The best books that rip people from this world and into another

Why am I passionate about this?

Every new book I picked up in my teens was about going from this world to another. I didn’t seek them out, they found me. And then I began exploring the possibility of portals in the real world, studying the history and mythology of such things. As I grew, so did the science of quantum physics, which added to my interest on top of the mystery of magic doorways. This has been a passion of mine since I was a child, and I love reading about it and writing about it.


I wrote...

Beliefs & Black Magics

By Travis I. Sivart,

Book cover of Beliefs & Black Magics

What is my book about?

Three people die, only to awaken in different bodies in a different world. But they still have the skills and memories of the previous inhabitants, and have to face down a threat to a world of magic, elves, and dragons. But they can’t do that if they can’t even face their own inner demons, and learn to get along with one another.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Forgotten Door

Travis I. Sivart Why did I love this book?

I didn’t realize it until I was nearly an adult, but almost every new book I picked up was about going from one world to another. Usually, from our world to a fantasy world. But this book, the first of the sort I found and read in middle school, reversed that formula. It’s about a boy who comes to our world from a place where people are peaceful. Our world is terrifying, and he wants to get home. This was an awakening for me, thinking that our reality might be the scary place, and we can be the frightening monsters. But I’ve learned, this isn’t far from the truth.

By Alexander Key,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Forgotten Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

“Well written fantasy with strong character emphasis and empathy” from the author of the sci-fi classic Escape to Witch Mountain (Kirkus Reviews).

At night, Little Jon’s people go out to watch the stars. Mesmerized by a meteor shower, he forgets to watch his step and falls through a moss-covered door to another land: America. He awakes hurt, his memory gone, sure only that he does not belong here. Captured by a hunter, Jon escapes by leaping six feet over a barbed-wire fence. Hungry and alone, he staggers through the darkness and is about to be caught when he is rescued…


Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Travis I. Sivart Why did I love this book?

What more of a dream does a kid have than to find a secret door that takes you to a magical land? And this book has been allowing readers to do that for more than half a century. I read the entire series before I began creating worlds, tearing through them to find all the strange, new lands inside. But it also showed the misery that came with escaping your life, and the responsibility for others that came with adventure. This was a foundation of what I’d eventually write, allowing me to (if I may say) get my foot in the door.

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

30 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country's creatures are ever going to be free again...


Book cover of A Spell for Chameleon

Travis I. Sivart Why did I love this book?

I’m cheating a little here and mentioning a series. It was the first real novel-length books that I picked up in middle school. And different novels in this pun-packed project show how the magical land of Xanth is partially populated by people purloined from our plane. OK, these books are just fun, but have a more serious theme hidden deep inside. I also loved how the author continued the books through the descendants of the original characters. It’s like getting a brand new story, but still having familiar things in the books.

By Piers Anthony,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Spell for Chameleon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR, BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY • Discover the magical beginning of Piers Anthony’s enthralling Xanth series

Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled—where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks.

For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some—and got some fast!—he would be exiled. Forever. But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted…


Book cover of The Runes of the Earth

Travis I. Sivart Why did I love this book?

Oh, this series was a struggle for me. Such a wonderful concept, with such an unlikeable main character. But I loved the idea of saving a fantasy world, while dying in this one. I can’t just mention one, but instead mention the first omnibus, (including Lord Foul’s Bane, The Illearth War, and The Power That Preserves). The beginning of the 1980s didn’t allow for tremendously long books, though that did come by the end of the decade, this story was an epic fantasy broken down to three easily (relatively speaking) digestible books. And it showed how something mundane from our world could wield great power in another.

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The return of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever!

In 1977, with the publication of THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT THE UNBELIEVER, Stephen Donaldson created a true phenomenon: an epic fantasy instant bestseller that has now sold millions and millions of copies across the world.

Thomas Covenant is mysteriously struck down by a disease believed eradicated; abandoned by his wife and young son, he becomes a pariah. Alone, despairing, Covenant falls - and is drawn into a mysterious new world where gentle people work magic and the earth itself brings healing. He is welcomed as the reincarnation of a legendary saviour, but…


Book cover of The Sleeping Dragon

Travis I. Sivart Why did I love this book?

Straight up, Dungeons and Dragons players pulled into the fantasy world they were playing the game in! Considering I was playing D&D multiple times a week when I found these books (and this book includes the first three of the series, The Sleeping Dragon, The Sword and Chain, and The Silver Crown), I was entranced! Then the author did a few things I’d never thought of. He brought in a guy in a wheelchair who entered a body of his character who could walk. He also later introduced gunpowder, and guns that used magic to fire bullets. The ideas were new and fresh to my teenage mind, and I was fascinated!

By Joel Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Seven college students meet for another night of role-playing games, where they will be cast as wizard, warrior, cleric, or thief. However, their conniving gamemaster has something entirely new planned for them. The seven gamers are cast into an alternate world of magic, fire-breathing dragons – and a quasi-medieval culture with slavery. The only way back to Earth is through a dragon-guarded Gate Between Worlds, about which little is known.

The five men and two women face tough challenges – simple survival in a harsh environment as well as finding the mysterious Gate to bring them home. Publishers Weekly praised…


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The Forest Knights

By J. K. Swift,

Book cover of The Forest Knights

J. K. Swift Author Of Acre

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good fight scene! It doesn’t need to be long and gruesome, but it must be visceral and make me nervous for those involved. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good first-kiss scene but unfortunately, my past has made me more adept at recognizing and writing one over the other. I started training in martial arts at the age of nine and continued for thirty years. I don’t train much these days but I took up bowmaking a few years back and now spend a lot of time carving English longbows and First Nations’ bows. I recently also took up Chinese archery.

J. K.'s book list on with realistic fight scenes

What is my book about?

The greatest underdog story of the medieval age.

A wild land too mountainous to be tamed by plows. A duke of the empire, his cunning overshadowed only by his ambitions. A young priestess of the Old Religion, together with a charismatic outlaw, sparking a rebellion from deep within the forests. And an ex-Hospitaller caught between them all.

The Forest Knights

By J. K. Swift,

What is this book about?

A druid priestess enlists the help of an ex-Hospitaller warrior and a charismatic outlaw to fight Austrian tyranny in medieval Switzerland. A subtle blend of fantasy and history, ALTDORF (Book 1) tells the events leading up to one of the greatest underdog stories of the medieval age, the Battle of MORGARTEN (Book 2).


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