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Monday, 29 July 2013

Fantasy Books versus Game of Thrones

Top 8 Fantasy Books/Series/Authors for the people on the Game of Thrones bandwagon.

I know this is not a movie post but it is loosely related. All of these books/series that I am about to list would make great television shows/movies in my mind. I will start off by saying that I like Game of Thrones. I think it is a great book series and a great television show. What I am tired of hearing is all the hype and discussion around it. I read every type of genre but my heart will always belong to fantasy. If you are a person who has never been into fantasy and have recently jumped on the GOT bandwagon, I am happy that you found something you like. If you have been reading fantasy your whole life and are looking for something else to read, this list should work for you also. GOT is good, but there is better, and more importantly there are other authors that should receive your adulation and praise if you are willing to try something new. Don’t just try the flavor of the month, as you are missing out! Obviously, I haven’t read everything so if I have left off one of your beloved series/books please let me know about it.

Top 8

# 8 Among Thieves
Author: Douglas Hulick

I was on a thief/assassin kick so I randomly picked this off the shelf of my local bookstore. Following a kin member named Drothe, the reader will be entranced with a mystery involving ancient artifacts, shady characters, and dark magic. It is a wonderful tale made that much more enjoyable by Drothe being such an ordinary person. Author Doulas Hulick captures your attention from the first couple of chapters and you will not want to put this book down. Hulick is currently working on the second book in this series.  

#7 Dream of Eagles series/Golden Eagle series/The Guardians of Scotland series
Author: Jack Whyte

Author Jack Whyte has been writing for a long time. It is a testament to his skills that his work has remained so captivating. The Dream of Eagles series is a fantastic tale of the Roman occupation of Britain and the subsequent years leading up to the tale of King Arthur and his knights. It covers many years, and it covers many people and places. You will cheer the successes and lament the failures of this tale of survival. If that doesn’t do it for you then Whyte has also written stores surrounding the main players in the movie Braveheart. Read stories about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce that paints a much different picture than in the movie. Whyte makes you care about the plight of the characters and his books should not be missed.

#6 Acacia Series
Author: David Anthony Durham

The Acacian Empire has known peace and prosperity for many generations, but that is all about to change. A strange world is about to be thrown into civil unrest. There are deadly animals, mysterious races, and lots of deception that awaits you if you choose to read this series. It is slow at times and there are too many storylines but it is still a great read, and Durham has penned a great world where the reader can get lost in.

#5 The Runelords
Author:David Farland

Never has a world existed where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer as much as it does in The Runelords. The nobility in this series have the ability to extract physical attributes (Brawn/Grace/Wit/etc.) from the common man to create super warriors/kings. The story is gripping as we follow a land under constant war between powerful kings. No one is safe as complex war strategies are enacted to battle each other. This series falls apart HARD after the fourth book, but once you read the first book they are hard to stop. There is love, magic, and beasts out of you worst nightmares awaiting you if you read this series.

#4 Night Angel Trilogy/The Lightbringer Series
Author: Brent Weeks

These are two completely different series and yet equally awesome. Weeks has the rare ability to hook the reader from the opening chapter. The Night Angel trilogy follows a master assassin and his quasi apprentice. The action is intense and the lead characters are awesome. The Lightbringer series follows a world of unprecedented magic; here the color spectrum dictates your magical ability and strength. War has broken out in the land and the color magic might tear it to pieces. Both series are amazing and shouldn’t be missed.

#3 Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R Tolkien

If you have read GOT and you haven’t read LOTR and the Hobbit, stop being a fantasy lemming trying to fit in. Please read these stories as Tolkien is the godfather of fantasy. GOT would not exist without Tolkien (and others) paving the way so respect the history!

#2 The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author:Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind is arguably my favorite fantasy book of all time (The first of the Kingkiller Chronicle.) It is over a thousand pages and I went two days without sleep while reading this book. Detailing the story of Kvothe, the book follows his life from a child to his early teens. It is easy to get lost in this book as Kvothe is an amazing character. You will be immersed in a world virtually unparalleled in fantasy as Rothfuss details Kvothes struggle to survive. This book is highly addictive so make sure you have the spare time to read it.  Rothfuss’s series is as epic as his huge beard! Read it and thank me later.

#1 Drenai Series/Rigante Series/And many more
Author:David Gemmell

It is a shame that Gemmell is not more beloved in North America. David Gemmell passed away a few years back and I was heartbroken. Someone once wrote that Tolkien created the fantasy genre but Gemmell perfected it, and I couldn’t agree more. No fantasy writer is able to make you care more for a character than Gemmell could. You will love, laugh, and bleed with these characters as they battle their way to riches and glory (mostly just for survival though). His writing is unrivaled and he truly is the master. The books Waylander, and The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend, are amazing starters for you if you choose to read him. Gemmell will be missed but his amazing fantasy legacy will carry on.

Honorable Mentions (Non Fantasy)

Ready Player One
Author:Ernest Cline

Like the 80’s? Ready Player One is a book that shouldn’t be missed then. It follows a world addicted to online gaming. Referencing movies, music, T.V., books, and pop culture mostly from the 1980’s (some 70’s/90’s) this book is must read for the nostalgic nerd lover in you.

Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card

I hope this helps you in your search for fantasy reading. Let me know what your favorites are!

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