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  1. #16
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    this tendency of epic fantasists to switch characters is tremendously annoying and overused.
    I agree with that, though perhaps not as strongly as you.

    Though I am enjoying Abrahams's King's Blood at the moment, I think it would really annoy you: the characters are every 10 pages or so!

    Happens in SF too. It's a modern style thing.

    There are times when I much prefer the old-school linear narrative: might be what keeps me reading the old stuff!

    Mark
    Mark

  2. #17
    I always considered Jordan's books (esp the early ones) tolkien clones. 3 parts tolkien, 1 part herbert = the first 6 books.

  3. #18
    Dazed Rambler Winter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    I agree with that, though perhaps not as strongly as you.

    Though I am enjoying Abrahams's King's Blood at the moment, I think it would really annoy you: the characters are every 10 pages or so!

    Happens in SF too. It's a modern style thing.

    There are times when I much prefer the old-school linear narrative: might be what keeps me reading the old stuff!

    Mark
    Pretty much. I mean, the prevalence of this has started to frustrate me more and more lately and I don't even read epic fantasy. I think it was China Mieville's Embassytown that set the annoyance in place. It has gotten to the point that I have contemplated avoiding any books with more than one POV character for a while.

  4. #19
    See that doesnt annoy me i actually like the different POV's. I think in most cases it adds to a deeper plot than your typical straight forward farm boy saves the world type fantasy.

    Though thats not to say its not impossible to have a good plot with a linear style. I think the king killer chronicles shows that.

    I agree though i'm a bit over the 80's style fantasy a'la eddings, feist, brooks. The plotlines are all very similar (though i have to say eddings is the worst for it)

    Jordan i think the first book was a tolkien homage book but i think he went on to write fantasy on a much deeper level than tolkien.

    Also i don't get this herbet rip off that everyone seems to mention. There may be some similarities between aiel and herbet desert people but to say they're a carbon copy is beyond me.

    Personally what im sick of is fantasy with elves dwarves and humans in them its been done to death and its good to have different races or just humans in fantasy

  5. #20
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    My favourite Tolkien "clones" are:

    The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson.
    The Riddle-Master Trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip.

  6. #21
    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).

  7. #22
    Registered User Fedos's Avatar
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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.

  8. #23
    Browser Triceratops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
    Perhaps the quintessential Tolkien clone is the Sword of Shannara trilogy, which has all of the elements you highlighted, since it was designed to be a retelling of Tolkien's story. It's "good" in the sense that it follows a similar plotline, and it is certainly one of the earliest clones on the market (first book published in the late 70's). It read well for its time and it remains an especially good choice for younger readers (...and many of us older readers have also enjoyed its simple take on the tropes of fantasy).
    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

  9. #24
    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.

  10. #25
    Damn fool idealist DailyRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
    Perhaps the quintessential Tolkien clone is the Sword of Shannara trilogy, which has all of the elements you highlighted, since it was designed to be a retelling of Tolkien's story. It's "good" in the sense that it follows a similar plotline, and it is certainly one of the earliest clones on the market (first book published in the late 70's). It read well for its time and it remains an especially good choice for younger readers (...and many of us older readers have also enjoyed its simple take on the tropes of fantasy).
    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.

  11. #26
    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.

  12. #27
    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.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Revolvery View Post
    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.
    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.

  14. #29
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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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.

  15. #30
    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.

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