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The Books You Need to Read If You Love Game of Thrones

Jun 15 2014 - 9:17am

Tonight's Game of Thrones episode is going to be show's best season finale ever [1], according to its producers. After "The Children" airs on HBO, the show will have covered book three A Storm of Swords, as well as parts of books four (A Feast For Crows) and five (A Dance With Dragons), of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin [2]. George, of course, has yet to finish books six and seven — so he's offered up some fabulous recommendations for readers to bide their time while they wait.

Mr. Martin, who has become one of the most popular epic fantasy writers of recent years, proposed some must-read titles on his blog, Not a Blog [3]. If you've already read the classics (Tolkien, Leiber, etc.), then the author has strong endorsements for a handful of modern fantasy books as well. While you're anticipating The Winds of Winter (read an excerpt here! [4]), curl up with his favorite epic fantasy authors.

Source: Getty / Todd Oren [5]

The Only Books as Epic as A Game of Thrones

We'll kick off with this episode of The Sync Up [6], where we discuss the only series George considers "the original Game of Thrones," The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon.

Daniel Abraham

This title from The Long Price Quartet [7] is set in the city-state of Saraykeht, a bustling — but peaceful — metropolis. The Galts threaten the city's tranquility, and it's up to a poet-sorcerer and his companion to save it from demise.

Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicles [8] trilogy is a modern marvel in the world of epic fantasy. The books follow the story of Kvothe, who attempts to enter an esteemed school of magic and eventually becomes one of the most notorious magicians of all time. It's Harry Potter — for grown-ups.

Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora [9] is a tale about an orphan who escapes slavery by becoming a talented thief in the island city of Camorr.

Alan Garner

Boneland [10] is the third in the Weirdstone trilogy, which is considered a children's fantasy but is just as appropriate for adults. It's based on the folklore of The Wizard of the Edge, and it focuses on the story of a young girl named Susan, who is appointed as the guardian of the "weirdstone."

Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea [11] is the first in a trilogy about a wizard's apprentice who discovers that he is destined for greatness.

Jack Vance

In Tales of the Dying Earth [12], there is adventure mixed with dry humor in this collection of short stories about wizards who seek to create artificial life.

Robert E. Howard

The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane [13] details the saga of the deadly Puritan and his adventures in the 16th century. He faces ghosts, demons, dark sorcery, and more marvelous magic.

C. L. Moore

Jirel of Joiry [14] is a lady of swords and sorcery during France's Dark Age in this haunting heroic fantasy.

Fritz Leiber

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser [15] are two beings — the first is a northern barbarian and the second is a small thief — traversing the land of Nehwon.

Richard Adams

Bestselling Watership Down [16] follows a crew of creatures who must flee their home in England's Down due to man's intrusion.

Mervyn Peake

The Gormenghast Trilogy [17] tells the story of Titus Groan, a 7-year-old heir to a crumbling estate in a Byzantine society on the brink of treachery.

T.H. White

The Once and Future King [18] is a classic telling of King Arthur's epic saga.

Rosemary Sutcliff

In the riveting Roman Britain Trilogy [19], we meet Centurion Marcus Drusillus Aquila and his former slave Esca, who seek to go beyond Hadrian's wall.

H.P. Lovecraft

This collection of "weird stories" [20] is by one of the greatest fantasy writers of modern history. His complex sentence structure adds to the dizzying horror and fantasy laid out in his writings.

Clark Ashton Smith

The author of The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies [21] was revered by none other than the aforementioned H.P. Lovecraft. This collection brings together his best "weird fiction" tales.


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