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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
Favourite fantasy series other than LotR
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Poll: Favourite fantasy series other than LotR
Terry Pratchett's Discworld
C.S. Lewis - Chronicles of Narnia
George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire
Earthsea Cycle - Ursula Le Guin
Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn
Brandon Sanderson - Stormlight Archive
Raymond E. Feist - Riftwar Cycle
Anne McCaffrey - Dragonriders of Pern
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter
Stephen R. Donaldson - The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - Tad Williams
The Farseer - Robin Hobb
I prefer Science Fiction/ other genres
I only read Tolkien
View Results (109 votes)


Feb 24 2013, 8:18am

Post #26 of 56 (449 views)
Earthsea! [In reply to] Can't Post

The only fantasy series that gives me the same "feeling" I get from Tolkien.

Loved Harry Potter when I was younger, but rereading them as an adult I found they didn't hold up for me.

Haven't warmed to Game of Thrones, but I keep trying! (Martin gets brownie points from me for speaking highly of TolkienSmile)


Feb 24 2013, 8:43am

Post #27 of 56 (457 views)
Oh, I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is definitely the best of the 3, and is actually quite enjoyable. I don't like the other 2. As you say, they don't capture the fantastical feeling that you get from the book.

It's a shame really, especially since other fantasy/sci-fi series have done so well (both on TV and in film) over the last 10 years. Narnia was definitely the biggest failure.


Feb 24 2013, 9:53am

Post #28 of 56 (466 views)
Fantasy should be even stronger in the future, methinks. [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR, The Hobbit, Harry Potter & Game of Thrones has all contributed to making the fantasy genre "accepted" as good stuff, winning awards and all. Peter Dinklage won for best actor at the Emmy's a year or so ago... I can't think of any time before an actor in a fantasy series/movie has won a (heavyweight) reward in the actor's section, it's usually just visual effects and the like, and has reached a mainstream audience. I bet TV and movies won't hesitate as much in the future on whether to gamble on fantasy or not.

Grey Havens

Feb 24 2013, 1:52pm

Post #29 of 56 (467 views)
Harry! [In reply to] Can't Post

I voted for Harry Potter.

Narnia and Earthsea were childhood favorites, as was Pern, because, dragons! (but even at the time I thought the former were "better"). I also loved the Prydain Chronicles and Dark is Rising series, not in the poll but mentioned by others.

I have read some of Martin's series, but found the later books (3,4) less readable and don't plan to read them again until the series is complete. (Then I'll reread unless I reach a point where I decide it is not worth the considerable effort, they have gotten long...) I loved Hobb's original Farseer trilogy, and was delighted when she wrote another three.

But neither of these captivated me to the degree the Potter series did. That's one I have read and reread (and expect I will again).


Feb 24 2013, 3:37pm

Post #30 of 56 (433 views)
Loved HP [In reply to] Can't Post

I love Martin. His series is just a bit - how can I put this - "wonky" sometimes and have many crazy What the Balrog!? moments. And despite being a fan of Tolkien he created something original. At this point I doubt the series is going to ever be complete - Martin is 63, and takes an average of foure years to release a book.

I loved HP. I spent grade eight sitting under a tree at the edge of the field reading the series.


Feb 24 2013, 5:17pm

Post #31 of 56 (426 views)
big LeGuin fan here [In reply to] Can't Post

love, love, love Earthsea. Ged is my favorite wizard of all. I also love her sci-fi "Hainish cycle" books. Not a lot of folks can write both sci-fi and fantasy! And do it in prose that reads like poetry. The opening paragraphs of "The Lathe of Heaven" are perhaps my favorite piece of writing ever.

I do love the Discworld, though. Harry Potter is a wonderful world, but Rowling as a writer doesn't come anywhere near to the genius level of Tolkien, LeGuin, and Pratchett. Nor, I'm afraid, does C.S. Lewis, who is also hampered by his need to beat a certain drum heavily.

(This post was edited by Annael on Feb 24 2013, 5:22pm)


Feb 24 2013, 8:24pm

Post #32 of 56 (418 views)
There were a few instances in films 2 & 3... [In reply to] Can't Post

Where I felt I was actually catching a glimpse into Narnia, but on the whole, they didn't do that. I think part of the problem was trying to replicate other movies such as LOTR and Harry Potter. Narnia isn't either of those and shouldn't have tried to be. When I read them, I get a more fantastical, fairy tale like quality from them, not a gritty, real-world feel. It just wasn't right. I'm not sure how I would do it better, though.


Feb 25 2013, 2:48am

Post #33 of 56 (411 views)
Left Hand of Darkness [In reply to] Can't Post

was a bold book. And you're right, Le Guin's deft at both sci-fi and fantasy, unlike CS Lewis, who did much better with Narnia than Perelandra.

Fredeghar Wayfarer

Feb 26 2013, 10:49am

Post #34 of 56 (402 views)
Prydain [In reply to] Can't Post

My other favorite is The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. I fell in love with those books as a kid. Their characters and style of humor have been an influence on my own writing. As an adult, I still enjoy them and can now appreciate all the allusions to Welsh mythology.


Feb 26 2013, 1:09pm

Post #35 of 56 (382 views)
Pratchett! The man's a genius [In reply to] Can't Post

Although it was a hard choice. I really like the fact that you can read his books in any order you want, but can also follow through the 'mini-series' which deals with your favourite group of characters.

Although, as some of my favourite fantasy books ever, I have to give a big shout out to the Redwall books. I read a quote from another book yesterday which completely sums up how I feel about them;

"For each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it".


Feb 26 2013, 1:41pm

Post #36 of 56 (393 views)
My favourite group of characters [In reply to] Can't Post

Is everyone from the Night Watch. They crack me up, especially Sam.


Feb 26 2013, 2:05pm

Post #37 of 56 (383 views)
that reminds me of Evangaline Walton's version of the Mabinogi [In reply to] Can't Post

The Island of the Mighty
The Children of Llyr
The Song of Rhiannon
Prince of Annwn

I liked them quite a lot.


Feb 26 2013, 2:39pm

Post #38 of 56 (385 views)
I prefer other genres or styles like: [In reply to] Can't Post

Actual old mythology, some science fiction, some animalish sciencefictionish invented mythologyish stuff like Watership Down, non-fiction (sometimes actual history makes for the best stories), and independent authors that dabble in the boundary between modern drama stories and faery stories (real people encountering faerie in some way - or especially if they maybe have a brush with it (or with dreams of some kind) but it is a bit ambiguous) but don't necessarily make a running series out of it.

I think Tolkien borders on the mythology vein. I do have the Narnia books and some HP books but I didn't read them over and over again like I re-read the Watership Down series, Anne of Green Gables, and Alice in Wonderland.


Feb 26 2013, 2:42pm

Post #39 of 56 (411 views)
I honestly never have read Martin [In reply to] Can't Post

but the things people list as their favorite things about his work (high-powered politics and dark drama involving lots of "good" characters dying in graphic, naughty, and extravagant ways) is not interesting to me ... so I don't think I will.

However, I can only comment on other people's comments ... and there are a lot of those around ... and they tend to paint a fairly consistent picture about what to expect from Martin.


Feb 26 2013, 4:37pm

Post #40 of 56 (399 views)
I can't choose [In reply to] Can't Post

between the witches and the watch. Sam and Granny keep nudging one another out of the way for the 'favourite character' spot. Laugh


Feb 28 2013, 3:35pm

Post #41 of 56 (360 views)
I stick to Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure I would enjoy all of the series you listed, but I simply don't have the time to read too much, so I stick to Tolkien when I do read fiction. I actually prefer non-fiction books, which is probably why I enjoy Tolkien so much. The depth of the history of Arda that Tolkien created makes the account of the War of the Ring feel very similar to an account of World War II.


Feb 28 2013, 5:05pm

Post #42 of 56 (383 views)
Favorite fanatsy series other than LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

For now, I would say HP since I've read those books and found them very good. J.K Rowling is a mistress of storytelling, there can be no doubt. I really enjoyed her stories.

But I only just started the first novel of the saga A Song Of Ice And Fire: Games of Thrones and it's looking very promising! It reminds me of the world of Tolkien.

But I think you forgot an popular epic fantasy series in your list: Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan. It has 14 novels so far. I heard it's pretty good. I bought the first 10 novels in a used book sales. A bargain indeed!

(This post was edited by sam90 on Feb 28 2013, 5:08pm)


Mar 1 2013, 4:54am

Post #43 of 56 (348 views)
I've never read The Wheel of Time series [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard mixed reviews about it. Some love it, some don't. I'll be sure to check it out at some point. Smile
I know Brandon Sanderson is finishing off The Wheel of Time, and he is one of my favourite authors.


Mar 3 2013, 7:38am

Post #44 of 56 (331 views)
I couldn't really choose [In reply to] Can't Post

from the ones that are there. I love Harry Potter and George RR Martin, but there are fantasy series that I enjoyed more than them. I really like Garth Nix's Abhorsen/The Old Kingdom series, David Gemmell's Rigante series, and I don't really know if it counts as a series, although a couple of his novels are set in the same world, but Neil Gaiman is my favourite fantasy author other than Tolkien.

I also read a lot of young adult fantasy as I find the light reading more relaxing in between reading a lot of dense anddepressing material for university. I like Tamora Pierce, and I'm currently reading Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle series, though I have issues with the second book's orientalism and essentialisation of Middle Eastern society.

Tol Eressea

Mar 11 2013, 3:50am

Post #45 of 56 (315 views)
hard to choose... [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought I was a fantasy fan, then there's all this stuff I haven't read...

I liked the Narnia stuff (but waited til the films to read it). Read LOTR back in 1978 and everything Tolkien since, and nothing else comes close.

Pern, yes.

Have been looking at YA and Middle Reader stuff lately (since it's what I seem to be writing); Percy Jackson, Guardians of Ga'Hoole were good.

Now I find myself reading mostly nature/science stuff.

And re-reading LOTR occasionally.


Mar 12 2013, 12:09pm

Post #46 of 56 (338 views)
Being a fan of fantasy is not about how much stuff you haven't read. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's about how much you appreciate it. Smile

I've never read Percy Jackson. How good is it?

Arwen's daughter

Mar 12 2013, 5:58pm

Post #47 of 56 (289 views)
The Dresden Files! // [In reply to] Can't Post



Mar 12 2013, 11:35pm

Post #48 of 56 (275 views)
The [In reply to] Can't Post

Narnia series is definately my favorite. I love his conversational writing style. It's like he's right there telling you the story. Smile
The 2005 Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie was very well done. Prince Caspian was ok, and I generally liked Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Tol Eressea

Mar 13 2013, 3:41am

Post #49 of 56 (313 views)
Percy Jackson... [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard about it when the filmm came out, and I am always "oh, look! a fantasy YA/middle reader! I must check this out!" (of course that also led to the Ultimate Disappointment that was Toilet, er...Twilight).

Perhaps the best way to describe PJ is: Rick Riordan drags Greek myth, kicking and screaming and driving bright red sports car sunchariots (which can shapeshift into buses) into the 21st century. It's quirky, fun, well rooted in actual Greek myth, and is about something other than a silly girl obsessing over sparkly boys with no frontal lobes. Like Harry Potter (though not quite in the same league) it follows a hero kid through his teen years and ever-increasing obstacles and quests and tests.

Tol Eressea

Mar 20 2013, 3:13am

Post #50 of 56 (344 views)
You've pretty much captured it [In reply to] Can't Post

I love Martin, but that is a majority of what it is. My favorite parts of his series involves the fantastic writing (which I find very rare), and the characters, who are so incredibly memorable and three-dimensional.

But, as you say, it is absolutely a ton of politics, names, families, relationships, etc, and it is certainly violent and graphic. I find it ironic sometimes that he says one of his biggest inspirations is Tolkien, because I really don't see that much relationship between his works and Tolkien at *all* (and he criticizes many fantasy books for having qualities that I find prevalent in Tolkien), other than it being a fantasy story set in a very elaborate secondary world.

(This post was edited by Laerasėa on Mar 20 2013, 3:14am)

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