I obtained the recently released 5th book in the Song of Fire of Ice series (aka Game of Thrones series) by George R. R. Martin this past summer and quickly dived into the large novel. However, it had been a few years (and pregnancies) since I had read the previous four and my memory of some of the finer nuances of the very complex plot were a bit fuzzy.
So I promptly set about rereading the whole massive series from the beginning.
A friend of mine from college posted on facebook that she had just completed the second book in that very same Game of Thrones series, and needed a break from the rape and gore and asked for reading recommendations.
I fully understand the sentiment she expressed, as I have been alternating Game of Throne novels with other ones like The Help and the Wicked series specifically to avoid that very burn out from trying to read all of them right at once.
The novels are good, but they are DEEP and complex and do have large of amounts of very detailed and bloody battle in places. I wanted to tell her that the second one was particularly bad on the rape-and-gore scale and the following ones were a little less dark, from what I vaguely remember of how they broke up individually, but as I'm only in the middle of rereading the second myself I wasn't positive about this and refrained from saying such.
However, I found one of the recommendations of someone else on that thread VERY interesting.
Someone else recommended the Tortal books by Tamera Pierce, with the full disclosure of them being young adult and also including some slight gore.
First off, yes they may be categorized as "young adult" in the book store, but I read the first set (The Song of the Lioness is it's technical name, although it's often called The Lioness Quartet, and each of the subsequent series set in the same Tortal fantasy land has it's own name as well) when I was 10 (which is also the recommended age) and although I fully agree that they are good, they are most definitely juvenile literature.
However, I will say that a few of the more newly released novels are at a higher level of writing (and the author even mentions this specifically and references the popularity of Harry Potter showing her that kids will read big hard books directly influenced it), and that there just might be one I haven't read yet called Mastiff should anyone feel like spoiling me a little....
Second, they were VERY age appropriate for me to read when I was 10. The "gore" in them is comically G rated and sex is at most subtly alluded to, even in the more recent ones. They are not gory books. They are sweet happy easy reads, especially when compared to George Martin's epic world.
Obviously, the person recommending it had never SEEN a book from the Game of Thrones series, much less read any of it, and just so had the poor fortune to recommend an author and series I'm equally familiar with and fond of.
And you poor readers have the even greater misfortune of getting to suffer through every random pet peevy rant I happen to have within a short distance of a computer. Sorry about that.