It doesn’t look like the next book in George RR Martin’s magnificent A Song Of Ice And Fire series will be coming out any time soon. Here are a list of fantasy/sci-fi books to give you your genre fix until The Winds Of Winter is finally published.
1. The Farseer Trilogy/ The Liveship Traders Trilogy/ The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb
These books follow the adventures of Fitzchivalry Farseer and his friend The Fool. Fitz is a royal bastard training to be the King’s assassin, learning how to navigate the perils of court where his life is constantly in danger because of his blood while dealing with being able to communicate with animals in a world where that is considered a disgusting sin. You’ll find plenty of parallels between him and Jon Snow of Westeros.
If you enjoyed reading ASOIAF you’ll definitely love these: they have the same grittiness, never shying away from the harsh realities of life, and putting your emotions through the wringer.
2. The Glass Books Trilogy – GW Dahlquist
Described as “Harry Potter for adults”, this series follows Miss Celeste Temple, a recently dumped heiress; Cardinal Chang, a mercenary, and Doctor Svensson, a royal physician charged with the health of a Crown Prince who has just gone missing, who band together to stop a shadowy cabal from taking over the world. It’s quite a steampunk affair, set in a Victorian-style world with airships and infernal machines, and will have you riveted to the page from the get-go.
3. The Wheel Of Time – Robert Jordan
The Wheel Of Time is legendary in the fantasy world. The work of Robert Jordan, it follows Rand al’Thor and his friends across a huge, meticulously built world as Rand finds out he is The Dragon Reborn, fated to save the world from the Dark Lord.
If you’re coming to this series after reading ASOIAF, be warned: It’s more like Lord of the Rings at first with its tale of a farmboy’s quest to save a magical world from a shadowy threat. However, it is well worth giving time to it and exploring properly – it’s a very rewarding read with a rich mythology and huge cast of characters.
4. The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway
A post-apocalyptic tale of two best friends and their adventures with mimes, ninjas, pirates and war, this book is almost impossible to describe. It’s one of the funniest yet also one of the scariest books I’ve ever read, covering the narrator’s life from when he first meets his friend Gonzo through to his horrific discovery of what the price of peace entails.
5. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
Claire Randall accidentally time-travels from post-WWII England to 18th century Scotland while on her honeymoon and must fight to keep her life when she is suspected of being an English spy. This has been made into a TV show which is currently airing on the Starz network in the States and is described as a more female-oriented Game of Thrones.
6. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
American Gods is quite well-known but if you haven’t read it yet, I would urge you to track down a copy as soon as possible. Recently released from prison, Shadow learns that his wife has died while cheating on him with his best friend and takes up a job offer from the shady Mr. Wednesday, working as his bodyguard and travel companion. It involves Gods both old and new from all over the world, and is also being adapted by Starz, after HBO declined its option for it.