The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) The Return of the King discussion


691 views
Books to Read After the Hobbit and LoTRs

Comments Showing 1-50 of 72 (72 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Robert Evert Several of the other forums on Tolkien have threads discussing books similar to the great man's work. Other than the obvious, "big named" authors (Rowlings, Martin, et al.), I'd like to see if we can generate a list of new indie authors who Tolkien fans might enjoy.

Part of my motivation here is to find books that can make me feel like I did when I first read the Hobbit. I miss the wonder and splendor that Tolkien first gave to me. Hopefully a new generation of authors can kindle the same emotions.

Another part of my motivation is because I'm a new novelist. Sorry for the shameful self-promotion, but I'd like to start the ball rolling by suggesting my book, RIDDLE IN STONE.

Again, it's nowhere near the quality and beauty of Tolkien's work. But you might enjoy it.

It's about a fat, middle age man who stutters. Tired of feeling like a loser, he attempts to become a famous adventurer so that he can win the heart of his love, Molly; however, his first quest goes horribly wrong.

It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

If you read it or are interested in reading the first chapter, PLEASE let me know.

Okay... done with that!! (And again, I'm sorry for starting with my book. I feel all dirty.)

What other new authors would you all recommend???? Try to give a brief overview of the story so we all can get an idea what it's about and a link to where the book can be purchased.

Any other suggestions??????


Cole I have heard good things about Jim Butcher's "Codex Alera", but I have not read it myself. It's on my to-read list, and I do enjoy Butcher's writing style.


message 3: by Feliks (last edited Jun 18, 2013 08:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks Without doubt, you would want:
Titus Groan and Gormenghast (first two titles of a three -book trilogy by Mervyn Peake. Its an indescribable fantasy-world with rich vocabulary and inventiveness. Peake wasn't a scholar of early English languages (well, no one really was except Tolkien) but this is a very close second. Its the story of the matriculation and development of a boy-king in a surreal kingdom which his family has ruled for generations; and he must grow up fast because he is facing a really lethal and ingenious villain. One of the best villains in all literature.

I also enjoyed the books of Stephen R. Donaldson and I know a lot of other folks dig Lloyd Alexander. Donaldson wrote the Thomas Covenant trilogy; which is about a helpless, suicidal man (diagnosed with chronic illness) who finds himself wandering around a magical counter-world whose peoples look to him to save their lives.

Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain is a lengthy, 6-book story-cycle based on Welsh myths.

Not to be overlooked though, is this wonderful tale: The Once and Future King by author
T.H. White. Somewhat similar to what Mervyn Peake chose for his theme, above; but no more should be said lest spoilers be stumbled over.

Of course, you should also consider venturing into epic poetry such as Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came, Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, and the works of Lord Tennyson Alfred, Geoffry Chaucer, and Giovanni Boccaccio. You may also like Ariosto, Homer, Virgil, and Torquato Tasso. If you have a real appetite for fantasy and not just playing around, that is.

I also vote for Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind In The Willows. One of the legendary works of children's fantasy; a cast of life-like animal characters warm and wonderful enough to make Walt Disney eat his heart out.

cordially,
FD

p.s. my comments above reflect the assumption that you've gone on to read The Silmarillion; The Adventures of Tom Bombadil; and all of the other Tolkien works.


Robert Evert Good suggestions, Cole and Feliks! I've read a few of these...The Once and Future King, Paradise Lost, etc. But not others.

Anybody else have any suggestions?


message 5: by _ (new) - rated it 5 stars

_ A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. Something about her writing style reminds me of Tolkien.


Cole I second Lloyd Alexander. Like Tolkein, but done more in the style of YA literature. Definitely epic fantasy!


Michael I enjoyed Markus Heitz series of The Dwarves. Originally in German, but also translated into English.

If Middle Earth is the thing you want to explore more, there are numerous books by various authors about the history, and the places of Tolkien's Middle Earth too.


Deeptanshu Sanderson's Way of Kings is also a pretty good High Fantasy novel.


message 10: by Josh (new) - rated it 4 stars

Josh I would recommend The Princess Bride, The Neverending Story, or The Last Unicorn. Like LOTR and The Hobbit they are all fantasy/adventure stories, mature in their own way but aimed at a younger crowd. More importantly they have endearing characters, fantastic worlds, memorable plots, and elegant prose, which is exactly what drew me into Tolkien's world of wizards and hobbits.


Robert Evert Markus Heitz's The Dwarves was very good.


Michael ow, sorry, didn't actually checked what you read... :)


Robert Evert Michael wrote: "ow, sorry, didn't actually checked what you read... :)"

No worries! This thread isn't for me. (Although I did start it by pimping out my dark fantasy novel :).

Anytime we can point readers to good books we not only help them, but also the starving authors who wrote them!!


message 14: by Sam (last edited Jun 18, 2013 12:35PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sam You might want to lay off the wizards and goblins for a while after a big dose of Tolkien.
Read something totally different. What's wrong with variety?

But if you want another epic fantasy quest story, here's an idea: read Don Quixote.


Devero Robert wrote: "Several of the other forums on Tolkien have threads discussing books similar to the great man's work. Other than the obvious, "big named" authors (Rowlings, Martin, et al.), I'd like to see if we c..."

Good luck for your job.

But... logically, after "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" you must read "The Silmarillion" and then "The History of the Middle-Earth" always by JRRT.


message 16: by Feliks (last edited Jun 18, 2013 08:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks There are other highly-detailed, richly-drawn worlds in SF; if you wish to stray from the world of elves and runes.

Frank Herbert's Dune
Aasimov's The Foundation Trilogy
Phillip Jose Farmer's Riverworld (in To Your Scattered Bodies Go)
Brian Aldiss' Hothouse
McCaffrey's The Dragonriders of Pern
LeGuin'sThe Left Hand of Darkness
Clement's Heavy Planet: The Classic Mesklin Stories
James Blish's Cities in Flight
Niven's Ringworld
The planet 'Worlorn' in Dying of the Light


Margaret Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series is a fun world to discover


Frenchie I would recommend this trilogy:
Sanctus
The Key
The Tower

I have read The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth and The Children of Húrin but I need a change of author every now and then, even though I love Tolkien's work. I did not find the Silmarillion easy to read, nor The Unfinished Tales but I think it is due more to the language .


Frenchie Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

If you read it or are interested in reading the first chapter, PLEASE let me know. "


Rober, unless I have a bug in my computer, which happens from time to time, to be honest, your Amazon link is not working, so, I am putting the UK one, and your link for Goodreads got me to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Quandary Phase

..................

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Riddle-Stone-...

Riddle in Stone (The Riddle in Stone, #1) by Robert Evert

I hope they will work now.


Robert Evert Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

If you read it or are interested in reading t..."

Thanks Frenchie! It's good to see that one person has reviewed Riddle in Stone in the UK! :)

Hopefully the link gets fixed!


message 21: by Ted (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ted Cross The closest ones for the feeling of reading LOTR would be The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and The Iron Tower Omnibus and The Silver Call by Dennis McKiernan.

I second the vote for A Wizard of Earthsea, as it is gorgeous. I'd also add The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and of course its sequel.


Frenchie Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

If you read it or are intere..."


I like the cover of your book. I could never resist a hooded cloak LOL so, I am reading it now. Oh I just started so I am only at the bit where Ed is reading the edit he tore from the tree .
I shall let you know if I liked it or not. So far, so good.


Robert Evert Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

If you read i..."


Wow!! Thanks Frenchie!! That's really kind of you. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it! Keep in mind, it's kind of dark. :)


Herder of Squirrels Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

If you read i..."


Hey man! I just finished your book! It was really honestly excellent. I can't say enough about it. Everybody here should read it if only to meet the goblins.

You have a very unique take on them. I loved Kravel and Grulding. What made you make them like that? They're probably the best villains I've ever read. Too cool. Is there a next book?


Robert Evert I just started reading the Name in The Wind. So far so good. Thanks Ted! It's a long book. Hopefully it stays good.


Robert Evert Herder of Squirrels wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...."


Wow. Thanks Herder! That means a great deal to me. Thank you! If you have time, please write a review here and on Amazon.com. I'd really appreciate it! Regarding the goblins...I got tired of reading about one-dimensional bad guys. They're all like Snidely Whiplash, doing evil for evil sake. I wanted something different. So I made Kravel and Gurding well-spoken, intelligent, and with a deadly sense of humor. I don't know if it works or not. But they were fun to write. Thanks again for reading my book and the kinds words! You made my day!


Frenchie Robert wrote: "Herder of Squirrels wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www..."



Well, I am discovering that goblins have quite a sense of humour LOL. Yes, it does work. I am not going to put any spoiler here so, I am not going to discuss the book here but I am now into the book (down in the mines), and it is getting more difficult to put down. The writing style is quite different to what I am used to , but I like it because it is exactly as it would be if I was going on an adventure myself, and being quite a scaredy cat myself, I would be talking to myself LOL...


Martine Raymond E. Feist


Robert Evert Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Herder of Squirrels wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-T..."

You're very kind Frenchie! And you hit something that I wanted to do. I wanted things to be "realistic." Being captured by bad guys wouldn't be pleasant! :)

Let me know when you finish! I hope you enjoy the rest of it!


message 30: by Jack (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jack Durish I did a quick scan of the responses submitted thus far and wasn't surprised to see the one book that Tolkien himself recommended: The Worm Ouroboros. I wrote about it already on my blog and will provide a link to that review rather than repeat myself. Enjoy
http://www.jackdurish.com/4/post/2012...


Crystal Wait wait, no one's mentioned Beowulf yet? Beowulf, the epic of Anglo-Saxon literature. Tolkien draws on it quite a bit, since he studied this stuff. You could consider it "historical background" reading. There are definitely lots of parallels. The culture, the diction, the storyline.
I definitely recommend Beowulf. It's also another feather in your cap as a reader of classical literature.


Feliks Oh! okay if we want to go that route, then this:

Tirant Lo Blanc


Angie ~aka Reading Machine~ Cole wrote: "I have heard good things about Jim Butcher's "Codex Alera", but I have not read it myself. It's on my to-read list, and I do enjoy Butcher's writing style."

I've read it it's really good. Alot of action and great concept too.


message 35: by Sam (last edited Jun 23, 2013 03:58PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sam Crystal wrote: "Wait wait, no one's mentioned Beowulf yet? Beowulf, the epic of Anglo-Saxon literature. Tolkien draws on it quite a bit, since he studied this stuff. You could consider it "historical background" r..."

Crystal has the right idea. Don't go looking for todays Tolkien impersonators. Explore his influences and see what sparked his own interest in literature. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, certainly, and also perhaps Macbeth - a specific influence with regard to the Ents.

Looking into Tolkien's own influences will provide you with a better understanding of his work and a much richer literary experience than simply looking to modern-day Tolkien imitators.


Robert Evert Jack wrote: "I did a quick scan of the responses submitted thus far and wasn't surprised to see the one book that Tolkien himself recommended: The Worm Ouroboros. I wrote about it already on my blog and will pr..."

I think this will be my next read. Thanks for the suggestion!


Martine Crystal wrote: "Wait wait, no one's mentioned Beowulf yet? Beowulf, the epic of Anglo-Saxon literature. Tolkien draws on it quite a bit, since he studied this stuff. You could consider it "historical background" r..."

And since it is a classic, it's usually free! :) Have not read it yet, but it is on my kobo.


message 38: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Martine wrote: "And since it is a classic, it's usually free! :) Have not read it yet, but it is on my kobo."

I can't resist mentioning that the best translation I've yet found of Beowulf: A New Verse Translation is the Seamus Haney version I linked to here.

I'd also suggest looking into other classic work, perhaps even translated by Tolkien himself, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo. All these great early tales were major influences for Tolkien.


Herder of Squirrels Robert wrote: "Herder of Squirrels wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-Th...
http://www..."


Too cool! So is there a second one coming out soon? There was the first chapter at the end of the first book but it didn't tell when it was due out.


Robert Evert Herder of Squirrels wrote: "Robert wrote: "Herder of Squirrels wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: "Frenchie wrote: "Robert wrote: It's an e-book available at Amazon and other outlets.

http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Stone-T..."


Betrayal in the Highlands should be out in September. "Friend me" and I can shoot you up dates when I have them!


Kristina Whoa, whoa, whoa... why didn't I see Tad Williams books in any of these suggestions of yours? :(

Tad Williams - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (The Dragonbone Chair,Stone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower


Robert Evert Kristina wrote: "Whoa, whoa, whoa... why didn't I see Tad Williams books in any of these suggestions of yours? :(

Tad Williams - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (The Dragonbone Chair,Stone of Farewell and To Gree..."


Thanks, Kristina. I'll have to look at these.


Feliks Sam wrote: " todays Tolkien impersonators..."

Awesomely stated. Bravo


message 44: by Troy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Troy Alot of material has already been covered. So I'll mention a couple of things that haven't:

Stephen King's Dark Tower series (his masterpiece IMHO)
Jacqueline Carey's sexy Kushiel trilogies (there are now 3, all good, though the first is best, followed by the 2nd, and the distant 3rd)
Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles


Robert Evert Feliks wrote: "Sam wrote: " todays Tolkien impersonators..."

Awesomely stated. Bravo"


I wonder if it is possibly for a fantasy writer to not be a Tolkien impersonator in some way.

He really changed fantasy literature. I can't imagine that a writer of fantasy wouldn't read Tolkien and that Tolkien's work wouldn't leave a HUGE impact.

I know that my writing is probably heavily influenced by Tolkien...whether I want it to be or not.

I think most of us are writers because we want to recapture the wonder that going to Middle Earth gave us.


message 46: by Feliks (last edited Jul 10, 2013 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks It may be that making certain choices will make it harder for you to diverge from the path he wound up taking; simply because all myths are ultimately a cache-all which writers draw from; and ancient story-structures circumscribe new efforts.

On the other hand, you could find somewhere that you can make a slight detour from Tolkien's way and thus, if you owe anything to the same stock of ancient folklore (simply because of the precepts of the genre itself) then they might only distinguish your work in spite of your efforts rather than, because you deliberately seek them out.

For example; even though folklore is rife with dwarves you might say to yourself: "okay in my next project...not ONE damn dwarf". Because Tolkien did so much with them, you might have to go find some other meme to play your variations upon. Even just that much of a difference could set your work apart from his.


message 47: by Troy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Troy Feliks wrote: "It may be that making certain choices will make it harder for you to diverge from the path he wound up taking; simply because all myths are ultimately a cache-all which writers draw from; and ancie..."

It has been said that there are 2 meta-narratives: "Stranger comes to town" and "Hero takes a journey." Epic fantasy, or high fantasy, is usually based around the latter. Perhaps a good starting point would be to figure a way to stay away from those 2 meta-narratives--particularly, the "Hero takes a journey" narrative.


Robert Evert Feliks wrote: "It may be that making certain choices will make it harder for you to diverge from the path he wound up taking; simply because all myths are ultimately a cache-all which writers draw from; and ancie..."
Good points, Feliks.

This is really interesting to me. As I was writing my story, Riddle in Stone (SHAMELESS PLUG:) I was really wrestling with the "bad guys." Goblins and orcs and the like have been used over and over... like you said about dwarves. How do you write something that doesn't overtly (or covertly) take from Tolkien and other authors?

I'm not sure we can ever completely escape the Great One's shadows. I thought I was being oooh so cleaver with my writing. I thought that I was being original by making my bad guys polite and well-spoken. Then I realize that my story has some elements from other stories out there.

I wonder if this conversation should be it's own thread.


Robert Evert Troy wrote: "Feliks wrote: "It may be that making certain choices will make it harder for you to diverge from the path he wound up taking; simply because all myths are ultimately a cache-all which writers draw ..."

Have you read Campbell's work on this? He said exactly what you're saying...all stories come down to certain elements and have four "acts." Cool stuff.


message 50: by Feliks (last edited Jul 10, 2013 10:48AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks Thanks. Certainly I've read Campbell. And plenty others too. Folklore and fable has fascinated me for a long time.

Obviously, Tolkien commandeered the most terrain because he was a scholar of olde English languages and carved out certain research areas to plumb-- in-depth--like 'Beowulf'. He was a man on a mission. Most of us will never have the opportunity to emulate the extensive manner in which he assembled data for his magnum opus.

But --in our own small way--we all can do our own research. It doesn't have to be lifelong research like Tolkien's. If you go hunting you may find some things he decided to 'set aside' because it didn't fit with his goal. Japanese myths perhaps. Pacific island myth structure. Perhaps the tropes of 'fairy, sylph, nymph, sprite'. Or Greek elementals. You don't find that in his work, as I recall. My point is, Tolkien didn't agglomerate everything mythological under his own aegis.

A good starting point (perhaps) is Sir James George Frazier's "Golden Bough". That book will spark ideas if nothing else does. Its not true scholarship (nor was Campbell's)..but its chock full of ideas. Dozens on every page.


« previous 1
back to top