I want to keep talking overlong fantasy... Have you read any other long ass fantasy series? Sword of Truth?
I just finished Speaker for the Dead and I loved it. At first I was worried about all the Catholic stuff but they really nailed it and the supporting cast was really believable and engaging. For the new race the author did a fantastic job creating a unique culture totally different from ours that had a proper alien feeling to it while still being plausible. I want to read Xenocide but I think I'll give Ender a break and try out a classic. Maybe Heart of Darkness