When 'Game Of Thrones' Ends, Read These 15 Fantasy Books
We're in the endgame now, folks, but don't worry. I've got 15 books to read when Game of Thrones ends, so you can still get your epic fantasy fix without worrying about withdrawals.
Based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, HBO's Game of Thrones has spent the last seven seasons building toward a must-watch climax, as the Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen Houses vie for control of the Seven Kingdoms. Fans of Martin's seven-book series have been waiting for the sixth installment, The Winds of Winter, since A Dance with Dragons landed in stores in the summer of 2011. Now, it's clear that Game of Thrones — which premiered just a few weeks before the most recent ASOIAF book came out — will end long before fans get their hands on the next series title.
With that in mind, I've picked out 15 great books and fantasy series for you to read during the long weeks and months — but hopefully not years — between the end of Game of Thrones and the release of The Winds of Winter. Check out my recommendations below, and lose yourself in some speculative fiction for the rest of the summer:
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
As her world crumbles around her, a grieving mother and secret magic-user must fight to save her teenage daughter from the girl's father, who has just killed his young son in cold blood. N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy follows Essun as she uses her powers — powers her children share, powers others are frequently killed over — to traverse a rupturing landscape in search of the only child she has left.
'The Priory of the Orange Tree' by Samantha Shannon
A millennium after the House of Berethnet sealed the Nameless One in the Abyss, the leader of the chaotic, fire-breathing dragons threatens to return in an attempt to destroy the world once more. Samantha Shannon's The Priory of the Orange Tree throws together House Berethnet's Queen Sabran the Ninth, would-be dragon rider Tané, and mage-in-hiding Ead Duryan in an epic struggle for the fate of the world.
The Sun Sword Series by Michelle West
Michelle West's longrunning series begins with The Broken Crown, a tale of court intrigue that weaves its way through the tense relations between five clans. Clan Leonne, the longtime rulers of the Dominion, come under threat of genocide in this harrowing fantasy story.
The Quarters Series by Tanya Huff
Born with the innate talents of a bard, Princess Annice has spent her life in training to call the kigh — the height of bard's magic — and was forced to relinquish her claim to the throne as a result. But when she commits treason by becoming pregnant with her lover's child, throwing a wrench into the traditions of succession, Annice and her unborn child's father finds themselves on the run, tasked with bringing justice to their respective realms.
'Nocturna' by Maya Motayne
Searching for the magic that would return his murdered older brother to life, a prince named Alfie accidentally summons an evil god that was locked away by magic beyond his capabilities. With the help of a face-changing thief named Finn, Alfie must fight to contain the monster he has set free, before it is too late.
'The Bird King' by G. Willow Wilson
Two friends escape a dying, 15th-century sultanate together in this new novel from Alif the Unseen author G. Willow Wilson. Palace mapmaker Hassan has the power to alter reality with his drawings, but concubine Fatima has just learned that his life and livelihood may be endangered by the Spanish Catholics who have come to take over their land. Together, the two friends must risk everything to escape the destruction coming to their world.
The Book of the Ancestor Series by Mark Lawrence
Perfect for Arya Stark stans, Mark Lawrence's Book of the Ancestor series goes inside the Convent of Sweet Mercy, where girls spend 10 years training to become master assassins. In the series' first installment, readers follow a young girl named Nona, saved by the Convent from execution, as she begins her training as a Red Sister.
The Crown & Court Duology by Sherwood Smith
As their father lays dying, Mel and Bran promise to protect their country and its people from the encroaching powers of a greedy king. Pitted into a war neither of them is prepared for, the siblings find themselves using guerilla warfare to keep the oath they made to the late ruler of their land.
The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty
Set in 18th-century Cairo, S.A. Chakraborty's Daevabad Trilogy centers on a con artist named Nahri and Dara, the mischievous djinn warrior she has accidentally called to her side. When Dara tells Nahri of a plot on her life, and a mysterious city in the desert that could be her only place of refuge, the two set out on a treacherous path that holds answers... and dangers.
'The Raven Tower' by Ann Leckie
In this inventive new world from sci-fi author Ann Leckie's first fantasy foray, the nation known as Iraden is thrust into political upheaval when its Instrument — a living bird that channels the will of the Raven — is killed, and its Lease — the human ruler who vows to take his own life when the Instrument dies — goes missing.
The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee
Fonda Lee's World Fantasy Award-winning novel, an island that has finally achieved peace finds itself on the brink of a civil war. Elite warriors in Kekon have long used jade to enhance their combat abilities, but when someone discovers a drug that allows anyone to use the valued material, Kekon's most powerful families are pitted against one another, as tensions rise and threaten to boil over.
'The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe' by Ally Condie
Two years after she lost everything, 17-year-old river captain Poe fights to avenge her dead friend and love interest, Call. When she learns that a traitor may be hiding among her crew, however, Poe must come to terms with the fact that she knows little about the company she works for.
'Under the Pendulum Sun' by Jeannette Ng
Set in the late 19th century, Under the Pendulum Sun centers on Catherine, a young woman who must chase after her brother, Laon, when he disappears on a missionary voyage into fairyland. Among the fae, Catherine learns that her brother is on his way to meet her, but he's made enemies of fairyland's nobility, who are now in hot pursuit.
The Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab
Set in a series of parallel worlds connected by the city of London, V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic series centers on Kell, a court magician who can travel between the worlds of Red, White, Grey, and Black London. When Kell is tricked into bringing a Black London artifact into mundane Grey London, however, he must join forces with a thief named Delilah to stop Black London's dark influence from taking over the other worlds.
'We Hunt the Flame' by Hafsah Faizal
Zafira disguises herself as a man, known as the Hunter, to carry out dangerous missions that feed the poor of Demenhur. Nasir, the son of Demenhur's king, is responsible for assassinating those who threaten his father's power. When Zafira embarks on a mission to recover an ancient artifact, Nasir is sent to kill the Hunter and bring the artifact back to his father. But when the two young heroes meet, however, they'll discover that the changes they hope to bring to Demenhur may still be in jeopardy, even with the relic's power.