100 books like An Ember in the Ashes

By Sabaa Tahir,

Here are 100 books that An Ember in the Ashes fans have personally recommended if you like An Ember in the Ashes. 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 Song of Solomon

Hari Ziyad Author Of Black Boy Out of Time

From my list on loss and grief from a certified death doula.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, author and screenwriter, my work has always pondered loss and grief. I think this has something to do with the fact that of my mother’s religion; she was a convert to Hinduism and started conversations about the inevitability of death and how the soul and the body aren’t the same when us children were at a very young age. It probably also has something to do with the constant presence of death within my family and communities as a Black and queer person in a violently anti-Black and queerantagonistic world. I currently volunteer at a hospice, and provide community-building programming to death workers from diverse communities.

Hari's book list on loss and grief from a certified death doula

Hari Ziyad Why did Hari love this book?

This list could be full of Toni Morrison novels and be no worse for it.

I’d argue that the late writer is the finest we’ve ever had on the topics of grief, loss, and ancestry—especially from the Black American perspective. One of my favorite examples is Song of Solomon, a mesmerizing journey through what it takes to craft an identity in the midst of racism and the ruptures it creates in our lives.

Morrison's singular prose is pure magic as it weaves a tale of the enduring power of love. A literary masterpiece.

By Toni Morrison,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Song of Solomon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Song of Solomon...profoundly changed my life' Marlon James

Macon 'Milkman' Dead was born shortly after a neighbourhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly.

In 1930s America Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, though he is more concerned with escaping the familial tyranny of his own father. So while Guitar joins a terrorist group Macon goes home to the South, lured by tales of buried family treasure. But his odyssey back home and a deadly confrontation…

Book cover of Leviathan Wakes

Rohan Oduill Author Of Cold Rising

From my list on science fiction books with working class heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having spent thirty years working as a chef, I was always going to have working-class heroes in my stories. When someone said this is uncommon in science fiction, I didn’t believe them. But then I couldn’t think of any. I started searching through my bookshelves, and still, I couldn’t find enough to fill this list. I asked on socials and eventually found five books. 

It would seem natural that in a science fiction world of adventure and exploration, the professionals would be at the forefront. But I am pretty sure that the toilet cleaners on the Death Star would still have a story or two to tell.

Rohan's book list on science fiction books with working class heroes

Rohan Oduill Why did Rohan love this book?

The Expanse series was a real game-changer for me. An epic space opera set in a very real and gritty future with a host of working-class heroes.

James, Naomi, and Amos work in deep space on an ice trawler and only become involved in the action by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When they get swept up in the story, the characters must learn and adapt to navigate the world of politics and espionage.

This book series walks the tightrope of creating a very possible future in space without getting too impeded, explaining the science of how that all works. If you like epic space opera set in a plausible future, this series is a fantastic read.

By James S. A. Corey,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Leviathan Wakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond. Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the…

Book cover of A Court of Thorns and Roses

Terry Madden Author Of Three Wells of the Sea

From my list on mythic fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying Celtic myth and history since I was in college and took a class on Arthurian literature. Drawing heavily from Irish and Welsh lore to build my “land beyond the veil” known as the Five Quarters, I have always been intrigued by the Celtic view of the land of the dead as a distinct world to which we go and then return, like two sides of the mirrored surface of a well. I hope you enjoy these mythic fantasy books as much as I did!

Terry's book list on mythic fantasy novels

Terry Madden Why did Terry love this book?

This inventive novel is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but what I enjoyed most about it is the portrayal of the “Fairy Folk” of myth. The Fae.

In most myths, we encounter the dark side of the Fae, the gruesome and frightening side. In modern times we have reduced these creatures to flower fairies. What I loved about this novel is that Maas sticks with the dangerous and malevolent portrayal of these immortals, and she weaves a beautiful mythic tale into their world.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Court of Thorns and Roses 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?

Experience Feyre Archeron's journey all over again with the beautiful collector's edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the seductive first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series by Sarah J. Maas, featuring a deluxe new package, an updated map, ribbon pull, and more! When nineteen-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she…

Book cover of Caraval

Angela Kecojevic Author Of Scareground

From my list on kids books to give you serious goosebumps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved horror stories, right from when I was a kid, and I first watched Friday the 13th, the ultimate scary movie. The jump scare moment was everything. I spent time studying great suspense writers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and R L Stine. I was in awe at how they had me turning the pages, unable to look away! I think more and more children are discovering the fun and thrill of scary stories, and I love nothing more than making sure I try and implement some of these rules, adding in my own originality, too! 

Angela's book list on kids books to give you serious goosebumps

Angela Kecojevic Why did Angela love this book?

This is more suited to the YA market with an appealing darkness that had me gripped from page one.

An allure of illusions, rich description, and magic. I loved this book! Every sentence was beautiful and intriguing–it was quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Add in the mystique of a carnival, and this makes for a remarkable read.

Scarlett was a strong female protagonist, and her desperate need to escape had me reading this long into the night. 

By Stephanie Garber,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Caraval 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?

***The Sunday Times bestseller***


Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser,…

Book cover of Six of Crows

Jali Henry Author Of Cursed Charm

From my list on addictive urban fantasy with strong female leads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an avid reader as a child. Then I became a teenager and started hating it! Why? Because the teachers at school started pushing classical literature on me. I didn’t read for years until a friend introduced me to fantasy. I fell in love and haven’t looked back. I love commercial fantasy fiction that has lots of action, where the writer focuses less on elegant prose and more on plot and characters. I aim to write the kind of books that readers get addicted to, where they can disappear into another world and forget they are reading – the kind of books I love to read!

Jali's book list on addictive urban fantasy with strong female leads

Jali Henry Why did Jali love this book?

The main thing I loved was Leigh Bardugo’s writing. She has a way of being elegant yet succinct with her writing which makes it easier for me to get lost in the intricate world she creates. And what a world she creates!

I fell in love with all the characters in this book. They had deep flaws and the vulnerability made me love them so much – it made them so real. There’s a powerful female lead in Nina, a passionate, voluptuous grisha (type of witch) who loves food, making her immediately relatable. The plot had me hooked and I didn’t want the book to end.

By Leigh Bardugo,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Six of Crows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

*See the Grishaverse come to life on screen with Shadow and Bone, now a Netflix original series.*

Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017, this fantasy epic from the No. 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Grisha trilogy is gripping, sweeping and memorable - perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore.

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams - but he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk…

Book cover of The Young Elites

Andrea Robertson Author Of Bound by Sword and Spirit

From my list on if you love Dungeons & Dragons and RPGs.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Gen Xer I came of age when Dungeons & Dragons was taking young imaginations by storm and creating an entirely new type of gamer. I grew up in a small town in the northwoods of Wisconsin and spent my days imagining fantasy worlds in the woods and playing D&D when the weather made the outdoors inhospitable. Those adventures of the mind are the key inspiration for my writing and the Loresmith series, which concludes with Bound By Sword and Spirit, is my love letter to D&D. I still play and am currently DMing a campaign with my family. It’s my niece’s first time playing – such a treat!

Andrea's book list on if you love Dungeons & Dragons and RPGs

Andrea Robertson Why did Andrea love this book?

Marie Lu knows how to craft an adventure and the premise of The Young Elites is fascinating: what if the hero of the story might be a villain?

The struggles of this novel’s characters draw the reader in and never flag in their authenticity. The world is brutal and beautiful with Lu keeping readers on their toes every step of the way. 

By Marie Lu,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Young Elites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood plague: marked by a jagged scar, snow-white hair and lashes. Cast out by her family, Adelina has finally found a place to belong within the secret society of Young Elites. To some, the Elites are heroes, here to save innocents in desperate situations. But to the Inquisition Axis, the white-robed soldiers of Kenettra, they are monsters with demonic powers who must be brought to justice. As Adelina learns more about this perilous world where politics and magic clash, she soon realizes that her own powers may be in danger of bringing on…

Book cover of The Night Circus

Caren Simpson McVicker Author Of Henderson House

From my list on believing in magic again.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a debut novelist at the age of fifty-seven, I’ve spent most of my life as a reader, not an author. My love of reading began with The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and flourished when I discovered the genre of fantasy with The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. Is it any wonder I giggle with delight when I stumble upon a book that makes me believe in magic again? When an author weaves the supernatural into their story in a natural way, my expectations shift, and my heart opens to the power of the unknown to teach me something new and take me somewhere extraordinary.

Caren's book list on believing in magic again

Caren Simpson McVicker Why did Caren love this book?

This book is always on my list of favorite reads. Morgenstern invites us to inhabit a world where magic not only seems possible but wholly believable. I’ve read this book numerous times, and it always casts a spell over me so completely that the rest of my troubles disappear as quickly and mysteriously as the circus moves to another town.

The competition-turned-love story between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, moves the plot forward at a driving pace while enchanting subplots abound. Whenever I feel like I need to rekindle the magic in my own life, I pull this novel off the shelf.

By Erin Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Night Circus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Rediscover the million-copy bestselling fantasy read with a different kind of magic, now in a stunning anniversary edition to mark 10 years since it's paperback debut.

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon an iron gates reads:

Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

Full of breath-taking amazements and open only at night, Le Cirque des Reves seems to cast a spell over all who wander its circular paths. But behind the glittering acrobats, fortune-tellers…

Book cover of The Belles

Katie L. Carroll Author Of Elixir Bound

From my list on YA fantasy full of dark secrets and epic adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading young adult fantasy by the likes of Tamora Pierce and Garth Nix in my teens and was instantly hooked. I stuck with it into my adult years because YA fantasy has always been full of rich worlds, complex characters, and fast-paced plots. My younger sister also loved these stories, so when she passed away at a tragically young age, it spurred me on to write my own YA fantasy in memory of her. This list includes some of my favorites—ones I know she would have loved as well.

Katie's book list on YA fantasy full of dark secrets and epic adventures

Katie L. Carroll Why did Katie love this book?

Don’t let the gorgeous cover fool you into thinking this story is all about beauty, though the prose and setting certainly have their share of it. I was captivated by the gray royal court where the Belles control beauty. There are no shortages of dark secrets that put them all at risk in a dangerous political game. Fun details, like miniature teacup pets, are woven seamlessly with the darker aspects of this lush world.

By Dhonielle Clayton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Belles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Beauty. Power. Magic. What would you give to have it all?

The dazzling New York Times instant bestseller from the author of TINY PRETTY THINGS (coming to NETFLIX soon)

Camellia and her sisters control beauty.

They are Belles and they can make you 'perfect'.

Glossy hair, smooth skin, flawless body.

You'll feel better once it's done. The results are worth the pain.

And when they fade, the Belles will fix you all over again . . .

But it will cost you.

Are you willing to pay the price?

'Heart-pounding' Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author

'Diverse' Tomi Adeyemi,…

Book cover of Grave Mercy

Liza Street Author Of Blood Bounty

From my list on historical fantasy with a touch of romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and a lifelong lover of books, I read all genres. My favorites are set in fantastical worlds with unique settings. The mash-up of history and fantasy is endlessly compelling to me, and I always want to see a romantic subplot (or main plot!) in the books I read. I want a happily-ever-after even when the strange world and its villains are conspiring against the main characters. 

Liza's book list on historical fantasy with a touch of romance

Liza Street Why did Liza love this book?

Set in the mid-1400s in France, this series starter contains action, court intrigue, romance, and assassin nuns! I read it years ago and it remains a favorite, not only for the beautiful language, but for the strong heroine, Ismae, and her journey from following the rules and doing as she’s been told, to learning how to discern right from wrong and follow the guidance of her own moral compass. This is a book I would love to watch as a movie, not only for the action, but the costumes.

By Robin LaFevers,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Grave Mercy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
     Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high…

Book cover of Daisy Jones & The Six

David Starkey Author Of Poor Ghost

From my list on books about Rock and Roll that really rock.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started singing and playing guitar in garage bands in high school, about the same time that I began thinking of myself as a serious writer, so for me the two endeavors have always gone hand in hand. Over the decades, I’ve continued to write creatively—while teaching thousands of students along the way—and also to play in a number of bands that have specialized in everything from country-folk to raucous punk. Like many writer-musicians, I love reading good stories about the challenges and joys of people joining together, and falling apart, as they attempt to transcend ordinary life through the power of music.

David's book list on books about Rock and Roll that really rock

David Starkey Why did David love this book?

Taylor Jenkins Reid is not the first or only person to adapt the nonfiction oral history format into a work of fiction, but she does it with the most panache.

Loosely based on the mid-seventies romance between Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, Daisy Jones & the Six offers a nonstop procession of drama and conflict, but there’s a tender heart beating at its center and a heartbreaking reveal at the end.

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Daisy Jones & The Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



From the author of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO and the bestselling MALIBU RISING

'I LOVE it . . . I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so fun' DOLLY ALDERTON

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation.

Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They…

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