The best books that will draw you into a completely different world

Brett Mumford Author Of The 7th Pre-Light
By Brett Mumford

Who am I?

I first found fantasy literature about the same time as I got into tabletop gaming, for me this was AD&D. Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R. Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke, Fritz Lieber, and Roger Zelazny were just a few of the authors that showed me what was possible. Writing my first novel cemented my understanding that I wanted to create the kinds of worlds that readers would want to experience. The kinds of worlds that would let them get away from their lives, if only for a few hours, where they could live a life of adventure and discovery. Just like the novels I recommended here did for me. 

I wrote...

The 7th Pre-Light

By Brett Mumford,

Book cover of The 7th Pre-Light

What is my book about?

My novel is a contemporary science fiction that revolves around a murder mystery and first contact. The story all takes place in an alien culture, and the main characters are a security technician tasked with finding the murderer and a researcher with the responsibility of analyzing the newest discovered race, humanity.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Another Fine Myth

By Robert Asprin, Walter Velez (illustrator),

Book cover of Another Fine Myth

Why this book?

This is one of the most enjoyable series I have ever read. It takes you into a world so different from traditional fantasy stereotypes. The characters are flawed and imperfect and because of that they are so easy to sympathize with when things go wrong (and they will...repeatedly). The style the author used for the headers in each chapter was so entertaining to me that I still find myself quoting them to people, 20+ years after first reading them.

The Book of Jhereg

By Steven Brust,

Book cover of The Book of Jhereg

Why this book?

This novel introduced me to a villainous character that was supposed to be the hero. The first-person perspective was perfect to allow me to see why he was the way he was and to understand what made him the hero. The author then filled in the rest of the world, slowly, allowing the connections to new characters to build at a natural pace. Before I knew it, I had a picture in my mind of the world the character lived within, and it was filled with variety and depth that kept drawing me back for more.

His Majesty's Dragon

By Naomi Novik,

Book cover of His Majesty's Dragon

Why this book?

I think that like most fans of fantasy, dragons remain one of the quintessential elements of that genre and the idea of a version of Earth where they were naturally integrated into society was too good of an idea to resist. The world that Naomi creates, and how just having dragons there has changed it from the world that is written in our history books, was fascinating. I loved seeing the path that she laid out from cultures that we are familiar with in the current day, to ones that had long since disappeared.

The Warlock in Spite of Himself

By Christopher Stasheff,

Book cover of The Warlock in Spite of Himself

Why this book?

I think that all of us have dreams of being a secret hero. The hero of this novel is not one by accident, but by effort and ability. The story follows his effort to do the right thing, using his self-deprecating humour to give us glimpses of the real person. The flawed supporter that he has is both so very powerful and yet so vulnerable, something that all of us can understand. The main characters determination to do the right thing even at the risk of great personal loss, is the kind of thing that most of us hope we could do too.

The King's Coat

By Dewey Lambdin,

Book cover of The King's Coat

Why this book?

This is a novel of historical fiction set in the time of the French revolution. The series is named after the main character, Alan Lewrie. This novel introduces you to this rapscallion of a character, someone who is a spoiled, and indolent 16-year-old young man. Against his will he will find his place in the world and it will be in the very last place he would have imagined, commanding a ship of the Royal Navy. The novels follow his travels and adventures as he rises through the ranks, and it was incredibly fun to watch the young man evolve and grow into the man he becomes.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dragons, seas, and World War 2?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dragons, seas, and World War 2.

Dragons Explore 99 books about dragons
Seas Explore 15 books about seas
World War 2 Explore 971 books about World War 2

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Name of the Wind, Mistborn, and The Hobbit if you like this list.