1. #1

    [Books] any book series like A Song of Ice and Fire out there?

    I had no idea books like George R R Martin's A song of ice and fire series existed. I, like many others, learned of their existence through the TV series and have since bought them all and read them twice.
    I now have €45 worth of coupons for books and I would like some advice on similar books.

    Here are some of the most important reasons I love these books:
    - The sheer complexity, lots and lots of characters each with entirely their own motivations.
    - The unpredictability, Almost every time you think something is about to happen, something completely different happens instead.
    - Rich and varied world.

    Is there anything you would recommend?
    I don't think this matters nearly as much as you think it does.

  2. #2
    Over 9000! Arrowstormen's Avatar
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    Malazan Book of the Fallen and The Wheel of Time is two other very popular Epic High Fantasy series. Still not done with A Dance With Dragons, so I haven't read them myself.
    Belief can become reality!

  3. #3
    Titan Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    The Wheel of Time perhaps? It's complex but not as brutal as A Song of Ice And Fire. There's more magic in WOT than in ASOIAF as well.

    If a video game developer removed tumors from players, they'd whine about nerfing their loss in weight and access to radiation powers. -Cracked.com

  4. #4
    Moderator Zoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    Malazan Book of the Fallen and The Wheel of Time is two other very popular Epic High Fantasy series.
    These were the two I was going to suggest. They are both large series. WoT is 14 books with one standalone prequel. Malazan is 10 books with several standalone books. Each book is around 1000 pages, give or take a couple hundred. They both involve a lot more magic than SoIaF.

    Malazan is probably closer to the criteria you listed. It's not so much "good vs evil" as it is "these guys vs those guys". Like SoIaF, you'll read a chapter from the PoV of a character on one side and think of them as the good guys, and then it will do a chapter from the PoV of someone on the other side and you'll think they are the good guys. And there are a lot more than just two sides.

    WoT is in my opinion less complex than Malazan, but it's still a very good series, and my personal favourite.

    There are some criticisms for both. Some think that WoT gets a bit boring from Book 6-11 (12-14 were written by a different author after the original passed away). Some dislike the first book of Malazan, but it was written 8 years before the rest of the series and the style changes in the other books.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by zoefschildpad View Post
    Here are some of the most important reasons I love these books:
    - The sheer complexity, lots and lots of characters each with entirely their own motivations.
    - The unpredictability, Almost every time you think something is about to happen, something completely different happens instead.
    - Rich and varied world.

    Is there anything you would recommend?
    You should definitly read Terry Goodkinds The Sword of Truth Series. Its in my opinion even better than The Lord of the Rings. Unfortunetly i dont know how to describe the story without spoiling some things. It starts of a little generig with the bad guy who aims for world dominion, but constantly evolves into something much greater. Its big, deep, full of magic, lots and lots auf unique characters. I cant put into words how awesome the story is ^^

  6. #6
    Stood in the Fire sinilaid's Avatar
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    Raymond E. Feist "Riftwar Cycle"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by zoefschildpad View Post
    I had no idea books like George R R Martin's A song of ice and fire series existed. I, like many others, learned of their existence through the TV series and have since bought them all and read them twice.
    I now have €45 worth of coupons for books and I would like some advice on similar books.

    Here are some of the most important reasons I love these books:
    - The sheer complexity, lots and lots of characters each with entirely their own motivations.
    - The unpredictability, Almost every time you think something is about to happen, something completely different happens instead.
    - Rich and varied world.

    Is there anything you would recommend?
    There have been a couple threads like this. If you want complexity then Malazan Book of the Fallen is the way to go. Dresden Files is also becoming more and more complex as it goes along. There aren't a lot of very complex epic series. You could go to the Gene Wolfe way and do the 'Urth' stuff.

    I would say Malazan is the best for you, I would suggest you get the first 3 books and read through them, remember that the first book is the authors first book and quite a bit less skillfully done than the rest of the series. Just fyi, Malazan introduces new characters and new viewpoints throughout teh series.

    You could also read the stuff by Joe Abercrombie, his stuff isn't extremely complex, but he has a couple different characters with different viewpoints, the unexpected happens pretty regularly, and the writing is very good. His stuff is split into a starting trilogy then 3 more stand alone books in different styles.

    ---------- Post added 2013-03-11 at 10:21 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Comburo View Post
    You should definitly read Terry Goodkinds The Sword of Truth Series. Its in my opinion even better than The Lord of the Rings. Unfortunetly i dont know how to describe the story without spoiling some things. It starts of a little generig with the bad guy who aims for world dominion, but constantly evolves into something much greater. Its big, deep, full of magic, lots and lots auf unique characters. I cant put into words how awesome the story is ^^
    Sword of Truth is essentially Ayn Rand's fantasy novel, a leader who can never be wrong, and you can tell the importance of any female character to the main story of the book by how close she is to getting raped. The writing is juvenile, the plot is clear from about halfway through the book, and the 'magic' is just deus ex machine after you are about 3 novels in. Evil chickens are the only plus in this series. I would (and do) advise any and everyone against reading this series.
    Last edited by obdigore; 2013-03-11 at 02:21 PM.

  8. #8
    Titan Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    I might have to try this Malazan when I finish the Wheel of Time (had to reread the series for A Memory of Light.)

    So many books, so little time.

    If a video game developer removed tumors from players, they'd whine about nerfing their loss in weight and access to radiation powers. -Cracked.com

  9. #9
    Moderator Zoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Jensen View Post
    I might have to try this Malazan when I finish the Wheel of Time (had to reread the series for A Memory of Light.)

    So many books, so little time.
    I would highly recommend it. It's my second favourite series, just behind WoT. It's a bit more complex and brutal than WoT, but with many entertaining characters. Some of the soldier banter is hilarious.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by obdigore View Post
    Sword of Truth is essentially Ayn Rand's fantasy novel, a leader who can never be wrong, and you can tell the importance of any female character to the main story of the book by how close she is to getting raped. The writing is juvenile, the plot is clear from about halfway through the book, and the 'magic' is just deus ex machine after you are about 3 novels in. Evil chickens are the only plus in this series. I would (and do) advise any and everyone against reading this series.
    The first book (Wizard's First Rule) and one of the last ones (Phantom) are two of my favorite fantasy books. People either love or hate Sword of Truth, there's not really any middle ground. I enjoyed it, I'll try to list some pros and cons and others are welcome to their own opinions.

    - As you said, it's a bit deus ex machina, Richard's powers are very literally based on "need," so the more he needs something, the more likely he is to get it.
    - Dear God, the author can beat a dead horse to death and continue beating it (yes, he actually kills that horse twice).
    - Character development can be sketchy; for example, you would think by the 6th or 7th book everyone would believe Richard if he told them the sky was lime with fuchsia polka dots, but no one does and it causes problems and he turned out to be right, of course.

    - Richard's anti-chessmaster archetype is really interesting, imo, and watching the pieces of the puzzle click together for him was always fun. The moments where he saves everyone's butts because he's an intellectual badass instead of because of his powers or because of some dumb prophecy, are really exciting.
    - If you're one of the readers who likes ASoIAF for the grit... this series is even more gritty in every way. It shies away from absolutely nothing.
    - Strong human themes like respect, love, and forgiveness, series is heavily based on human interaction and relationships.

    If you want to try it, take all the political commentary in the later half of the series with a grain or two of salt and read it with an eye on the romance and mystery aspects, and it's pretty solid. It definitely has its downsides but I still loved it.

  11. #11
    Scarab Lord AceofHarts's Avatar
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    as mentioned:

    Wheel of Time.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Amuramie View Post
    The first book (Wizard's First Rule) and one of the last ones (Phantom) are two of my favorite fantasy books. People either love or hate Sword of Truth, there's not really any middle ground. I enjoyed it, I'll try to list some pros and cons and others are welcome to their own opinions.

    - As you said, it's a bit deus ex machina, Richard's powers are very literally based on "need," so the more he needs something, the more likely he is to get it.
    - Dear God, the author can beat a dead horse to death and continue beating it (yes, he actually kills that horse twice).
    - Character development can be sketchy; for example, you would think by the 6th or 7th book everyone would believe Richard if he told them the sky was lime with fuchsia polka dots, but no one does and it causes problems and he turned out to be right, of course.

    - Richard's anti-chessmaster archetype is really interesting, imo, and watching the pieces of the puzzle click together for him was always fun. The moments where he saves everyone's butts because he's an intellectual badass instead of because of his powers or because of some dumb prophecy, are really exciting.
    - If you're one of the readers who likes ASoIAF for the grit... this series is even more gritty in every way. It shies away from absolutely nothing.
    - Strong human themes like respect, love, and forgiveness, series is heavily based on human interaction and relationships.

    If you want to try it, take all the political commentary in the later half of the series with a grain or two of salt and read it with an eye on the romance and mystery aspects, and it's pretty solid. It definitely has its downsides but I still loved it.
    The entire later half the series is nearly nothing but commentary. Nearly every book is 'Zedd magically forgot how to ______ to solve the problem, but he has hints that you can put together later after someone close to you is kidnapped and almost raped!'.

    The first book was an ok entry from a new author. It got worse from there. Kind of like Runelords from Farland. The first book was ok and showed promise. It went downhill from there, and quite quickly.

    Also, I really enjoyed Richard kicking a spoiled 8 year old princess in the face because she pissed him off. That was a wonderful moment :P. Oh and Dicky Rahl carving a statue so beautiful it broke the bonds of slavery (BECAUSE COMMUNISM IS BAD!). Its like he couldn't think of any actual reasons why communism was bad, so he just made everyone under it rapists and slaves. Because COMMUNISM BAD.

    Ugh the series is just gets so fucking retarded. The chimes in the chicken is the place where you realize the series has jumped the shark, the shark has been slaughtered, served as shark fin soup, then Richard has gotten on his Harley and jumped all the people who ate the shark fin soup.

  13. #13
    Haha, yeah, you either love it or you hate it :P

    Quote Originally Posted by obdigore View Post
    The first book was an ok entry from a new author. It got worse from there. Kind of like Runelords from Farland. The first book was ok and showed promise. It went downhill from there, and quite quickly.
    I understand completely. Oh God, Runelords, where did you go wrong?

    I AM THE ULTIMATE INVINCIBLE EVIL HUMAN, ALL WILL BOW AND WORSHIP ME AND I WILL BURN THE ENTIRE WORLD FOR I HAVE BEEN EMPOWERED BY THE GOD OF FIRE AND... OH GOD, A WET ARROW, I AM DEFEATED.

  14. #14
    Moderator Zoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amuramie View Post
    - As you said, it's a bit deus ex machina, Richard's powers are very literally based on "need," so the more he needs something, the more likely he is to get it.
    - Dear God, the author can beat a dead horse to death and continue beating it (yes, he actually kills that horse twice).

    -snip-

    If you want to try it, take all the political commentary in the later half of the series with a grain or two of salt and read it with an eye on the romance and mystery aspects, and it's pretty solid. It definitely has its downsides but I still loved it.
    Those were my main issues with the series. Terry Goodkind is the only author I know who can make the climax of the book the most boring part. The beginning and middle of the books range from good to tolerable, but the ending is always Richard pulling something out of his ass, then giving a repetitive multi-page lecture to people about why they suck. And it isn't exactly subtle either.

    And while I'm talking about book climaxes, that's another one of the reasons I like the Malazan series. Once I reach the last hundred or so pages, it becomes physically impossible for me to put the books down because there is so much exciting stuff happening. The books refer to these parts as convergences.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoma View Post
    Those were my main issues with the series. Terry Goodkind is the only author I know who can make the climax of the book the most boring part. The beginning and middle of the books range from good to tolerable, but the ending is always Richard pulling something out of his ass, then giving a repetitive multi-page lecture to people about why they suck. And it isn't exactly subtle either.

    And while I'm talking about book climaxes, that's another one of the reasons I like the Malazan series. Once I reach the last hundred or so pages, it becomes physically impossible for me to put the books down because there is so much exciting stuff happening. The books refer to these parts as convergences.
    I might have an issue with the Goodkind as well. 'I don't write fantasy, I write uplifting stories about the noble human spirit'. Where when you feel sorry for little girls you kick them so hard in the face that you shatter their jaw 'like a crystal goblet'. Also his utter preaching through the majority of the series is just plain annoying.

  16. #16
    I'm definitely going to have to try Malazan again. It's on my list. Started reading Gardens a few years back and could only get through the first 200 or so pages. Have been sampling a lot of various other authors.

    Related and back on topic, you may try the Coldfire trilogy if you don't want to get involved in another super long series (WoT and MBotF are both huge time commitments). Quick read, some superficial similarities to ASoIAF are that the characters are all working for their own ends and the themes tend to be very grim. It's not the best reading out there but it'd be something to try if you don't want to dive into a huge, dozen-book-long series.

  17. #17
    I am Murloc! Gallahadd's Avatar
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    I would back up what the previous posters have said, WoT and Malazan are both great series.

    I would also add Steven King's "The Dark Tower", in my experience NO other series has the scope of this one, it ties together elements of pretty much every other book steven king has ever written (and that's alot of books )
    Reading the A song of Ice and Fire series is like playing with an adorable puppy, then someone comes up out of nowhere and shoots the puppy, then punches you in the face

  18. #18
    Malazan, as others have already mentioned, is excellent, though a bit dense and can be a bit intimidating at first. I also recommend The Way of Kings. So far it's the only book released of what is to be a long series, but AFAIK the author writes pretty quickly.

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