The Black Magician Trilogy

Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy is my current cure for A Song of Ice and Fire withdrawal.

If Game of Thrones and Harry Potter had a little book baby, it would grow up to be this series. War, wizard school, a fierce female protagonist, ever-shifting morality... The Black Magician Trilogy isn't as good as either of its parent series, but it's highly enjoyable and absorbing for fans of either.

Here's the official summary:

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders . . . and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

What the Magicians' Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

The series has a great group of perspective characters (although only one of them is female), including slum-dweller, new magician and overall protagonist Sonea, kindly mentor Rothen, and the fun and intriguing Dannyl. The books explore all kinds of discrimination -- particularly class and sexuality -- and is wrapped up in the grey areas of morality, all while providing adventure, romance, magic-school hi-jinx, and a world that is never quite what it seems. The series is full of twists and turns, exciting action pieces and characters you grow to love and loathe. It's fun, and unpredictable, and if you're craving some feminist-friendly fantasy, it's definitely worth checking out.