Non woke fantasy


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    Terry Pratchett may be hit or miss. The Sam Vimes/Night Watch books are usually pretty good. Vimes is one of my favorite fantasy characters.


    Thanks for this topic, though I have most of the recommended series. If you want to find non-woke fantasy, you probably will have to look for books published before the 2010’s – specifically books from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

    I didn’t see it mentioned (I could have missed it) but Terry Brooks’ Shannara, Magic Kingdom of Landover and The Word and Void series might be something to check out. Yes, Shannara was heavily influenced by LoTR and it’s not some masterpiece of fiction but it was a big part of my childhood and I still go back and re-read them. Though, he has kept the series going way longer than necessary so I have no idea if the new books, like the trash MTV series, are woke.

    Also, Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series could be worth a read too. The co-main character is a women, but the series started in the 90’s around same time as WoT so it wasn’t woke. He passed away last year so I don’t know if he left anything hanging and I haven’t read the latter books myself. But, he wrote the books in such a way that you really don’t need to finish the series (like 20+books).

    If someone likes Urban Fantasy, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are amazing (the last few have been kind meh) and he also has a traditional but different fantasy series called The Codex Alera.

    Others to give a perusal to see if you like them –

    Memory Sorrow, and Thorn -Tad Williams

    The Malazan Book of the Fallen – Steven Erickson

    Riftwar Saga – Raymond Feist

    The Riyria Revelations by Michael Sullivan (this is actually a newer series and I haven’t read it all yet but I liked the fist couple of books)

    I have had this problem trying to find fantasy books to read. I am female and I am so over all of the fantasy and urban fantasy trend of girls/women being the protags – especially in Urban Fantasy. What I do when I am trying to find fantasy to read now is run a web search for “Fantasy books with male protagonist.” I have found some decent books/series to read that way.

    Again, I will just reiterate to look for series and books written before around 2010. Most of the stuff from the before 2000’s isn’t really Grimdark, though, so if that’s your thing (not mine I like the old fashioned hero’s journey that doesn’t “subvert expectations”) you might not enjoy it much.


    Good recommendations. I haven’t read Terry Brooks or Terry Goodkind but I have read your others recommendations.

    Memory Sorrow, and Thorn -Tad Williams

    This is a classic. My only problem is when I tried to re-read it a couple years ago it was a little prodding and almost too descriptive with clothing, etc. Still is a classic hero’s journey and worth the read.

    The Malazan Book of the Fallen – Steven Erickson

    This is a very well known series but almost reads like a history book not focusing on any particular character. I absolutely loved Karsa Orlong, he reminded me of Conan. I was extremely excited to hear that Erickson is writing a new series called the Witness but heard Karsa won’t be the protaganist in it which is a disappointment.

    Riftwar Saga – Raymond Feist

    Another classic. Probably the best hero’s journey book about a mage becoming powerful.

    These books reminded me of another great series. Robin Hobb’s Fitz Chivalry series starting with Assassin’s Apprentice. I will never forget the story of Fitz and the fool even though it’s been over a decade since I last read it. I think it may be due for a re-read.

    As for Butcher’s Codex Alera. I did read the first book. It had the familiar trope of everyone having powers except the main character Tavi. It was a good book but I wasn’t happy with the slow burn of revealing the protagonists power. Not even a hint of his true ability is revealed at the end of the first book. I have since read some fantasy power levels threads on other forums and Tavi is usually listed as one of the most powerful characters in fantasy so I think I will give this series another chance.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Gadfly360.





    I started reading fantasy with The Belgariad and The Mallloreon by David Eddings, was a easy read and I found myself very attached to Garion and journey with Polgara and Belgarath.

    Wheel of Time is pretty much a no brainer, I have read it several times now and it has a big advantage by being a complete finished series, with the TV series coming out too which who knows if that going to honor the books.

    The Dresdin Files by Jim Butcher is another great series I have just started, about a wizard detective for hire in the modern age, preety cool stuff with some shorter books. Lots of books in the series to get into.

    I am surprised the Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere is not getting a bit more love here (Stormlight Arichive, Mistborn, Warbreaker  Elantaris) Like the post i saw previous before I think Kaladins journey in Stormlight is fantastic, but there is a wide cast of characters to like and get attached to some of the things in Oathbringer gave me chills at the end and Dalinars  flashbacks and journey from start to finish was awesome for me.   Mistborn has a female lead and it doesn’t matter, she grows and fails and depends on her friends and team.  There is tons of great reading from the Cosmere.

    Read some of Terry Goodkind for awhile but Sword of Truth sort of went off the rails for me, but it was fun in the beginning.

    Hope you find some good stuff to read!!!




    I always liked David Gemmell books, especially the macedon books.


    What are Brent Weeks books like? I’ve heard good things about Lightbringer series but I’m unsure..?


    Daniel Suarez writes sci-fi. He has one called Change Agent about futuristic bio-hacking. Another 2 book series: Daemon and Freedom, which is actually about a Gaming A.I. that takes over the world. Another one called Influx.

    Daemons: computer programs that silently run in the background, waiting for a specific event or time to execute. They power almost every service. They make our networked world possible. But they also make it vulnerable…

    When the obituary of legendary computer game architect Matthew Sobol appears online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events that begins to unravel our interconnected world. This daemon reads news headlines, recruits human followers, and orders assassinations. With Sobol’s secrets buried with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed, it’s up to Detective Peter Sebeck to stop a self-replicating virtual killer before it achieves its ultimate purpose—one that goes far beyond anything Sebeck could have imagined…

    The Daemon is in absolute control, using an expanded network of shadowy operatives to tear apart civilization and build it anew. Even as civil war breaks out in the American Midwest in a wave of nightmarish violence, former detective Pete Sebeck—the Daemon’s most powerful, though reluctant, operative—must lead a small band of enlightened humans in a movement designed to protect the new world order.

    But the private armies of global business are preparing to crush the Daemon once and for all. In a world of shattered loyalties, collapsing societies, and seemingly endless betrayal, the only thing worth fighting for may be nothing less than the freedom of all humankind.


    Physicist Jon Grady and his team have discovered a device that can reflect gravity—a triumph that will revolutionize the field of physics and change the future. But instead of acclaim, Grady’s lab is locked down by a covert organization known as the Bureau of Technology Control.

    The bureau’s mission: suppress the truth of sudden technological progress and prevent the social upheaval it would trigger. Because the future is already here. And it’s rewards are only for a select few.

    When Grady refuses to join the BTC, he’s thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison housing other doomed rebel intellects. Now, as the only hope to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age, Grady and his fellow prisoners must try to expose the secrets of an unimaginable enemy—one that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making.




    “What are Brent Weeks books like? I’ve heard good things about Lightbringer series but I’m unsure..?”

    I read the Night Angel series many years ago. Don’t remember many specifics from the story but I did read the entire trilogy. So it was an enjoyable yet ultimately forgettable series. I haven’t read his new series Lightbringer. Might be worth checking out.

    As for what I’m reading lately. I’ve finally started Wheel of Time after shunning it for many years after reading this classic review. I’m about 75% into the first book and I am enjoying it so far. *Tugs braid*.


    Brent Weeks is about average wokeness.

    It is definitely more woke than say Terry Goodkind (who is awesome except that I am very much a theist, and while objectivism is appealing, the idea that religion is somehow the root of the problem is not).  And once again, there seems to be the idea that one should maybe do away with the existing theological framework as everyone knows religion is the source of slavery (funny, but that’s kinda not how things went down).  We see the sort of caste system of those who can’t draft colors treated as less than, and we are supposed to believe that globalism is the solution to all that. Actually, globalism is the problem to all that. Illegal immigrants are frequently exploited and/or used in human trafficking. I did find the worldbuilding extremely interesting, and the idea of what one sees initially not being the case an interesting one.

    A good novel, film, or webcomic/manga is one that appeals across political lines. For example, the webcomic Awaken, the artist is more than slightly to the left and sees the main characters as sort of anti-capitalist freedom fighters or some crap. I choose to focus on how similar Blue Pest is to the fuss made of COVID when everything shut down for a year. Similarly, One Piece leans left, but an anarcho-capitalist can look at it and make some interesting comments about big government.

    Honestly, this is why I’m here. I used to read more novels, until I got a shorter attention span, and got lost in terms of new series (used to be big into Terry Brooks until he started to write to formula). So now I watch anime, and read a lot of webcomics. I was reading one called Flipside but went from legitimately entertaining regardless of politics to seriously woke (the last arc had the characters all “stay at home” because of a villain character (who never showed up again) might still be a threat).  Then I was reading Daughter of the Lilies which is Christian, but the author leans left (and more importantly rarely updates). Does anyone know of any good fantasy webcomics not written by total leftist douchebags? And that actually updates fairly often?


    Lloyd Alexander is a favorite author of mine. He is considered a kid’s author and most famous for The Black Cauldron, which was part of his Prydain series. I love his book WestMark, The Iron Ring, The Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha, and there are a few others. He writes with a lot of heart. Fun to read his books even now.


    Another writer I liked was Marguerite Henry. She writes about horses. Different historical horses and how they won races and how their bloodlines were so valuable for speed in races. It was like she was writing biographies on the most famous horses that ever lived and there are so many of them, each with their own story of ownership and travel and adversity and competition. She is a very good writer.


    New member here!  Great subject.  I found it because I was at a bookstore last night, and felt a deep sadness while leaving empty-handed.  I used to go browse, looking for something new to read, and leave with the most interesting thing I could find.  It’s how I “discovered” Leviathan Wakes (way before the Expanse was ever a series), The Black Company (a little dark but amazing series), Game of Thrones waaaay back in the day when only the first two books had been released, among many others.  When I was a kid I couldn’t wait for my mom to take me to the used book store. was always a highlight for me.

    As I sat looking through all the titles last night, I had to then check reviews on my phone for each one that interested me, to see whether or not it was woke.  And like I said, I left with nothing.  That depressed me.  What depressed me even more, is when I once again consulted the internet and searched for “non-woke fantasy and scifi”, only 3 or 4 links were useful.  On the entire internet?  Really?

    The link to this thread was at the top, so good for you ladies and gentlemen!

    I’d like to acknowledge and agree with many of the authors listed: Jordan, Eddings, Goodkind, Alexander, Tolkien, Brooks, Aspirin, Anthony, Sanderson, Erickson.

    LoTR is my favorite fantasy series of all time, and IMO the best movie/TV adaptation of a fantasy series by far.  I never finished WoT, but I plan to.  SoT is hit or miss for me but has some highlights.  The original Shannara trilogy is one of my all-time favorites.  Xanth, the Myth series, Belgariad, Prydain, all classics.  The Cosmere is probably the best fantasy being written today, at least that I’ve read.

    The Malazan series by Erickson would be my favorite if not for LoTR.  Amazing world-building, huge cast of characters, and I actually like series that are NOT easy to get into.  Sometimes I don’t want my hand held.  Malazan is like that, you will read something in book 4, that clarifies something in book 1; there are a multitude of new characters introduced in every entry, and a few times the next completely pivots away from what you thought was the “main story”, but it is always excellent.  If you have not read Malazan, I highly highly highly recommend it.  Though to be honest, of the people in my life who I have enticed to read it, none have gotten past the first one.  It’s not quite Gene Wolfe-type challenging, but it’s one of the more difficult series to get into.

    Oh there is another one: Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun is fantastic.  It is INCREDIBLY complex and symbolic, there are entire books and podcasts dedicated to “decrypting” it.  I would say it’s a “must read” for any fan of fantasy

    Another excellent series is Lyonesse by Jack Vance.  He is principally a science fiction writer, in fact one of the lesser known but more influential of all time, and this is his only fantasy series, but it is wonderful.

    I’ve also got to mention the Witcher series.  I’m sure many have played the games, and/or seen the series, but of course neither are as good as the books.

    I’m not going to talk about science fiction here, I think it deserves it’s own thread.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by tizl.

    Glad to see this thread still going strong.

    After rereading the thread I wanted to note a few things. When I recommended Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card I had mentioned that the series was never completed. I should mention that the series came to a satisfying conclusion and the final book was supposed to be set 20 years in the future where the protagonist has complete mastery over his powers. Don’t let the final book not being completed turn you off from reading it.

    Secondly, my recommendation of the web series Worm went by unnoticed. Just want to recommend this again as I forgot to add it the original post and it’s one of my favorite series. It’s that good.

    Lastly, glad to hear people are googling Non-woke Fantasy/Scifi and finding this thread. This is one of the few places left on the internet where you can discuss these topics without being censored.


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