The best books which definitely break the fantasy cliché with mythical themes and awesome settings

Who am I?

Ever since I was a child the world has fascinated me. I’ve grown up with a deep love of reading and passion for the natural world, so much so that this often inspires both my writing and my artwork. As an artist and writer I seek to showcase the wonder and magic in the world. I have been able to draw upon ancient legends for inspiration into how people’s minds worked in the deep past and use it to enrich my writing further to cement the stories into our world and become more tangible. As a part-time adventurer, it’s only natural that my novels should be that.


I wrote...

A Retreating Tide (The Mirror of Shadows)

By R.A. Whitworth,

Book cover of A Retreating Tide (The Mirror of Shadows)

What is my book about?

A thrilling adventure into the world beyond the ancient stones. Following Alicia, a woman who has no memory of her past and Nathan who’s desperate to escape the abuse he suffered in his, are thrust into an epic adventure through the wilds of the Eárie. In this world where hill tribes roam the mountains, and sprites live in underground caverns they will need to learn what it takes to survive the wilderness as well as the parasitic threat known as the Shadows. 

The books I picked & why

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The Curse Breakers

By Denise Grover Swank,

Book cover of The Curse Breakers

Why this book?

I’ve picked this book purely because I loved the way it brings in Native American culture into the forefront, and I also loved how it marries the modern world with the supernatural seamlessly as well as its gripping story. Reading it taught me a lot about Algonquian culture and the characters in its mythology, as well as how uncommon sources of inspiration can still provide a gripping storyline.

The Curse Breakers

By Denise Grover Swank,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Curse Breakers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Through the Door

By Jodi McIsaac,

Book cover of Through the Door

Why this book?

I recommend this book not only for its gripping storyline but for its fascinating take on Irish mythology and seamless blend into our world too! I loved the characters, especially Cedar, the main protagonist in the book as she's thrown into the deep end and has to adapt pretty quickly to survive and save her daughter! And if you're like me and like to work out how it ends, there's enough here to keep you guessing. I certainly didn't see that coming!

Through the Door

By Jodi McIsaac,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through the Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Shadowland: A Tale From The Dark Ages

By C.M. Gray,

Book cover of Shadowland: A Tale From The Dark Ages

Why this book?

I loved this book! Telling the story of a storyteller's life before eventually revealing his true identity, this novel is based during the end of Roman occupation in England and tells a new version of how Merlin came to be. Since the dark ages have always been of interest to me, thanks to numerous visits to living museums depicting the era and growing up with the mysteries of the era thanks to so much being lost in record from that era, exploring the what could have or just exploring the era through a book is just fascinating for me.

Shadowland: A Tale From The Dark Ages

By C.M. Gray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadowland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

By Stephen R. Lawhead,

Book cover of Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

Why this book?

Although magic doesn’t feature as strongly in this as the other recommendations and in the subsequent books in the series, I recommend this it cleverly disguises magic within the world, it's not showy but still believable, something which makes you think. It's also a gripping tale that connects Atlantis with the stories around King Arthur.

Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

By Stephen R. Lawhead,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A magnificent tale which begins with the tragedy of Atlantis and the arrival in Britain of King Avallach. In this world, Celtic chieftains struggle for survival in the twilight of Rome's power, and one heroic figure towers over all, the Prince Taliesin, in whom is the sum of human greatness. This is a tale of a love that spawns the miracle of Merlin and Arthur and a destiny that is more than a kingdom.

Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow

By Anthony Ryan,

Book cover of Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow

Why this book?

Grittier than the other recommendations, I’m recommending this novel as well for its new take on the fantasy genre. Following a protagonist whose magical abilities act like a sixth sense, as well as quenching my lust for adventure, this book and its series tell one epic adventure through this world. I love how magic has its firm place in the world without dominating it, and this novel has taught me a lot about how battles are fought and how armies may work.

Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow

By Anthony Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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