At Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident experts. Need a gift idea for a fan of vampire novels? Looking for a guide that will best demonstrate how to knit argyle socks? Need a book for a vegetarian who loves Radiohead and Flight of the Conchords? Email your question to [email protected]. We'll be posting personalized recommendations regularly.
Q: I've devoured every volume of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Now what? –Brie
A: In case you've somehow managed to miss George R. R. Martin's Tales of Dunk and Egg (The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, The Mystery Knight), these delightful novellas are set in Westeros 90 years before the time of Song of Ice and Fire. Three are available right now; more are promised. The first two are also available as graphic novels. Dunk is Ser Duncan, legendary member of the Kingsguard, and Egg is Aegon V Targaryen, who later becomes king.
If you haven't read the Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch, you are in for a bawdy adventure full of wit, swordplay, and some of the finest dialogue ever written. There are three books in the series — The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves — and more to come. Lynch continues to hone his considerable skill. Locke is a thief and a con artist whose wits may be sharper than his sword.
Unfamiliar with the Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear)? Sprint to your nearest bookstore and start reading them immediately. Patrick Rothfuss spins a story full of humor, pathos, and characters you won't soon forget.
Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship Traders, and Tawny Man series (nine books total), set roughly in the same world, are magnificent and heartbreaking. The Farseer series is a good place to begin with the tale of Fitz, the bastard son of a prince who is trained as an assassin. Hobb creates wonderfully rich characters and makes them suffer in numerous ways.
If you like your fantasy novels dark and gritty, fast-paced, and full of irony, you will happily feast on Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings), along with Best Served Cold, The Heroes, and Red Country (all set in that world). The author's experience as a film editor serves him well here; he really understands how to tell a compelling story. –Mary Jo