The Jakarta Post
Latest English fantasy novels, Lord of the Rings, for sale in Library book store. (Shutterstock/Radu Bercan)
The end of the Game of Thrones television series marks the end of an era. Despite that the book series on which the TV adaptation is based, A Song of Ice of Fire, has still not ended, any fan would be on the lookout for something new while awaiting author George RR Martin to finally finish The Winds of Winter.
Here are some fantasy series to read if you miss Game of Thrones:
1. The Earthsea series
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Focusing on the life of young Ged, the series is a classic coming-of-age story flooded with magic. However, it makes a satisfying read for adults as well.
Published in 1968, the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, was highly influential in the fantasy genre. Set on an archipelagic planet called Earthsea, the series explores how the balance or the order of the world is kept and disrupted by magicians.
Studio Ghibli's movie Tales of the Earthsea was loosely adapted from the series, although Le Guin has stated that the series and the movie relate different stories.
2. The Temeraire series
Author: Naomi Novik
The most awesome part of Game of Thrones, beside the political intrigue and scheming, is obviously the dragons. The Temeraire series occurs in an alternate universe, in which dragons play significant roles in shaping history – particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. A member of Britain’s Royal Navy, Captain William Laurence, hatches an unusual dragon egg, Temeraire, with whom he begins to have an intimate bond, forcing the captain to move to the infamous Aerial Corps instead.
If you don't feel like committing to a nine-book series, try the standalone Uprooted instead to have a taste of Naomi Novik. The book also has a dragon and won the prestigious 2016 Nebula award for best novel.
3. Lord of the Rings
Author: JRR Tolkien
Making a list of fantasy series without including the Lord of The Rings (LoTR) is almost a blasphemy. Before “Dracarys” became the catchphrase of the day, fantasy lovers knew at least one Elvish word, which is the answer to the famous riddle: "Speak friend and enter".
Set in Middle Earth, the epic trilogy follows the journey of a hobbit, Frodo Baggins, on a quest to destroy the Ring of Power and Dark Lord Sauron. Frodo is accompanied by fellow hobbits as well as human men Aragorn and Boromir (played by none other than Sean Bean), dwarf Gimli, elven prince Legolas and Gandalf the wizard.
LoTR heavily influences pop culture and the genre of fantasy itself. So if you have not read the series, now is probably the right time.
4. The Discworld series
Author: Terry Pratchett
One of Thrones' strengths lies in its characters, each of whom have their own motivation and moral code – however despicable they might be. In the Discworld universe, consisting of 41 books, you will not run out of whimsical yet richly developed characters, which feel human despite their actual race.
The Discworld series is not a traditional series in which books have to be read in order, but rather a collection of stories that just happen to occur in the same universe. Prepare to be tired of laughing because Terry Pratchett's sense of humor is marvelous.
Also present in the stories: magic, dragon and fictitious religions and gods. In an adaptation of Going Postal, one book in the series, Charles Dance (who played Tywin Lannister) makes an appearance as benevolent tyrant named Lord Vetinari.
5. The Wheel of Time
Author: Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
The series is set in an unnamed, alternate Earth with a cyclical nature of time – hence the title. The stories mainly take place in the Westlands and Aiel Waste. If the two places remind you of Westeros and Essos, wait until you hear of the Great Blight, which is located in the north, a wilderness populated by evil beings.
There are many kingdoms and city-states, each with their own interests, which sometimes presents an obstacle for the main characters to unite the land against the Dark One's forces. There is also a prophecy of the “Dragon Reborn”, similar to Azor Azhai (The Prince That Was Promised) in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
A TV series co-produced by Amazon and Sony is in the works.