It's official: Game of Thrones won't be returning to screens until 2019. To tide you over, we've picked a selection of book series for you to read if you've already devoured, and loved, George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series.
A Time of Dread by John Gwynne
Set in the same world as the Faithful and the Fallen quartet (also listed below), the first novel in John Gwynne's Of Blood and Bone series, A Time of Dread, is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones. It's bloody and atmospheric and features different races fighting for territorial dominance. . .
Reasons you'll like it: Huge battle scenes, epic world-building and a pseudo-medieval setting.
The Faithful and the Fallen Series by John Gwynne
The Faithful and the Fallen quartet by John Gwynne is pure epic fantasy in the vein of George R. R. Martin, and was shortlisted for the 2016 David Gemmell Legend Award. Malice, Valour, Ruin and finaleWrath chart the violent power struggles of the Banished Lands – a world mankind shares with giants, wyrms, wolves, and other more sinister beings. Young Corban dreams of becoming a great warrior and protecting his king – but as demons and angels from the Otherworld threaten to turn his home into a battlefield, the time to prove his courage will come all too soon.
Reasons you'll like it: Features different beasts including giants, wolves, angels and demons. Different worlds. Complex characters.
The Worldmaker Trilogy by Lucy Hounsom
The Worldmaker trilogy is a classic epic fantasy coming-of-age tale, set in a fractured world with a unique magic system. Like Game of Thrones, Lucy Hounsom's novels tell intensely human stories, featuring very believable characters - who make very believable mistakes. When Kyndra disrupts her village's ancient ceremony, breaking with centuries of tradition, her superstitious community is quick to turn on her. She fears for her life until two strangers come to her aid, by wielding powers not seen for an age - powers which may soon be awoken in Kyndra . . .
Reasons you'll like it: Richly detailed world-building, refreshing takes on traditional fantasy tropes, and unexpected dragons!
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne Series by Brian Staveley
Brian Staveley’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne trilogy is an epic fantasy of high-stakes intrigue, ideal for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire or the works of Patrick Rothfuss. The Emperor’s Blades introduces the Annurian Empire – a land in turmoil after the murder of its Emperor. His children Valyn, Kaden and Adare must unmask a terrible conspiracy and learn to unlock ancient powers if they wish to dispense justice, and escape with their own lives intact.
Reasons you'll like it: Power struggles and moral dilemmas, magic.
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
This trilogy follows the life of trained assassin FitzChivalry Farseer (Fitz), in The Six Duchies. His uncle, Prince Verity, attempts to wage war on the Red-Ship Raiders from The OutIslands who are attacking the shores of the kingdom by turning the people of the Six Duchies into Forged ones; a form of zombification which makes them emotionless. Meanwhile, Prince Regal's jealousy and the indulgence of his own selfish whims threatens to destroy Six Duchies.
Reasons you'll like it: George R.R. Martin is a fan, Robin is punishing to her characters and if Jon Snow is your favourite character, Fitz is a king's bastard...
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The First Law is a fanstasy series composed of a trilogy and three stand-alone novels set in the same world, written by British novelist Joe Abercrombie.
Set in the Circle of the World, this is a world filled with bad people who do the right thing, good people who do the wrong thing and stupid people who do the stupid thing. Survival is no mean feat, and at the end of the day, dumb luck might be more of an asset than any amount of planning, skill, or noble intention.
Reasons you'll like it: Kick-ass female characters, graphic violence and different character arcs. Brutal fight scenes.
The Tales of the Otori Series by Lian Hearn
This series follows a young warrior named Takeo in his struggles to avenge his adoptive father, escape the legacy of his biological father, and pursue the love of his life in the midst of an enormous power struggle involving dozens of clan lords and thousands of warriors.
Reasons you'll like it: Forbidden love story, political machinations, epic battles. Perfect for fans of Daenerys's struggle to reclaim the Iron Throne.
The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence
From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.
Reasons you'll like it: Shocks, blood and violence. Fans of Arya Stark will enjoy this book as Jorg tries to claim vengeance after being orphaned following the murder of his parents.
The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time turns. Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs―a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts― five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
Reasons you'll like it: Magic, enchantresses, new races, many characters and spellbindingly detailed new worlds.