Monday, 18 February 2013

So I've Read A Song of Ice and Fire, what do I read now?

On searching this question on the internet I have decided that there is no real answer, I am first to admit that aSoIaF is absorbing, it takes over everything. So I thought I would compile my own list of books that I have enjoyed since, within the same genre, and a few thoughts on some others to try.

If anyone has any recommendations for me let me know.

  1. Now, just for anyone here who hasn't read the Song of Ice and Fire books by George RR Martin, what are you doing here??? Go find a copy of a Game of Thrones and don't come back until you've finished a Dance with Dragons.
  2. One of the first fantasy series I truely got into, the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, which if you look back over this blog, you will realise that I love this trilogy, Sanderson is the absolute master of new and different magic systems! And there's a lot to be said for the ending!
  3. I feel I should mention Sanderson's other works that I have read, again they have ingenious magic systems, and though I didn't enjoy it quite as much Warbreaker was enjoyable and fast paced. The first book of the Way of Kings wasn't really my cup of tea, and in my opinion doesn't hold a candle to his other works, clearly shown by being unable to offer an oppnion on the following books.
  4. Going back in time of writing, and out of the above magic heavy themes are the trilogy, Daughter of the Empire, Servant of the Empire, Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts. Apparently set in the same world (ish) as Feist's Riftwar Saga, it doesn't need to be read to enjoy the above three books (they are the only works of Feist I have read!) and I found that the story and the progression and growth, as well as the detail, was enjoyable and engrossing.
  5. Next is getting a bit basic in its form and writing style, though for a quick read I thought that the Song of Dragons Trilogy (Blood of Requiem, Tears of Requiem and Light of Requiem) by Daniel Arenson are good, the story is fast paced, if a tad predictable. If you like your fantasy with a happy ending then this is the one for you (though if you're looking for something after aSoIaF then you will find that there is no where near enough death.) My only real issues with it is the small cast of characters and the predictability.
  6. Very recently (as in I finished the two available books this week) I discovered the Everman Saga (currently comprised of Enchantress, The Hidden Relic, and a stand alone prequel, which I am yet to read, Seven Words of Power) by James Maxwell. Like Sanderson I found Maxwell's magic system to be new and different, incrediably complex and detailed, yet exactly right. The characters aren't the love at first sight kind, they're the conflicted kind, and the issue of what is right by who comes up! My only issue with this is that I can't read more yet!!
So that is the main ones that I suggested you definately should read, though honourable mentions should go to Trudi Canavan for both The Black Magician Trilogy and the Age of the Five Trilogy, both of which draw you in. Also if you haven't read Lord of the Rings by Toilken yet then you should, though it is slightly slower paced than I like. 

Books of non-fantasy that are good: 
  1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, it has to be read, though it is quite possibly one of the most haunting set of books I have read, but it pulls me in everytime I've read it, so I'm in Katniss' world (and despite knowing the ending I still hope for the outcome I want!)
  2. Phillippa Gregory's Tudor Court Novels, particularly the Other Boleyn Girl, the Boleyn Inheritance and the Constant Princess, the way she writes will make you want to learn more about the Tudor world.
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker, which actually could kind of be classed as fantasy. This is the classic book that I have read time and time again. Its so easy to read (and the story is made 10x creepier by the fact I've lived near Whitby).  
Books that I haven't mentioned, and don't particularly recommend, include The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind, now I won't be too harsh to the books that got me into fantasy literature, but compared to a lot of other books these fall flat, it feels like good vs evil, and even before I started aSoIaF I liked my books to be more grey (not Fifty Shades of! Which brings me to...) The Twilight Saga, 4 books of a girl doing nothing in particular, getting turned into a vampire and having a dramatic conclusion that never actually happened. Just stay away, not even worth the time to read the blurb!