- John Gaines
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A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin:"A tale of court intrigues in the land of Seven Kingdoms, a country 'blessed by golden summers that go on for years, and cursed by cruel winters that can last a generation.' Treachery [and] murder...." (Book summary)
If you enjoyed the violent world and vivid atmosphere of Martin's work, here are some other titles you may enjoy:
Acacia: the War with the Mein by David Anthony Dunham
Leondan Arkan, the powerful ruler of an idyllic empire, hides the dark realities of their prosperity from his four children, until an assassin from the Mein, a race exiled to an ice-locked stronghold in the north, strikes him down and frees his children. (worldcat.org)
Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey
If all that is good thinks you evil... are you? Once upon a time, the Seven Shapers dwelled in accord and Shaped the world to their will. But Satoris, the youngest among them, was deemed too generous in his gifts to the race of Men, and so began the Shapers' War, which Sundered the world. Now six of the Shapers lay to one end of a vast ocean, and Satoris to the other, reviled by even the race of Men.Satoris sits in his Darkhaven, surrounded by his allies. Chief among them is Tanaros Blacksword, immortal Commander General of his army. Once a mortal man who was betrayed by King and Wife, Tanaros fled to Darkhaven a thousand years ago, and in Satoris's service has redeemed his honor-but left his humanity behind.Now there is a new prophecy that tells of Satoris's destruction and the redemption of the world.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies. Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules. Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box.
Childe Morgan by Katherine Kurtz
Alaric Morgan has been pledged to the king's service, for his Dernyi blood makes him ideal to safeguard the Haldane kings and ensure that Prince Brion shall have protection of his hereditary magic. But the Deryni are feared by the populace of Gwynedd and are viewed with deep suspicion by the Church. And the Camberian Council, which secretly oversees the activities of Deryni, scorns Alaric for his half-breed ancestry. Alaric has the king's protection, and a future mapped out for him that in time should ensure his survival as well as that of the king's heir. But Alaric is only four years old-and first he must survive to reach manhood.
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard
Includes thirteen stories in the order that they were originally written. Conan the pirate, the swordsman, the army commander, and the thief are all here along with a map of the Hyborian World, drawn by Howard himself. Also included are other synopsis and story fragments (many that were completed by others), a poem, and notes on the original texts. (worldcat.org)
The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
It's a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, evoking a time both two thousand years past and two thousand years into the future, as untold thousands gather for a crusade. Traveling among them, two men and two women are ensnared by a mysterious traveler, Anasurimbor Kellhus-part warrior, part philosopher, part sorcerous, charismatic presence-from lands long thought dead.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
In the Third Age, an age of prophecy when the world and time themselves hang in the balance, the Dark One, imprisoned by the Creator, is stirring in Shayol Ghul. (catalog description)
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Garion the farm boy did not believe in magic dooms, but then he did not know that soon he would be on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger when the dread evil God Torak was reawakened.
Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
The maze-like castle of Southmarch stands sentry along the border between the human kingdoms and the land of the immortal Qua. Now, the darkness from beyond that border has begun to enfold Southmarch - or Shadowmarch - the Qua's ancient home. To stop the darkness falling, the Southmarch royal family must face their human enemies, supposed friends and the family curse. Twins Barrick and Briony shoulder impossible burdens as their father is imprisoned and their brother murdered. Briony flees towards her father and the slave armies of the Autarch, while her brother Barrick crosses the Shadowline gripped by madness.
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city's most accomplished artist. For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint. But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
A new epic series by the best-selling writer of Robert Jordan's final Wheel of Time novels introduces the world of Roshar through the experiences of a war-weary royal compelled by visions, a highborn youth condemned to military slavery and a woman who would save her impoverished house. (catalog description)
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
The hero is Richard-the-Seeker, a woodsman with a magic sword. One day in his forest he rescues a woman pursued by assassins. She turns out to be Kahlan Amnell from the neighboring kingdom of Midlands who is seeking a wizard named Zedd to help her destroy the tyrant ruling her kingdom. Richard takes her to him and the novel is the story of their joint adventure.