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Where are my dragons at?

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Where are my dragons at?If you’re like most people on the planet, you’ve just finished an epic journey to Westeros via HBO’s Game of Thrones TV show. But all good things must come to an end, and no matter what your opinion on the end of that particular series is, you’ve probably identified a dragon-sized hole in your personal entertainment schedule. Fortunately, there’s a world of great fantasy literature out there just waiting for you to discover it. Here are five epic series you’ll want to explore now that you’ve got your Sunday evenings back.

The Blade Itself CoverThe First Law Trilogy
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

If you’re looking for gritty realism set against the background of a world at war, Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy might be just what you’re looking for. Downplaying magic as just another weapon of war, Abercrombie focuses his story on his cast of three-dimensional characters with less than heroic traits. His tales of action, political gamesmanship and backstabbing are often brutal, but they’re always human, and occasionally funny.

Mistborn CoverThe Mistborn Trilogy
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Set in a world where the “Chosen One” failed and Evil prevailed, Mistborn presents a world far removed from the typical realm of Tolkien-esque fantasy. It’s the tale of an enslaved thief who discovers he possesses great magical powers, his escape from prison, and the ultimate heist designed to bring the thousand-year rule of the tyrannical Lord Ruler to an end. Fantasy fans will appreciate the distinctive magic and unique characters, and there’s enough political intrigue to please any Game of Thrones fan.

Name of the Wind CoverThe Kingkiller Chronicle
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Told from the point of view of its flawed protagonist, The Kingkiller Chronicle is largely a coming-of-age story; the true origin of a man whose story has become so legendary no one knows its truth. From his tragic childhood, through his years learning magic at University, and his adventures beyond, our hero navigates through a complex and dangerous world as he seeks to expose his greatest foes. One word of warning, though: the series is not yet complete, and Game of Thrones fans will recognize the amount of time between books as absolutely George R.R. Martin-esque. But, given the quality of the books so far, we can’t help recommending it.

The Dragon's Path CoverThe Dagger and the Coin Series
The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

While “slow burn” wouldn’t be the first descriptor that comes to mind when discussing the turmoil of war, Abraham’s series is as much a character study as an epic fantasy tale. Though political and military struggles feature prominently, he juxtaposes the stories of characters on both sides of the conflict to illustrate real people in a world not at all like our own, innovatively exploring traditional fantasy tropes while spinning his tale of adventure.

The Way of Shadows CoverThe Night Angel Trilogy
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

For those that like their fantasy dark, The Night Angel is exceptionally dark. Following an assassin caught up in the political intrigue and strife following the battle for a throne, its protagonist is despicable yet oddly sympathetic. Its action-packed plot is dark, brutal, and exhilarating. If a dark world full of betrayal and old magic is to your taste, you’ll drink The Night Angel up.

Did we miss any worthy successors to the Iron Throne? Be sure to hit us up over at our Facebook or Twitter accounts and let us know what we’re missing!