Other books like Lord of the rings?

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Other books like Lord of the rings?

Postby Acelle » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:09 am

I really liked lord of the rings, are there other books/movies of the same kind of theme? Awesome website btw!
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Postby The Nameless Thing » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:34 am

The Amber series by Roger Zelazny is lighter reading but similar.

As is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephan Donaldson. Unlike Amber this is a little dark, but very good.
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Postby Acelle » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:12 am

The Nameless Thing wrote:The Amber series by Roger Zelazny is lighter reading but similar.

As is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephan Donaldson. Unlike Amber this is a little dark, but very good.


Thanks, I'll check them out :)
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:02 am

It would depend on what you consider "like the Lord of the Rings." If you're looking for Epic fantasy I suggest the Crown of Stars series by Kate Elliott or the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (which I've not read yet, but plan to.) Another good but extremely lengthy series would be the Deverry Novels by Katherine Kerr (including her variation of dwarfs, elves, dragons, etc. and a story arc that spans centuries!) Or Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels (again, spanning centuries and focusing more on magic). A recent series I've gotten into is The Sword of Shadows novels by J.V. Jones...she's mid series currently, but the first four books should be readily avaliable. Also, Kristian Britan has a nice series with a young woman as the protagonist, the Green Rider novels.
Check out: Katherine Kurtz at http://www.deryni.net/, Katherine Kerr at http://www.deverry.com/, Kate Elliott at http://www.kateelliott.com/, J.V. Jones at http://jvj.com/, George Martin: http://georgerrmartin.com/ or Kristen Britain http://www.kristenbritain.com/ And I see her new book is out. :)
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:24 pm

And of course, there's the much-reviled, much-loved Shanarra series by Terry Brooks . . . which a lot of folks consider a straight-up rip-off of Tolkien, but meh. What isn't . . . ? :P:D

The very recently-late Anne McCaffery's "Pern" novels are also an excellent read, and quite removed from Tolkien-type fantasy.

Happy reading!

:D:D:D
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Postby Frelga » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:59 pm

Since i dont know OP's age (and I am not asking, it being against TOS for a minor to post their age) I'd also like to mention that some of those books are at least R-rated. Definitely Martin, possibly Zelazny. Others I have not yet read.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:47 am

Good point, Frelga. :thumbsup: The Green Rider books are, at worst, PG-13 (for some violence and alluded to situations) and I'd say the Deryni novels would be too. Another good series that would be suitable for younger audiences are the Glasswright books by Mindy Klasky. I've not read her other books because I'm not interested in witchcraft. :(

There are some fantasy series aimed at younger readers...the Percy Jackson books come to mind (though I've not read them).
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Postby GoodSam » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:23 am

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb is a good epic fantasy read with a similar feel to Lord of the Rings. There is some frank discussion of sexual encounters in it, nothing explicit. You should know that going in, in case that is something you want to avoid. I was impressed with Hobb's writing. It is very evocative.
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Postby Morwenna » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:07 am

There are no other books like Lord of the Rings. I found that out long ago. But there are plenty of good fantasy novels/series out there. :)

There's Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea series, for one. That IIRC is suitable for most ages.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:04 am

Good point, Morwenna. :)

Wanting more like Lord of the Rings drew many of us to find the authors we've suggested here, Acelle. When I was searching I came across far too many duds. Fortunately, here you have many people who have been reading for years and are willing to help! :D
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Postby Morwenna » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:07 am

One thing that Lin Carter did for fantasy readers everywhere was to bring to attention some of the older fantasists that had nearly been forgotten, like William Morris and Lord Dunsany; of course not everyone gets along well with the older writing styles. But he brought to the fore some newer authors as well, and then there's Evangeline Walton who wrote one novel long before but was encouraged to bring that out again along with 3 more newer ones, all retelling stories from the Mabinogion, the Welsh epic. The Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which brought out all that, gave a huge boost to fantasy authors old and new.

Of course now fantasy novelists are everywhere, and the styles vary greatly. So does the quality, as Iris pointed out. I've lost track of most of the field nowadays, but many people here are still diligent readers (I've retreated into classics and nonfiction and esoterica) and will be glad to help you out. Watch this space. :) And in fact this whole forum category.
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Postby frodolives668 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:55 am

Lord of the Rings was one of a kind. However, you can find some books in the same form of deep fantasy. Whenever I go to bookstores, I find that most books with a map of an imaginary place inside the cover are usually worth flipping through. There are also a few fanfictions that you might find interesting. It all comes down to you.
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Postby Dunthule » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:00 pm

For some reason I am still partial to Fritz Lieber. Probably because I read of few of his novels with Fafhard and the Grey Mouser before Tolkien.
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Postby Frelga » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:47 pm

Oh yes, Lieber! The original sword and sorcery. :)

Also a newcomer, The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. He's not Tolkien, but he is at least the equal of Hobb.
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:55 pm

Another relative newcomer is Adrian Tchaikovsky. He has a series called "Shadows of the Apt" and I found it to be a very entertaining read. It's not Tolkien by a far cry either, but it is pretty good.

His blending of insect qualities into human groups isn't as icky as it sounds, in fact, it's quite brilliant.

I mean, who doesn't hate Wasps? (the stinging, yellow and gold variety)

LOLOL . . .

:D:D:D
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Postby The Nameless Thing » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:39 pm

I loved Lieber too!
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Postby FrodoTook » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:19 pm

Welcome Acelle. Nice to meet you.

Great question.

After reading of Middle-Earth many times, I also wanted to read something new which would take me to "another place" like Tolkien did.

Some tales disappointed me but I did find joy in The Gormenghast series which comprises three novels by Mervyn Peake.

The series consists of three novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), and Titus Alone (1959). A novella, Boy in Darkness (1956), tells the story of a brief adventure by the young Titus away from Gormenghast, although it does not explicitly name the castle.

The tales are a "page turner" for me. I found myself wanting to keep on reading...just like I feel when I am reading Tolkiens works.

I am happy to say today is my sons birthday. He and I talked via telephone. He is currently reading The Silmarillion. I am currently reading LOTR.

OK..Back to The Gormenghast series...I found myself invested in the characters and enjoying the environment...which a good fantasy tale should do.

I love a good fantasy "page turner".
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Postby Treagol » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:44 am

I agree that there are no other books like "Lord of the Rings". The only other book series that affected me in a similar way is Frank Herbert's "Dune" books. Both of the these really touched something deep inside me and I haven't been the same after reading them.

Of course, "Dune" is considered more science fiction than fantasy.
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Postby Hamfast Gamgee » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:16 am

How about Terry Pratchett? I'm serious the Discworld series is a little like Tolkien but from a slightly different angle. Or maybe Micheal Moorcok? Some interesting examples of sci-fi fantasy ideas from him. Plus I think he is the only person I can think of who has some people similar to Hobbit in dancers at the end of time.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:36 am

I just finished "The Bone Doll's Twin" by Lynn Flewelling...it's very dark (blood magic and a demon/ghost, etc.) but also riveting. The book draws you into a different world with compelling characters...but other than that, I don't think I could say it's like Tolkien because we've never gotten a definition of what the original poster was looking for. :)
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Postby Denethor » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:07 pm

FrodoTook wrote:Some tales disappointed me but I did find joy in The Gormenghast series which comprises three novels by Mervyn Peake.


Gormenghast is an interesting one in the sense that it too is an accidental fantasy trilogy, written in the mid-twentieth century by an English author. Except that whereas LOTR has spawned endless imitations, Gormenghast represents a sort of literary dead-end: not only is there nothing like it, no-one has ever tried to write anything like it.
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:33 am

Denethor wrote:
FrodoTook wrote:Some tales disappointed me but I did find joy in The Gormenghast series which comprises three novels by Mervyn Peake.


Gormenghast is an interesting one in the sense that it too is an accidental fantasy trilogy, written in the mid-twentieth century by an English author. Except that whereas LOTR has spawned endless imitations, Gormenghast represents a sort of literary dead-end: not only is there nothing like it, no-one has ever tried to write anything like it.


No one's ever tried to write anything like James Joyce's Finnegans WakeorUlysses either. :)
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Postby FrodoTook » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:03 pm

Morwenna wrote:
Denethor wrote:
FrodoTook wrote:Some tales disappointed me but I did find joy in The Gormenghast series which comprises three novels by Mervyn Peake.


Gormenghast is an interesting one in the sense that it too is an accidental fantasy trilogy, written in the mid-twentieth century by an English author. Except that whereas LOTR has spawned endless imitations, Gormenghast represents a sort of literary dead-end: not only is there nothing like it, no-one has ever tried to write anything like it.


No one's ever tried to write anything like James Joyce's Finnegans WakeorUlysses either. :)


That the tales are so unique that so few even try to imitate them relays high compliments about the tales.

Some tales are not imitated well.

Some tales can not even be imitated.

For me, that makes them classic.

I love them both.

Thank you Denethor and Morwenna for sharing your thoughts.
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Postby solicitr » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:08 am

George RR Martin is pretty good - at least I enjoy him - but he's not really like Tolkien at all. "Gritty" might do; even "realistic" (insofar as a world with dragons and ice-wights is realistic). Very much built around politics, conspiracies and double-dealing, and a civil war for supreme power; Martin says his inspiration was the English Wars of the Roses. Not much Tolkienian idealism and glory, rather a lot of cynicism and brutality.

Tad Williams is more Tolkienesque. Terry Brooks I would call less "Tolkienesque" than "cheap Tolkien ripoff."

Now, there are fantasy authors who are very good, but not much like Tolkien. Mervyn Peake has been mentioned, and LeGuin's Earthsea books are quite good (nominally 'juveniles', but so what?). I would also toss in Gene Wolfe, both his specifically-fantasy New Sun books, and his Greek-mythos Soldier of Arete.

A real classic is Mary Stewart's Arthurian trilogy (I pretend the 4th book doesn't exist*): The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment.

And Terry Pratchett is always worth reading- but he is to fantasy rather what Douglas Adams was to sci-fi.

------------------
*Just like there is not and never was any Indiana Jones movie set in the Fifties with a sabre-wielding KGB villain and an alien spaceship. Never happened.
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Postby Almatolmen » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:04 pm

After I first read LotR, nearly 44 years ago now, I, too, wanted to find something "like" it as well. To tell the truth, I've never found it, especially in books considered epic fantasy. Either they were rather pale imitations or were just unsatisfactory. I quit looking. I think a clue to what makes it unique for me is I can't think of any other book or series that I'd invest so much time or money in: HoME, Tolkien and the Great War, posting here, etc. The closest thing for me is Eric Flint's 1632 series. And since it's a continuing series with no end in sight I'll continue to invest in it. It's not "like" Tolkien, especially since it's a shared universe series with a number of contributors both in the published novels and anthologies and the online magazine. However, it does address a kind of complex sub-creation with levels from the comedic to the philosophical and seen from both an elite and an ordinary people perspective.
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Re: Other books like Lord of the rings?

Postby Wolfie65 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:37 pm

Walking into any bookstore - new or used - you will find that about 75% of all books in the Fantasy section are, in essence, re-writes of LotR.
Except, of course, those that appeared before LotR or even The Hobbit.
William Morris and Lord Dunsany have already been mentioned, the 'fathers' of modern fantasy, if you will, there's also E.R. Eddison, whose Worm Ouroboros and Zimiamvian Trilogy are also pretty epic and deep, probably the closest in scope to Tolkien.
Robert E. Howard's works have been widely besmirched by having been posthumously 'edited' by a few authors whose styles are the polar opposite of Howard's (Carter, deCamp, etc.) and by several abominable movies VERY loosely based on 2 of his characters (Kull & Conan).
Henry Kuttner's Dark World was the first fantasy novel I ever read, and I should also mention Abraham Merritt and T.B. Swann, although the latter can be a bit -let's call it 'confusing' - if the OP is very young.
Some newer authors worth looking into would include Michael Moorcock, the already mentioned Katherine Kurtz, Ursula K. LeGuin, Karl Edward Wagner and Susan Cooper, whose The Dark is Rising Sequence 'predates' Harry Potter......
Or, you could just go back the The Source and read classic fairy tales and sagas.
That's what Tolkien did.
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Re: Other books like Lord of the rings?

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:40 am

I feel I have to disagree only because I am aware that most modern fantasy writers make a conscious effort not to be "just like Tolkien." Of course you're going to have a lot of the same themes, such as a quest by an unlikely person to do something tremendously heroic, but for quite a while there was a movement among publishers/editors to disregard anything that was an obvious copy. The result has been quite a few established writers who worked hard to create their own worlds. In the 1990s I was reading a great deal of their stuff, relying heavily on Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Sword and Sorceress" series to introduce me to those new authors. Many of them did what you suggest, going back to the "original" sources--fairy tales and legends--and expanding, inventing, creating. Thanks to them I got a pretty good handle on a lot of Celtic, Norse, Eastern mythology. :)

There's always going to be echoes of Tolkien in other people's writings, but you can also easily argue for echoes of George MacDonald or Beowulf or even the Bible. Great stories are told and retold and added to and changed and borrowed from.
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Re: Other books like Lord of the rings?

Postby orcslayr23 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:53 am

I would suggest reading anything by Terry Brooks.

The Sword of Shannara trilogy is the first in the series, so i'd recommend starting with that. Each of the books in the trilogy kind of stand on their own though. The first one (Sword of Shannara) is kind of similar to LOTR (at least the first half) but then it gets really good with awesome plot twists and characters and whatnot. The second book (The Elfstones of Shannara) is the author's finest work, and possibly my favorite fantasy book of all time. The story is much more unique and the characters are really rich. The climax and ending are fantastic too, so much so that when I finished I had to read the last chapter a few times because I loved it so much. Probably the only time I could think of in at least 6 years when finishing a book has left me in a really good mood. Book three (The Wishsong of Shannara) has a clunky beginning but if you can make it past the first couple chapters it gets much better.

If you only read one of Brooks' books, please PLEASE read The Elfstones of Shannara.
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Re:

Postby Gungnir » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:31 pm

Treagol wrote:I agree that there are no other books like "Lord of the Rings". The only other book series that affected me in a similar way is Frank Herbert's "Dune" books. Both of the these really touched something deep inside me and I haven't been the same after reading them.

Of course, "Dune" is considered more science fiction than fantasy.


Yes, this! Dune is the only other book that I've read and could almost feel that I was reading about a real world.

And reading the first Shannara book made me want to gnaw my own eyes out. Bargain basement stuff at best.
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Re: Re:

Postby orcslayr23 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:21 am

Gungnir wrote:
Treagol wrote:And reading the first Shannara book made me want to gnaw my own eyes out. Bargain basement stuff at best.


Not even close. He's a NYT best-selling author and has written over 20 books. He is definitely not a bad writer, but the first half of his first book is pretty similar to LOTR. It gets much better, but you have to stick with it. Again it might be better to start with The Elfstones of Shannara (which is the second book in that series), which many people (including myself) consider to be his finest work.
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