Best of the Tolkien Clones

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Alchemist, May 5, 2012.

  1. Zach H.

    Zach H. Registered User

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    Favorite Tolkien inspired are McKillip's Riddle-Master, Wolfe's The Wizard Knight, and Donaldson's Covenant. Or at least Tolkien inspired while still being Tolkienesque, or else I would also list someone like Kelly Link as well, who has cited Tolkien as an influence despite writing a completely different type of fantasy.

    Favorite Tolkien clone is Jordan's The Eye of the World (book one only, after that WoT got less readable for me with each volume).
     
  2. Fedos

    Fedos Registered User

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    I think Robert Jordan actually wrote the first book of The Wheel of Time series as a homage to The Lord of the Rings. I've only read up to book 8 in this series, and after taking an extended break I'm re-reading it (at book 4 now) though I'd actually go as far as saying that the first two books harkens back to The Lord of the Rings in varying degrees.
     
  3. Triceratops

    Triceratops Browser

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    I have to agree with this hands down. Somewhat panned as a rip-off in the beginning, it has carved out a large niche audience of its own.

    chris
     
  4. Revolvery

    Revolvery Registered User

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    Dragonlance Chronicles is very Tolkien-derivative, but also has enough of its own flavor that it's not a blatant rip off. One of my first forays into the fantasy genre and I still have a soft spot for it.
     
  5. DailyRich

    DailyRich Damn fool idealist

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    I remember seeing the paperback when I was kid and there was a blurb inside from the Village Voice that said, "We are predicting The Sword of Shannara will be the biggest cult book since Tolkien." That sealed the deal for my nine-year old mind.
     
  6. Alchemist

    Alchemist Registered User

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    Just to be clear, I don't mind changing viewpoints--and employ that my method in my WIP--but what bugs me is when there's vast gulfs of pages between the same viewpoint, especially the protagonist.

    If I remember correctly, the second book of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn was particularly bad in this manner: I remember reading 80 pages of one character, getting really into the story by the end and then it changed to another character for 80 pages; by the time I really got into the second character, it would change to a third. And so on.

    R Scott Bakker's The Judging Eye was similar but not quite as bad: It would alternate three characters, each for 20-30 pages each. That means I usually had to read 40-60 pages before getting back to, say, Achamian. The problem is that I enjoyed the Achamian sequences more than the Sorweel sequences, which I enjoyed more than Esmenet.
     
  7. Revolvery

    Revolvery Registered User

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    The only series where I've really noticed POV change is ASOIAF, mostly because each chapter was named after a particular character and each chapter seemed to end on a suspenseful note. But I thought this was actually quite brilliantly done by Martin, at least until the POV characters jumped from about 10 in ASOS to 20+ combining AFFC and ADWD, then I felt it disrupted the narrative, like too many balls in the air to juggle.

    Even in a recent book like Leviathan Wakes, or a non-SF book like A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, alternating POV doesn't bother me if the plot stays congruous. I will say that it really bothered me in Artemis Fowl when the POV seemed to bounce around between multiple POVs within the same chapter, and sometimes after a few measely paragraphs! But that seems to be the opposite of the problem you have, plus it's a whimsical childrens' book, so I suppose it gets a pass.
     
  8. Mark_P

    Mark_P Registered User

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    I was about to suggest the same thing. Definitely a "Tolkien clone", but in my opinion one of the best out there. Forget the stigma of the shared-world brand, it's a good read if you're looking for a heroic quest-based fantasy.
     
  9. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    A series that hasn't been mentioned yet : The Fionnavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. I would not call it a clone, but it was his first major epic and I felt he was still searching for his own particular style and had not broken free of the Tolkien influence after working as editor on some original Middle Earth manuscripts (I'm not sure if it was the Silmarillion) . The twist in Fionnavar is that the fellowship on a quest is formed by 5 Canadian students that are dragged through a portal into a fantasy world. More than the actual plot, the Tolkien vibe comes from the melancholic prose, the sense of a civilization ending its time in the limelight.
     
  10. shorinji_knight

    shorinji_knight New Member

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    Dennis McKiernan’s Iron Tower Trilogy is the most Tolkien derived out of all I've seen listed here. I admit I like his series better than LOTR, but then I read his first and when I was pretty young. It will always occupy a place of honor upon my shelf. The LOTR movies on the other hand blow all of the impostures away.
     
  11. Starwind

    Starwind Registered User

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    Is the Circle of Light series at all similar to Tolkien? I keep running into it and thinking it looks like a mishmash of Lord of the Rings and Narnia.
     
  12. Mark_P

    Mark_P Registered User

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    Speaking of this, it looks like the whole series is FINALLY becoming available for Kindle in the U.S. (until now, only the Last Chronicles books were available).

    "Lord Foul's Bane", "The Illearth War", and "The Power That Preserves" all came out a few weeks ago. "The Wounded Land" is coming out next week, and I'm assuming the next two books of the Second Chronicles will follow shortly thereafter.

    Great opportunity for the digital generation to be exposed to this classic "Tolkien clone" series!