So, you finished Sunday night's mind-boggling episode of Game of Thrones, and you're left with the desperate, all-consuming sentiment of "BUT I NEED MORE." I mean, seriously, that cliffhanger? How are we supposed to wait seven whole days to find out if a certain someone lives? It's cruel, I tell you, especially for those of us who are accustomed to binge-watching three episodes a night in the past. *Clears throat* but I digress.
While we're all at the mercy of HBO's scheduled episode premieres, you can turn to a handful of other authors who will enchant and frighten you as much as George R. R. Martin himself. These authors might not have created Daenerys Targareyan or Jon Snow, but they've whipped up some fantastical tales that will keep you turning pages late into the night. You might even forget how desperate you are for the next episode of GoT Season 7! Okay, so that's probably not realistic, but still, it'll give you something to hold on to in the meantime.
The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
This is perhaps one of the most underrated fantasy series out there. Marchetta weaves a story of pain and betrayal in the world of Lumatere and the surrounding kingdoms. Lumatere, once ruled by a fair and just royal family, has been cursed and left under the control of cruel tyrants. The curse? No one can get in or out. Families have been separated, and the Lumatereans on the outside search for a cure to the curse while those on the inside struggle to survive. Follow Finnikin of the Rock as he and a motley crew of characters attempt to restore the rightful ruler to the throne.
The White Queen by Phillippa Gregory
This interesting take on historical England follows those who ruled Britain before the Tudors. Gregory brings ancient characters to life and tells a story of ambition and beauty. Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen of England, is rising to her seat of power, and those around her keep dangerous secrets. Not only will you be whisked away by the tale Gregory spins, but you'll also learn a little bit about the historical era and various events that shaped history.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Ready for some magic and a handful of intense peril? Then don't skip this one. Told through an intimate narrative, the story follows Kvothe, a gifted young man who is quickly becoming one of the most notorious wizards his world has ever seen. You'll witness everything from a school of magic to murder and mayhem. The Name of the Wind is a true work of fantasy, and it won't leave you dissatisfied.
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Chances are, you've probably heard of this one in some context or another. If you just saw the movie Eragon, please please wipe that association from your mind. The film truly doesn't do this inventive work of fiction justice. Paolini wrote the series when he was a mere teenager, but you'll be impressed by his storytelling abilities and imaginative world. Can't get enough of Drogon and Daenerys' other dragons? Then you'll definitely want to give this series a chance.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Roshar, the world in which Sanderson sets his dramatic tale, is ruled by tempests and chaos. The four main characters struggle to survive in this unforgiving realm while facing dangerous political schemes. The intricate world-building and concepts will force you to pay close attention, but in the end, you'll probably fall head-over-heels for this series, just like thousands of other readers.
The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
Although the first books in this series seem to be geared toward a slightly younger audience, things quickly gain intensity as the books progress. Maas' main character, a trained assassin named Celaena Sardothien, has not had an easy life. Between struggling to survive as a paid killer and getting locked up in the realm's worst prison, she's faced more than her fair share of danger. When the royal prince comes to her and offers to free her from captivity if she serves him as his champion, she immediately agrees. Sounds intense, right? Except that's just the bare surface of the story Maas unleashes on her readers. Prepare for ancient fae warriors, romance, royal secrets, and of course, epic battles.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Even though this is his first novel, Lynch has impressed thousands of readers with his thrilling tale of criminals and tricksters. Locke Lamora has spent his life as an orphan and was therefore forced to steal to live. While many orphans steal in the realm Lynch creates, none do so with as much flare as Locke Lamora. When he falls into the hands of a man called Chains, he becomes a part of something bigger. As he pulls off outrageous feats of confidence, Locke will face more than a little danger, and if he's not careful, even death.
The Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes
There are three kingdoms in Mytica, and although they have lived in peace for centuries, political upheaval threatens to change everything. Rulers are grappling for power and secrets are weakening alliances that have stood for ages. Rhodes follows four different characters: a princess, a rebel, a sorceress, and an heir to the throne. Packed with action and complex characters, this series will have you addicted instantly.