Hopefully by now you’ve gotten over the “Red Wedding” massacre and your emotions have calmed down. Maybe you have forgiven Martin and are eagerly awaiting the fourth season of Game of Thrones. But the emotional rollercoaster ride and the anxious wait to see which main character Martin kills off this time has to wait as there is still some time for the fourth season to be aired. While you wait for the next season you may want to whet your appetite for epic fantasy fiction by reading more books in the genre. If you don’t want to spoil the surprise by reading The Song Of Ice And Fire series, I totally understand but there are many other great fantasy fiction books out there that will help you pass the time as you wait for the season 4. Here are top 10 books to read while waiting for GOT season 4.
10. The Acacia Trilogy:
David Anthony Durham has written this fine trilogy that follows a group of four siblings of the Akaran dynast that rules the Known Lands. They belong to the island and ethnic group of Acacia and use some very disturbing means to maintain their rule. The trilogy starts off with Acacia: The War With The Mein in a slow manner which reflects the background of Durham in literary and historical fiction. But as the series develops in The Other Lands and concludes in The Sacred Band it gets better and better with a great ending in the third book. It is a great series to experience the fantasy genre a little more.
9. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen:
Steven Erikson of Canada has written this epic fantasy series of ten books. The series started in 1999 with Gardens Of The Moon and finished in 2011 with The Crippled God. The series was co-created with Ian Cameron Esslemont who has also written 5 novels of his own based in the same world and they are considered a part of the series. Many novellas have also been written in the same fantasy world. The novels are set in a complicated world of the Malazan Empire and are about the power struggles of that world. They are compared to Martin’s The Song Of Ice And Fire series and so you’ll feel right at home while reading this series. Don’t be afraid of the length as the first 5 books are pretty much self contained and can stand as single pieces of fiction.
8. The First Law Series:
The First Law series consists of a trilogy and three stand alone novels set in the same world created by British author Joe Abercrombie. The world is pretty much like medieval Europe where three powers reside called the The Union, The Gurkish Empire and The Northmen. The Union is at war both with The Northmen and The Gurkish Empire and this becomes the setting of the story of a variety of characters as they navigate through this world. The series includes the three books, The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument Of The Kings and three standalone books Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country. This is another fantasy series of modern style with realism and well rounded characters and flawed heroes.
7. The White Queen:
The White Queen written by British novelist Philippa Gregory is not really a fantasy fiction but more of historical fiction. It could be interesting though because it’s based on the War of The Roses which is the inspiration for Martin’s The Song Of Ice And Fire series as well. This book, published in 2009 is the first of a series being called The Cousin’s War and portrays the female figures of the war. This book will help you understand Game of Thrones in a new light.
6. The Deryni Novels:
Katherine Kutz, an American author has written this historical fantasy series which includes 5 distinct trilogies, two collections of short stories, one stand alone novel and two reference books. This is a great series to get into if you are hooked to historical fiction and want to get lost in one world for a long time. The stories are mostly set in Gwynedd, one of the fictional Eleven Kingdoms. The Deryni are a race of people with inherent psychic and magical abilities and the books deal with the political, personal and religious strife caused by the relations between the humans and the Denyri.
5. The Shadowmarch Tetralogy:
Tad Williams wrote this four book series with the first book, Shadowmarch coming out in 2004 followed by Shadowplay in 2007, Shadowrise in 2010 and the last book, Shadowheart also releasing at the end of 2010. The series is set in the province of Southmarch the last human settlement before the shodowline beyond which the immortal Qua live. The Eddon family that rules Southmarch are the main characters that the story follows. The series began as a bi-weekly online serial in 2002 and later returned to normal publishing as a novel. It is an interesting read that will help you get into the fantasy genre.
4. The Prince Of Nothing Series:
R. Scott Bakker has written this series of three fantasy novels, The Darkness That Comes Before, The Warrior Prophet and The Thousandfold Thought. This series is distinguished from other fantasy books because of a major role given to philosophy in the books. The plot, characters, metaphysics and setting of this series are unique to the philosophical positions of the series. The series is set in the continent of Earwa where humans live but were preceded by the immortal Nonmen and alien Inchoroi. There is a Holy War going on and the series follows a monastic warrior Anasurimbor Kellhus. It’s an interesting read if you are interested in philosophy.
3. The Chronicles Of The Black Company:
This series written by Glen Cook follows a mercenary unit called the black company through forty years of war. The series includes three books in The Books Of The North series, two books in The Books Of The South and four books in The Books Of The Glittering Stone. The book mixes fantasy with gritty military fiction. There is also a spin off novel called The Silver Spike. This book is for you if your favorite part of GOT is the story beyond the wall and the exploits of the Black Brothers and Jon Snow.
2. The Kingkiller Chronicle:
Patrick Rothfuss wrote The Kingkiller Chronicle as a trilogy of fantasy novels that chronicle the story of Kvothe, an adventurer and musician. The storyline is divided into two forms, one being the present where Kevath is narrating his story to Devan Lochees who is the chronicler and the other is the past where Kevoth remembers his adventures and exploits. The first two books, The Name Of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear were published in 2007 and 2011 respectively. The third book is expected to be published sometime next year. It makes a great read while you wait for season 4 of GOT.
1. The Tales Of Dunk And Egg Series:
If none of these books seem appealing to you and you are not really a fantasy fan but rather a Game Of Thrones fan then there is a set of books that you can read that are set in the same world of Westeros. The Tales Of Dunk And Egg is a series of novellas written by the very same George R. R. Martin and set in the very same world of The Game Of Thrones. The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight have been published so far. The stories are set in a time before the story of The Song Of Ice And Fire and covers the adventures of Dunk, Ser Duncan The Tall and Egg, Aegon V Targaryen. It is a great series to read to get a game of thrones nicotine patch while you wait for season 4. No spoilers to be had while you enjoy the world of Martin’s creation. He’s also planning on written as many as 9 more novellas in this series so it is something to be followed on its own.