You’re making me really curious for The Wheel of Time! Are there any other fantasy series you recommend?
I love fantasy, but I’m getting tired of some of its tropes, especially the gratuitous misogyny. I know you don’t like that too, which is why I thought about asking you for recommendations. I think misogyny in fiction can be done well, so my issue is not with its presence, but when it becomes “background rape”, fridging, cheap shock and so on.
I enjoy ASOIAF for its characters, the themes, the trope desconstruction, how even the shocking moments grow organically in the story… The worldbuilding is not flawless - it lacks diversity, “historically accurate” should not be an excuse for certain elements, especially when they’re not historically accurate, GRRM can’t do math, etc. - but it’s complex and compelling enough.
So, anything else you recommend? :) Thank you!
uhh, idk if I can recommend SFF that has everything you might be looking for, but the list below has some I really like. Many of these books are books I would happily read multiple times, because I really love them.
- The Dark Tower series by Stephen King - Just a note, you can totally read The Dark Tower without having read other things by SK, but I think it’s more fun if you’ve read some other SK books.
- I really recommend everybody read some classic Stephen King, like The Stand. ASOIAF draws a lot from the horror genre, there’s a lot of similar themes, and I really, really think every ASOIAF reader should meet Randall Flagg, who is assuredly Euron on some other level of The Tower. If you really need a fantasy book, King’s The Eyes of the Dragon is a great fantasy where Randall Flagg puts in an appearance.
- LOTR, obviously.
- Blackout & All Clear by Connie Willis - I absolutely love these books but it’s a series about grad students, time-travel, WWII, London, and the Blitz, so these might not be for everybody. But gdi I read all her time travel books after this and I desperately wish there was more of this
- The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
- The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Ender’s Game - this is the only book by Orson Scott Card that I’ve ever read, and I’ve heard that OSC is a terrible person, but this book is very good and I had no idea OSC was a terrible person just from reading this book. Ender’s Game is both a Hugo and a Nebula award winner. ok there is only one girl at the military academy, but it’s a great story, and I really think there are strong parallels between Bran Stark and Ender Wiggin.
- The Lies of Locke Lamora - READ THE GENTLEMEN BASTARDS SERIES!!!!!! READ THEM!!!
- His Dark Materials series
- Outlander (I’ve only read the first one, and I wasn’t like ZOMG!!1! over it, but I was entertained)
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
- idk if I would recommend Lovecraft’s stories, but like … Lovecraft is an Experience. You come out the other side like, “What the fuck, H.P., what the fuck.” Because I read Lovecraft’s short stories as a teenager, I understood a lot of GRRM’s Lovecraft references. idk, you might try, At the Mountains of Madness or maybe The Dreams in the Witch House
- (weird piece of ASOIAF fandom trivia: Walter Gilman, the main character from Dreams in the Witch House, is the pen name used by the author of this very popular ASOIAF fanfic, which was written well before TWOIAF was published and GRRM beat us all over the head with his Lovecraft references)
- rn I’m getting into some Lois McMaster Bujold
idk, I’m at a weird place right now where a lot of fantasy I loved as a teenager seems trite and boring to me. It might be I’m just not picking up the right books – I really need to read people like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, they’re on my To Read List – but I usually don’t restrict myself to fantasy when I’m reading. I like horror, I like historical fiction (for example, I picked up The White Queen recently, I might read that next), I like thrillers (I’m thinking about picking up a James Bond book, because I love James Bond and I know he’s horribly misogynistic but I love him), I like anything entertaining. My #books tag is basically a To Read list if you want to browse that.
If anyone would like to reply to this post / reblog with recommendations, you’re more than welcome to suggest things!