9 Books to Read While You Wait for the Next Season of Game of Thrones

    These epic fantasy reads will help ease your Westeros withdrawal.

    After waiting to learn the fates of our favorite Game of Thrones characters—including, most importantly, Jon Snow and Daenerys' partnership—season 7 was over before we knew it. While it certainly exceeded our expectations, we're now waking up with a Lady Mormont scowl, knowing that there’s no more Game of Thrones until 2019.

    The pain! The agony! Luckily, the Internet is happy to oblige us with Season 8 predictions. While we suffer through the long hiatus and endless fan theories, here are some fantasy books to read during the agonizing wait. But hey, who’s counting? (Psst, we totally have tally marks scratched into our walls...)


    The Bishop's Heir

    By Katherine Kurtz

    For fans of Lady Melisandre’s red magic:
    Acclaimed fantasy author Katherine Kurtz’s first book in the Histories of King Nelson trilogy will thrill fans of Lady Melisandre’s red magic and mourn the loss of Stannis Baratheon. In this world, a young King Nelson has just ascended to lead a group of magical people called the Deryni. But others—like the pretender queen Caitrin Quinnell and the dangerous cleric Edmund Loris—have other ideas about who should be running the show.

    The Bishop's Heir

    By Katherine Kurtz

    The Cutting Edge

    By Dave Duncan

    For fans of the ever-changing monarch in King’s Landing:
    Like the people of Westeros, the people of Krasnegar are constantly dealing with a tumultuous world of a changing house of cards. For once, they think they’ve lucked out when the King’s daughter, Inos, succeeds her father peacefully and married a stable boy, Rap, along the way. But unfortunately the aging (and mad) Emperor has other ideas. Will Rap’s murky past come back to haunt him? Can Inos and Rap maintain peace in Krasnegar, or will they say screw it and leap out a window to their deaths?

    The Cutting Edge

    By Dave Duncan

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    Werenight

    By Harry Turtledove

    For fans of Jon Snow’s exploits beyond The Wall:
    Die-hard Jon Snow fans will recognize a familiar character in Gerin, the hero Werenight by Hugo award-winning novelist Harry Turtledove. Gerin never hoped to rule, but when his brother and father are slain, he rises to the challenge of defending his family manse. Now the same raiders who killed his family are back. And as if that weren’t threat enough, there’s sorcery that can help transform his enemies into monsters—"weremen," in fact.

    Werenight

    By Harry Turtledove

    The Golden Horn

    By Poul Anderson

    For fans of Yara Greyjoy and the Iron Born:
    This fictionalization of the life of one of the most infamous Viking warriors, Harald Hadrede, begins when he's just 17, traveling the world and fighting his lust for the throne. This historical tale by Poul Anderson on the high seas paints a fascinating picture of the Byzantium empire. The only thing that would make The Golden Horn more fascinating is if Harald was a female conqueror...but then, that’s what why we have Game of Thrones and Yara Greyjoy.

    The Golden Horn

    By Poul Anderson

    The Hero and the Crown

    By Robin Mckinley

    For fans of Daenerys Targaryen and Arya Stark:
    Aerin is a bit of an outcast in her father’s court, a tomboy interested in dragons and sword fighting rather than marriage. Sound like anyone you recognize from Game of Thrones? When a renegade dragon is reported to Aerin’s father, she takes matters into her own hands, and must prove that she is the only ruler capable of controlling the last of the great dragons.

    The Hero and the Crown

    By Robin Mckinley

    The Blade Itself

    By Joe Abercrombie

    For fans of The Hound:
    Infamous barbarian Logen Ninefingers’s luck has run its course. In this first book in The First Law Trilogy by New York Times–bestselling author Joe Abercrombie, all his old fights and old foes may have come back to get him (in a similar form as Brienne basically leaving The Hound for dead at the top of a mountain). But there’s friendship to be found. Well—maybe not friendship, but a common ground over a shared enemy. Can Logen make alliances that will save his life in the upcoming war? Or is he just too stubborn to care?

    The Blade Itself

    By Joe Abercrombie

    Gardens of the Moon

    By Steven Erikson

    For fans of Daenerys’s exploits in Meereen
    The corrupt Empress Laseen controls all of the Malazan Empire through her henchmen and sorcerers (sound familiar, cough, Cersei?). But there’s one holdout, Darujhistan, the last of the free cities. If Khaleesi’s quest to conquer Meereen and rid the world of slavery was the most compelling part of the past few seasons, try Gardens of the Moon on for size if you're dying to see what happens to queens who stop at nothing to rule.

    Gardens of the Moon

    By Steven Erikson

    The Name of the Wind

    By Patrick Rothfuss

    For fans of Varys and Littlefinger
    In the world of fantasy, there are roles to play: some become heroes, other warriors, rulers, or master manipulators behind the scenes. Sometimes, those are called wizards. (In Game of Thrones, they are called Varys and Littlefinger.) If you are a fan of their behind the scenes playing the game like a fiddle you’ll love The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, a coming-of-age story about a young wizard who and rises from poverty to become one of the most powerful men in the land.

    The Name of the Wind

    By Patrick Rothfuss

    Shadow & Claw

    By Gene Wolf

    For fans of Jaime Lannister (in particular, his relationship with Brienne):
    If Jaime Lannister’s character arc is your cup of tea, you’ll love the story of Severian, who is raised to be a torturer. But when he takes mercy on one of his victims, he's exiled from his profession and his home and must take up a quest for an ancient relic...and therein, he finds his true calling.

    Shadow & Claw

    By Gene Wolf

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    Featured Photo: Still from "Game of Thrones" (2016), via HBO

    • fantasy
    • game of thrones


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