Dear Ravenous Readers,
I've been watching Game of Thrones and I know the show is based on a super huge series of books that completely intimidates me to start. Any thoughts on something else to try that will fulfill my need for dragons, great storytelling, back-stabbing families, etc.?
Need a New Game
Dear Need a New Game,
I hear you - I too have been intimidated by the sheer weight of George R.R. Martin's written series. That said, I'm going to give you another large book - but don't be intimidated by it! The author is such a fantastic storyteller that you will want to read more after you finish - I promise. Check out Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind. Now I will warn you that this is a planned trilogy and just like George R.R. Martin, the author is late in coming out with the final book. That said, the first two in this series are worth the price of admission. Think about sitting around a campfire and the best storyteller in the world is spinning a tale all night long. It's fantastic.
Another epic series that again is a fast read so don't be intimidated by the size starts with The Lies of Locke Lamora. This series felt like I was watching a caper, like Ocean's Eleven, but with magic and magical creatures. Lots of fun, unbelievable predicaments (of course, that's why it's a fantasy series), and nice camaraderie.
Of course, you could check out a classic series about dragons, Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern, starting with Dragonflight. The series started in 1968 and was complete in the 1990's. While the earlier books might feel a little dated, really, dragons are always in fashion.
Finally, check out N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, starting with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She is the first black author to win the best novel Hugo for The Obelisk Gate which is a series I ended up reading last year as part of the Read Harder Challenge. I think it's definitely worth checking out - she won an award after all, but I will freely admit I had no idea what was really going on throughout the entire trilogy. Which probably is what fantasy and books about magic are all about - you're just along for the ride.
- Browse our sci-fi and fantasy genre lists and staff picks
- Graphic novels (book-form comics) can be a less-intimidating way to get into high fantasy! American Gods and Elfquest are some staff favorites, for example. Here's a search to get you started.
- NoveList in our E-Library curates a great Keeping Up with Fantasy page.
KG for Ravenous Readers
Looking for books in all the wrong places? Fill out the email form here to get expert, personalized reading suggestions from the Ravenous Readers. We may feature your question on the website, but your name will remain anonymous.
Any other ideas for Need a New Game? Let us know in the comments below.