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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,681 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Assassin's Fate

J.D.L. Rosell Why did I love this book?

After 16 books in Hobb's world, The Realm of the Elderlings, the triumphant finale of Assassin's Fate hits hard. I've spent 7 years with these characters, growing to love them and their relationships and experiencing their heart-rending journeys alongside them.

The ending is bittersweet, poignant, and everything it needed to be. It and the series have made an indelible impact on me as a person and a writer, and FitzChivalry remains one of my all-time favorite protagonists.

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Assassin's Fate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The much-anticipated final conclusion to the Fitz and The Fool trilogy.

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer's daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.

Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four,…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Will of the Many

J.D.L. Rosell Why did I love this book?

The Will of the Many seizes you by the throat from the start and never lets go. Suspenseful, ruthless, and thrilling in its plot and pace, it's everything I love in a story.

Our protagonist, Vis, is flawed yet likable. Better still, he's smart and dogged, accomplishing the impossible in clever ways, and yet always paying a toll.

The world-building is simply astounding. This is only the beginning, but I think it's a new favorite series of mine in the making.

By James Islington,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Will of the Many as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the elite Catenan Academy, where students are prepared as the future leaders of the Hierarchy empire, the curriculum reveals a layered set of mysteries which turn murderous in this new fantasy by bestselling author of The Licanius Trilogy, James Islington.

Vis, the adopted son of Magnus Quintus Ulcisor, a prominent senator within the Hierarchy, is trained to enter the famed Catenan Academy to help Ulciscor learn what the hidden agenda is of the remote island academy. Secretly, he also wants Vis to discover what happed to his brother who died at the academy. He's sure the current Principalis of…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Pariah

J.D.L. Rosell Why did I love this book?

The Pariah features a protagonist, Alwyn Scribe, with such a distinct voice and motivations you cannot help being captivated by him. Ryan is also incredibly gifted at making the medieval fantasy setting feel grounded and real.

The plot is twisty, taking Alwyn through transformations that are incredible, yet believable every step of the way. And when we are swept into the greater plot and war, its version of the Joan of Arc story continues to captivate and awe.

By Anthony Ryan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Pariah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance' John Gwynne

When the task is a killing, be quick and make sure of it.

Torment is an indulgence.

Save it for only the most deserving.

Born in the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the comradeship of his fellow thieves. Yet an act of betrayal sets him on a new path of blood and vengeance, which leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine…


Plus, check out my book…

The Last Ranger: Ranger of the Titan Wilds

By J.D.L. Rosell,

Book cover of The Last Ranger: Ranger of the Titan Wilds

What is my book about?

Betrayed. Hunted. Left for dead. But not even death itself can keep the last ranger from vengeance.

Leiyn "Firebrand," a brash ranger of the Titan Wilds, takes up her bow to ward against colossal titans. But no amount of skill can guard against treachery.

When tragedy strikes the rangers’ lodge, Leiyn vows to avenge the fallen. But if she is to succeed, she must embrace a power she has long denied. Power to move mountains and rivers. Power over death itself.