Epic Fantasy: Books to Fill the Game of Thrones-Sized Hole in Your Heart.

Just a few weeks ago, the HBO blockbuster hit Game of Thrones aired its final episode. Over the course of the eighth season, fans attempted to ready themselves for a world where Sunday nights would no longer be spent in Westeros. Regardless of how you feel about the show’s final choices (because we all have a thing or two to say about that finale), you probably are finding yourself looking for the next place to get your epic fantasy fix.

Fear not, because we’ve compiled a list—made by epic fantasy fans for epic fantasy fans—of several different epic fantasy series that will fill that Game of Thrones-sized hole in your heart. Each title listed is the first book in the series.

Series

Cover ImageThe Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Series: Gentleman Bastard Sequence
If you’re a fan of fantasy rogues and scoundrels, Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series is for you. The series follows Locke Lamora and his fellow company of thieves, known as the Gentleman Bastards, as they lie, trick, and swindle a place for themselves in the bustling city of Camorr. As these lovable knaves face a threat bigger than ever before, they find themselves willing to do whatever it takes to save their brotherhood.


Cover ImageThe Wolf by Leo Carew
Series: Under the Northern Sky
In this world, the isle of Albion is separated by the Black River. To the North, in the Black Kingdom, there live a race of giants that live for centuries known as the Anakim, while to the South, in the Saxon kingdom, humans have dwelled for years. When the southerners break the uneasy peace by crossing the Black River and killing the reigning Black Lord, Albion is thrown into chaos. Who will rule? Will it be Roper, the Anakim heir, or will it be Bellamus, a human commoner with deadly ambition?


King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist
Series: The Firemane Saga
In Raymond E. Feist’s new series, he captures a similar blend of fantasy and political drama found in Game of Thrones, dealing with five kingdoms vying for power in the fantasy world of Garn. When the Kingdom of Flames is betrayed by the other four kingdoms, the heir to the throne is hidden away in order to save his life, unaware of his own birthright. As the relations between kingdoms grow murkier, this young man, along with a talented swordsmith, must find their place.


Cover ImageThe Gunslinger by Stephen King
Series: The Dark Tower
Though many know him for his horror novels, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series blends the American Old West with the fantasy genre, following the last living member of an ancient knightly order known as gunslingers. This world is a parallel universe to ours, connected by a mythical “Dark Tower” that is said to be the center of all worlds. As he searches, he must also evade a malicious sorcerer known as the Man in Black, bent on finding the Dark Tower to harness its power for himself.


The Belgariad by David Eddings
Series: The Belgariad
For fans of the Lord of the Rings style of fantasy epic, The Belgariad is a five-book series that follows a group of comrades as they attempt to track down an ancient stone orb said to harbor a living soul, thus containing a spectacular power. Garion, gifted with the Voice of Prophecy, joins the sorcerer Belgarath as he and his party attempt to retrieve the stolen orb. As the journey progresses, Garion learns more about his own destiny through key information about his past.


Cover ImageTheft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Riyria Revelations
The thief Royce Melborn and his mercenary counterpart Hadrian Blackwater never aimed for greatness, instead carrying out dangerous assignments for any noble willing to pay. But when one of their jobs ends with them blamed for the murder of a king, they find themselves trapped in a conspiracy much larger than they ever predicted. They may not have wanted greatness, but when it is thrust upon them, can these men step up to the task?


Cover ImageGardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen
Told non-linearly, Malazan Book of the Fallen is a fantasy series of enormous scope, covering thousands of years of the Malazan Empire, with each book covering its own story arc and and characters. Because of the vastness of the Malazan empire, books take place on different continents and in different time periods, but share many underlying characters and events. The series has received immense praise for its storytelling, complexity, and scope.


Cover ImageThe Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Series: The First Law
In this stunning fantasy series, the lives of barbarian Logen Ninefingers, swordsman Jezal dan Luthar, and torturer Sand dan Glokta are changed forever when the wizard Bayaz enters their lives. Between the powers of the Union, the Northmen, and the Gurkish Empire, these men will have to put their differences aside to survive in this harsh world. With a skillful blend of dark comedy and action, the series combines its gruesome scenes with a light tone that makes reading it easier.


Cover ImageThe Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Series: The Broken Earth
In the land of the Stillness, the many communities that call it home must endure a brutal fifth season every few centuries, during which the climate becomes volatile and deadly. A small portion of the population, known as orogenes, are able to control the disastrous power of nature, and are widely hated for this. The Stillness is thrown into chaos as a giant rift in the continent, caused by a mysterious orogene, causes the worst season yet.


Cover ImageRange of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Series: The Eternal Sky
Based on the real-life Asian Steppes, the Eternal Sky trilogy follows Re Temur, exiled heir to the Great Khan, as he joins forces with Samarkar, an ex-princess from a neighboring kingdom determined to learn the ways of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. After uncovering a sinister plot from a hidden cult, the two must work together to prevent a disastrous civil war, all while escaping dark sorcerers and bloodthirsty relatives.


Cover ImageThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Series: Wheel of Time
The first eleven books in this series are all penned by Robert Jordan, telling the story of a world that is both far in the future and far in the past. In this world, trollocs, beast-human hybrids, work for the Dark One, who hopes to prevent the rise of a mythical hero known as the Dragon Reborn. Before his death, Jordan requested the series to be posthumously finished by acclaimed author Brandon Sanderson, who wrote the remaining three novels.


Cover ImageThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle
The Kingkiller Chronicle follows the story of Kvothe, an adventuring bard, as he recounts his journeys through the Four Corners of Civilization to a scribe, known as Chronicler. Throughout his years of travel, Kvothe has become somewhat of a mythical figure, and the story is told both through his modern interview with Chronicler and the stories from his adventures. By the time the series begins, Kvothe is living undercover as an innkeeper, having given up his adventuring ways.


Cover ImageBlack Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Series: The Dark Star trilogy
In this stunning first installment, James introduces us to Tracker, a hunter with a supernatural talent to track by scent, as he joins a ragtag group of adventurers hired to find a missing boy. As their journey begins, the party is attacked by strange, malicious creatures, and they find themselves wondering just what it is about this missing boy that is so special. James offers a nice break from the typical European fantasy setting, instead pulling from African mythology.


Cover ImageWizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Series: The Sword of Truth
Terry Goodkind’s epic fantasy series follows Richard Cypher, an ordinary man whose life is forever changed when he becomes the mythical Seeker of Truth, a position that comes with a great deal of power and danger. Over the course of the series, Richard tries to put an end to the various evils that are unleashed on the world. For those looking for a series that is well developed, The Sword of Truth‘s whopping twenty-one books will keep you busy for quite some time.


Cover ImageThe Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn
What if the prophesied hero failed? What if the allure of the dark side was too strong, winning over this savior? That’s exactly what happened in the Mistborn series, which takes place roughly a thousand years after the Hero of Ages took on the title of Lord Ruler, becoming a corrupt, godlike ruler and starting the Final Empire. The world’s primary magic is allomancy, a practice of gaining power through ingesting metal, channeled by people known as Mistborns.


Cover ImageThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive
In the fantasy world of Roshar, the rocky terrain is victim to powerful storms and tempests. Years ago, the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant fell, but their weapons and armor remain, with the power to turn any man into an invincible warrior. Wars are waged over these magical weapons, and an ancient text is unearthed that tells of the old world, the Knights Radiant, and the why they fell. This much is sure: the Knights Radiant must return.


Cover ImageThe Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
Series: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
If you loved the variety of characters in Game of Thrones and their many different viewpoints, both heroic and villainous, then I suggest you check out the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy. On the fictional continent of Osten Ard, political turmoil and magic make a delicious mix. George R. R. Martin is has even cited this series as part of his inspiration for A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which Game of Thrones is based.


Cover ImageThe Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld
Terry Pratchett’s entry into epic fantasy was created as a loving satire of the genre. The planet of Discworld itself is a flat planet that rests on the back of four colossal elephants, which then stand on the back of a massive turtle. Because of its parody of other common fantasy standards like Lord of the Rings, expect a great deal of laughs and goofy hi-jinks. If you wanted Game of Thrones to be funnier and more light-hearted, then give the Discworld series a try.


Cover ImageThe Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
Series: The Fionavar Tapestry
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be transported to one of these fantasy worlds, Guy Gavriel Kay has created a series that will answer all your questions. In his series The Fionavar Tapestry, five men and women from our world are invited by a mysterious mage, Loren Silvercloak, to join him in the magical world of Fionavar. But when they arrive, the men and women discover that Fionavar is under threat of war against a cruel, dark god.

*Note: Special thanks to all of my fellow fantasy readers, who helped contribute quite a few names to this list!*

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