Hungry for more Game Of Thrones? Try The Book Of The New Sun

by Randy Murray on July 12, 2012

The HBO series “Game of Thrones” has been collecting a large and enthusiastic audience and has been increasing the already significant audience for George R.R. Martin’s engaging A Song of Ice and Fire saga (five books so far and two more promised, but new books in the series don’t appear quickly, don’t hold your breath waiting for the next one).

If you have enjoyed the TV series or the books and are hungry for more I suggest that you pick up Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer. It’s the first book of a very long series, three connected series, actually, and a total work that I rate as some of the best imaginative fiction, of storytelling, in American writing. It is deep, complex, and fantastic beyond telling.

I will warn you, however, that Mr. Wolfe is not for everyone. His books are dense and not at all easy or light reading. He demands that the reader let him tell the story. If you bring expectations of fantasy fiction and try to imagine his world for him, you will fail and abandon the books. But if you let him tell you his story, you’ll be rewarded with a story so weird, so real, and so surprising.

Martin may never finish A Song of Ice and Fire (I hope that he does!). But Wolfe’s work is complete. Twelve astonishing books. If it captures your imagination you’ll have months or even years of enjoyment to come.

Special note: Wolfe uses many strange words and terms, but he does not make them up. Accept them for now. Look them up later.

George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice Saga (Game of Thrones):

A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

 TV Series

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season

Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season (not yet available for purchase, but if you have HBO you can watch it through HBO Go).


Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun

Shadow & Claw: The First Half of ‘The Book of the New Sun’ Includes Shadow of the Torturer and Claw of the Conciliator

Sword & Citadel: The Second Half of ‘The Book of the New Sun’ Includes Sword of the Lictor and Citadel of the Autarch

The Urth of the New Sun: The sequel to ‘The Book of the New Sun’

Book of the Long Sun

Litany of the Long Sun: Nightside the Long Sun and Lake of the Long Sun (Book of the Long Sun, Books 1 and 2)

Epiphany of the Long Sun: Calde of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long Sun (Book of the Long Sun, Books 3 and 4)

Book of the Short Sun

On Blue’s Waters: Volume One of ‘The Book of the Short Sun’

In Green’s Jungles (Book of the Short Sun, Book 2)

Return to the Whorl: The Final Volume of ‘The Book of the Short Sun’

The Hungry for more Game Of Thrones? Try The Book Of The New Sun by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Wilkinson July 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

Whilst I would most definitely recommend the Gene Wolfe works, I might not treat them as a particularly suitable recommendation for someone who has run out of GRRM books. There’s a tenuous fantasy link, but it’s not strong enough to make the leap from one to another.

If you are looking for more stuff in a similar vein, I would actually recommend staying clear of some of the bigger names in the field of “epic” (for want of a better word) fantasy, especially if (as you say) you like to see the work actually finished one day!

So, for relatively gritty fantasy that’s a little off the beaten track where you will spend more time reading about the less urbane parts of battle and warfare, like digging the latrine trench instead of admiring the talking dragons diamond teeth etc (yawn), I would recommend reading up on some K J Parker ( Especially if you like your “didn’t see *that* coming!” moments.

Of course, there is the occasional piece of genuinely well written talking dragon nonsense, so if you are not familiar with Robin Hobb, her initial Assassins Apprentice trilogy is hard to beat…


Joe July 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

I wholeheartedly agree: _The Book of the New Sun_ and follow-on books have been my favorites since discovering _The Shadow of the Torturer_ in the library as a teen. The dense, complex writing challenged me and made me think about the story, rather than just being entertained.

I’ve tried to read_A Game of Thrones_. Midway through the third book I wanted to send an editor to Mr. Martin.


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