Surprised nobody here has mentioned anything by David Eddings yet. The Elenium The Tamuli The Belgariad The Malloreon Are all good reads, trilogies each, but arguably 2 6-book series divided into separate story-lines. Admittedly a little juvenile for an audience used to the depth and characterization from ASOIAF, but still worth reading. Witty, engaging, well built worlds, and decent depth to the characters, with elements of politics, philosophy and religion in all, as well as a smattering of magic. Paul Kearney The Monarchies of God The Macht Trilogy The Sea Beggars Plenty of advice on the Monarchies so far, so I"ll leave my interpretation out. The Macht Trilogy (The Ten Thousand, Corvus, Kings of Morning) are gritty, unique, bloody, and deep. You see in this series another author who isn't afraid to annoy his readers by killing characters to advance his plot, and will consistently break your heart when someone dies, or battle is engaged. The Sea Beggars is an unfinished series with elements of the main character that could be considered akin to an ayra-esque storyline throughout. The Mark of Ran, book 1, describes a youths efforts to find himself in a world he has been thrust into after living a sheltered life as a fisherman. Magic is not uncommon, reveals are shocking, and characters are multi-dimensional. This Forsaken Earth, book 2, relishes in blood and gore, puts you on the front lines and in the command tent describing battles in detail I've only seen reading Kearney. Storm of the Dead, book 3, (upcoming late 2012) promises to be an exhilerating read that will bring together and account for characters that I've been reading about since the release of book 2 in 2006.