Tower of the Hand

As Recommended by GRRM

A list of quotable book recommendations from GRRM
Sep 15, 2006, 1:18 PM ET
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Dust jacket quotes can be a powerful advertising tool. Undoubtedly, A Game of Thrones gained many new readers by sporting a choice quote from bestselling author Robert Jordan on its cover. Now it's George R. R. Martin's turn to help establish the career of other fantasists. Below are a couple of books that feature GRRM's seal of approval on their covers. You are encouraged to check them out. After all, if you enjoy GRRM's work, aren't you likely to favor the books he favored?

On Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light (Gollancz, SF Masterworks)1

One of the five best SF novels ever written

On Gene Wolfe's The Book of The New Sun (Gollancz 2000)2

One of the great science fantasy epics of all time

The books are chests full of wonders; full of images like jewels, of words a reader can get drunk on, of people and incidents that will linger long in the memory. For years and years to come, I think, we'll see inferior imitations of Wolfe's masterpiece decked out with the phrase 'In the tradition of Wolfe', for that is the tribute all great originals are inevitably paid.

On Lynn Flewelling's The Bone Doll's Twin (Spectra 2001)3

The Bone Doll's Twin is a thoroughly engrossing new fantasy. It got its hook into me the first page and didn't let loose until the last. I am already looking forward to the next installment.

On Neil Gaiman's American Gods (HarperTorch 2002)4

Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.

On Robin Hobb's Fool's Fate (Voyager 2004)5

Robin Hobb's books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons.

On Lisa Tuttle's The Mysteries (Bantam Books 2005):

Lisa Tuttle never disappoints. The Mysteries is a deft and daring blend of mystery and dark fantasy, about a private eye whose latest case leads him down the meanest street of all...the one to Faerie. Richly imagined and beautifully written, it lingers in the mind long after the last page is turned.

On Daniel Abraham's A Shadow in Summer (Tor 2006):

A Shadow in Summer is a thoroughly engrossing debut novel from a major new fantasist.

On Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora (Bantam Books 2006):

Fresh, original, and engrossing...gorgeously realized.

On Daniel Abraham's An Autumn War (Tor 2008):

Daniel Abraham gets better with every book. A Shadow in Summer was among the strongest first novels of the last decade, and A Betrayal in Winter was a terrific second book, but in An Autumn War, Abraham puts both of them in the shade. This book really blows the top off, taking the world of the andat and the poets in new and unexpected directions. An Autumn War will keep you turning pages and break your heart in the bargain. If there's any justice, this should be a contender for all the major awards.

On Lev Grossman's The Magicians (2009)6

These days any novel about young sorcerers at wizard school inevitably invites comparison to Harry Potter. Lev Grossman meets the challenge head on... and very successfully. The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. Solidly rooted in the traditions of both fantasy and mainstream literary fiction, the novel tips its hat to Oz and Narnia as well to Harry, but don't mistake this for a children's book. Grossman's sensibilities are thoroughly adult, his narrative dark and dangerous and full of twists. Hogwart's was never like this.

We expect this list to grow. If you see another book with a quote from George R. R. Martin, please let us know and we'll add it.

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Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - Submitted June 24, 2008, by dietl
  • 2 - Submitted January 23, 2007, by Nick
  • 3 - Submitted January 23, 2007, by Darkstar
  • 4 - Submitted November 8, 2006, by Ciro Izarra
  • 5 - Submitted October 10, 2006, by Morrigan
  • 6 - Submitted May 11, 2012, by Daniel


Warning: Discussions are not subject to scope. That is, commenters can and often do discuss events from the most recent A Song of Ice and Fire book and/or Game of Thrones episode.

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