Friday, September 08, 2006

I Just Finished Reading A Book

It's the first volume in a fantasy series. It's about a land with a very powerful Evil One. He has no physical form, but his power can be felt. He "lives" in a tortured land behind a great mountain range. The air and all that grows there are rotten.

The Evil One has many minions: armies of vicious and twisted brutes, dark caped man-like shadows with great power, and fierce flying creatures whose shrieks cause fear.

The Evil One wants something. To this end, he dispatches his minions to a particular place of interest. The trouble caused by this act forces some of the inhabitants of this place to leave, pulling the eye of evil away from their home.

Others join in to help the fleeing inhabitants. One is a person of great magical power who can protect them and knows much of the Evil One. Another is a man who should be a king, yet he renounced his claim so that he could learn the ways of the wild to help fight the evil.

At one point, they enter an ancient city for protection. The evil is too great there, so they must flee, but barely make it out alive.

Along their travels, one member of the party is killed, but they find out later that this is not necessarily true. They also meet a being who looks like an large animated tree.

Can you guess which book I read?

Is it this? Or this?

It was the latter. Not since this have I seen such a blatant rip-off. Granted, I did enjoy the book, but you'd think the author would have read his predecessor's work and would have avoided such obvious overlaps.

I think I'll finish my slush pile before considering continuing this series.


At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting you mention this comparison as I've been eyeing the latter for a while.
Now I know I've already read it I won't bother.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger ekted said...

I know people who have read both series in their entirity, and would still recommend the latter wholeheartedly. Don't let my comments alone persuade you. :)

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Coldfoot said...

I kind of liked that series, for a while.

I read the first 5 (maybe 6) books in the series and had to quit. There got to be too many plots, with so many characters, with so many similar names. The story just wasn't good enough to put in the effort to keep track of all the characters and subplots.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Pawnstar said...

But don't a lot of pre-Tolkien stories follow this narrative?

Didn't Tolkien pull his mythos from various European legends?

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Clay said...

I have a funny relationship with The Wheel of Time. I was a big fan for several years but now I wish he would get it over with.

Some of the similarities are pretty much stock fantasy tropes. Still, I do recall finding several similarities to Lord of the Rings in the first volume. For example, the use of crows as spies of the evil one. Strangely, I recall reading an interview where Jordan said he did this intentionally for part of the first volume so the story would start out in familiar territory.

I don't remember anyone who looks like a tree, unless you mean the Ogier.


At 1:31 PM, Blogger ekted said...

"I don't remember anyone who looks like a tree, unless you mean the Ogier."

The Green Man

At 2:52 PM, Blogger David said...

I agree too many fantasy stories fall into the mold you described.

Ever read the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin ?
They are wonderful.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger ekted said...

"Ever read the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin ?"

I tried twice. 100 pages into the book, all the point of view changes, jumping through time in indeterminant directions, people of unclear relations, I couldn't take it. To me, a good book should be good sooner than 100 pages.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger David said...

Interesting. I would have guessed that someone who liked the complexity of "meatier" games would also like the plot complexity offered by his books.

Not a slag by any means, just musing. I guess the 2 have nothing in common :)

At 3:13 PM, Blogger ekted said...

I guess to me the book was like a complex game with a really bad rulebook. :)


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