Books To Read After “Wheel of Time”

The ‘Wheel of Time’ is not just a series, it’s a world in itself that Robert Jordan painstakingly created for us to lose ourselves in. The saga, full of intricate plotlines, rich character arcs, and an immersive universe, has left an indelible mark on countless readers.

Have you been on this epic journey and found yourself at a loss now that it’s over? Fret not. This blog post aims to suggest captivating books that offer similar themes, compelling storytelling, and immersive world-building that fans of ‘Wheel of Time’ have come to love.

Let’s embark on new literary adventures together.

Understanding the Appeal of ‘Wheel of Time’

Key Elements That Make ‘Wheel of Time’ Engrossing

The ‘Wheel of Time’ weaves a story of epic proportions. Its vast, detailed universe, complex plotlines, and well-developed characters have been instrumental in its appeal. The skillfully integrated themes of destiny, the struggle of good versus evil, and the nuanced depiction of power dynamics leave readers riveted.

Examination of Themes, Character Development, World-building, and Plot Complexity

Themes: The series navigates a variety of themes such as fate, the nature of time, and the consequences of power. These intellectual undertones provide depth to the narrative and stimulate thoughtful reflection.

Character Development: The characters in ‘Wheel of Time’ are its beating heart. They are well-rounded, evolve significantly over time, and their relationships are painted with layers of complexity.

World-Building: Jordan’s world-building prowess is legendary. The meticulously crafted settings, cultures, political systems, and the metaphysical ‘Pattern’ create a universe that’s virtually tangible.

Plot Complexity: The plot intricacies of the series with its multitude of sub-plots, twists, and turns keep readers on their toes. The expertly interwoven storylines are a testament to Jordan’s storytelling genius.

Book Recommendations

The Criteria Used for Book Selection

In selecting books that might resonate with ‘Wheel of Time’ aficionados, we considered the following criteria:

Complex Narratives: Much like Jordan’s epic, the recommended books all feature multi-layered plots filled with unexpected twists.

In-depth World-Building: Each book on this list excels at creating immersive, intricate universes that readers can lose themselves in.

Rich Characterization: Akin to the ‘Wheel of Time’, these books boast complex, well-drawn characters who undergo significant growth over the course of their narratives.

Thematic Similarities: The books also tackle themes that ‘Wheel of Time’ readers will find familiar, like the struggle between good and evil, destiny, and the complexities of power.

Now, let’s explore the books that made the list.

‘The Stormlight Archive’ by Brandon Sanderson

Overview of the Series

‘The Stormlight Archive’ is a high-fantasy epic from the pen of Brandon Sanderson, one of the leading authors in the genre. Set in the storm-battered world of Roshar, this series stands out for its intricate magic system, captivating storylines, and an array of well-fleshed characters.

Similarities with ‘Wheel of Time’

For fans of Jordan’s detailed world-building, ‘The Stormlight Archive’ provides a new landscape teeming with unique flora, fauna, and cultures. Its complex, interweaving plotlines and the evolution of characters through their trials and tribulations echo the experience of reading ‘Wheel of Time’.

Unique Elements that Differentiate It

Sanderson’s magic system, grounded in the principles of his cosmere universe, distinguishes ‘The Stormlight Archive’ from many other fantasy series. The story also delves deeply into the psychological aspects of its characters, adding an additional layer of depth to the narrative.

‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin

Brief Description of the Series

‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, widely known due to its adaptation as the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, is an intricate epic fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. The story unfolds in the realms of Westeros and Essos and revolves around dynastic struggles, political intrigue, and the looming threat of a supernatural winter.

Why It May Appeal to ‘Wheel of Time’ Fans

Fans of the ‘Wheel of Time’ will find common ground in the sprawling world, political intricacies, and character depth in Martin’s series. The struggle for power, a critical theme in both narratives, is vividly portrayed through complex, morally ambiguous characters.

What Sets It Apart

‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ stands out for its darker tone, moral complexity, and a willingness to subvert fantasy tropes. Characters face hard choices with real consequences, and no one is safe from the potential for a tragic end. This brutal realism intertwined with the fantasy narrative sets ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ apart.

‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’ by Steven Erikson

Insight into the Series

‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’ is a ten-book epic fantasy series penned by Steven Erikson. The narrative plunges readers into a richly detailed world that’s filled with ancient empires, gods, and a broad spectrum of characters from different races and species.

Discussion of Comparable Features with ‘Wheel of Time’

Like ‘Wheel of Time’, ‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’ also presents an expansive world with deep history and mythology. Its complex narrative, full of interconnected plotlines and well-realized characters, will be appreciated by those who enjoyed the intricate storytelling of Jordan’s series.

Unique Features of This Series

Erikson’s series is known for its philosophically charged narrative, filled with reflections on war, power, and mortality. The saga offers no hand-holding, challenging its readers with high complexity right from the outset. This ambitious scope, combined with a gritty tone, sets it apart in the epic fantasy genre.

‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ by Patrick Rothfuss

Series Snapshot

‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ is a trilogy by Patrick Rothfuss that tells the story of Kvothe, a gifted musician and powerful magician. The narrative structure is unique, with the story being a recounting of Kvothe’s own life, spanning his childhood, time at a prestigious university, and the personal tragedies that shaped him.

Exploration of Commonalities with ‘Wheel of Time’

‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ shares with ‘Wheel of Time’ a deep sense of mythology and a world imbued with magic. Kvothe’s character development, much like the characters in ‘Wheel of Time’, is compelling and layered, and his journey carries echoes of the coming-of-age elements found in Jordan’s series.

Distinguishing Elements

Rothfuss’s series is renowned for its beautiful prose and a storytelling style that almost feels like a lyrical epic. It also features a more focused narrative, primarily centering on one character’s life and experiences. This intimate narrative, paired with the elegance of Rothfuss’s writing, gives ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ a unique charm.

‘The First Law Trilogy’ by Joe Abercrombie

Overview of the Trilogy

‘The First Law Trilogy’ by Joe Abercrombie is a gripping series set in a gritty world where nobility, magic, and warfare collide. The trilogy, composed of ‘The Blade Itself’, ‘Before They Are Hanged’, and ‘Last Argument of Kings’, is marked by its sharp characterizations and intricate plot.

Discussion of Parallels with ‘Wheel of Time’

Just like ‘Wheel of Time’, ‘The First Law Trilogy’ boasts an array of diverse, compelling characters whose arcs evolve significantly through the series. It also presents an engaging mix of political and magical elements that add layers of complexity to the narrative.

Highlights of What Makes It Different

Abercrombie’s trilogy is noted for its gritty realism, dark humor, and morally ambiguous characters. The series also subverts traditional fantasy tropes, providing a fresh take on the genre. This combination of darkly comedic elements and subversive storytelling distinguishes ‘The First Law Trilogy’.

Honorable Mentions

While the aforementioned series are our top recommendations, there are several other titles that deserve a nod for their quality storytelling and potential appeal to fans of ‘Wheel of Time’. Let’s take a moment to appreciate these exceptional works.

‘The Lightbringer Series’ by Brent Weeks

A vibrant, fast-paced series noted for its unique magic system based on the spectrum of light, and a plot that keeps readers on their toes.

‘The Broken Empire Trilogy’ by Mark Lawrence

A series that stands out for its anti-hero protagonist and a dark narrative that deftly combines elements of fantasy and post-apocalyptic fiction.

‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ by Scott Lynch

The first book in the ‘Gentleman Bastard’ series introduces readers to a clever and resourceful protagonist navigating a world of thieves and con-artists. Its mix of humor, intrigue, and well-executed heist plots make for an engaging read.

‘The Inheritance Trilogy’ by N.K. Jemisin

A critically acclaimed series lauded for its sophisticated world-building, complex characters, and exploration of themes like power and oppression.

Each of these series/books offers its unique flavor of fantasy narrative and could be the perfect follow-up to your journey with the ‘Wheel of Time’.

Additional Recommendations

‘Codex Alera’ by Jim Butcher

A series that tells the story of a young man in a world where everyone can control elemental forces except him. Selected for its interesting premise, strategic battles, and character growth.

‘The Sword of Truth’ by Terry Goodkind

A series filled with magic, adventure, and moral questions. Chosen for its epic scope, intricate plotlines, and philosophical underpinnings.

‘Discworld’ by Terry Pratchett

A satirical fantasy series that takes on everything from politics to pop culture. Picked for its humor, sharp social commentary, and distinctive approach to fantasy.

‘The Chronicles of Amber’ by Roger Zelazny

A saga of inter-dimensional intrigue and conflict. Selected for its unique narrative structure, inventive world-building, and exploration of themes like power and identity.

‘Mistborn’ by Brandon Sanderson

A series set in a world where the Dark Lord won. Chosen for its intriguing magic system, rich world-building, and complex characters.

‘The Riftwar Saga’ by Raymond E. Feist

A series featuring a rift between two vastly different worlds. Picked for its detailed world-building, exciting battles, and engaging plot twists.

‘The Earthsea Cycle’ by Ursula K. Le Guin

A series revolving around a young wizard in a world of islands. Selected for its lyrical writing, profound themes, and realistic character development.

‘The Farseer Trilogy’ by Robin Hobb

A series centered on the life of a royal bastard with a dangerous secret. Chosen for its deep character exploration, detailed world-building, and gripping plot.

‘The Belgariad’ by David Eddings

A series following a farm boy who discovers his epic destiny. Picked for its classic fantasy elements, engaging characters, and well-executed narrative.

‘The Dresden Files’ by Jim Butcher

A series about a wizard detective in modern-day Chicago. Selected for its blend of urban fantasy and detective noir, strong character voice, and exciting magic system.

Conclusion

The ‘Wheel of Time’ has set a high bar for epic fantasy literature. Yet, the journey does not have to end there. There are numerous other series and authors who have crafted captivating narratives filled with intricate world-building, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes.

Whether it’s the cosmere of Brandon Sanderson, the tumultuous realms of George R.R. Martin, the profound musings of Steven Erikson, the lyrical storytelling of Patrick Rothfuss, or the gritty realism of Joe Abercrombie, each recommended series presents a universe just waiting to be discovered.

Happy reading, and here’s to new adventures awaiting you in the pages of these extraordinary books!

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