97 books like A Tale of Stars and Shadow

By Lisa Cassidy,

Here are 97 books that A Tale of Stars and Shadow fans have personally recommended if you like A Tale of Stars and Shadow. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Talisman

Sally Altass Author Of The Witch Laws: Book One of The Moon Magic Chronicles

From my list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I read, I’m not just seeing the words on a page; I’m escaping into the world crafted by the author. Since I was a child, I’ve always been a lover of fantasy – it was an escape for me to slip between the pages and be a part of the world inside them. Especially if they were beautiful and filled with hidden danger. I wanted to have my heart pound out of my chest, to have the thrill of magic, wonder, and fear. Now, I try to write those types of worlds; because of the books which inspired me. I only hope you love them as much as I do. 

Sally's book list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world

Sally Altass Why did Sally love this book?

This is possibly one of the least well-known Stephen King books out there, and it is most definitely underrated. 

It’s the tale of Jack Sawyer, a twelve-year-old boy who must cross the country to find The Talisman; a magical artifact that has the power to save his mother’s life from the terminal cancer that is ravaging her body. 

But, Morgan Sloat is also chasing the Talisman, in the hopes that he can rule both our world, and the idyllic (and terrifying) Territories, where Jack is the born-again prince.

An all-encompassing portal, two-world fantasy adventure, this is a book that shaped my reading tastes from the age of 13, when I first read it.  And it’s one I go back to, time and time again.

By Stephen King, Peter Straub,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Talisman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer braves the mysterious dangers of the Territories, a surreal parallel world, in his quest--across the United States-for the Talisman, the only hope for his dying mother and for his own survival.


Book cover of Heart of Mist

Sally Altass Author Of The Witch Laws: Book One of The Moon Magic Chronicles

From my list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I read, I’m not just seeing the words on a page; I’m escaping into the world crafted by the author. Since I was a child, I’ve always been a lover of fantasy – it was an escape for me to slip between the pages and be a part of the world inside them. Especially if they were beautiful and filled with hidden danger. I wanted to have my heart pound out of my chest, to have the thrill of magic, wonder, and fear. Now, I try to write those types of worlds; because of the books which inspired me. I only hope you love them as much as I do. 

Sally's book list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world

Sally Altass Why did Sally love this book?

I still remember the first time I came across Heart of Mist.

It completely overtook my senses and propelled me into the Upper Realm of her universe. Bleak, the female lead, is unlike any other female protagonist I’d ever come across – being angry, brave, and dealing with trauma by playing with a piece of rope. She felt real. 

And the Upper Realms? I wanted to be there; discovering the forests of Valia and traversing their immense tree houses.  

By Helen Scheuerer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heart of Mist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak's powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the…


Book cover of The Hundredth Queen

Sally Altass Author Of The Witch Laws: Book One of The Moon Magic Chronicles

From my list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I read, I’m not just seeing the words on a page; I’m escaping into the world crafted by the author. Since I was a child, I’ve always been a lover of fantasy – it was an escape for me to slip between the pages and be a part of the world inside them. Especially if they were beautiful and filled with hidden danger. I wanted to have my heart pound out of my chest, to have the thrill of magic, wonder, and fear. Now, I try to write those types of worlds; because of the books which inspired me. I only hope you love them as much as I do. 

Sally's book list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world

Sally Altass Why did Sally love this book?

Kali, is an orphan, living with the Sister Warriors in their mountain temple. She wants nothing more than a simple life of prayer and seclusion with her best friend. 

That changes when the Rajah of the Tarachand Empire chooses her to become his 100th rani. She soon discovers her true ancestry and that her destiny is that of anything beyond what she could have imagined. 

I fell in love with the rich descriptions and beautiful imagery that Kali (through King) describes to us. And the danger which dogged her every step; whether in the court of the rajah and his rani’s or when she learns the truth behind her childhood fevers.  

By Emily R. King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Emily R. King's thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood in the ancient Tarachand Empire, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she's an unlikely candidate for even a servant's position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood's mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah…


Book cover of The Queen's Executioner

Sally Altass Author Of The Witch Laws: Book One of The Moon Magic Chronicles

From my list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I read, I’m not just seeing the words on a page; I’m escaping into the world crafted by the author. Since I was a child, I’ve always been a lover of fantasy – it was an escape for me to slip between the pages and be a part of the world inside them. Especially if they were beautiful and filled with hidden danger. I wanted to have my heart pound out of my chest, to have the thrill of magic, wonder, and fear. Now, I try to write those types of worlds; because of the books which inspired me. I only hope you love them as much as I do. 

Sally's book list on fantasy sweeping you into a beautiful, scary world

Sally Altass Why did Sally love this book?

The first book in an ever-growing world, The Queen’s Executioner introduces us to Daphne Holdfast. 

An immensely talented vision mage, Daphne is able to use her powers to speak to others, to manipulate others, and is unmatched when in combat. And she’s about to find out that her government and religion have been lying to her and the occupants of the Star Continent. Now, she’ll do whatever she can to save the people she loves. 

I fell in love with Daphne from the first introduction of her, and the Star Continent completely and utterly captivated me – from the tip of Kell to the deserts of the Holdings. Both beautiful and deadly in equal parts, depending on who you happened to bump into while roaming the lands. 

By Christopher Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rahain - a land where the mage-born rule and everyone else is expendable.

A slave, a politician and an assassin find themselves the unlikely heroes that could bring the republic to its knees.

Killop is a slave with a secret: his sister is a renegade Fire Mage. Hunted by the Rahain, her capture could lead to the death of thousands.

Laodoc is a politician who loves his country but has grown to hate many of its ancient traditions. He risks losing his family, his career and his liberty to fight for what he believes in.

Battle Mage Daphne Holdfast is…


Book cover of The Ceremonies

Ben Monroe Author Of The Seething

From my list on scary stories to bring on vacation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of horror stories as long as I can remember. The sense of building dread, and the moment of release when the terrible thing happens. I love stories about people put in impossible situations, and seeing how they overcome them, and that’s what good horror brings to the table. Being an avid reader I always have a book with me. To me, picking the right book to take on a holiday is as important as choosing the right clothing. I certainly hope this list gives you some ideas for your next vacation read.

Ben's book list on scary stories to bring on vacation

Ben Monroe Why did Ben love this book?

Spending the summer in a cabin in the woods? Then The Ceremonies is a darn fine choice. The first time I read it was on a camping trip, and I was captivated by the way Klein describes the empty, lonely wilderness surrounding the Poroth Farm (the main location of the tale).

The protagonist of the book is an English professor who’s writing a book on the Gothics, and through the course of the book name drops a ton of classic horror novels and stories from the early 20th century. This book is not only a tremendous cosmic/folk horror novel, but sort of a treatise on classic gothic literature.

Not only is The Ceremonies a truly unsettling horror novel in its own right, but it could inspire a whole new reading list for you!

By T.E.D. Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Graduate student Jeremy Freirs and aspiring dancer Carol Conklin, summering in the New Jersey village of Gilead, are trapped in a nightmare of terror, with an evil force emanating from a place once called Maquineanok, the Place of Burning


Book cover of The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Kimberly Ells Author Of The Invincible Family: Why the Global Campaign to Crush Motherhood and Fatherhood Can't Win

From my list on smart moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my teen years, I heard the narrative that mothers are powerless doormats who should be doing something better with their lives. But in time, I realized motherhood is a position of profound power. And I knew that the prevailing messaging on motherhood needed to change! As an author, speaker, and policy advisor for an NGO at the United Nations, I have spent the past 10 years inspiring women to embrace their potential—including their irreplaceable roles as mothers. I have a degree in English, but my finest education came from raising my four college-age daughters and my one young son. Mothers are miraculous!

Kimberly's book list on smart moms

Kimberly Ells Why did Kimberly love this book?

I absolutely love this book! I knew the story of Maria von Trapp from The Sound of Music, but reading Maria’s experiences in her own words was compelling beyond anything I expected.

Although not everything in the movie is true, the vast majority of it IS true, and what we get in the movie is only half the story! There’s so much grit and goodness in this remarkable book. Above everything else, it is the story of a woman who didn’t expect to be a mother but became one of the best mothers the world has ever known.

I walked away from this book feeling absolutely inspired to be as good a mom as Maria von Trapp. If she could do it, so could I! If you’re looking for an incredible true story, whether you’re a mom or not, this is it. 

By Maria A Trapp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Story of the Trapp Family Singers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With nearly 1,500 Broadway performances, six Tony Awards, more than three million albums sold, and five Academy Awards, The Sound of Music, based on the lives of Maria, the baron, and their singing children, is as familiar to most of us as our own family history. But much about the real-life woman and her family was left untold. Here, Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells in her own beautiful, simple words the extraordinary story of her romance with the baron, their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and their life in America. Now with photographs from the original edition.


Book cover of My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement

Bonnie Morris Author Of The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture

From my list on women in rock, folk, and blues.

Why am I passionate about this?

My expertise as a scholar of the women’s music movement spans 40 years--ever since I attended my first concert and music festival in 1981. A lecturer at UC-Berkeley, I’m the author of 19 books on women’s history, and published the first book on women’s music festivals, Eden Built By Eves, in 1999 (now out of print.) More recently I’ve organized exhibits on the women’s music movement for the Library of Congress, co-authored The Feminist Revolution (which made Oprah’s list), and I’m now the archivist and historian for Olivia Records.

Bonnie's book list on women in rock, folk, and blues

Bonnie Morris Why did Bonnie love this book?

The child of Communist parents, Alix would grow up to be one of the most profound movers and shakers of the lesbian music movement, producing the first full-length lesbian album, Lavender Jane Loves Women, in 1973. But this memoir is a series of chapters on her early years growing up in the 1950s with progressive activists and folk club life, embarking on her own career in the folk circuit, singing against the backdrop of repressive politics, and coming into the women’s movement as a married mother about to fall in love with another woman.

By Alix Dobkin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Women’s music legend Alix Dobkin for the first time chronicles her rise to fame as the first artist to record an openly lesbian album in 1973. Her story, however, opens much earlier in postwar New York City, where, growing up in a Communist family, she watches Jackie Robinson steal home, rubs elbows with radical Left celebrities like Paul Robeson, and comes of age under the watchful eye of the FBI. Dobkin herself joins the party at the height of the McCarthy witch hunts and offers readers a firsthand glimpse of daily life as a young person living under government surveillance.…


Book cover of Sacrificale Grove: Hauntings

Lee Taylor Author Of BEDBUGS (Can you see them?)

From my list on horror that should be movies.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Lee Andrew Taylor. I write novels and screenplays, mostly in the horror genre, with a few signed by Producers since 2021. I write what I see. It’s worked for me so far, with many discussions with producers in the past few years. If I can see a movie when I read someone’s story then there’s a great chance other people will see the same thing. I am always creating new worlds inside my mind, new stories to write, and new paths to take.

Lee's book list on horror that should be movies

Lee Taylor Why did Lee love this book?

This book sucked me into the author’s world. I think this was the author’s first novel, so I was unsure how it would read, but it’s gripping & well-written. I’m glad the author has written a sequel to this book. The style of writing is different from what I’m used to, but the author has a way of making the story believable. 

By Larry Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcome to Sacrificale Grove. The place that no one ever plans on comin' to, and the place that no one ever leaves. You'll see some right peculiar folk round here, that's for sure. I can see by the look on your face that you're a bit confused. Never mind about that old path you're lookin' at; you don't want to cut through those woods north of here that's out by Clyde's old shack. You might think it's a short cut, but it ain't. Yep, there is a trail that leads into the woods. You can't see too much in there;…


Book cover of Grimoire of the Four Impostors

Stephanie Ellis Author Of The Five Turns of the Wheel

From my list on the dark delights of folk horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an isolated rural pub in England. My love of folk horror was born of a strong nostalgia for that time and it has fed into both my writing and my reading. I understood isolation, small communities, the effect of strangers, as well as the sense of ‘otherness’ in the atmosphere of the countryside – the calm before the storm, the liminal twilight. It also meant that I could tell when a writer had captured the ‘essence’ of folk horror. When the author weaves a story between the landscape and man, blends traditions and mythology they take me to that place I know.

Stephanie's book list on the dark delights of folk horror

Stephanie Ellis Why did Stephanie love this book?

Coy Hall is a newer writer on the scene but the work he has produced so far has been of exceptional quality.

This particular book contains short stories which interlink yet standalone. Hall’s Grimoire of the Four Imposters has its folk horror set against the historical backdrop of the 16th and 17th centuries. I freely admit to being a history fan and seeing this mixed with a favourite subgenre is a delight.

The stories are dark and menacing, vibrant with character, and melding folklore and the occult into a showcase of storytelling. They show that folk horror can be done differently. 

Book cover of First Time Ever: A Memoir

Bonnie Morris Author Of The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture

From my list on women in rock, folk, and blues.

Why am I passionate about this?

My expertise as a scholar of the women’s music movement spans 40 years--ever since I attended my first concert and music festival in 1981. A lecturer at UC-Berkeley, I’m the author of 19 books on women’s history, and published the first book on women’s music festivals, Eden Built By Eves, in 1999 (now out of print.) More recently I’ve organized exhibits on the women’s music movement for the Library of Congress, co-authored The Feminist Revolution (which made Oprah’s list), and I’m now the archivist and historian for Olivia Records.

Bonnie's book list on women in rock, folk, and blues

Bonnie Morris Why did Bonnie love this book?

Not everyone who loves and admires this folk musician, the half-sister of Pete Seeger and a longtime collector of English folk ballads, knows her as the songwriter behind Roberta Flack’s hit “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face;” hence the title. The quirky style of this real page-turner provides fantastic stories of folk heritage, song collecting, love, child-rearing, radio performance activism, encounters with English Travelers, travels to China, and life growing up as a daughter of the ethnomusicologist Charles Seeger.

By Peggy Seeger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PENDERYN MUSIC BOOK PRIZE
THE BOOKSELLER'S Most Picked Book in General Non-Fiction Round Ups of 2017

Peggy Seeger is one of folk music's most influential artists and songwriters. Born in New York City in 1935, she enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and left-wing politics - they remain her lifeblood. After college, she travelled to Russia and China - against US advice - before arriving in London, where she met the man with whom she would raise three children and share the next thirty-three years: Ewan MacColl. Together,…


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