5 Books to Read in Your 'Game of Thrones' Withdrawal 

Neil Gaiman, Joe Abercrombie, Kelley Armstrong, and more. 


Now that Game of Thrones Season 6 is in our rearview mirrors, we have an entire year — maybe more — until Winter is here. There’s a lot of equally good TV you can sample in the meantime, but if you’ve also got a hankering for those weird page contraption things, good news: There are books that can deliver a similar experience.

China Miéville The Iron Council

Political, surprising, deeply strange, and with an immersive and fully developed world, The Iron Council will appeal to the part of you that likes Game of Thrones for its political commentary, wide net of characters, locales, ideologies, and immersive world.

Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series

Don’t be put off by the fact that her series used to be called Women of the Otherworld. Although most of her narrators are female, Armstrong’s men are as prominent — and snarky — as Jamie Lannister or Bronn, and her cast of characters is colorful. At 13 books and various companion novellas and short stories, it’s no small investment, but the books are shorter than any volume in A Song of Ice and Fire. Like Martin, she jumps between narrators to keep the story and perspective fresh.

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

American Gods is going to be the new Game of Thrones once it ends because it will soon be turned into an equally dope show, so you might as well catch up with the source material. Epic, sprawling, strange, and lovely, it’s no short read but it’s worth your time.

Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea series

The Shattered Sea series has a GoT like sensibility in that it grounds its medieval fantasy world in gritty, earthy concerns. When Joe Abercrombie spoke with Inverse, he said, “I’ve always been interested in economics, progress, politics, and try to bring those things into my fantasy as I think they’re often a little overlooked in the genre. Gandalf never worries much about how he’s going to pay for things.”

Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Fire

Cashore’s books are the most overtly GoT like in that they literally take place in seven kingdoms, most of the rulers are corrupt, and her characters — particularly in Fire — must grapple with the legacy of having flawed parents who were terrible rulers. It’s technically considered a YA series, but don’t let that deter you. The writing and subject matter is as mature as any adult fantasy.

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