Unless you are a hermit living on a small rock in the Outer Hebrides, Game of Thrones will be a part of your life whether or not you like it. Since being adapted as a series by HBO this tale of murder, intrigue and politics is being discussed at the water cooler everywhere. But winter is definitely coming, if it hasn’t already arrived for these fans, as the show is now taking a ten month break before the next instalment. So, to prevent withdrawal symptoms in GOT fans becoming so severe they turn into White Walkers, below is my suggestion of reads that will keep you going through the break:
Title – The Wheel of Time Series
Author – Robert Jordan
There are fourteen books in the series, all of which continue the same story, weaving towards the ultimate climax. Books 12 through 14 were completed by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, who was chosen by Robert Jordan’s widow after he passed away. Robert Jordan left behind an abundance of notes and audio recordings, which allowed his family and Mr. Sanderson to tie up the series in a way that very closely matches his original vision.
The first book, The Eye of the World was published in 1990 by Tor Books and has been in continuous print ever since. It is published in the United Kingdom by Orbit Books. Each book the series has appeared on the New York Times best-seller list, and each one since the eighth (The Path of Daggers) debuted as #1.
Description ~ Wheel of Time is a story that takes place both in our past and our future. In his fantasy world, the Dark One, the embodiment of pure evil, is breaking free from his prison. The overall plot is about a man who learns that he is the reincarnation of the world’s messiah and is once again destined to save the world from the Dark One — but possibly destroy it in the process. This saga is not only his story, but the story of an entire world’s struggle to deal with war and change, destruction and hope.
Title – The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy
Author – Tad Williams
Description ~ In Osten Ard, a land once ruled by an elvishlike race known as the Sithi, the human High King is dying. And with his death, a long-dormant evil is unleashed on the land as the undead Sithi ruler, the Storm King, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Driven by spell-inspired jealousy and fear, prince fights prince, while around them the very land begins to die, poisoned by a sorcerous force sworn to annihilate the humans whose ancestors had driven the Sithi from their rightful home long ages ago.
Only a small, scattered group, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger faced by Osten Ard, only they hold the knowledge of times past, of threats fulfilled, and of a riddle of swords, which holds out the one small hope of salvation. And to Simon — unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, and unwittingly touched by magic both good and ill — will go the task of spearheading the search for the solution to this riddle of long-lost swords of power, a quest that will see him fleeing and facing enemies straight out of a legend-maker’s worst nightmare!
Title – The Realm of the Elderlings Series
Author – Robin Hobb
This series currently includes 13 books, which should be read in order to make the story more logical and cohesive; The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Series, The Tawny Man Trilogy and The Rain Wild Chronicles. Also coming out in August 2014 will be the next trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings, The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy.
Description ~The first in this series of books, the Farseer trilogy, takes place in a part of the Realm of the Elderlings known as the Six Duchies. It is the tale of Fitz, son of Prince Chivalry, a royal bastard born on the wrong side of the sheets then cast out into the world, friendless and alone. 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 learn a new life: one of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners… and lessons in how to kill a man secretly as he trains to become a royal assassin.
Title – The Mistborn Series
Author – Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn is the name of Brandon’s epic fantasy trilogy. The first book is technically Mistborn: The Final Empire, though people just tend to call it Mistborn or Mistborn 1. The entire series consists of The Final Empire (2006), The well of Ascension (2007), and The Hero of Ages (2008).
Description ~ A thousand years ago, the prophesied hero from lore rose up to overthrow a great and terrible evil. Only, he lost, and the Dark Lord took over and has been ruling with an iron fist for a thousand years. Ash falls from the sky in this barren land, and mists come every night, deep and mysterious. In this setting, a gang of thieves decides that the prophecies were all lies and that they can’t trust in some fabled hero to save them. They decide to take matters into their own hands, and plan a daring heist of the dark lord himself, planning to use the emperor’s own wealth to bribe his armies away from him and take over the empire.
And finally a novel (excuse the pun) suggestion:
Title – Game of Thrones Series
Author – George R.R. Martin
Calling this the Game of Thrones series is a lie really, the actual title of the series is A Song of Ice and Fire, with Game of Thrones being the first of five books to date. The other four are; A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.
The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world, primarily upon a continent called Westeros but also on a large landmass to the east, known as Essos. Most of the characters are human but as the series progresses other races are introduced, such as the cold and menacing ‘Others’ from the far North and fire-breathing dragons from the East, both races thought to be extinct. There are three principal storylines in the series: the chronicling of a dynastic civil war for control of Westeros between several competing families; the rising threat of the Others who dwell beyond an immense wall of ice that forms Westeros’ northern border; and the journey of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of a king who was murdered in another civil war fifteen years previously and now seeks to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. As the series progresses, all three storylines become increasingly interwoven and dependent on each other.
So, here you are. I hope something in the above list may be able to carry you through until you can once again feast your eyes on Westeros.