Check out more tales of alternate and sometimes magical history, full of power struggles, political intrigue, duty and thwarted love.
Whether epic or short, these books are all the first in a series.
The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
Set in the twelfth-century England (300 years before the War of the Roses on which H.R.R. Martin has very loosely based the Game of Thrones universe), the power struggles here are all too familiar: While the empress Maud and Stephen fight for the crown of England after the death of Henry I, Tom Builder struggles to build a cathedral.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
by Alison Goodman
Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl.
A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula K. Le Guin
A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master Wizard.
by Neal Stephenson
Set in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and follows the exploits of an alchemy-rejecting scientist, a vagabond leader, and a former Turkish harem prisoner intersect in the world of the American colonies, the Tower of London, and the courts of Louis XIV.
His Majesty’s Dragon
by Naomi Novik
At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, British Naval captain Will Laurence unintentionally hatches a captured dragon egg, and finds himself taking up the duty of being the dragon’s captain. Forced to leave his beloved navy, Lawrence enters into the unknown world of Britain’s dragon-riding Aerial Corp, in which role he must match wits with the powerful dragon-borne forces of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Lies of Locke Lamora
by Scott Lynch
In the island city of Camorr, an orphan’s life is harsh – and often short. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery to become a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist, and is soon infamous as the leader of the Gentleman Bastards – until her is faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life. (George R.R. Martin is a big fan.)
Dies the Fire
by S.M. Stirling
An electrical storm over Nantucket causes all electronic devices to cease to function – computers, radio, even firearms – and plunges the world into a darkness humanity is unprepared to face. But as some people band together to help, others are building armies for conquest…
Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Mistborn: the Final Empire
by Brandon Sanderson
In a mist-haunted, ash-ridden world, Kelsier plots against the immortal Lord Ruler and his 1,000-year domination. Through Allomancy acquired in a hellish prison, Kelsier can “burn” 10 metals internally, fueling superhuman powers he uses to assemble rebels in a loose plan to destroy the nobility, the empire and the Lord Ruler himself.
by Sara Douglass
Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king of Crete and Mistress of the Labyrinth, has betrayed her family for the sake of her lover, Theseus. But when Theseus deserts her after she gives birth to a girl, Ariadne curses him, and sets in motion a twisting, turning plot that centers a century later on Troy and the efforts of Brutus to regain his fallen city.