George R.R. Martin’s epic series A Song of Ice and Fire was already a big name in the fantasy world prior to its television adaptation, after which it became a worldwide phenomenon and one of the most-watched shows in history. The TV series inspired a new wave of interest and love for the original works, but with the show well and truly finished and just two titles left to release in the series, fantasy fans are asking: What’s next?
Whether you’re a longtime fan of A Song of Ice and Fire or a newcomer to the fantasy genre who fell in love with its HBO adaptation, these books like Game of Thrones are sure to enthrall, thrill, and delight.
Marlon James’ Dark Star Trilogy is known as the ‘African Game of Thrones’. It pulls from African history and mythology to create a world where nothing is what it seems and everything centres around finding one boy who has gone missing.
In it, a bizarre cast is brought together in the search, led by a renowned mercenary known as Tracker who seeks to find the boy but also to find out why so many are intent on finding him. Each release in the trilogy uncovers a different character’s perspective, including Tracker, the Moon Witch and the boy.
This rising star of a trilogy comes from Jamaican writer Marlon James, and it has already won numerous awards and made it onto Time’s list of the best 100 fantasy books of all time. It combines magic, adventure, and intrigue much like Game of Thrones, but with a whole new and exciting twist.
In The Broken Earth Trilogy, society is segregated into different groups, climate change threatens apocalyptic upheavals every few centuries, and a small group of people with magical powers have the ability to influence it all.
Drawing on her own experiences as a Black woman in modern-day America, writer N. K. Jemisin has created a rich and enthralling fantasy world where power is held by few and society is oppressive and rigid. Each instalment has won the Hugo Award for fantasy, and her first win for The Fifth Season made Jemisin the first-ever Black person to win the award.
As a relatively new work, The Broken Earth Trilogy has been able to tackle issues of climate change and an unequal society like few others, making it an immensely beloved series with a fresh perspective, all while still offering classic fantastical elements of magic, adventure and wonder.
From renowned writer Hilary Mantel comes the epic, dramatic and gripping Wolf Hall Trilogy, a fictionalized biography of Thomas Cromwell across the span of his lifetime. With political intrigue, the ingenious machinations of those in power, and tragedy, love and royalty, this trilogy is truly one of the best books like Game of Thrones.
Thanks to its cast of real characters, from protagonist Thomas Cromwell to Anne Boleyn, King Henry and Catherine of Aragon, Mantel’s trilogy is grounded in reality, making it all the more dramatic and authentic.
The titles themselves are multi-award-winning, garnering accolades including a Man Booker Prize, as well as an Audie Award and Earphones Award for narrator Simon Vance’s work on the first title in the series. The trilogy has also been adapted for television and stage shows.
Set in post-apocalyptic Sudan, Who Fears Death is a release that sees the lighter-skinned Nuru oppressing the darker-skinned Okeke—with plenty of magic and adventure sprinkled throughout. It follows a child of an Okeke woman and a Nuru father as she becomes a rallying point for the oppressed peoples while learning to master her magical abilities.
Writer Nnedi Okorafor was inspired, in part, by the use of rape as a weapon in the Darfur conflict. Okorafor’s refusal to shy away from darker themes, graphic scenes and difficult conversations mirror some of the grittier aspects of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
Not only has Who Fears Death received numerous nominations and awards, including the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel—it is also in the works to be adapted for television. HBO is adapting the trilogy into a series, with none other than Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin on board as an executive producer.
Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles is one of the foremost works of modern fantasy. Beloved by listeners for its lyrical prose, lush world-building, and characters you can root for, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear is an unmissable work for any fantasy fan.
The story follows Kvothe as he recounts his childhood and teenage years, detailing how he became infamous for his tricks, magic and music. Listeners will disappear into Kvothe’s world for hours on end, getting caught up in the magic and mystery of Kvothe’s journey.
George R. R. Martin is a self-professed fan himself, so rest assured this series is well worth the listen for Game of Thrones fans. The series has won multiple awards, sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, and inspired talks to turn the story into a television series, movie and board game. This is the kind of series you listen to once, then immediately wish you could visit anew and rediscover the world and the magic afresh once more.
Dragons, magic, incredible protagonists and a wide-ranging world? Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree will tick many boxes for Game of Thrones fans—and then some. This fantasy audiobook stands out not just because it is a standalone in a genre brimming with trilogies and series, but also due to its diverse focus and beautiful imagery.
The story follows three women: one a young queen with the weight of the world on her shoulders, one a spy keeping her magical powers hidden at all costs, and one a dragon rider desperate to do the right thing, even if it costs her everything. Moving seamlessly between these viewpoints, Shannon creates a fantastical world on the brink of war and destruction, with three powerful heroines at its heart.
Shannon drew on beloved stories for inspiration, herself calling the work a ‘feminist retelling of Saint George and the Dragon’. Skillfully narrated by Liyah Summers, this is a fun and adventurous fantasy with a twist.
The Riyria Revelations series is a relatively new high fantasy saga from writer Michael J. Sullivan, but it’s one that has quickly established itself as a well-regarded pillar in the genre. Filled with royal intrigue, murder, magic and war, it is easily one of the best books like Game of Thrones available right now.
The series is comprised of six titles, bound together as three releases in total. One aspect that sets the series apart is that rather than being structured as a series of sequels, they are instead one singular tale. Each one has its own conflict and resolution, making for a satisfying listen no matter the title, and as they were all written and complete by the time the first was released, the tale is cohesive and immersive as a whole.
Additionally, this series was initially self-published before being picked up by the industry, and luckily for listeners around the globe, it has now been translated into numerous languages.
In a world of endless wars where a lucky few men and women are born with extraordinary powers, every person is little more than fodder for the everlasting battles. One giftless man is determined to escape the machine of war, but once his plans are foiled, he becomes more embroiled in war than any normal human ever could have imagined.
Evan Winter’s The Burning series exploded into the fantasy genre with his first release, The Rage of Dragons, in just 2019. It was long-listed for Canada Reads in 2020, and despite being self-published at first, the series was quickly picked up by publisher Orbit and became part of a four-title deal.
Winter is a Canadian writer who was born in England and raised in Zambia, and who used his own love of the fantasy genre to inspire his passion for writing. His work has been described as a cross between Game of Thrones and Gladiator and is fast becoming known as one of the best new fantasy worlds in the genre.
The Court of Broken Knives is the first release in the Empires of Dust series, and it has set the fantasy world on fire with its grimdark themes, blood-soaked storytelling and immensely loveable characters.
Following four protagonists, we explore a world where the richest empire ever known is on a precipice, and a band of soldiers sets out to murder the emperor and save the world. It’s gritty, filled with realistic battles, peppered with witty dialogue, and infused with a healthy dose of gods, magic and dragons for classic fantasy fans.
Smith Spark is a self-professed fantasy fan and Dungeons & Dragons player, and her intense, multi-perspective stories offer echoes of A Song of Ice and Fire while also setting themselves apart with its own unique characters, storyline and setting.
Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is perhaps the ultimate fantasy series. Renowned amongst fantasy fans, this 14-title saga is the classic tale of a young man, Rand al’Thor, and his band of friends fighting the ultimate evil.
Jordan’s immensely rich world-building is extensively detailed, with different peoples and cultures, warring factions, a well-rounded magic system and representations of both ultimate evil, and the evil found within man.
Rand’s story of his fate as the dragon reborn is world-renowned and has inspired board games, video games, and an Amazon Prime adaptation that is set to become the next big thing in television. It has sold millions of copies and is one of the best-selling fantasy series of all time.