5 Fantasy Series You Can Read Until George R. R. Martin Releases The Winds of Winter

So it’s official, winter is definitely not coming…at least not in novel form.  If you are a reader of A Song of Ice and Fire aka the Game of Thrones series like myself, you must be following anything and everything about the books. And you must have felt the same displeasure when I discovered George R. R. Martin delayed the release of the 6th book in the series, The Winds of Winter.

Originally (some say optimistically) slated to hit your greedy eyes this March 2016 just in time for the Season 6 premiere of the TV show; now it may not even come out before the end of Season 6.  The nonchalant way some people said, “I guess the TV watchers will finally be ahead of the readers in the series” didn’t help. Cue the na-na na-na boo boos.  I, and many other people like myself, read the very long yes very interesting, but very looooong books in the Game of Thrones series. One of the payoffs was, for the most part, being ahead of the series when it got brought to the screen.  Alas, as they say, all good things must come to an end… or whatever (not bitter at all).

Recently there was a great article discussing plot-lines in the books that have yet to be explored in the TV series.  It got me thinking…what will the book readers do now that they won’t have The Winds of Winter to dive into? Fear not my fellow Game of Thrones readers and fantasy lovers. Yes, who knows when we will read The Winds of Winter. And yes, the TV show possibly giving spoilers or even worse diverging completely away from the books is terrible.  But if you had prepared yourself for a fantasy orgy and just can’t hold on, here are 5 other fantasy series you can choose from to gorge yourself on until The Winds of Winter hits shelves (all are worthy of a reread if you’ve read before)!

abrahamd-daggercoinseries1. The Dagger and The Coin Series, by Daniel Abraham

There are four finished books in this series: The Dragon’s Path, The King’s Blood, The Tyrant’s Law, and The Widow’s House. The fifth, The Spider’s War, is due March 8, 2016. So if you had planned to hermit yourself away this March to speed read GRRM’s The Winds of Winter, if that was even possible, you can start this series now and be ready just in time for the fifth book! A former great general, Marcus, meets an orphaned girl, Cithrin, who is ward of a banking house. Cithrin’s job is to smuggle a lost city’s gold across a war zone while hiding it from all. She knows the commerce streets, but not the sword. Marcus job is to help his men stay out of a battle he wants nothing to do with and choices he makes brings him into Cithrin’s path. Together these two will be caught between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne battle and have every king and their army chasing them for the unimaginable riches. Abraham depicts a grand fantasy world and tells a great adventure story full of redemption and hope.

gentlemanbastard2. The Gentleman Bastards Series, by Scott Lynch

There are three finished books in this series: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves. For Lynch, as a fairly new fantasy writer publishing his first novel in 2007, these books have made quite a splash. Locke has planned it to be a seven book series. The story takes places in the world of the Therin Throne Empire and its descendant states. All the novels center on the main protagonist, Locke Lamora, a young professional thief part of a group of unsavory characters called The Gentleman Bastards. They are masters of deception and disguise. They have even fooled the criminal underworld. Locke will grow to become known as the Thorn of Camorr and lead the Bastards, but Locke and his friends may have finally met their match in the Gray King. The Gray King plots to take control of Camorr’s underworld and Camorr must put a stop to it. Set in a dark and mysterious city filled with nobles and thieves, it’s a story of magic, wonder, loyalty, and death. A must read.

001739935-hq-168-803. The Darwath Series, by Barbra Hambly

The first series on the list that is complete! A medieval history student, Gil Patterson starts having strange dreams. These aren’t any ordinary strange dreams, but about a kingdom named Darwath. These visions are about a time and a place she has never been to. Turns out these dreams are about another world that she has to visit. So begins Gil’s grand mission to save a kingdom from an imminent threat, the monstrous Dark. Hambly’s main character, Gil, is a feminist’s dream as she leads the series with strength, intelligence and power. The wizard who helps her is named Ingold a cooler version, if there is such a thing, of Gandalf. Hambly’s world is rich and fast-paced. A powerful and carefully detailed novel, it’s a page-turner you won’t want to put down.

the-earthsea-cycle-childrens-books4. The Earthsea Series, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Another complete set! Plus there’s a collection of short stories that also take place in Earthsea as an added bonus. Earthsea is an oldie in the fantasy genre, but a goodie. If you as fantasy reader haven’t taken the time to read this yet, then now’s your chance! This is an adventurous story that takes place on land and sea (the title is a clue). The story is a battle of good vs. evil. Wizards use their good magic to restore balance to the world and dark wizards who use their bad magic to counter that. Written in the 60s, the social changes happening at the time are reflected in the story. It’s a definite masterpiece and considered one of the best by fantasy readers.

dragonlance_chronicles_by_mistermoster-d4gyxhn5. Dragonlance, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

The world is Krynn. There are many familiar character types. You have the elf, the knight, the thief, and the dwarf (because where there are elves there are dwarves ). Brought to you by the world of Dungeons and Dragons in 1984, it’s a world rich in history and has had tons of spin-offs by multiple authors that make it one of the more comprehensive and long-lasting series. It even includes similarities that A Song of Ice and Fire reader might appreciate…dragons! There are tons and tons of dragons from every color of the rainbow. It’s a softer less dark version of A Song of Ice and Fire, but it’s definitely a sweeping epic that encompasses limitless characters and plotlines. This one will definitely occupy your time.

Have you read any of these series? Have some other fantasy series you can recommend for the readers? Let me know! Follow me on Twitter @TheBookaholicBee or comments below are always appreciated!

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