Game of Thrones is on right now, and if you’re anything like us you’re either settling down for the final season or you’re learning about the final season through memes. But after this season wraps up, where does that leave you? How do you cope with that dragon-shaped hole in your heart?
Here are some other fantasy series you should check out, ranging from classics to new up-and-comers.
1. The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams
I first read this story when I was very young, and I never forgot it. I was so enchanted that when I discovered I could only buy Book 1 and 3 in my region, but not Book 2, I broke down in tears. I was a mess until we could order a copy.
Written between 1988 and 1993, the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy takes place on the mythical continent of Osten Ard, where humans, trolls, and sithi (these white-haired, elf-like creatures) have lived in peace for decades under the stewardship of the current king. This king is well respected, as he received his crown through dragon-slaying.
When the weather begins to drastically change, bringing with it a horrific winter, a kitchen serf named Simon stumbles across a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the whole region. He must then team up with a ragtag group of misfits in order to save Osten Ard.
Fun fact: George R.R. Martin is on record as saying this series was highly influential on him when writing his own books. So if you’re looking for a close match to Game of Thrones, this is absolutely it.
2. The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
I really wavered on recommending this one, partially because it’s one of those series that’s so well known that everyone’s either already read it, or they’ve heard about it. However it’s got thematic elements that are similar to Game of Thrones, so I figured it’s worth a shot.
Originally a six book series that ballooned to fourteen, Robert Jordan died while working on the twelfth instalment. Fellow author Brandon Sanderson finished it up.
Well-known for its exhaustive length, The Wheel of Time begins in the country of Andor. Our characters Moiraine and Ian arrive in a village where acolytes of The Dark One are searching for someone called “The Dragon Reborn”. This dragon avatar is connected to a long, complicated mythology, and from there on out they must struggle to reunite the kingdoms around them—each of whom has a different idea on how to deal with their current problems.
3. The Crown of Stars Series by Kate Elliott
Written by Alis A. Rasmussen under the pen name Kate Elliott, The Crown of Stars is a series of seven novels set in the kingdom of Novaria.
Prior to the start of the series, humans and Ashioi went to war. The Ashioi lost the conflict and were banished to another realm, but the process caused an unmitigated apocalypse.
The current human king also has a succession problem. His many children are fighting for the throne. Our pair of deuteragonists, Liath and Alain, must then deal with their crumbling kingdom as it is beset by both external and internal threats.
4. An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes is the newest fantasy epic to make this list, and it’s also geared towards a slightly younger audience.
Starting in 2015 with a book of the same name, this roman-inspired fantasy follows a girl named Laia whose people are currently under the thumb of the Martial Empire. Laia wants nothing to do with a rising local rebellion, but when her brother is arrested and taken to Blackcliff Academy she has no choice but to go undercover as a servant.
While at the Academy, Laia meets a young Martial soldier named Elias. Elias is a prodigy who desperately seeks a way out of his current job, and the two of them plot to escape. Unfortunately for them, this task is made more difficult by the fact that his mother oversees the entire Academy. Disaster inevitably ensues.
Nothing will replace Game of Thrones in its entirety because every story is unique. With the length of these series, however, and their similar themes, chances are you’ll be busy for awhile. You might even find one or two books you enjoy.
Looking for more information on how to find the right book for you? Check out our explanation on the different fantasy genres.