The best fantasy and fantasy sci fi books with mind powers

Who am I?

This set of books helped to form my character and my sense of possibility. I think the same passion for these stories and ideas has led me to study the unconscious and dreams. I also am passionate about the earth and caring for nature; the Elven magic deepened my sense of its sacredness while stretching my mind into the fun of creating magical realms. I think it’s a moral code but also a playful way of thinking and being. Other ways I’ve continued from these works, coupled with my love of language, is an extensive study of the Ancient Futhark, the runes, which have magical power in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. 


I wrote...

Braided Dimensions

By Marie Judson,

Book cover of Braided Dimensions

What is my book about?

In an epic tale of multi-dimensional mystery, fantasy, and love, Kay Halefin begins as a professor of ancient languages whose research was too controversial for her to remain at the university. One Halloween night, she encounters a bard of Medieval times who steps from an old oak tree and invites her into the past. Little does she know she entering a vast web of intrigue woven by both powerful healers and malevolent mages. Kay is hopelessly fascinated with the discovery that mind-powers, stitchery, and runes held wyld magicks in medieval times. She’d better learn to harness the powers for herself if she wants to survive and protect her grown son and daughter from the tightening web that’s subsuming her life.

The books I picked & why

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Diadem from the Stars

By Jo Clayton,

Book cover of Diadem from the Stars

Why this book?

This book, the start of a series of seven books, I think, made a difference in my life starting in my 20s. The main character, with her sentience and mind-powers that made her long red hair writhe when the power was rising, gave me a new sense of myself as a woman. She held 9 others’ souls within her, carried by the diadem that was sealed to her head. This gave me a new sense of how full spirits might be carried in others, expanding my perception of existence. I loved the dynamic quality of the story, the worlds she built, and the Thief who was her friend and sometimes lover. Through it all, the planet of her people and origin is missing, adding a compelling mystery. 

Diadem from the Stars

By Jo Clayton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abandoned on an alien planet, a young woman gains remarkable powers from a mysterious artifact, in the first installment of a sprawling, unforgettable science fiction saga.
 
A magnificent combination of space opera and epic fantasy quest in the beloved science fantasy tradition of Andre Norton and C. J. Cherryh, author Jo Clayton’s masterful Diadem Saga begins with an unforgettable tale of destiny, self-discovery, survival, and an extraordinary young woman’s coming of age in a world that is not her own.
 
Raised, but never loved, by the barbarian valley people of Jaydugar, a planet of two suns, young Aleytys has always…


Darkover: First Contact

By Marion Zimmer Bradley,

Book cover of Darkover: First Contact

Why this book?

This book carried a concept of shared thought that enchanted me. Colonists find themselves marooned on a planet of simple technologies. At a certain season, a flower sends pollen through the air that causes special connective telepathy and healing powers. They form a society based on royal families but there’s a group that melds minds which is beautifully depicted. This series raised in me a fascination with the idea of closeness of mind and connection. Amid the challenges of a primitive society blended with increasing amounts of outer, technologically advanced influence as their planet is eventually discovered, the mind is shown to still be the most powerful. 

Darkover: First Contact

By Marion Zimmer Bradley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This omnibus features two classic, long-unavailable Darkover novels-Darkover Landfall and Two to Conquer-in one volume for the first time.


Dragonflight

By Anne McCaffrey,

Book cover of Dragonflight

Why this book?

Dragonflight, of the Dragonriders of Pern series, is considered YA, yet these books are a very satisfying read for adults who may take different things from them. The two aspects of the books I found most powerful were, first, the craft guilds, both the valuing of craft itself--making things by hand--and the magic involved in the creation of cloth and music. Second is the sentience of the dragons; a rider is “impressed” by a single dragon, which lasts for life. These are both ideas admirably developed by McCaffrey that have stayed with me. 

Dragonflight

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Dragonflight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Volume I of The Dragonriders of Pern®, the groundbreaking series by master storyteller Anne McCaffrey

On a beautiful world called Pern, an ancient way of life is about to come under attack from a myth that is all too real. Lessa is an outcast survivor—her parents murdered, her birthright stolen—a strong young woman who has never stopped dreaming of revenge. But when an ancient threat to Pern reemerges, Lessa will rise—upon the back of a great dragon with whom she shares a telepathic bond more intimate than any human connection. Together, dragon and rider will fly . . . and…


Dragon's Reach

By J.A. Andrews,

Book cover of Dragon's Reach

Why this book?

This is one of the first indie fantasy books I read. I’m excited to see new authors who are bringing mind powers to the page with skill and creativity. These novels follow the life of a fascinating main character who saw her parents killed when she was young, the oldest of three sisters. She lives as a pickpocket, dominated by a sort of Fagen who owns her. She makes many sacrifices to keep her younger sisters safe. Since she has the ability to tell if someone is speaking truth, she gets drawn into some very gnarly power entanglements. There’s a compelling love story, an overarching conflict over the land, and maybe most valuable to me, Elves who have nature powers and a passion for the land. 

Dragon's Reach

By J.A. Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The truth is neither plain, nor simple.

Sable, a reluctant thief from the slums, can feel truth when people speak. For years she’s been using that skill to try to break free from the vicious gang boss she's indebted to.

Escape comes in the form of an odd set of companions:

-a dwarf running from the past,

-an actor with a magical, glowing tree

-a too-helpful kobold,

-a playwright with a knack for getting stories out of people, and

-a man and woman with suspicious, magical powers.

But Sable’s freedom is short lived.

On the edges of civilization, they discover…


The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Why this book?

I’d be lying to say Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series hasn’t been one of the most important elements of my development as a person. Since early adolescence, I have carried ideas first encountered in these books. First and foremost, Elves are hugely influential to me, their sacred treatment of plant life and their unerring ethics. They have no interest in a capitalist value system. They can heal and create wondrous things with their minds. They are a thing of beauty to me. I think they are well set off by the wicked Soron and the hominess of the Hobbits and Hobbiton. Aragorn towers over other figures. He is of the Tuatha de Danaan, the Brights ones, early folk of the British Isles. He is much more than the films convey. 

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

47 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in telepathy, good and evil, and dragons?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about telepathy, good and evil, and dragons.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Winter King, Norse Mythology, and The Viking Way if you like this list.