The best licensed books from settings that inspired me

Who am I?

All of the books I’ve recommended here involve various game series, or at least subseries in a larger franchise like Star Wars, that has come to influence my own writing, be it with the technology, the setting details, or just various writing quirks I’ve picked up over the years. I’m a long-standing fan of video games and strategy games or RPGs in particular, and I’ve been told in the past that my novels feel very video-game-y, though such was not my original intention. I should hope that the books I recommend here will give you some insight into what sources I draw from as I write my own novels!


I wrote...

Book cover of Daughters of Astrid

What is my book about?

An epic fantasy tale centered around redemption. The Daughters Of Astrid takes the reader on a wild ride of imagination. The sudden appearance of a living, breathing, immortal Goddess on the planet of Terra Ancora sets off events that plunge the world into a holy crusade. Millions are killed. Against the wishes of the benevolent Goddess Astrid Cailmel, her warrior empress Rebecca has committed genocide, killing countless unbelievers. With her memory of her crimes repressed from dissociative amnesia, Rebecca is to stand trial, but the anger against her is so great that traditional justice is impossible. Sensing a true willingness to repent in Rebecca, Lady Astrid sentences her to undertake a journey of atonement in Astrid’s name.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Adventure Quest the Dragon's Secret

Matthew Michaelson Why did I love this book?

Adventure Quest, and Artix Entertainment’s games as a whole, were a formative part of my childhood and play a big role in what I write now. When I found out that a novel was made in that series, I had to check it out. Set in Adventure Quest, this novel follows the tale of a character who loses his home to a dragon attack, and sets out on a quest to find the dragon in question, while learning how to wield the magic that he is capable of using. It puts a fun spin on an old kind of story if you ask me!

By Lyra Trice Solis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Lyra Trice Solis


Book cover of Revelation

Matthew Michaelson Why did I love this book?

Mass Effect was a very big sci-fi series for me growing up, the technology of which continues to influence my novels to this day. This novel serves as a prequel to the first game in the Mass Effect series, covering an event that was only briefly mentioned within the game itself, where Captain David Anderson works alongside the Spectre Saren, a Turian who despises humanity and believes them to be growing too quickly. Saren’s behavior and beliefs lead to him committing atrocities and then blaming Anderson to sabotage the whole reason why they were asked to team up in the first place, setting the stage for the first game.

By Drew Karpyshyn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The thrilling prequel to the award-winning video game from BioWare

Every advanced society in the galaxy relies on the technology of the Protheans, an ancient species that vanished fifty thousand years ago. After discovering a cache of Prothean technology on Mars in 2148, humanity is spreading to the stars; the newest interstellar species, struggling to carve out its place in the greater galactic community.

On the edge of colonized space, ship commander and Alliance war hero David Anderson investigates the remains of a top secret military research station; smoking ruins littered with bodies and unanswered questions. Who attacked this post…


Book cover of Halo: The Fall of Reach

Matthew Michaelson Why did I love this book?

The Halo Universe is a massive, sprawling sci-fi series that many assume to be just a random sci-fi shooter franchise. The Fall of Reach acts as a prequel to the first game and to the Halo series as a whole. Focusing on the initial creation of the Spartan-II Super Soldier program, the growth of Spartan John-117 into a super soldier, and culminating in the defense of the planet he’s grown up on, The Fall of Reach serves to set the stage for the Halo franchise. I recommend picking up the reprints from 2011 or later, as it fixes many continuity errors induced later on in the series.

Book cover of Revan

Matthew Michaelson Why did I love this book?

While Star Wars was never the biggest franchise I was into growing up, the Knights of the Old Republic games served as my first proper foray into RPGs that have come to influence my books as a whole. Revan follows up on the titular character, set after the end of the first two Knights of the Old Republic games. Worries over his lost memories returning, Revan must seek out answers as to what drove him to go down the path of a Sith Lord in the first place, along the way meeting with Meetra Surik, the protagonist of the second game, following up on a rarely touched-upon point in the Star Wars universe of what happens when someone learns how to wield both the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force at the same time.

By Drew Karpyshyn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There’s something out there:
a juggernaut of evil bearing down to crush the Republic—
unless one lone Jedi, shunned and reviled, can stop it.

Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians—and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares—and deep, abiding fear.

What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can’t quite remember, yet can’t entirely forget. Somehow he stumbled across a terrible secret…


Book cover of Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium

Matthew Michaelson Why did I love this book?

I was never the biggest fan of Warhammer 40K growing up, but the series has grown on me quite a bit, particularly the novels that expand on the setting. The Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium omnibus combines the first three books in the novel series with some additional short stories added in. The books follow the tale of the titular character, a Commissar in the Imperium of Mankind who would very much rather not be involved in anything directly dangerous, but inevitably finds himself drawn into bigger conflicts and his reputation growing. It’s a comedic look at the Warhammer 40K universe, with an astonishing number of annotations detailing various details about the series that would otherwise be glossed over in other novels.

By Sandy Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first three action-packed adventures of Commissar Ciaphas Cain, and his malodorous aide Jurgen are collected together into one amazing volume. His brand of sarcasm and self-preservation are a hit with Black Library fans and provide a unique counterpoint to the usual darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.


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The Constant Tower

By Carole McDonnell,

Book cover of The Constant Tower

Carole McDonnell Author Of Wind Follower

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Armchair anthropologist Asian drama addict Christian Perseverer

Carole's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Carole's 10, and 12-year-old's favorite books.

What is my book about?

This is a multicultural epic fantasy with a diverse cast of characters. Sickly fifteen-year-old Prince Psal, the son of warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. But his clan disdains the disabled.

When the mysterious self-moving towers that keep humans safe from the Creator's ancient curse rebel, Psal attempts to find the Constant Tower and break the power of the third moon. Psal must risk losing the little respect his father has for him and face the dangers of the unmaking night to find the Constant Tower and save all of humanity.

The Constant Tower

By Carole McDonnell,

What is this book about?

Sickly fifteen year old Prince Psal, the son of the nature-blessed warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. A priest-physician like his friend Ephan, Psal lacks a warrior's heart, yet he desires to earn Nahas's respect and become a clan chief. If he cannot do this, he must escape his clan altogether. But his love for Cassia, the daughter of his father's enemy, and his own weaknesses work against him. When war comes, Psal defends Ktwala and her daughter Mahari, wronged by Nahas, and speaks out against the atrocities his clan commits, further jeopardizing…


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