I just finished A Dance with Dragons and I'm looking for a new fantasy series to read. Obviously the Lord of the Rings books are held in an incredibly high regard, but coming from Ice and Fire, how would they compare? I've heard Tolkien's writing can be very dry.
Since SOIAF is basically a deconstruction of and response to Tolkein it would have been better to go the other way, but sure, why not?
When it comes to fantasy I always recommend Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy. Pick up Royal Assassin, you won't be disappointed that you did.
@Breadfan: Definitely read LOTR; Tolkein's writing isn't necessarily dry but there's lots of geographical descriptions and other such exposition. World building is great, and it's a classic story. Smeagol/Gollum is a wonderfully complex character on page as he is on screen.
If you're looking for modern fantasy, try Joe Abercrombie. He "First Law" trilogy is quite good, and The Heroes (which takes place in First Law's world) is excellent. He's got a new book out as well, called Red Country. Deep characterization and some bloody, visceral battles await you.
Not as much killin and boobies. Don't bother.
No but seriously if you're into fantasy definitely check out LotR. It is a little drier then what you just finished but it's amazing. Tolkien puts so much work into building a world and history and the characters are fantastic. I re-read it every couple years. So yeah, absolutely check it out.
I just wanted to say that I still haven't read A Dance With Dragons (I'm re-reading the whole series to remember everything that happened so that I can finally read A DanceWith Dragons), so, please, if any of you guys plan on posting spoilers, use the board's spoiler function.
His writing is very dry, I greatly appreciate the significance of the LOTR series and the storyline but find the writing a bit of a drag. That's my opinion however.
I would recommend The Belgariad series by David Eddings or The Riftwar Series by Raymond E. Feist.
If you are fan of fantasy literature at all then you need to read LotR. Pretty much all of modern fantasy grew out of that trilogy. The writing can be very dry and some parts of it are very boring. The chapters with Treebeard are extremely dull, which I guess helps you relate to the characters more because even they are bored with him. That is basically the point of the character: he is boring.
Read it at least once in your life. It should be required reading for fantasy fans.
I feel sorry for people that find Lord of the Rings boring. If you get use to its pacing and begin to understand the world that Tolkien built, it can fully absorb you like no other story. That so called "dryness" adds a flavor to it that makes it feel like you are reading mythology, a sort of re-telling of true events that happened in an age past. There's nothing quite like it.
@CoverlessTech: I actually had that in my hand the other day at Barnes &Noble, but didn't buy it.
Yeah, the Kingkiller Chronicle (the first of which is The Name of the Wind) is incredible.
Coming from Ice and Fire, Name of The Wind is definitely an excellent choice. Both have such rich stories. If you pay attention while reading either series, you'll learn a lot more than what's on the surface.
I like Tolkien in an academic sense, he was truly one of the greatest worldbuilders with an insane dedication to his universe. Reading up on all the history and events of midgard is fascinating. That said, he is actually a pretty terrible writer! The Hobbit is by far the most readable, "and best book of his imo" but the large trilogy is sluggishly paced with retarded winding sentences and overly detailed descriptions. While the core story is fine, the characters are badly fleshed out and its just painful to read for long stretches.
But by all means, read it. It's basically the king of all fantasy because it just contains EVERYTHING. I think being able to say that you have read LotR is a valuable thing to do.
I personally like the hobbit more than the trilogy. Of the trilogy, Two towers is definitely the strongest. Tolkien is a bit slow at parts, but there are moments that are incredibly intense (Sam fighting Shelob comes to mind). If you are into fantasy, it is definitely required reading, no question.
Read the Hobbit.
The problem with Tolkien nowadays is that his work comes off as cliched, when in fact he invented the cliches. The whole of fantasy literature since Tolkien has ruined Tolkien. But man, when I first read those books - and they were my first introduction to fantasy - there was nothing better! In this post-Gemmel/Erikson/Zelazny (some of the best IMHO, sad we lost Gemmel so young, I'm not into Martin at all) world, I just can't read Tolkien anymore.