George R.R. Martin spent six years crafting The Dance of Dragons, the latest book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. SIX YEARS! That is, unquestionably, a long time. And while the hit TV show based on the books is surprisingly good, for die-hard fans of the written word, it just can't hope to satisfy that inner need for the next book in the series. If the thought of adding a digit to the front of your age before getting your hands on the sixth book gives you night terrors, then this list is for you. These are just a few books in which you can become completely lost in a strange and foreign world, and at this rate, you may need all of these plus some to tide you over before the next Song of Ice and Fire book comes out.
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Graceling is another first book in a series, though it's not quite as straightforward as you'd expect. The follow-up, Fire, is actually billed as a "companion" novel and takes place years before Graceling, while the upcoming third book, Bitterblue, takes place a decade after; needless to say, none of these books have the same main character. But that doesn't take away from the overall awesomeness that make up this series. They're set in a fantasy world, in which certain people are gifted with "Graces" - they have some sort of special power that sets them apart. Katsa, the main character, is a girl who can defeat every opponent her uncle the king throws at her—she's graced in killing. But when he begins to use her to punish her enemies, Katsa takes her butt-kicking powers elsewhere.
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
The first book in The Kingkiller Chronicles (a trilogy) resembles the books from George R.R. Martin's series, in that it's approximately the size of a doorstop. It's actually Rothfuss' first novel, which is surprising, given the amount of acclaim it's received and how amazingly complex it is. In fact, it's actually been recommended by good ol' George himself (apparently he's trying to keep his fans from rioting). The Name of the Wind follows a man named Kvothe, a wizard hiding as an innkeeper. He rescues a bard, and ends up telling this random man his life story, which, to put it mildly is pretty epic. Even better, the second book in the trilogy, The Wise Man's Fear, has already been released, and the third shouldn't be too far behind.
Flesh and Fire - Laura Anne Gilman
Laura Anne Gilman is well known in the fantasy world—she's written countless series, and her Vineart trilogy is one of her best. Centered around the art of making wine, the book's main character is a vineyard slave named Jerzy. But the wine he helps make isn't just for drinking—it's the source of all magic in his world. When the Vineart, or wine spellmaker, that Jerzy works for takes notice of him, it changes his world. But there's darkness coming, the likes of which haven't been seen for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and it's up to Jerzy to understand what's happening and what the consequences could be.
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
The world in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series looks very similar to ours at first glance. But then the strangeness of this world comes out—time travel is a reality, and Britain is a police state. Thursday Next is an operative in the Literary Division of the Special Operations Network, and it's her job to investigate when people begin interfering with classic works of literature. Thursday has more than met her match in Hades, a master thief who kidnapped a character from a work of literature and killed him. Now he wants to go after Jane Eyre, and Thursday must pull out all the stops to catch him. Sound complicated and confusing? It is, but it's also absolutely delightful. Book nerds will revel in every word of Jasper Fforde's series.
What books are you reading to pass the time before the new Ice and Fire?