Series to Read While Waiting for GRRM’s Next Book

If you’re a Game of Thrones/Song of Ice & Fire fan, you’re in a bit of a tough spot right now. It’s the break between TV seasons, and the next book in the series is nowhere in sight. If you’re waiting for the next book in particular, you likely have more than enough time to read everything on this list before it appears. So if you’re jonesing for an epic fantasy fix, I’ve got some suggestions for you:

Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings

Assassin's ApprenticeGreat characters, above all. If you think you care about GRRM’s characters, Hobb’s about to school you in emotional hooks. But this group of books also has: political scheming and intrigue. Magic. Strange foes, unlikely friends, rare dragons, long journeys. While Hobb doesn’t kill off characters with quite the frequency of GRRM, it packs a gut punch when she does. This is possible my favorite fantasy world, and the first trilogy especially possibly my favorite series. It’s so good, you guys. The different trilogies/groupings of books all take place in the same world, but don’t all focus on the same time period or characters. But there’s just enough overlap between them (random cameos and references) that they’re connected and you feel like you’re in on an inside joke. While most of these sets are complete (no waiting!), she did just start a new series in this world that I have an ARC for, and I’m super excited about it.

Start with: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Series reading order:

Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Universe

Kushiel's Dart This is another series with sweeping political intrigue and continent-spanning drama. It takes place in an alternate version of Europe, and follows (at least for the first series) the life of courtesan and spy Phèdre. There’s plenty of danger and a good amount of sex, given her profession. The characters and world are both richly developed. Like GRRM, Carey doesn’t shy away from hurting or killing off characters. This is another one of my all-time favorite series, especially the first trilogy.

Start with: Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1)

Series reading order:

Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince

Dragon PrinceIf you want complex, world-spanning political drama and power struggles, this will fit the bill. The world is richly developed and diverse. It’s got an interesting magic system. There’s a decent amount of love stories/sexy times, if you’re missing that about the GoT HBO show. The cast of characters is huge and the POV jumps around to follow different people, much like GRRM’s stuff (there’s a handy chart of families/characters included in each book). And, you know, it’s finished – no waiting.

Start with: Dragon Prince (Dragon Prince #1)

Series reading order:

Steven Brust’s Dragaera

Taltos If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a break from the grimness of GRRM, you might give this world a try. Brust has set up an unusual world, with distinct houses of power and more than one kind of magic. The Vlad Taltos series especially is just fun to read – the narrator, Vlad, is a smart-ass, wise-cracking type of guy. It wasn’t unusual for me to laugh out loud reading these. That’s not to say Important Serious Things don’t happen in the books, because they do. But humor is one of Vlad’s coping mechanisms, so it diffuses things most times. The other books in the world are even more tongue-in-cheekily written, with a healthy dose of the absurdity that historians can display. You still get the intricate political intrigue, and danger, and adventures, but in a lighter tone.

Start with: Taltos

Series reading order:

What fantasy series would you recommend for those coping with Game of Thrones withdrawl?


  1. I loved both Assassin’s Apprentice (which I haven’t read since high school!) and Kushiel’s Dart. I haven’t read more in either of the series, but I really should! I’ll probably re-read Assassin’s Apprentice again since it’s been so long!

  2. Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince series, I remember sobbing in my apartment in Minneapolis as characters died… I never even finished the series!

    1. Oh yeah, there were definitely some teary moments. You should finish the series! There are some more teary moments, but it’s still so good!