20 Similarities Between End of the Last Great Kingdom and Every Other Fantasy Book Written

Use this forum to discuss the December 2017 Book of the Month, End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose.
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NL Hartje
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20 Similarities Between End of the Last Great Kingdom and Every Other Fantasy Book Written

Post by NL Hartje » 22 Jan 2018, 23:17

I don’t know about you, but End of the Last Great Kingdom reminded me of the meal that transports you back to your mother’s kitchen table as a kid. Reading, I was repeatedly sent back into stories I’ve loved in the past. This book had so many glaring similarities to popular fantasy that I think it deserves its own conversation.

Before starting though, please understand; I don’t fault Rose concerning his mimicked story components because so much of fantasy mirrors storylines from other books. For me, this book just left me wanting to reread my time-tested favorites. I am wondering for you, are these similarities helpful or hindering to the book’s originality? Did you find any that I did not?

Here are some of the similarities I noticed:

1) (The most glaring similarity) The concept of a magical school.
a. Harry Potter
b. The Name of the Wind

2) Brimstone being somewhat poor and of modest means.
a. Harry Potter
b. Kvothe
c. Richard Rahl

3) Brimstone having few real friends.
a. Harry Potter
b. Kvothe
c. Richard Rahl

4) Brimstone’s ability is somewhat non-developed, non-existent, misunderstood at the beginning.
a. Richard Rahl

5) Magically enchanted arenas for tournaments that can change at whim.
a. The Hunger Games

6) Squid’s tentacles wrap around Brimstone’s leg and pull him under as he’s trying to save his friends.
a. Harry Potter and the grindylows during the Tri-Wizard tournament

7) The Order takes over the school.
a. The Ministry of Magic takes over Hogwarts.

8 ) Only those deemed worthy by The Order were allowed to stay at the school.
a. The Deatheaters only thought purebloods were worthy of an education at Hogwarts.

9) The Order torturing people in the towns.
a. The peacekeepers whipping and killing locals in The Hunger Games
b. The Order of Light killing and torturing all who didn’t join their side or give information in The Sword of Truth


10) Freeza declaring that the town now belonged to the Order and all who didn’t join must leave.
a. The Order of Light in The Sword of Truth

11) Brimstone hiding in the prison in order to be captured by the Order.
a. Richard Rahl

12) Brimstone blacking out from magical pain, not knowing how long he was out.
a. Richard Rahl

13) Ancient dwarven city forgotten by time
a. Lord of the Rings

14) Golem telling Brimstone that “the way is closed” to the temple
a. “The way is shut” Lord of the Rings

15) Brimstone’s spirit is split into seven different entities.
a. Horcrux much? Harry Potter

16) Brimstone’s doppelgänger describes that he may be in the realm with him for years.
a. Kvothe visiting the Fae

17) Rumors about Brimstone make him larger than life.
a. Kvothe
b. Richard Rahl

18) His name became synonymous with hope and freedom.
a. Richard Rahl is personified in just this way

19) Plan to return to library to look for clues to finding his other parts
a. Harry Potter

20) “If your life is mine then I order you to do what you want with it.”
a. Richard Rahl can be quoted saying almost exactly this, if not precisely.
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
-Dr. Seuss

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Post by kandscreeley » 23 Jan 2018, 09:55

I do see your point in several of these. I'm not sure that necessarily means he was copying or that it's a bad story. I think most of them are something that are just common in fantasy novels. The split into 7 thing, though, is quite interesting...
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Post by RebeccasReading » 24 Jan 2018, 11:41

Wow what a thorough list! Great work! I think when there are too many similarities, it definitely hinders the book. An author can certainty take inspiration from other works, but the books should not simply be a mash-up of other works. In this case, it depends on the reader's familiarity with the other books you mentioned. Personally, I'm not much of a sci-fi person so the only ones on your list I've read are Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. So I didn't find the similarities all that distracting. But I can see how someone who has read all the books you mentioned would find it hindering.

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Post by ladycraic » 26 Jan 2018, 11:07

I haven't read the book but I was interested in seeing your list. For me, if a fantasy book was similar to ones I've read in the past, I would be more excited to read. I have so many pleasant memories of fantasy books I've previously read. I do find it a bit strange that some lines were very similar to lines found in other books.

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Post by Cotwani » 30 Jan 2018, 16:38

Wow, interesting discovery. I am only familiar with The Hunger Games and The Lord of Rings, and what you say is true. However, it doesn't make End of the Last Kingdom less intriguing. As the saying goes, God is in the detail... many books may have a similar event, but it is how the plot is executed that makes a difference. For example, many in romance novels, an unlikely couple is drawn to each other, they get alienated for some reason but later reconnect, resolve their issues and live happily ever after! We term it cliche but still enjoy the stories. In many crime thrillers, the serial killer is many times someone of good standing in the community, who was probably wronged in the past. However, the suspense and unfolding the storylines still keep us on the edges of our seats.
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Post by Emie Cuevas » 30 Jan 2018, 22:26

Not sure what you are getting at. Except that is is so hard to come up with a totally new concept. It sounds like the author is a well read fan of the genre. Keep the books coming.
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Post by NL Hartje » 31 Jan 2018, 21:30

Emie Cuevas wrote:
30 Jan 2018, 22:26
Not sure what you are getting at. Except that is is so hard to come up with a totally new concept. It sounds like the author is a well read fan of the genre. Keep the books coming.
Ha, thanks for your comment! I'm not certain I was "getting at" anything aside from continuing a discussion about the book. As I mentioned in my review, I enjoyed the similarities and acknowledged that most of fantasy is just a repeat of other tried-and-true ideas. I do think the author would have done himself a great justice by expanding more on the ideas in his book that WERE original because I enjoyed them and so noted in my review:)
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Post by NL Hartje » 31 Jan 2018, 21:46

Cotwani wrote:
30 Jan 2018, 16:38
We term it cliche but still enjoy the stories.
Yes! I couldn't agree more. I wrote in my review that the similarities just made me nostalgic for the books I loved in the past with those same traits :)
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
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Post by Lovewreading89 » 01 Feb 2018, 21:10

It sounds like a good book that does and has reminded you of similar books. Great list and 13. sounds just like the Hobbit as well as Lord of the rings.

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Post by NL Hartje » 01 Feb 2018, 23:29

Lovewreading89 wrote:
01 Feb 2018, 21:10
13. sounds just like the Hobbit as well as Lord of the rings.
Yes! I keep thinking of more I've forgotten on this list but I guess it just goes to show how easily cyclical much of fantasy is and I don't mind it :)
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
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Post by Emma13 » 02 Feb 2018, 06:37

NL Hartje wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 23:17
I am wondering for you, are these similarities helpful or hindering to the book’s originality?
I think it can sometimes feel like authors are cashing in on famous franchises when you notice a lot of similarities. For instance, when the Hunger Games film did really well, we had a lot of dystopian YA films being made, clearly to cash in on that success.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the cash-ins are bad quality, but the audience can definitely get a bit cynical about the product...

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Post by eBookreviewer » 02 Feb 2018, 06:57

I think most of them are something that are just common in others novels.

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Post by AoifesReview » 10 Feb 2018, 20:41

Wow, going through your list I'm quite surprised I didn't pick up on some of these while I was reading the book. Two things I definitely picked up on, like you did, was the spirit split into seven entities thing...anyone who has read Harry Potter could not have missed that! As well as the “the way is closed” sentence, like you, I immediately noticed the similarities between it and the phrasing in the Lord of the Rings.

I think it seems obvious that the author was influenced by others in the genre...but I suppose it would be nearly impossible not to be. I would absolutely love to know though, if all of these similarities were done purposely as a sort of homage, or if they were purely subconscious on the author's behalf.

I tend not to be too upset when similarities like this occur, although I admit they can be a little repetitive at times. For the most part, authors tend to put their own spin on things and I think Victor Rose did a pretty good job of that.

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Post by nfdaniel85 » 11 Feb 2018, 13:20

This is why I make a point to read across genres. Repeating senerios can get tiring after awhile, and every genre has their own set of recycled scenes. I do want to read this book, but your list made me want to start my yearly reread of Harry Potter early!

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Post by NL Hartje » 12 Feb 2018, 04:33

AoifesReview wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 20:41
For the most part, authors tend to put their own spin on things and I think Victor Rose did a pretty good job of that.
I agree with you. I particularly liked the demons habitating inside him. I hope he expands on that more :D
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