With the popular HBO series coming to an end in its eighth season, there will be a hole left in both our hearts and our Sunday night schedules. Thankfully, while you wait for George R. R. Martin to finish book six in his Song of Ice and Fire, you can fill that fantasy-shaped void with plenty of works that will satisfy your craving for action, drama and epic world-building.
Dune by Frank Herbert – This classic book has been referred to as Game of Thrones in space and is considered by many to be an inspiration for the series. From the paralleled portrayals of a feudal system of ruling houses; a betrayed main character, whose family is scattered; and fantastical creatures, this is a perfect read if you want to revisit many of your favorite elements of Game of Thrones.
East of West by Jonathan Hickman – Serving up the brutality and political intricacy of Game of Thrones, this science fiction comic series is set in an alternate reality American West. East of West tells the story of Death's travels across a dystopian nightmare world after quitting his day job as one of the Four Horsemen.
His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers – Do you like to read about strong female characters who grow into great destiny? Don’t miss Grave Mercy, the first book in the His Fair Assassin series. Taking place in the 1500s, the series focuses on orphaned girls, trained by nuns, to be assassins. Arya Stark would have fit right in with this group.
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole – Winter has come, in the form of an apocalypse! Ragged survivors band together to form teams for the ultimate battle royale. 16 year old Evie and her wrong-side-of-the-tracks companion, Jack, trek across a wasted land filled with dangers such as zombies and teens with frightening new powers.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown – This is a science fiction/fantasy novel that takes place on Mars in a land that is every bit as harsh as Westeros. The story follows secret revolutionary Darrow, who after witnessing his wife's execution by an oppressive government joins a revolutionary cell and attempts to infiltrate an elite military academy
The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien- Clearly a can’t miss for any Game of Thrones fan. Frodo Baggins lives a peaceful life in the Shire with his hobbit friends and family. But one of those family members has a secret: a ring in his possession that is dangerous, incredibly valuable, and worth killing for if anyone knew it still existed. Frodo must take possession of this ring and by any means necessary destroy it—or at the very least keep it from the evil forces who seek to use it for their own ends.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – If the political intrigue is your favorite part Game of Thrones, this is the book for you. This is the story of Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s youngest sister. Although it takes a few historical liberties, it shows how ruthlessly some people try to become royalty. There are definitely some Lannisters in this book.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Are you a Brienne of Tarth fan? Then you will definitely want to read this series about Celaena, who is plucked from the salt mines prisons as the crowned prince’s champion to compete to be the king’s personal assassin. Calaena must fight men three times her size, magical queens, and her own demons to become champion.
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor – Don’t miss the book that is the basis for George R.R. Martin’s latest project. He will be producing a new TV show based on this novel that takes place in post-apocalyptic Africa where genocide still plagues the region. In this story, a child is born from a terrible rape and rejected by her people. But her special magic allows her to visit a world of spirits, where she encounters an enemy and a destiny that will change everything.
Wild Cards series by George R.R. Martin – Are you sad that there aren’t enough Game of Thrones books to read? Try one of Martin’s other series. Each book in this series features a collection of short stories, all edited and some written by Martin. The stories create a mosaic of the larger story about an alien bomb detonated above Earth that spreads a virus over the planet. The virus results in the creation of aces, those blessed with superhuman powers, and jokers, those cursed with bizarre physical and mental disfigurements. For die-hard Martin fans, the good news is that there are 27 volumes in this series.
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi – If you are looking for more of Game of Thrones’ palace intrigue, backstabbing, and politics masquerading as religion, but set in space with completely made-up science and a LOT of swearing, check out John Scalzi’s Interdependency series starting with The Collapsing Empire. Bonus: The first two books in this series (the third and last is due out in 2020) combined are shorter than A Game of Thrones.
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