The best scifi-fantasy books about best friends

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love a good romance, I was disappointed to discover how few novels are written about friendship. In so many books, friends take a backseat to the love interest, or to the plot; it’s hard, outside of fiction aimed at children, to find stories that treat friendship as pivotal to a character’s life as friendship usually is in normal life. I love stories that show us what that kind of friendship looks like, and how it can matter… which is why I write them.


I wrote...

Mindtouch

By M.C.A. Hogarth,

Book cover of Mindtouch

What is my book about?

Seersana University is world-renowned for its xenopsychology program, producing the Alliance’s finest therapists, psychiatric nurses, and alien researchers. When Jahir, one of the rare and reclusive Eldritch espers, arrives on campus, he’s unprepared for the challenges of a vast and multicultural society… but fortunately, second-year student Vasiht’h is willing to take him under his wing. Will the two win past their troubles and doubts and see the potential for a once-in-a-lifetime partnership?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of In Legend Born

M.C.A. Hogarth Why did I love this book?

The heart of this fantasy trilogy, rife with complex, believable, and heart-breaking politics, is the relationship between Tansen, the unwilling witness to civil war, and Josarian, the face of that war that Tansen swears to protect. I love how Resnick uses their friendship to animate the conflict between patriotism and pragmatism, and the dynamic between the believer and the “once burnt, twice shy” cynic. Unforgettable.

By Laura Resnick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For a thousand years, Sileria has toiled under the yoke of foreign conquerors: the latest, the hedonistic Valdani, have forced the Silerian mountains clans into harsh slavery. Villages have been razed, and the innocent populace dragged to the mines to toil with no hope of escape until their death. By fate and prophecy, five desperate people have been brought reluctantly together, forging an uneasy alliance against the Valdani. They are a peasant-turned-outlaw with a message of resistance; a lethal warrior; a hauntingly seductive aristocrat; Sileria's most powerful sorcerer who craves revenge almost as much as freedom from the Valdani; and…


Book cover of Summers at Castle Auburn

M.C.A. Hogarth Why did I love this book?

Not all siblings end up friends, and the evil brother who wants to steal the throne or the catty sister who wants to steal the boy are cliché staples of the genre. That’s what made Summers at Castle Auburn so refreshing: Corie and her half-sister, Elisandra, love and are loyal to one another throughout the whole book, and their relationship sustains the characters through their adventure and to the happy ending.

By Sharon Shinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Summers at Castle Auburn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman blessed, or cursed, with a talent for witchcraft returns to Castle Auburn where she spent her childhood in joy-only to find an aura of dread awaiting her.


Book cover of The Phoenix Unchained

M.C.A. Hogarth Why did I love this book?

Harrier, son of a harbormaster, and Tiercel, nobleman’s son, make for exactly the kind of friendship you often see in real life, where one of the pair’s a dreamer and the other a pragmatist, and they need one another for balance. Their friendship remains central to all three books of this series, keeping them sane as they take on an impossible world-saving task.

By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory teamed up to write The Obsidian Trilogy, set in a wondrous world filled with magical beings, competing magic systems, and a titanic struggle between good and evil.

That world proved so popular with the creators and readers alike that Lackey and Mallory have returned to it with The Phoenix Unchained, Book One of The Enduring Flame, the opening volume of a new epic fantasy trilogy.
After a thousand years of peace, much Magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no…


Book cover of Oath of Swords

M.C.A. Hogarth Why did I love this book?

The War God series follows the development of an unlikely orc-analog paladin, Bahzell, which would be entertainment enough: but Bahzell’s best friend, a would-be quasi-orc bard, Brandark, remains his steadfast companion throughout all his unlikely adventures. The best part of their relationship is definitely their communication: via humorous barbs and perfectly timed silences. Sheer fun!

By David Weber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Whom the gods would recruit, they first tick off...our hero: the unlikely paladin, Bahzell Bahnakson of the Horse Stealer, Hradani. He's no knight in shining armour. He's a hradani, a race known for their uncontrollable rages, bloodthirsty tendencies, and inability to maintain civilized conduct. None of the other Five Races of man are like the hradani. Besides his ethnic burden, Bahzell has problems of his own to deal with: a violated hostage bond, a vengeful prince, a price on his head. He doesn't want to mess with anybody else's problems, let alone a god's, let alone the War God's! So,…


Book cover of Dwellers in the Crucible

M.C.A. Hogarth Why did I love this book?

Am I recommending a Star Trek book? And yet, this (questionably canonical) novel is more about two original characters, a human woman and the Vulcan, and tells the story of their unlikely friendship as flashbacks during their difficult captivity as hostages. A fantastic first contact story, as well as a powerful depiction of friendship in duress.

By Margaret Wander Bonanno,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

DWELLERS IN THE CRUCIBLE
Warrantors of Peace: the Federation's daring experiment to prevent war among its members. each Warrantor, man or woman is hostage for the government of his native world -- and is instantly killed if that world breaks the peace.
Now Romulans have kidnapped six Warrantors, to foment political chaos -- and then civil war -- within the Federation. Captain Kirk must send Sulu to infiltrate Romulan territory, find the hostages, and bring them back alive -- before the Federation self-destructs!


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Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

Book cover of Wrightsville Beach

Suzanne Goodwyn Author Of Wrightsville Beach

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing all my life, but was never able to find my voice until I had my daughters. It was for them I wrote “Wrightsville Beach”. I wanted to show them what a good relationship should look like and how their decisions make a difference in where they will go. I want my readers to relive that feeling of falling in love and to be sent in unexpected directions, as life so often does to us. I want you to enjoy it so much, you don’t want to put the book down until it’s finished and once you do, to sit and reflect on it, savoring the feeling it has left behind.

Suzanne's book list on smart women trying to figure it all out

What is my book about?

Two years ago, devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Hank Atwater went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested. Since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess feel connected to each other in a way neither has ever felt before.

But when Hank’s past leads to a frightful incident, it ends their relationship. Jess leaves to work on the beach with sea turtles, thinking about what really happened that summer with Hank, while Hank sets out to find his own path in hopes of one day winning her back.

Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

What is this book about?

Two years ago, Hank Atwater made a terrible mistake. Devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Rob, he went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested for aggravated assault. Sober since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck.

Working a dead-end delivery job, Hank uses surfing and running to deal with being ostracized as he waits for his probation to end. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess…


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