By Megan McCluskey
July 20, 2018

In the midst of the long winter known as the wait for the final season of Game of Thrones, it’s important to find ways to stay entertained. And while George R.R. Martin may not be putting out The Winds of Winter, the next installment in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, anytime soon, there are more than enough books that incorporate elements of his writing—medieval lands, complex heroines and political scheming—to keep your mind off of the Iron Throne.

In honor of Thrones‘ most sacred number, here are seven books to read while you wait to return to Westeros.

The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss’s ongoing Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy is currently being adapted for the screen by none other than Hamilton genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, so there’s no better time to hop on this particular fantasy bandwagon. Each of the first two books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, takes place over the course of one day as the traveling musician-turned-wizard-turned-barkeep Kvothe recounts his quest to track down the mysterious evil beings responsible for his parents’ murder. Unfortunately, Rothfuss has yet to announce a release date for the third and final book—supposedly called The Doors of Stonewhich means you may be in for a bit of a Thrones-esque wait for the series’ conclusion. But there’s plenty of adventure to keep you occupied in the meantime.

The White Queen

Considering Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series was loosely inspired by real events that took place during the Wars of the Roses, there’s no better way to get your fix of King’s Landing political intrigue than by immersing yourself in Philippa Gregory’s retelling of the ruthless 15th-century battle for the throne of England.

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass begins with renowned assassin Celaena Sardothien being freed from a life sentence of slavery on the condition that she fight as Prince Dorian Havilliard’s competitor in his father’s tournament to determine a new King’s Champion. From there, internationally popular YA author Sarah J. Maas weaves a story of magic, murder and mystery that is nearly impossible to put down. Not to mention that Hulu is turning the series—the eighth and final book of which is set to be released this fall—into a TV show.

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

The Dark Tower series may not have the medieval setting of Thrones, but Stephen King’s self-proclaimed “magnum opus” is the perfect choice for all fans who have made the HBO Sunday night jump to Westworld in its absence. Beginning with The Gunslinger, the eight-volume fantasy-western saga follows Roland Deschain—the last surviving member of an order of gun-wielding knights—on his quest to find the Dark Tower, an edifice that stands at the nexus of all time and space. Along the way, Roland battles a slew of monsters and demons that only the master of horror himself could dream up, making for a truly wild ride.

An Ember in the Ashes

Under the tyrannical rule of the ancient Rome-inspired Martial Empire, Laia and her family do everything they can to fly under the radar. But when her brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to become a rebel spy at the elite military academy in exchange for his rescue. It’s there that she meets Elias, the Empire’s most promising soldier, and Sabaa Tahir’s heart-pounding debut novel—the first in a four-book series—becomes truly mesmerizing.

Alanna: The First Adventure

Arya Stark fans will quickly find themselves getting attached to Alanna of Trebond—a girl of noble birth who disguises herself as a boy in order to become a knight—when they dive into this first installment in The Song of the Lioness Quartet. In fact, Tamora Pierce’s fierce young heroine may be one of the few who could give the younger Stark sister a run for her money.

Assassin’s Apprentice

Described by Martin himself as “fantasy as it ought to be written,” Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy features a protagonist with some striking similarities to the Stark children. As the “bastard” son of the noble Prince Chivalry, Fitz is rejected by not only his family, but the entire royal court. His only comfort growing up is his telepathic bond with animals, an old magic known as “The Wit.” But all that changes when Fitz enters into the king’s service and begins training in the ways of an assassin.

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