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Fantasy Books like Wheel of Time

Kleptin
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10/9/2011 9:39:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Hey guys, I was wondering if I could get some advice on reading material.

I picked up a copy of the first book in Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series about a year ago and fell in love with it. Since then, I've been reading the books one by one and sadly, I am nearing the end.

I am hoping to find a suitable replacement but I am very skeptical that I will be able to since what I like about his books tends to be what many others criticize.

I greatly enjoy florid, unnecessary description. I like how Jordan takes three pages to set up a scene down to the movement of the blades of grass and the contents of trade wagons that have no relevance to the main plot.

I love how his excessive detail really fleshes out the universe he creates so I can really and truly get lost in it. That's something that is really hard for me with most books I read.

I love the fact that he has constructed this entire universe down to its base philosophy/religion and the mechanics of reality and existence, and how it plays out in the plot.

I'm looking for a series that has at bare minimum 3 books.

Please fantasy fans! Help me!
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Man-is-good
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10/9/2011 9:58:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I would recommend brushing up on the old classics: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Mesopotamian Poems of Heaven and Hell, as well as some from the medieval period, including the Book of One Thousand One Nights...along with the Chinese book, Journey to the West.

For modern books, I recommend the works of Lord Dunsay and Algnernon Blackwood (though not H.P.Lovecraft, whose works I dislike...). Both are part of the tradition of wierd fiction...
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Man-is-good
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10/9/2011 11:26:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/9/2011 9:58:22 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
I would recommend brushing up on the old classics: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Mesopotamian Poems of Heaven and Hell, as well as some from the medieval period, including the Book of One Thousand One Nights...along with the Chinese book, Journey to the West.

For modern books, I recommend the works of Lord Dunsay and Algnernon Blackwood (though not H.P.Lovecraft, whose works I dislike...). Both are part of the tradition of wierd fiction...

Oops, my mistake....I forgot that you wrote about a series of books...Then,I do suggest: Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony, His Dark Material, and so on.
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"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/10/2011 12:26:01 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The best fit I can think of for the particular elements in fantasy you're looking for is the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss-- only two books of it out so far, The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man's Fear, but it'll be longer and fit your requirements in due time, and they're long books-- is a series that fits the bill of what you're looking to a T. It has a story-within-a-story style, the main character comes from a travelling troupe of essentially Shakespearian actors, so it's big on presentation. If anything, I think it has a little too much emphasis on it, which means you'll like it even more than I did.

If you don't particularly care about the level of SERIOUSNESS in the fantasy, the Xanth series by Piers Anthony has lots and lots and lots of irrelevant detail, some 50 books written. Most of the detail consists of puns, but it's damn good worldbuilding if you don't mind the kind of world that results.

Something that unfortunately isn't a series, and is low fantasy (historical/time travel fantasy ) rather than high-- Enchanted, by Orson Scott Card. It's got quite impressive worldbuilding for only one novel, in a mythologized medieval Russia.

Somewhat poorer fits for what you want:

I personally didn't care much for the various series David Eddings have done, mostly because of characterization and plot, but as I recall the worldbuilding was pretty decent.

Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind (about as long as Wheel of Time) fits the part about constructing the universe around philosophy and religion, but being essentially Ayn Rand translated into fantasy, it doesn't spend as much time describing the grass.

The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, somewhat shorter, is similar (except for the bit about Randianism, the author there is a Mormon)-- while as you know he has the chops to write Wheel of Time style stuff at least from notes, and is finishing that series, his own style is a little less like you described.

As for Song of Ice and Fire by Martin and Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony... They're a lot bigger on power politics than anything else, so they also aren't quite what you seem to be looking for. There's some elements of it, it's the fantasy genre, there's elements of it everywhere, but it's not gonna be as likely to satisfy you as much as Kingkiller given your stated tastes. Song of Ice and Fire gets really detailed-- about how to sentence a diseased hooker to being scrubbed out with lye. When it comes to less obscene things, not so much. And if you want Anthony to build you a world, it'll have to be a funny world, or you'll have to venture into sci-fi, where other things I could recommend await, but you didn't ask for sci-fi.
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phantom
Posts: 6,774
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10/10/2011 3:22:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/9/2011 9:39:12 PM, Kleptin wrote:


I greatly enjoy florid, unnecessary description. I like how Jordan takes three pages to set up a scene down to the movement of the blades of grass and the contents of trade wagons that have no relevance to the main plot.


You might enjoy the InkHeart trilogy then. Aish so full of long and unnecessary descriptions.
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popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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10/10/2011 9:15:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have read a lot of fantasy. I can personally vouch that all of the below series are top notch.

The First Law trilogy + "Best Served Cold" + "The Heroes" - Joe Abercrombie
He's not particularly into worldbuilding like Jordan is he but he's excellent on characterization and dialogue. His fight scenes are pretty well written, too. Surprising twists. It's a very "adult" fantasy series. Abercrombie takes all the traditional fantasy tropes like the "old, wise wizard" and the "barbarian" and flips them. It's pretty cool.

Mistborn series+ Elantris + Warbreaker + The Stormlight Archives series - Brandon Sanderson
If you are reading a Brandon Sanderson fantasy book you are guaranteed excellent worldbuilding and incredibly amazing magic systems. His action scenes are great and he usually has a nice twist to throw into the plotline.

Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson
If you think Jordan goes overboard on the detail you haven't read this series. This guy literally has hundreds of thousands of year of history mapped out (he used to be an archaeologist) and, again, quite literally, has HUNDREDS of pov characters throughout the 10 book series. A dozen of races. Multiple magic systems. Intrigue and quadruple crosses aplenty. The only thing is, he is, again, literally, overwhelming with that is going on in the series. You will be confused throughout the series just because there is an information overload. He does large scale battles like no other. This is what you call "epic" fantasy.

A Song of Ice and Fire - George R. R. Martin
There's not really much more to be said that lickdafoot didn't say. Phenomenal book series.

The Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss
Ragnar covered that.

The Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
Obviously.

The Prince of Nothing series - R Scott Bakker
Very, very, heavy on the philosophy - I believe the author has a phd in philosophy. Interesting plots

The Gentlemen Bastards - Scot Lynch
is book is about a group of thieves and all of the hijinks they get into. The situations they get themselves into and out of are insane. This one the most clever fantasy series I've ever read.
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JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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10/10/2011 9:48:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I would recommend The Hythrun Chronicles (Jennifer Fallon), obviously LotR (Tolkein). Also probably the Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis). Green Rider series (Kristen Britain) and maybe Legends of the Guardian King (Karen Hancock).

A word about the Hancock series - you may find it listed as Christian fiction, but it's only loosely related. The god in the series is very very different from any christian conceptualization, and rather cool to boot (e.g. believers can use some kind of holy power to heal themselves, stun demons, etc...). But then again, Christian fiction belongs in the fantasy aisle anyway =P
koolcat
Posts: 69
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10/10/2011 10:20:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
ummm im a lot yunger than all of you but i do love to read books and idk what any of the books you guys mintioned but i read eragon and you might want to read it. and if you were into romance than i suggest the house of night series but its not midevil its about vamps and what not.
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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10/10/2011 10:30:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I wonder if anyone else has read the Abhorsen books (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen).

My favourite fantasy series of all time.
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Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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10/11/2011 10:45:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ooh, I'm bookmarking this forum for later.

I recommend Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle.

There's also an extremely handy flowchart that npr made a while ago with their top 100 sci-fi and fantasy books:

http://www.box.net...

I've just started reading The Wheel of Time series. The Eye of the World was epic.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/11/2011 5:20:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/10/2011 10:30:43 PM, tvellalott wrote:
I wonder if anyone else has read the Abhorsen books (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen).

My favourite fantasy series of all time.

yep.. My girlfriend gave them to me.

Good books.

I've read wheel of time.. lots of Salvatore.. Starwars.. and to start me off in my fantasy journeys: Redwall! :)

mmm... But I've not read anything of the sort in the last year or so... I think I'm through with it all :/
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TUF
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7/10/2012 7:28:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/11/2011 5:20:48 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 10/10/2011 10:30:43 PM, tvellalott wrote:
I wonder if anyone else has read the Abhorsen books (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen).

My favourite fantasy series of all time.

yep.. My girlfriend gave them to me.

Good books.

I've read wheel of time.. lots of Salvatore.. Starwars.. and to start me off in my fantasy journeys: Redwall! :)

Redwall is always fun!
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