Suggestions, please, GOT withdrawal!

In the UK, as the weather is getting cooler and the nights are getting darker quicker, Game of Thrones geeks are delighting in saying: “Winter is coming.”

They’re not alone.

I’ve said it, in between giggles, a few times myself. As previously mentioned, I’m a big Game of Thrones fan.

When I started my new job five months ago I switched from driving to work to catching the train instead. I’ve never enjoyed catching the train that much. I put it down to getting leg cramp from having to sit in too small a space and not having control over the journey – delays and cancellations are your worst enemy when you commute to work by train.

While I still haven’t fully embraced my daily commute, I do look forward to it for one reason: it’s my chance to read some more of George R R Martin’s epic series. At the start of the year I posted about how I want to get back into reading. That’s easier said than done, though. For months I didn’t read much apart from Mark Kermode’s ‘Modern Cinema’ and a few magazines. Well, that’s until I started commuting by train for my new job in April.

After enjoying Season 1 of Game of Thrones – I have only seen Season 1 as I don’t have Sky and Season 2 isn’t out on DVD yet – I thought I’d give the books a go. Cue my older brother. He read the series when they were first published and so was able to lend me them. The ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series was the spark that I needed to properly get me back into reading.

While I read the previous books – ‘A Game of Thrones’, ‘A Clash of Kings’, ‘A Storm of Storms’ and ‘A Feast for Crows’ – in paperback form, I’m currently reading the latest book, ‘A Dance with Dragons’, on my boyfriend’s Kindle. I have my brother’s hardback copy of ‘A Dance with Dragons’ but, as it’s over 1,000 pages long, I decided to use the Kindle instead of carrying the hardback to work everyday!

I’m now 42% of the way through ‘A Dance with Dragons’ and dreading what I’ll do once that becomes 100%. Martin has promised two more books in the series, tentatively titled ‘The Winds of Winter’ and ‘A Dream of Spring’, but the release dates for them are unknown.

So, blogosphere, I put it to you: what books should I start reading next?

There are quite I’ve already got in mind; I have ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy to read in paperback and I think I’d like to make a start on ‘The Southern Vampire Mysteries’ series too as I’m a big fan of True Blood. One series I definitely don’t want to read is ’50 Shades of Grey’, so please don’t suggest that! I’ve read a couple of pages and it is definitely not for me.

As many of you are already aware, I’m a big fantasy fan, so anything in that genre would float by boat. ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ could have been written for me as it has all the fantasy elements that I love so much: its medieval setting, the heroes and villains, the hint of magic… Martin has previously said in interviews that J R R Tolkien and Tad Williams inspired him to write. I may reread ‘The Lord of the Rings’ but I’m unfamiliar with Williams.

Any suggestions are gratefully received!

14 thoughts on “Suggestions, please, GOT withdrawal!

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  1. Well, if you’ve not read them, Frank Herbert’s sci-fic classic series DUNE would be the one I’d recommend. His original six novels have had tremendous impact in the genre. You can continue it with what his son Brian and Kevin Anderson have followed up with (though long-time Herbert fans have problems with the prequels and continuation of the series). Just a thought :-).

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Michael! I’m assuming that those novels were the inspiration for the film Dune? There’s a bunch of sci-fi books I’d like to read, especially Jules Verne, Arthur C Clarke and Michael Crichton.

      1. Yes. However, none of the film adaptation really did the novel(s) justice. Herbert’s books have a ton of fans, like me ;-).

  2. He has a few prequel teasers out there, if you can find them. One of which is “The Hedge Knight.” I’d check wikipedia for more.

    Heard good things about Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings,” but that’s more of a high fantasy novel series.

    I just finished Ender’s Game. Great book. Also, World War Z, a ‘realistic’ journalist’s take on the apocalypse. Gripping, stressful read.

    1. Thanks, Andrew, I’ve never heard about the prequels. I’ll look into Brandon Sanderson. I’m guessing that the upcoming Brad Pitt film is based on the book ‘World War Z’?

  3. Like you I have only seen season one of Game of Thrones, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to season two. I have just bought the first book but haven’t started reading it yet.

    If you are looking for a fantasy series to read try Trudi Canavan’s The Black Magician Trilogy:
    The Magicians’ Guild (2001), The Novice (2002), The High Lord (2003). There is a stand-alone prequel The Magician’s Apprentice (2009) that I haven’t read and a sequel trilogy: The Traitor Spy Trilogy: The Ambassador’s Mission (May 2010) The Rogue (May 2011) The Traitor Queen (Aug 2012), of which I have only read the first one.

    The same author: The Age of the Five Trilogy: Priestess of the White (2005) Last of the Wilds (2006) Voice of the Gods (2006).

    If you want some easy reading try Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (2008) and its prequel Fire (2009) there is a third book Bitterblue, (2012) that I haven’t read yet.

    If you like vampire fiction try: Guillermo del Toro’s La trilogía de la obscured: The Strain (2009), The Fall (2010) The Night Eternal (2011)

    Or: Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, 22 books to date since 1993, I have read the first five or six.

    1. Wow, lots of suggestions! Thank you 🙂

      Have you started reading GoT now? On the whole the series is very good. The universe is excellent and well thought out, but I would say that it is does get quite hard going in the last couple of books.

  4. I’m not really one for fantasy novels, but I greatly enjoyed the first book of Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle series, The Name of the Wind. I am still waiting to make it through the second book, but I imagine it’s just as good.

  5. Hi, Claire:

    If you are going through ‘Game of Thrones’ withdrawal, I might suggest taking a look at earlier Sean Bean with his very well executed ‘Shapre’ series of stories. Or the more recent, Ioan Gruffudd, ‘Horatio Hornblower’ series.

    If you wish to go back even further. You could try the Roy Marsden series, ‘The Sandbaggers’; which is the grandfather of ‘MI-5’.

    I know what you’re going through. I was the same way with a weekly commute to my local Crown Bookstore to check the latest new editions of the late, great Ross Thomas. Whose sandbox was cons, graft and often less than legal boardroom and
    political deals.

    1. Yes, yes, yes! I loved the Sharpe and Hornblower TV series – I had a picture of Bean in that black Sharpe jacket on my homework diary at school… I think I got some funny looks as he wasn’t the usual popstar or footballer heartthrob! I’ve never thought about reading the books before.

      It’s always bittersweet when you finish a great book. You rush because you want to know what’s happening but then when you do finish you’re sad! I read ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy in six days and was heartbroken when I finished it. After reading ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ they were much easier going and I really fell for the characters.

  6. Hi, Claire:

    Ross Thomas was much the same way. Creating a pair of heroes in his premiere novel and having them be the focus of two later tales. While creating other singular characters, like failed criminal reporter and buy back middle man, Ray St, Ives for a short series. Political fixer, Harvey Longmire. Or big con and investigators, Artie Wu and Quincy Durant.

    What was cool about Thomas is that the man knew what he wrote of. Which amped up the believability factor. While making Washington, DC or L.A. prime Noir backdrops. He also invented the idea of ‘cross over’ long before it became fashionable. And like you mentioned. Created cause for celebration when a new title showed up. And lots of rereading earlier tales to fill the void before another title.

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