Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Read-alike Guides - A Game of Thrones

If you liked A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, you might enjoy one of these books:

Acacia by David Anthony Durham
Durham’s trilogy features a battle between good and evil where the line between the two is vague, and he writes about brutality quite frankly. Leodan Akaran, the powerful ruler of an idyllic empire, hides the dark realities of their prosperity from his four children, until an assassin from the Mein strikes him down and frees his children.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Hobb's three series—the Farseer Trilogy, the Liveship Traders and the Tawny Man—combine into a lengthy, convoluted, political, and dark saga. She keeps her magic off-stage, provides a wealth of very diverse characters, places her stories firmly in a medieval landscape, and explores the pain of her characters. Fitz in particular will resonate with fans of Martin's character Jon Snow.

The Briar King by Greg Keyes
The first in the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series is high fantasy that strains against the confines of the genre in some interesting ways. Set in a realm  threatened by forces both earthly and existential, The Briar King toys with reader expectations in a way Martin’s readers will appreciate, and indulges in both pitched battles and the equally deadly intricacies of the realm’s internal politics.

City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams
In a strange world of the near future, where virtual reality encompasses all aspects of society and boundaries are limited only by the power of the imagination, a dark conspiracy involving the world's most powerful individuals threatens to destroy everything. Martin fans will enjoy the intensity and some gruesome character ends.

The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
Mercenary Marcus wants no part of the war looming between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne, so he enlists a group of traveling players to act the part of guards in a caravan leaving a city in the danger zone. Cithrin, an heiress, and Geder, a scholar, join the party. Warfare, political intrigue, and moral ambiguity ensue.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Jordan’s Wheel of Time series features more explicit magic and a traditional quest plot, but the elements of politics, adventure, and battle make the complex and multi-layered series a must read. The first entry relates a tale of the bestial Trollocs, the witch Moiraine, and three boys, one of whom is fated to become the World's only hope.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
When the last of the free cities of the Malazan Empire is targeted by the forces of the Empress Laseen, Bridgeburner squad leader Sergeant Whiskeyjack and the mage Tattersall confront dark gods to protect the citadel of Darujhistan. This epic series is perfect for readers who enjoy detailed world building.

I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Try I, Claudius for a saga that matches the tone, complexity, and assassination rate of A Song of Ice and Fire. The lame, stuttering Claudius will remind readers unswervingly of the King's Hand, dwarf Tyrion, who hides his honorable soul under an awkward, misshapen body. Incest, patricide, and poison add to the drama of Graves' famous novels.

The Immortal Prince by Jennifer Fallon
When a routine hanging goes wrong and a murderer somehow survives the noose, the man announces he is an immortal—and not just any immortal, but Cayal, the Immortal Prince. Arkady Desean is sent to interrogate the man, hoping to prove he is a spy or a madman. The gods of legend rise again on the world of Amyrantha in this tale of court intrigue and human-animal half-breeds.

Niccoló Rising by Dorothy Dunnett
The first in an epic series, this novel takes an unflinching look at the rise to power of a young man who will take on any adventure—political, economic, or romantic—no matter the consequences to others. Dunnett artfully depicts the political power structure of the Low Countries in the late medieval period, doing for an actual society what Martin does for the imaginary Westeros.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
After witnessing the murder of his mother and brother and leading a band of bloodthirsty thugs, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath returns to his father's castle and his birthright, but faces treachery once he arrives. Dark sorcery and fierce combat are the hallmarks of this action-packed novel of revenge and intrigue set in a darkly somber medieval world. This morbidly gripping, gritty fantasy tale is not for the squeamish.

Tracing the Shadow by Sarah Ash
The kingdom of Francia has purged its magi. When a young Guerrier rescues an orphaned street waif, little does he know that she is the daughter of a magus who died on their pyres—or that she is guarded by an aethyric spirit and driven to avenge her father’s fiery end. With the gift of song infused within her, Klervie’s voice will bring her before the most powerful heads of state, and she will craft herself into a weapon—aimed at the heart of the man she despises.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
This novel is both character-driven and intricately-plotted, with plenty of quests, battles, magic, and fantastical beings. Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero as he attempts to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, he is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm.

1 comment:

  1. Another one I found is Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper.