Lev Grossman’s 10 Must-Read Fantasy Novels

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Ever since the HBO show got on the air, it seems like we hear nothing but praise for Martin. I think he’s still underrated. I don’t think we’ve fully taken in the radicalism of his take on epic fantasy: the way he fractured Tolkien’s Manichean world of black and white into seven kingdoms and innumerable shades of grey. There’s nothing like his dense carpet of plotting anywhere else in the fantasy canon. Martin’s is a raw, gritty, physical world, where the only joys are fighting and drinking and fucking, and the wicked and capricious gods are no better than the men and women they watch over.