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Ten epic books to get stuck into over the Christmas holiday


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As university terms around the country have drawn to a close, many students may find themselves at a loose end as to what to do with all their newfound free time.

Fear not however, asn here at The National Student, we are here to help you fill those free hours, before the family descend on your homes for Christmas, with a list of more lengthy reads that you may not have had the chance to get to during term time. 

1. Shades of Magic Trilogy, by VE Schwab

Clocking in at a total of over 1500 pages for the trilogy, Christmas is the perfect time to binge VE Schwab's wonderful series about alternate Londons. If you love Harry Potter, you will love Schwab's inventive adult fantasy which has a very Harry Potter-esque vibe to it.

2. Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo

Christmas is the perfect time to curl up with Bardugo's team of criminal misfits as the book's main heist takes place in an Ice Court, what could be a better setting for Winter?

3. Game of Thrones, by GRR Martin

If like me, you simply haven't had the time to read GRR Martin's fantasy epic yet, this Christmas may be the best time to start, after all, when else are you going to have hours of uninterrupted time to red the whopping 848 pages of the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

4. Throne of Glass Series, by Sarah J Maas

Though the first two books are relatively short, each subsequent installment has got longer and longer and they are now beasts of over 600 pages. There are six books currently out in Maas' bestselling series, with the seventh and final book due to come in September of next year, so this Christmas is a great time to sit down and binge your way through the adventures of Maas' leading assassin Celeana Sardothien.

5. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

At over 500 pages, this one might be a tough squeeze during in term time (depending on how fast you read), but would be perfect for the Christmas vacation. Just keep a hanky on side as this WWII story is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful.

6. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

At a whopping 850 pages, there is no way that you could devour Diana Gabaldon's hit novel during the university term, but with the abudance of free time you now find yourself with, the Christmas break would be the perfect time to read Gabaldon's time travelling love story.

7. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle

The complete Sherlock Holmes stories come in at a whopping over 1000 pages, so if you don't read these over a University holiday, then there's no way you will ever read them! My copy is currently languishing in my bedroom at Uni though, maybe the summer will finally be the time for me to tackle Conan Doyle's magnum opus?

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, by Laini Taylor

The first book of this series is quite a modest 420 pages, but the second and third installments weigh in at 517 and 613 pages each, so altogether, this series is quite the time commitment. Taylor's unique take on angel and demon mythology, is perfect for the Christmas holidays as it takes place in beautiful, wintery Prague. 

9. The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon

Clocking in at almost 500 pages, Samantha Shannon's fantasy is not the thickest book on this list, but the world is quite a complex one, meaning this book will take you a little longer to read than you might have during term time. It's definitely worth it though, the clairvoyant system Shannon has come up with is one of the most creative I've ever read.

10. Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys

This one is not a long one, you could manage it during term time as it's only 344 pages, but I feel like it's a great read for the Christmas holidays as the wintery setting definitely fits with the time of year. Ruta Sepetys' historical fiction is amazing because she takes a well known time period like WWII but looks at a lesser known aspect of it (in this case Stalin's deportations in Eastern Europe) and you always come out of them with a deeper understanding of this lesser known part of history, which is awesome. 

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