recommendations

7 Books to Cure Your Game of Thrones Hangover

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Hello lovelies! How are you? Have you watched the last season of Game of Thrones? Did you love it? Hate it? Did it leave you feeling sad and empty? Are you looking for a book to fill that void in your life? Or are you already filling it with videos of Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster Waldau on loop, cause if you’re not you should be. If you answered yes to any of that – I got you, babe! But first, let’s set the tone with a quote from my favorite poet.

“Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t. Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die. Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.”

― Richard Siken

I feel like that captures the essence of the show so well and it also gives you a pretty good idea of what kind of books we’ll be talking about in this post. There will be darker themes, morally gray characters, dangerous worlds and twisty schemes.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

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There’s no dragon’s in The Pillars of the Earth, in fact there’s not magic at all. But over the span of 1000+ pages and many decades we follow a fascinating, flawed cast of characters who’s lives and destinies intertwine in many different ways. There’s love and lust, hate and fear, revenge and betrayal, religion and violence, family and duty. In short – everything you need to make a deeply compelling story.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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If you’re disappointed that your ship didn’t sail, the His Fair Assassin series will give you all the steamy Medieval romance your lil’ heart desires. The first book follows Ismae, a daughter of the god of death and a convent trained assassin, on a dangerous mission to court. The plot’s rich with political intrigue, scheming, battles and a fight for a throne which will keep you guessing.

Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

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If Game of Thrones made you miserable and you’d like to stay that way – The Queens of Innis Lear will not disappoint you. It’s a King Lear retelling, which follows three sisters’ brutal battle for the crown. It’s prose is as descriptive and intricate as Martin’s and it’s characters, even the minor ones, are as complicated and imperfect. Also: all your favorites die. That’s not a spoiler, it’s just Shakespeare. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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I swear I’m not putting this one of the list just because it’s my favorite. This is a fantasy story that’s deeply rooted in the historical time period it’s inspired by, with an unconventional female protagonist and a cast of morally complex characters who are at odds with each other. There’s also a religious conflict, mysterious prophecies, magical creatures, winter winds and dead people walking. (There’s even a winter king, but like a hot one.)

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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If your favorite thing about Game of Thrones is the incredibly richly developed world and lore, His Dark Materials will be right up your street. It’s also another one with a morally complex, intriguing cast of character who get in each other’s way. And if you start reading the series now, you can finish it in time to make it your new tv obsessions as well.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

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I know, this a pretty big genre leap. But listen, you don’t have to read fantasy to have a perfectly miserable time. If what you drew into Game of Thrones were the morally gray characters and the dark, twisted games they play with each other – Peter Swanson’s got all that, with the added bonus of HIS BOOKS NOT BEING A THOUSAND PAGES LONG.

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

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…And you don’t have to have a miserable time to read epic fantasy! If you’re feeling lost, hurt, tired or lonely and just want a hug in book form – you should pick up Kings of the Wyld. It’s the feel good fantasy bromance you didn’t know you needed, but most definitley did. Especially if you enjoyed Arya and the Hounds roadtrip adventures or Thormund just… being Thormund.

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How do you feel about the GOT-finale?

What book would you recommend for GOT fans?

31 thoughts on “7 Books to Cure Your Game of Thrones Hangover

  1. The only one of these I’ve read is The Pillars of the Earth but it’s the PERFECT rec! I also think The Poppy War is a good one – I’m reading the sequel now and it’s definitely got a GOT-ish atmosphere!

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    1. I’m glad you agree! I think it’s one of the few books that have the same complexity of plot and characters. I haven’t read The Poppy War yet, but that one and Priory of the Orange Tree are at the top of my TBR for my next fantasy read – so that’s good to hear 😊

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  2. THIS IS SUCH A GREAT POST. Post-GoT hangover is right! Ever since the show ended I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. I miss the books, but I don’t want to re-read them, and I want something with the same complexity and grey characters! So I’ve just been reading nonfiction lmao. You’ve reminded me that I’ve been wanting to read The Queens of Innis Lear for a long, long time!

    Also, that Siken quote is fire!

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    1. Thank you so much! I’ve been in a reading slump too, I even tried re-reading the books – but it wasn’t the best timing. So now I’m re-reading The Queens of Innis Lear instead, it’s brilliant. I hope you’ll enjoy it! AND YES, Richard Siken is fire!

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  3. I’ve never seen GoT :))) I have never felt so out of touch with the world as I did these past few days. However, I love this post! I’m not talking just about the recomendations – which are awesome- , I am talking about your writing, the phrasing, everything ❤ I know I can always count on you for a well done blog post when I am in need for one!

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  4. Great post Aurora! I was thinking of doing one of these but can’t seem to think of anything! Oddly I would have included Bear and the Nightingale too for those ‘wintery’ feels but also for those wanting an ‘Arya’ feel!

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  5. I never watched GoT (though I do intend on reading the books at some point), but this is a great list! I’ve been meaning to pick The Queens of Innis Lear back up since I put it on pause in December. Maybe I should do that soon.

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  6. I’ve never read Pillars of the Earth but I’ve heard it’s awesome. I think there was even a TV adaptation but I only saw a smidgen of it. Grave Mercy I really liked- I need to get to the rest of that series!

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    1. It’s a wonderful read! I’ll have to look into the adaption, that sounds really interesting! I actually liked the second book even more than Grave Mercy, Sybella’s such an interesting character! I still need to get to the rest too 😊

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  7. Pillars of the Earth sounds amazing! I stopped watching GOT around season 4 but then quickly caught up for the final…which I wish I had taken more time to do now so I would have been warned about the final series! I would recommend Smiler’s Fair by Rebecca Levene, the review “If George R.R. Martin wrote the Night Circus” on amazon is completely accurate!

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    1. I’m glad you think so, it’s an amazing read! Oh, I actually have Smiler’s Fair on my shelf! I keep forgetting about it, since it’s one I don’t hear a lot about and it was mostly a cover buy for me. But that comparison definitely has my attention, so thank you!

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    1. So do I! It’s a really fun way to work through ALL THE FEELINGS. That’s literally what I said when I heard about Grave Mercy and it hasn’t let me down! I’m so excited to read the rest of the series 😊

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  8. These recommendations look great! I’ve been wanting to read The Pillars of the Earth for a while, it does sound intriguing and admittedly somewhat GoT-like. It’s lovely that His Dark Materials made the list! Since it’s been adapted into a TV series that’ll be releasing some time next year (I think), hopefully more people will be drawn into this beautiful rich world!

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    1. Thank you so much! The Pillars of the Earth was the first book I thought of for this post, it’s very similar in terms of the world and the themes, just minus the magic. I hope you enjoy it if you pick it up! And I really hope the show will make even more people pick up His Dark Materials too. I’m so excited to watch it 😊

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  9. As always, you’ve rec’d a ton of books that sound amazing and I’m now adding a bunch to my Goodreads, haha.

    I’m in this weird state post-GOT where I’m in a kind of temporary disinterest, like, I’m just not going to feel anything about it until GRRM gives us the books, and then I’ll make a decision, haha. Because, truthfully, I’m so furious about the last season that I don’t want to think about it.

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    1. I love this mutual TBR expansion thing we have going on!

      Refusing to process the ending until we have the books sounds like a solid plan. I’m sure the books will make a lot more sense. And when I say I’m sure what I mean is that I really, really need them to.

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      1. It’s both fantastic and very bad for my wallet, haha. I’ve just got this long list of books that I want to buy every time I go in a store now, but then end up also finding a bunch of new ones while I’m there.

        SAME!

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  10. Ughhhhhh… this is a GREAT post but I’m still upset by that last season!! Makes no sense to me. I’m pretending that it ended at the 4th episode, after they finished off the NK! I hope the books do come out and it will make so much more sense? They totally butchered the last season and made decisions that needed WAY more explanation. 😬😬

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