So you’re all caught up with George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series and need something else to read while waiting for the next book in this epic series?? Luckily, Martin isn’t the only author writing gritty, dark and intricately plotted series with memorable characters in a medieval-type setting with a touch of magic. Here are some suggestions for other series very similar to Martin’s epic fantasy series.
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan: The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. The first book in the series is Eye of the World.
The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss: Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind, the first book in the series, is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.
The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson: In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more? In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of the metals. The first book in the series is Mistborn: The Final Empire.
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb: Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin. The first book in the series is The Assassin’s Aprentice.
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King: Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King’s epic work of fantasy — what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus — has spanned a quarter of a century. Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. The first book in the series is The Gunslinger.
So, you can stop worrying about George R. R. Martin’s writer’s block or his advancing years … grab the first book in one of these great series and you’ll be carried away into new worlds and new adventures.
Ellen Jennings, firstname.lastname@example.org