piqued my curiosity and about 2 years ago I went to my local library to seek out some Dragonlance books. Found two - not part of the original Chronicles, but apparently it has spawned lots of third-party books in the way of the Star Wars third party books, to tie in the RPG.

To make a long story short...they were dreadfully written pap! But I cast no aspersions on the original Chronicles, not having read them.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:28 am 
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not something I would recommend
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What is pap exactly? Is there such a thing as wonderfully written pap?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:11 am 
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Um . . . yes.

"Passion's Purple Promise", featuring the Lutefisk King and A Giant Bat is wonderfully well-written pap.

And what's more, there will be more.


Soon.
:twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:40 am 
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I managed to get through the first two books of the "Wheel of Time" series before I gave it up in disgust. Over-rated and tedious, IMHO.

However, I AM enjoying George Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" books. They're kind of Tolkien-esque in scope. But with a lot more violence. And sex. Lots of sex. :D

Good reads, though. The characters are compelling and varied and he doesn't pull any punches.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:50 am 
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I was an avid (read: voracious) reader all throughout elementary school. I read in the car on the way to school and on the way home, I read at snack time, sometimes I even tried to stay in from recess so I could read my books...

...until I was 12-13. When I was 12, I read LotR for the first time. I was blown away. Finally, I had found what I was looking for. I knew that, after that, I would compare every story I read to this book. What I didn't yet know (though I did suspect) was that every other story would fall short.

I still read in high school, certainly, but the desperation was gone from it...to be replaced with a melancholy acceptance that any book I picked up wouldn't do it for me.

In college, I discovered that some people just wrote factual books about ideas rather than couching them in terms of a story that needed to be interpreted, so I started reading straight history and theology rather than sci-fi. It was more wholesome, but less entertaining.

The only book I've ever read that struck me to the core like LotR was the Silmarillion. Oh, and parts of the Bible. And Thomas of Celano's Life of St. Francis. St. John of the Cross' Dark Night of the Soul (or Ascent of Mount Carmel) would have done the same, if I could understand a word he was writing ;). I understand the language, of course, and he certainly knows what he's talking about...but I am not a mystic.

That is what 'like LotR' means to me - that it pierces directly to the heart, that it wraps up my life and speaks to me directly (almost by accident). That it awakens a hunger that cannot be quenched.

No other fantasy or sci-fi book does that for me, so that is not what I mentioned. LotR is not a page-turner, so I will not mention the other books that have kept me up to 4 AM in a mad rush to find out what happens. After you find out...you cease to care. I can list other books I've enjoyed, or that have allowed me to enter their worlds....but they are not like LotR, sorry.

Watership Down by Richard Adams - the book will either bore you to tears, or make you really think like a rabbit. It even has a few words of an invented language in it ;). In creating a new world, that is still somehow in England, it does bear some resemblance to LotR. There is even culture and folk heroes to give a depth to the story. There is a quest of sorts... I like the book a lot.

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper - I read this the year before I read LotR, so it escaped comparison. I have not reread it, but I remember liking it at the time. The ending is not very satisfying, and I did not like The Deerslayer (the prequel).

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Children are trained for war by playing war games. Lots of strategy and ruthless 8 year olds. Interesting and mildly disturbing, but easily the best book he has written. Don't read any of the sequels.

Lilith by George Macdonald - I like it better than Phantastes, though really you should just read some of his short stories like "The Light Princess" or "The Day Boy and the Night Girl." Lilith is (in short) about death, but it is also the story of a young man who falls into a fantastic world.

Some of Robin McKinley's stories - the most recent I've read is Deerskin, but I would say her best is Beauty. It is the story of Beauty and the Beast, but well done. Still, I'd only really recommend the book to girls - it's basically a romance ;).

I have not read The Wheel of Time (and don't intend to!), but I have read the Harry Potter books and enjoy them immensely. The first two are written for children, but the third one introduces some adult characters and the writing style matures greatly by the fourth one. They are well done, for what they are, and certainly can draw people into that world.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:55 am 
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In a lighter vein, and in the sense that the author creates a complete and (sometimes) coherent world, but certainly not as profound as Tolkien:

Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide series
Terry Pratchett, Discworld series
Orson Scott Card, Alvin Maker series
Jane Lindskold, Through Wolf's Eyes (Fire Keeper series)

And for the younger set:
Patricia Wrede, Dealing with Dragons series


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:51 am 
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My current tip for everyone are the Robin Hobb books.

The Assassins Trilogy
The Liveship Traders Trilogy
The Tawny Man Trilogy

Each are seperate, but they are intertwined. Easily the best fantasy I have read in years.

I enjoyed Wheel of Time, but stopped at about Book 6, until he finishes it.

Likewise with the Sword of Truth series. (Must go add to that thread actually)

As I said elsewhere, I thoroughly enjoyed Dragonlance as a teenager, but found it very Juvenile when I attempted to read it again recently.

I'll echo the Watership Down recommendation and add a peculiar one. Probably the most LotR-like book I've read is about Moles. Duncton Wood, by William Horwood. The later books are good also, but the first is a real epic.

Raymond Feist's Magician was pretty groundbreaking, but was followed with a lot of typical Fantasy fare, some better than others.

A bit like Dragonlance, I haven't been able to re-read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant since I was a teenager, but for different reasons. I just find his writing style clumsy. The story is excellent though, and has one of the only true anti-heroes in modern fantasy, so its worth a read for that alone.

Donaldson also wrote a two book set "The Mirror of Her Dreams" and "A Man Rides Through" that are set in a different fantasy world where mirrors are used to fashion magic. Predictable, but enjoyable.

Hope that gives you some food for thought, but back to my first recommendation:

Robin Hobb

Do not skip this author!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:14 am 
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nerdanel wrote:
I'm pretty certain that's the first time Voronwë has ever been accused of purism. ;)

There's a first time for almost everything! :P

Tom wrote:
In that regard it's somewhat reminiscent of Tolkien.

I can imagine they are - what you described sounds like a complete rip-off. :D

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"Passion's Purple Promise", featuring the Lutefisk King and A Giant Bat is wonderfully well-written pap.

In Nicholas Nickelby, there's a part where Kate reads to her employer from a library book. What she read reminded me a lot of "Passion's Purple Promise". :D

Mith, wonderful post! And, yes, "Watership Down" was the first time since LOTR for me (about a year later) that a book gripped me completely, both because of the ideas and the writing. So, I guess they are comparable in that. :)

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but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:29 pm 
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Ahh MithLuin what you wrote is exactly what I feel right now. After reading The Lord of the Rings every other book I get my hands on doesn't seem to be on the same level. I read Dan Brown's books recently and I was hoping on reading a masterpiece because everyone was drooling over it. The first book I read was pretty good, after that the only reason I read them was to see if I could guess (its actually pretty easy) who the real bad guys are. I had read The Wheel of Time series when I was around 15 and stopped a year later when I realized that I couldn't even remember what happened in the first book and when I realized he was still writing (maybe one day he can write an abridged version for the whole tale?). Buying best seller books didn't help either, I read a mystery novel which was a page turner but honestly after reading it once you don't really fell like reading it again. I then read The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason which so far has been the best book I've read since reading The Lord of the Rings but still not up to par.
Thanks for suggesting these books, I'll look into them but I guess I'm going to have to accept the fact that very few books I will read will measure up to The Lord of the Rings.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:25 pm 
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I recommend Prim's soon-to-be-published novel. Sight unseen. :D

Mith, your experience very much echoes my own. I fell back into reading LOTR over and over because I couldn't find that heart-piercing quality anywhere else. And I took refuge in nonfiction, especially theology, as well.

I agree that Watership Down comes close. The little-known stories of Zenna Henderson are not great literature, but they touch me in the same way as LOTR -- it's as if I've glimpsed truth.

By the way, I can recommend an excellent book that helps shed light on John of the Cross: "Dark Night of the Soul" by Gerald May. You also might enjoy "Spiritual Pilgrims: Carl Jung and Teresa of Avila" by John Welch.


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