For those of you who have HBO only for Game of Thrones, this list is for you! George R.R. Martin is a favorite author of mine; if you’ve watched the show, hopefully you’ve sought out the series on which the show was based, A Song of Ice and Fire. If not, start here. Martin is a gifted storyteller who weaves multiple plotlines and characters effortlessly. The authors included on this list of recommendations share that gift, and any of these books would be a wonderful addition to your excellent library. Enjoy!
George R.R. Martin- Yes, I’m including Martin on a list about Martin. He deserves it. Though Martin’s best known work is A Song of Fire and Ice, his other books are equally engaging and well worth a buy. Fevre Dream is a personal favorite; a steamboat vampire adventure written before vampires were cool again. The Wild Card books are a series of short stories books first written by Martin, with later volumes with him as editor. All take place in a well-developed world where people have powers and mutations that run the gamut from truly amazing to odd to mundane. At its heart the series delves into the ethical implications of power while still maintaining a solid sci-fi/ fantasy level of fun.
Anne McCaffery- McCaffery is a well-known and loved author in the sci-fi/fantasy world, with her Pern series being one of the few that truly inhabits both worlds with ease. The Dragonriders collection, an omnibus of the first three books in the Pern series, is a wonderful introduction to a reader favorite.
Best Served Cold is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in years. Monza Murcatto is a true badass female mercenary and following her adventures in vengeance is an awesome treat for fans of action-packed fantasy. Readers can also visit the world of Best Served Cold in Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy and the companion stand-alone books, The Heroes and Red Country. I just like Monza the most. I mean…c’mon look at her…
Ursula K. Le Guin- Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle (originally a trilogy, later expanded) is a wonderful introduction to epic fantasy beginning with the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, a coming of age tale about a young wizard’s apprentice, Sparrowhawk.. The second book The Tombs of Atuan is a personal favorite.
R. Scott Bakker-For readers who find A Song of Ice and Fire books too simple, too uncomplicated and too easy to follow, I offer up the works of R. Scott Bakker. The world set up in The Darkness that Comes Before, the first of The Prince of Nothing trilogy is vast and complex. Bakker creates a fully realized world with a variety of cultures. Bakker’s focus on philosophy and religion makes his work very epic, high fantasy with a hidden touch of sci fi. Prepare to immerse yourself in another world when you open up a book by Bakker.
Patrick Rothfuss- I recommend Patrick Rothfuss as my most exciting new voice in fantasy. His Kingkiller Chronicles (books 1 & 2 are out now) are immensely readable, fun, exciting, filled with fully realized cultures and characters you want to know. The mythology and backstory in these novels is a treat and the main character Kvothe is truly captivating as a flawed hero. It’s hard for me to talk about this series without gushing; it’s just that good. Do yourself a favor, read book 1, The Name of the Wind now, then come back and thank me.
Happy reading folks! I’ll see you in a few years when you can tear yourselves away from these amazing books by awesome fantasy authors!