69 books like A Ragged Magic

By Lindsey S. Johnson,

Here are 69 books that A Ragged Magic fans have personally recommended if you like A Ragged Magic. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Blade Itself

Ashton Macaulay Author Of Whiteout: A Nick Ventner Adventure

From my list on heroes you love to hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about flawed characters as a reflex. I’m more interested in exploring the journey of an alcoholic monster hunter with literal and figurative demons than a white knight. Throughout my life, I’ve seen the effects of substance abuse up close, and while difficult, it helped me find the humanity in flaws. I choose to write about those flaws with a humorous bend, because life is far too long to go through without jokes. As a result, I gravitate towards pithy antiheroes and dark comedy. To feel a character’s pain is human, to laugh in the midst of their darkest moments is divine.

Ashton's book list on heroes you love to hate

Ashton Macaulay Why did Ashton love this book?

Here is yet another book where at first it seems as though there are no heroes.

Abercrombie writes a masterful world filled with magic, politics, swordfights, and bleak attitudes. One of the main POV characters is a torturer—I mean a full-on break your toes and laugh about it torturer—but even still, I found myself wanting more of his story. He’s certainly not a hero, but he was at one point, and that’s even more intriguing.

The characters drive this fantasy series, but the world is also a gorgeous setting that Abercrombie clearly spent many long nights thinking through. Every detail feels like it matters, and throughout this trilogy, the smallest specks of plot come back to matter.

On top of it all, I loved the audiobook narrator and his particular performances for each character brought the world to life.

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Blade Itself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior…

Book cover of The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Hadeer Elsbai Author Of The Daughters of Izdihar

From my list on epic fantasies with "unlikable" female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, many of the female characters in the media I engaged with were thin stereotypes (and some still are). Slowly, culture shifted towards the “strong female character, which quickly became a stereotype of its own. As culture shifts again to more nuanced female characters, many of them are slapped with the label of “unlikeable.” The label usually means that the character isn’t a tired stereotype and is complex, multifaceted, and interesting. Also, nearly all the time, the same traits admired in a male character are despised in a female character (think of Alicent Hightower, whose moral complexity would certainly be celebrated in a man). 

Hadeer's book list on epic fantasies with "unlikable" female characters

Hadeer Elsbai Why did Hadeer love this book?

It's difficult to discuss what might make Baru unlikable without delving into spoilers, but that's fine because you must see this book through to appreciate it fully.

Baru, an accountant, finds herself caught in the jaws of empire when her homeland is colonized and one of her fathers is killed. Cold and calculating, Baru desperately claws her way to power in an attempt to fight empire from within, and along the way, must reckon with how much of herself she is willing to sacrifice for her goals. I can’t emphasize how bleak this book is, and part of that comes from watching Baru eat herself alive and be awful to other people.

By Seth Dickinson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Traitor Baru Cormorant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

[Published as The Traitor Baru Cormorant in the US]

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people - even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her Fathers, Baru vows to hide her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way up enough rungs of power to put a stop to the Emperor's influence and set her people free.

As a natural savant, she is sent as an imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn - a post she worries will never get her the…

Book cover of Our Lady of the Islands

Jak Koke Author Of Liferock

From my list on debut sci-fi and fantasy with immersive worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a book doctor and acquiring editor for almost twenty years. I've read hundreds of debut novels, both published and not. I've always been amazed and impressed when an author is able to create a unique and internally consistent universe for their story. I also know—as a writer of ten fantasy and science fiction novels—that building a vivid, alternate world is a very difficult thing to do well. In the best stories the fictional world defines the characters in it, shapes them, and gives their struggle meaning. It's why we relate to their journey and make their success our own. 

Jak's book list on debut sci-fi and fantasy with immersive worlds

Jak Koke Why did Jak love this book?

Unlike many fantasy novels, the protagonist, Sian Katte isn't an adolescent. When I read this book in my 40s, I identified with the main characters. They've already come of age, but their lives are nonetheless turned upside when Sian gains an unexpected and unwanted magical ability. She is forced out of her routine and becomes a lynchpin in the political turnings of the tropical island nation of Alizar – a fantasy setting that resonates with the familiar while maintaining its uniqueness and rich history. 

By Shannon Page, Jay Lake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Lady of the Islands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in the lush and dangerous world of Jay Lake's Green, Our Lady of the Islands is a vibrant, enchanting tale of political intrigue and divine mystery."Our Lady, heal us ..."Sian Katte is a successful middle-aged businesswoman in the tropical island nation of Alizar. Her life seems comfortable and well-arranged...until a violent encounter one evening leaves her with an unwanted magical power.Arian des Chances is the wife of Alizar's ruler, with vast wealth and political influence. Yet for all her resources, she can only watch helplessly as her son draws nearer to death.When crisis thrusts these two women together, they…

Book cover of Ancillary Justice

Rachel Mundy Author Of Animal Musicalities: Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening

From my list on having a voice if you’re not (fully) human.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a doctoral student in historical musicology, I went to Paris to study postwar government budgets for music, but it was really boring. So I started hanging out listening to Parisian songbirds instead. The more I learned about birdsong, the more I realized it raised some really big questions, like why biologists and musicians have completely different standards of evidence. Those questions led me to write my book, which is about what it means to sing if you’re not considered fully human, and most of my work today is about how thinking about animals can help us understand what we value in those who are different.

Rachel's book list on having a voice if you’re not (fully) human

Rachel Mundy Why did Rachel love this book?

A friend gave me this when I was almost done writing my book.

I couldn’t figure out how to justify footnoting a science fiction novel written from the point of view of a one-thousand-year-old spaceship in my own book, which was mostly about theories of musical evolution, but I still wish I had. The spaceship-protagonist can’t tell genders apart and refers to every single character as “she,” and it loves (I mean loves) to sing.

The book tackles surprisingly relevant questions about the way power, gender, and difference circulate through a post-colonial society. It’s completely different from the kind of work I do as an academic, but I think it has something just as important to say about music, human identity, and modern science.

By Ann Leckie,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Ancillary Justice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once, she was the Justice of Toren -- a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

Book cover of Betrayal

Isabel Jolie Author Of Better to See You

From my list on gripping romantic suspense loaded with heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid romance reader, I read all romance subgenres, but hold a deep appreciation for romantic suspense. By its nature, romantic suspense novels require multiple plot lines, and a host of characters must come to life, both villains and heroes. The story may be dark, but the light always perseveres. Of the fourteen romance novels I’ve published, nine are romantic suspense. A practical person by nature, I spent decades in the business world before venturing into creative writing. I have an MBA from New York University and a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Isabel's book list on gripping romantic suspense loaded with heart

Isabel Jolie Why did Isabel love this book?

I started reading this book on the first night of a beach vacation.

By the end of the week, I devoured all five books in the series. Yep, it’s that good. The story is an intricate tale filled with elegant prose.

Thrilling, mysterious, sexy, dark, and ominous, it is not about infidelity, as the title might suggest, but rather corrupt wealth within a wealthy southern family.

Romantic suspense weaves the line between love and danger, and Romig is a master weaver.

By Aleatha Romig, Lisa Aurello (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One week. No future. No past. No more.Alexandria Collins has one week to live carefree—no ghosts of her past or pressures of her future haunting her. Reinventing herself as "Charli," she is knocked off her feet by a sexy, mysterious man who brings her pleasure like she never imagined. With her heart at stake, she forgets that decisions made in the dark of night reappear in the bright light of day. "Some of my tastes are unique. They aren’t for everyone. I understand that.” Lennox "Nox" Demetri is wealthy, confident, and decisive--he knows what he wants. From the first time…

Book cover of Wolf Gone Wild

Alexa Sullivan Author Of I Dream of Demigods

From my list on upbeat paranormal romances.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong reader who cut my teeth on Narnia and Nancy Drew. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a later-in-life revelation, combining the fantasy and mystery elements I’d loved in childhood with a butt-kicking heroine and plenty of romance. I’m always seeking that same blend of humor and action in the paranormal romances I read, as well as the ones I write. It can be tough to find paranormal romances that aren’t deeply intense and moody, so I hope this list will help you enjoy the lighter side of paranormal.

Alexa's book list on upbeat paranormal romances

Alexa Sullivan Why did Alexa love this book?

Wolf Gone Wild is hands-down my favorite book in the author’s Stay a Spell Series. Set in New Orleans, this witch-werewolf love story delivers plenty of atmosphere and a feel-good ending. Evie is independent and powerful, and Mateo is your new Book Boyfriend. I love how this story flips the damsel-in-distress trope. Plus, Juliette Cross writes some of the hottest love scenes I’ve ever read. You’ll need a bourbon on ice to cool yourself off when reading this one.

By Juliette Cross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What's the worst thing that can happen to a werewolf?

Unable to shift for three months, Mateo Cruz knows all too well. His wolf has taken up residence in his head, taunting him night and day with vividly violent and carnal thoughts. Convinced he's cursed, he needs the help of a powerful witch before he literally goes insane.

Evie Savoie has always obeyed the house rules of her coven--no werewolves. They're known for being moody and volatile. So, when a distempered, dangerous werewolf strolls in the bar and almost strangles one of her late-night customers, she's ready to bounce him…

Book cover of The Kiss Curse

Amanda Quain Author Of Ghosted: A Northanger Abbey Novel

From my list on cozying up with beside a fireplace with a cup of tea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love being cozy more than just about anything – that’s why I keep writing books set in boarding schools in the fall! My books are best served with a cup of tea and a purring kitten to get you through the sad bits – which, as we all know, just make romantic endings even more satisfying.

Amanda's book list on cozying up with beside a fireplace with a cup of tea

Amanda Quain Why did Amanda love this book?

Witchy goodness, the coziest town in the world, and an amazing romance – what more can you ask for?

Gwyn Jones is a witch who is perfectly content to keep working at her witchy shop in Graves Glen, and does not need to deal with Wells Penhallow, whose ancestral links to the town are the reason he’s opening a competing shop across the street from Gwyn.

Banter, snappy retorts, and a simmering tension underneath it all, especially when it turns out they have to work together to fight against forces bigger than the both of them??? What more do you need???

By Erin Sterling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The follow-up to Erin Sterling's New York Times bestselling hit The Ex Hex features fan favorite Gwyn and the spine-tinglingly handsome Wells Penhallow as they battle a new band of witches and their own magical chemistry.

Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven; she's running a successful witchcraft shop, Something Wicked; and she's started mentoring some of the younger witches in town. As Halloween approaches, there's only one problem-Llewellyn "Wells" Penhallow.

Wells has come to Graves Glen to re-establish his family's connection to…

Book cover of The Ex Hex

Maggi Myers Author Of The Final Piece

From my list on love the second time around.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an incurable romantic for as long as I can remember. In fact, when I was in middle school, my friends and I started writing what would now be considered novellas. We would write our stories during class and trade notebooks in the hallways between bells. That is until I was caught writing one of my opuses in pre-algebra. There was nothing like the dopamine hit of writing those first stories that would deter me! The characters in my head grew up as I did and I found myself passionate about the telling of second chances in life and in love. 

Maggi's book list on love the second time around

Maggi Myers Why did Maggi love this book?

This book was so much fun! I can’t remember a time I used “fun” to describe a second chance romance but Erin Sterling delivers. Vivi is left broken-hearted after Rhys leaves town only to return nine years later to wreak havoc on Vivi’s life once again. Did I mention she’s a witch? Or the minor curse she cast on Rhys when he left? As you can imagine, hijinks ensue when these two crash together again. One of my favorite parts of written chemistry is banter and wow the banter in this book is on point. When you aren’t busy rooting for Vivi and Rhys you’re enchanted by the cast of characters that surround them. Cousin Gwen is a riot! One part romantic comedy, one part second chance romance. This was a favorite read of 2021 for me.

By Erin Sterling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths...and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn't use her magic this way, but with only an "orchard hayride" scented candle on hand, she isn't worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town's ancestors, breaker of hearts,…

Book cover of The Hit

Lee Gimenez Author Of The Media Murders

From my list on murder mystery from award-winning thriller author.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a mystery writer and I’ve had 16 award-winning novels published. I also love to read mystery and thriller novels, and I read them voraciously. I’m best known for my highly-acclaimed J.T. Ryan mysteries and I was a Finalist for the Author Academy Award. Also, many of my books were Featured Novels of the International Thriller Writers Association. I’m also a multi-year nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. 

Lee's book list on murder mystery from award-winning thriller author

Lee Gimenez Why did Lee love this book?

The Hit is my favorite of David Baldacci's many novels. It's a page-turning, pulse-racing action thriller with one of the best plots I've ever read. I found Will Robie, the main character in the book, a riveting personality. He's a U.S. government agent and the man the government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst. No one can match Robie's talents as a hitman. No one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. I found the captivating characters, the plot line, and the relentless pace of this novel a great read. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last.

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Hit is David Baldacci's blockbuster follow up to The Innocent, the smash-hit bestseller featuring U.S. government assassin, Will Robie.


Government hitman Will Robie is an elite killer. Called on by the US authorities to assassinate enemies of the state, his formidable skill set makes him an irreplaceable asset to his employers. But when he's given his next target, he knows he's about to embark on his toughest mission yet.

Reports indicate fellow assassin Jessica Reel has gone rogue, leaving a trail of deaths in her wake including her handler. To stop…

Book cover of The Wife Between Us

Sarah A. Denzil Author Of The Housemaid

From my list on for fans of Gone Girl.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve enjoyed dark fiction ever since I picked up Dracula for school. But I mostly avoided crime and thriller fiction. I couldn’t relate to a rogue detective with an alcohol problem or an FBI agent on the heels of the next Hannibal Lector. Police procedural books just aren’t my thing. But then Gone Girl came out and changed the genre. The domestic suspense subgenre has exploded over the last decade, and now there’s an abundance of books centered around the dangers within our family and friendship circle. And isn’t that the scariest part of life? Serial killers are rare, but domestic violence is, unfortunately, not rare. Where is more dangerous than in our own homes?

Sarah's book list on for fans of Gone Girl

Sarah A. Denzil Why did Sarah love this book?

There are many psychological thrillers out there about husbands and wives. If you search for the word ‘wife’ on Goodreads there must be hundreds of titles. But The Wife Between Us is one of my favourites. It’s clever, twisted, and plays on your expectations. From the first page, you’ll believe the book to be going one way, but then it twists in another direction altogether.

By Greer Hendricks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A fiendishly clever thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing.' - Anita Shreve, author of The Stars are Fire

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekannen is the shocking Richard and Judy Bookclub bestseller with twists you won't see coming.

Marrying a man with a past was always going to come with problems, but you never expect to become the focus of another woman's obsession.

Nellie just wanted to live the life she'd always dreamed about with Richard. But who is his ex-wife, Vanessa? Wasn't…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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