You’ve drunk lots of unwatered wine and reminded yourself that words are wind. But what will happen next in hit TV show Game of Thrones (GoT) season 6, which opens in April? The new teaser isn’t very telling, and show creators Benioff and Weiss can’t be trusted anyway. And George RR Martin, the writer of the GoT novels (on which the show is based), writes at a speed that ancient glaciers would approve of. So while you wait for the next book in the series (Winds of Winter), here’s what you can read for your fix of swords and sorcery:
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (three books):
Terrible evil threatens the world. Hero rises up to save it. Goes on epic quest, fights epic battles, does other epic stuff. Good wins, evil loses, everybody lives happily ever after. Or not, as this wonderful series demonstrates what happens when the good guy loses. Or did he? A detailed magic system, a badass female protagonist, and a Martin-esque disregard for the lives of important characters makes this one of the best fantasy series you’ll read.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (10 books):
Soldiers, gods, assassins, aliens and the undead trade blows and banter through six plotlines that tie together to form a gritty war epic. It has a lazy genius who has a god for a manservant; dinosaur warriors; and a guy who can turn into a dragon, has his own flying mountain and a sword that imprisons the souls of its victims.
Dune by Frank Herbert (six books):
An old sci-fi classic from the 1960s, set thousands of years into the future. It includes noble houses tracing their lineage back to Homeric times, horrific betrayals, a protagonist who can see the future, galactic jihad, and manipulative schemers that make Littlefinger and Varys of GoT look like amateurs.
The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski (five novels and two short story collections):
An itinerant monster hunter tries to bring up and look after his (sort of) adopted daughter in a complex world full of moral dilemmas, war, racism, sorceresses who secretly run the world, imminent climate change, terrorist elves and dwarfs, trolls who just want to get along, and the odd highly cultured vampire. The original books are in Polish, and there aren’t official English translations for all of them but you can get unofficial ones online.
The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (41 books):
Strictly speaking, Discworld is nothing like A Song Of Ice And Fire. But it is perhaps the greatest fantasy series of all time, using a fictional world (flat disc, supported by four elephants all standing on the back of a giant space-travelling turtle) to parody Shakespeare, fairy tales, politics, business, war, musical trends, technological innovation and any and all stereotypes. It’ll give you months’ worth of reading, and a lifetime’s worth of laughs.
From HT Brunch, February 21, 2016
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