The epic fantasy A Song of Ice and Fire series and its first novel The Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin is known by many as the best epic fantasy series ever written. The massively successful show also called The Game of Thrones, the series A Song of Ice and Fire has also had a strong pull on people to read the books. Recently, the divisive end of the show and the unfinished book series has left fans desperate for more. We have curated a list of 10 books like Game of Thrones to fill your void.
The first book Game of Thrones in the series A Song of Ice and Fire was released in 1996 and written by George R. R. Martin. Set in 12,000 BC, this series is regarded as one of the greatest epics of the modern era. The first book is filled with actions of lust, rage, betrayal, terror and revenge. ‘The Lannister’ and ‘The Stark’ families are the main focus of the story. Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, this adventurous tale of magic, politics, supernatural forces and power excite the readers and leave them wanting more. The dark period of the winter season approaches Weteros.
The novels received high critical acclaim and were also adapted into a TV Series on HBO called Game of Thrones, which brought record high viewership making it one of the most successful shows of all time. This series has great character development with incredible protagonists like John Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. This is a show that made the world reminiscent of Mediaeval Europe unflinchingly cool. If you read books like Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and want to read more books that build a world as iconic as Westeros, this list is for you.
List of Books Like Game of Thrones
- The Iron King by Maurice Druon
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
- A Chorus of Dragons by Jenn Lyons
- The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley
- The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
- The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Shadow and Bone by leigh Bardugo
Here’s why these 10 books are like Game of Thrones
1. The Iron King by Maurice Druon
The Iron King is the first novel from the series The Accursed Kings. Written and published originally in French, Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings) is the work of the french author Maurice Druon. George R.R. Martin, taking heavy inspiration from this series, calls The Accursed Kings the original Game of Thrones. The Iron King was first published in 1955 and sets up a story based on real historic events.
The book, The Iron King deals with the story and a few scandals of the King of France, Philip IV ‘The Fair’ who ruled from 1268 to 1314. Druon narrates the scandals like the destruction of the Order of Knights Templar and the adultery of the two daughters-in-law. Druon’s series has recently found a newly gained popularity in major bookstores, even though it has been criticised for a lack of character growth. The elements of the series that inspired R.R. Martin are worth reading. If you are looking for books like Game of Thrones, you must read Maurice Druon’s The Iron King.
2. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ( The first volume of the series) was published in 1954 by J. R. R. Tolkien. Tolkien began writing it to serve as a sequel to his popular children’s book The Hobbit but ended up expanding it into a series of its own. The Lord of the Rings fictional series contains 3 volumes, 6 books in total. The books are set in Middle-earth, second age 1500-1701.
The title The Lord of the Rings refers to the villain of the story, the Dark Lord Sauron. He created a singular ring called ‘One Ring’ or ‘Ruling Ring’ to rule all other rings of power. The Lord of the Rings contains people like Hobbits, Elves, Men, Dwarves, Wizards, and Orcs. The series is a saga of heroic people that set out to save the world from the evil Dark Lord, Sauron. The Lord of the Rings series has been estimated to sell over 150 million copies worldwide making it the most commercially successful piece of literature of all time. If you still haven’t read The Lord of the Rings series and are looking for books like Game of Thrones, you must read them now.
3. A Chorus of Dragons by Jenn Lyons
A Chorus of Dragons is a science-fiction and fantasy book series by Jenn Lyons that began in 2019. The series contains 5 books: The Ruin of Kings (2019), The Name of All Things (2019), The Memory of Souls (2020), The House of Always (2021) and The Disord of Gods (2022). This epic fantasy series, A Chorus of Dragons begins and sets up a story about a long-lost royal, Kihrin whose fate is tied to the future of the Empire of Quur.
The story is full of demons, rogue gods and monsters and dragons. The first book The Ruin of Kings (2019) combines prophecies and magic in an epic fantasy of imperial politics. The fantastically written story of the young hero stepping into an intriguing complex world is truly fascinating to read. If you are on the look out for books like Game of Thrones, you are sure to enjoy this fairly new series A Chorus of Dragons.
4. The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley
Brian Staveley is known for writing epic fantasy novels, and The Empire’s Ruin is the first book from his series Ashes of the Unhewn Throne. It is a spin-off series from Chronicles of Unhewn Throne. The book sets up a story in the Annurian Empire.
The elite soldiers, The Kettral were the glory of the Annurian Empire. Now the empire is dying and with it, the Kettral’s numbers have also declined. The Kenta gates that grant the empire access to vast lands have also failed. The soldier Grenna Sharpe is assigned a mission that could make it possible to restore the empire to its former glory. The Ashes of the Unhewn Throne create a brilliantly engrossing world, it is action-packed story and the characters are phenomenally written. If you’re searching for books like Game of Thrones, The Empire’s Ruin is a perfect fit for you.
5. The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
The Dragonbone Chair is a fantasy fiction novel written by Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair is the first book of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy. Set in the peaceful land of Osten Ard, The Dragonbone Chair witnesses a war fueled by powers of dark sorcery about to make its way to Osten Ard.
A kitchen boy from the royal castle called Simon becomes the unlikely apprentice to a league that will be sent on a quest that offers Osten Ard the only hope for salvation. Simon must leave his home behind and face enemies that are more dangerous than any Osten Ard has ever seen. The trilogy incorporates the classical elements of an epic quest with an unlikely hero and yet excellently produces a world where the traditional fantasy elements show up in new ways. If you are looking to watch books similar to Game of Thrones then The Dragonbone Chair and its sequels are worth a read.
Also Read: Books like Dune
6. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings is the first installation of the epic fantasy series The Stormlight Archives by New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. Published in 2010, the first book The Way of Kings begins with the victory achieved by Heralds, the leaders of the Knights Radiant.
For years Heralds waged a war against a race of monsters called Voidbringers, to protect humanity. The point of view of the story keeps revolving around main characters like Kaladin, Shallan Davar and a few minor characters. The book, The Way of Kings staggeringly captures the epic grandiosity and scope of the world. The Stormlight Archives’s The Way of Kings is one of the best epic fantasy books like Game of Thrones you can read.
7. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The first book of the high-fantasy series The Wheel of Time, The Eye of the World was written by Robert Jordan and published in 1990. The critics have praised the tones and the themes of friendship, corruption and power. The series The Eye of the World has been compared with The Lord of the Rings for its elements of similarities. The Wheel of Time was adapted into a show of the same title in 2021 on Amazon Prime.
The story of The Eye of the World follows the protagonists’ Rand al’Thor, Matrim, Perrin, Egwene and Nynaeve after Emond’s Field (their residence) is attacked by enemy soldiers Trollocs. Jordan effectively creates a large unthinkable world filled with dangers with a thrilling quest for glory. The themes of The Eye of the World are akin to those of George R. R. Martin’s series. And so if you want to read books like Game of Thrones, definitely check this one out.
8. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Marlon James wrote the fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf and published it in 2019. A part of the planned Black Star Trilogy, this first book Black Leopard, Red Wolf honours African history and mythology. The novel has already been optioned for a screen adaptation by Micheal B Jordan.
The story follows a hunter named Tracker as he finds the missing boy with the help of a ragtag group of mercenaries. Black Leopard, Red Wolf has been called one of the best stories written in recent years. Themes of social hierarchy and political tensions between two warring states are rewarding to read. The story is structured in picaresque form and is a wholly-immersive experience of wild adventures. You will thoroughly enjoy reading Black Leopard, Red Wolf if you’re searching for books like Game of Thrones.
9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a young adult dystopian fantasy series. The first book was published in 2015 and the series ended with its final installation in 2019.
There is a clear separation of groups in the country called Nora, Silvers are the elites in possession of god-like powers and Reds are the commoners ruled by the Silvers. Following the story of Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old girl from Reds, she lives in poverty and does not believe that anything will change, that is until she finds herself working in the Silver palace.
Mare discovers that in spite of being a Red she possesses a superpower of her own, the Silver Palace quickly try to cover up the situation by announcing her in front of the common people as a long-lost Silver princess now being engaged to a Silver prince. Mare’s journey of staying true to herself while being involved in this sensitive situation with people she hates only opens her up to dangerous circumstances filled with betrayal and lies. If you are bored and looking for engaging books to read, Red Queen is one of the most exciting books similar to Game of Thrones you can read.
Also Read: Books like I’m Thinking of Ending Things
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Another novel series by a New York Times bestselling author, Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo follows the life of a soldier Alina Starkov, in the Kingdom of Ravka. Alina discovers she has magical abilities and trains with Grisha, the country’s magical military elite. Alina falls under the spell of the Darkling, a dangerous leader.
Now the Kingdom of Tavka is surrounded by enemies and being split in two by Shadow Fold, a darkness crawling with monsters feasting human flesh. Alina becomes the singular hope for the Kingdom. The world of the Shadow and Bone trilogy is unique and rich in detail. The series is worth reading if you are looking for books similar to Game of Thrones.
Here are a few fantasy books like Game of Thrones that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- The Broken Empire Series by Mark Lawrence
- The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman