Ok, I’m so excited! Today I’m bringing you my TBR for the #IronTomeAThon, created by the lovely Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. Everyone please go check out her blog and this awesome readathon, it’s so creative and based on my favourite adult fantasy series ever — A Song of Ice and Fire!
So for this readathon, you are only allowed to read adult fantasy novels. Which, thank you. I have so many adult fantasy books that I’ve been ignoring for a while, because sometimes they take up a lot of time. But that TBR has just gotten bigger and bigger and I really need to get off my ass and read them!
You also have to join a House and all the pages of the books you read become points for your House! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, I’m sure you can guess what House I’m joining.
You all know that Daenerys Targaryen is one of my favourite character in A Song of Ice and Fire because she’s such a morally-grey character. The show doesn’t really show this side of her that much — until the final season — but the books definitely do. But did you know who my absolute favourite character is? She’s someone the show never mentions and who we’ve never met in the books because she’s long gone: Rhaenys Targaryen, one of Aegon’s sister-wives. She rode the dragon Meraxes, and almost all of the Targaryen kings and queens came from Rhaenys and Aegon’s line. So I definitely had to join House Targaryen for her.
Plus, I just love the history behind House Targaryen — where they come from, Valyria, the fact that they can control dragons, how they conquered Westeros. They’re just so fascinating to me.
I’m going to be following along with the prompts that Aimal has created, which are all based on famous places in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Castle Black: read the group book
Castle Black is the main stronghold of the Night’s Watch, seat to their Lord Commander, and sits at the center of the Wall. The Night’s Watch is a military order tasked with protecting the Seven Realms from what lies beyond the Wall: old, evil supernatural forces and invading armies. The Night’s Watch’s men give up all titles, lands, honors and previous families when they join the order; their only brothers are each other, and they must rely on their own order to protect the realms of men.
This is the first prompt, and the group book is The Poppy War, which I have already read so I’ll be skipping this prompt. I could reread this book, but I read it very recently so its still fresh in my mind for when the next book in the series comes out.
Winterfell: read a book set (partially or fully) in a cold environment
Winterfell is the ancestral castle and home to one of the Great Houses of Westeros: House Stark. Built by Brandon the Builder with the help of giants after the Long Night, Winterfell is considered the capitol of the North and sits atop hot springs to keep it warm from the oft-brutal winters.
For this prompt, I’ll be reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I’ve seen so many of my friends read and adore this book and series, and so I finally want to know what all the fuss is about! Ignore the cover, this book is inspired by Russian folklore, so it’s definitely set in a cold environment. I’m not 100% sure what this book is about, but I’ve heard really good things about it.
Kings Landing: read a book about or involving royalty, politics or government
King’s Landing is the capitol of Westeros, located on its east coast. Built by Aegon the Conqueror 300 years prior to the events of A Song of Ice & Fire, King’s Landing is the home of the Iron Throne and the Red Keep. It is a study of contrasts: where kings and queens leisure in the castle walls, the city’s poor starve and die in the streets below. Home to the High Septon and the dragon pit, King’s Landing is wondrous and terrible at the same time.
For this prompt, I’ll be reading The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons. I wasn’t originally planning on reading this book, but so many of my close friends have loved this book — especially because the main character seems to be bisexual. Also this book is about a young man who finds out he’s the bastard son of a prince — I think — and he has to deal with his new family. So definitely about royals and politics and government!
Sunspear: read a fantasy book inspired by a non-Western setting or read a book by an author of color or an indigenous author
Sunspear is the capitol of the South, and is the seat of another of the Great Houses of Westeros: House Martell. During Aegon’s conquest, Princess Meria Martell defied the Targeryan invasion and House Martell became the only House to resist Targeryan conquest. Due to immigration from the Rhoynar, the Dornish peoples differ culturally and ethnically from the rest of Westeros.
For this prompt, I’ll be reading The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. This is the third and final book in The Broken Earth series. I’ve read and loved the first two books and I’m terrified about this last book. I know it’s going to kill me and I absolutely adore the characters and this fascinating world.
Oldtown: read a book about or involving an institution of knowledge or training
Oldtown is one of the oldest cities in Westeros, said to be constructed by the First Men. It is home to the Citadel – a place where people all over the world come to train to be maesters: an order of healers, scholars, scientists and messengers. Oldtown is also home to the Starry Sept, which is historically the seat of the High Septon.
For this prompt, I’ll be reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. This book is like one of the most popular adult fantasy series ever and everyone who reads it, loves it. So I need to read this book too and see if I love it as much as everyone else.
Valyria: read a book about or involving dragons
Valyria, also called Old Valyria, is a ruined city in Essos. Once home to the dragonlords, Valyria is a long-dead city that was the capital of the Valyrian Freehold. Valyria was the center to much innovation, both good and evil – the dragonlords practiced magic that led to the development of wonders such as dragonglass and Valyrian steel, but also to abominations such as half-beast, half-human chimera borne of blood magic. It is the ancestral home of House Targaryan.
For this prompt, I’ll be reading The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons again. I was going to pick a different book for this prompt, but this novel is already 700+ pages long, and a lot of the other books are very long too, so I’ll have to double up.
Asshai: read a dark/grimdark fantasy or read an urban fantasy
Asshai is a mysterious port city located at the southernmost edge of the Shadow Lands. The buildings and streets are constructed of black, oily stone that absorb all light and make the city look dark and dreary. Despite its appearance, Asshai is a popular destination for trading ships, trading in goods such as dragonglass, gemstones, gold and amber. There are no children in Asshai and the people wear veils and masks. Bloodmagic, necromancy and all such depravities are practiced openly in Asshai – no practice is forbidden.
For this prompt, I’ll be reading Captive by Jex Lane. This is a grimdark fantasy novel about vampires, but also involves some really horrible characters and torture so … definitely grimdark. This is also a romance and its one that people either love or hate, so I’m keen to see where I think!
Other fantasy books I hope to read:
I’m so excited for this readathon — will you be joining?
Obviously, this is a VERY ambitious TBR because so many of the books are over 500 pages. If I manage to read all the books with prompts, I’ll have read 2,447 pages! And if I add those four extra books, then its 3,937 pages 😅 So … yeah. I highly doubt I’ll read all of these books, but I’m going to try!
If you’re joining, what books are on your TBR? Let me know!