Unexpected Pairs of Books

Books can be of completely different genres, tell an incomparable story, feature characters with overall contrasting personalities and still have at least one element in common. The following three pairs of books are unexpected, because at first sight they couldn’t be more dissimilar. However, there’s one characteristic that unites the books in each pair. What can connect three classics or modern classics to three fantasy books? While you are about to discover the correlation between two of the pairs, regarding the other one you will have to read the books!


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin + Os Maias (The Maias) by Eça de Queirós

I cannot directly tell you what the connection between A Game of Thrones, a fantasy novel, and the Portuguese classic Os Maias (The Maias in the English translation) is, because it is a massive spoiler for one of these books. I’ll just give you a brief summary of their premises instead. At the beginning of A Game of Thrones, Robert Baratheon is the king who sits on the Iron Throne. After the death of his Hand, he invites Lord Eddard Stark to assume the role.  However, since the lords of Westeros are playing dangerous power games, families want to keep secrets hidden, the exiled Targaryen’s want to retake their father’s throne and a legendary threat is lurking behind the Wall, peace may be at an end.

The classic by Eça de Queirós, as the title suggests, revolves around the misadventures of the Maia family. After the end in tragedy of the relationship between Pedro da Maia and Maria Monforte, Afonso da Maia becomes responsible for the upbringing of his grandson, Carlos, who later becomes besotted by Maria Eduarda. Besides being a family story, the book also shines a light on the vices of the higher classes and the cultural discussions of the 19th century.


A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan + Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Reading books can have a significant impact on people’s lives. The main characters in these two novels attest to that. In A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, the first book in a series, Lady Trent recalls in the first person the beginning of her journey to become a famous dragon naturalist. Isabella was the only daughter in a set of six children. She developed a fascination with dragons after reading the book ‘A Natural History of Dragons’ by Sir Richard Edgeworth. Her first adventure was still in her homeland, Scirland, when she managed to take part in the hunt for a wolf-drake. As that activity was not deemed appropriate for a lady, she pretended to be a boy.

The heroine of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen doesn’t dream of studying dragons, but she is also a book reader. Catherine Marland has an active imagination, partly thanks to her love for gothic novels. While in Bath, she becomes acquainted with Isabella, Mr Thorpe, Eleanor and Henry Tilney. She is then invited to stay at Northanger Abbey, where she becomes eager to solve possible mysteries.


Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier + Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

The books by Daphne du Maurier and Robin Hobb are very different not only in genre, but also in writing style. But these two novels have one element in common – pirates! In Frenchman’s Creek, the main character, Lady Dona St Columb, decides to move to Navron, her husband’s estate in Cornwall, with their children, because she is tired of the shallow life of the London court. Soon after she arrives there, she falls in love with a French pirate.

The first book in The Liveship Traders Trilogy, Ship of Magic, has also as one of the main characters a pirate – Kennit. He has a very different personality, though. He is the captain of a ship and has large ambitions. Other characters in the novel are the members of the Vestrit family. They own a liveship called Vivacia. After the death of her father, Althea Vestrit is made to give up her place on board.


Have you read or want to read any of these books? Tell me in the comments!


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