78 books like Black Sun Rising

By C. S. Friedman,

Here are 78 books that Black Sun Rising fans have personally recommended if you like Black Sun Rising. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Lord of the Silver Bow

Luciana Cavallaro Author Of Search for the Golden Serpent

From my list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my teens, I read a book by Charles Berlitz titled Atlantis: the lost continent. I was enthralled and fascinated about this lost race of people, who were technically and sophisticated advance society and on one fateful day, vanished. My appetite for Greek mythology and ancient history grew from there, and I wanted to learn more about various ancient cultures and their mythologies. I eventually studied ancient history and continue my education as new archaeological discoveries and advancements are made. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe and seeing the Roman Forum and Colosseum, that I was inspired to write and combine my love for mythology and ancient history into historical fiction fantasy.

Luciana's book list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary

Luciana Cavallaro Why did Luciana love this book?

I’m cheating a little here by recommending a trilogy but this was one of the best historical fiction I’ve read.

The series is about Prince Aeneas and the legendary story of the war between the Trojans and the Greeks. David Gemmell sets the scene prior to war from the POV of Aeneas, who was regarded as pirate but as the story progresses you learn more about his actions and why he keeps roaming the sea.

It is full of action and stays true to the unfolding drama of the Trojan War. For me, the historical backdrop and the research the author included was one of the main reasons this series wins.

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Lord of the Silver Bow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three lives will change the destiny of nations. Hellkaon, the young prince of Dardania, haunted by a scarred and traumatic childhood. The priestess Andromache, whose fiery spirit and fierce Independence threatens the might of kings. And the legendary warrior Argurios, cloaked in loneliness and driven only by thoughts of revenge. In Troy they find a city torn apart by destructive rivalries - a maelstrom of jealousy, deceit and murderous treachery. And beyond its fabled walls blood-hungry enemies eye its riches and plot its downfall. It is a time of bravery and betrayal; a time of bloodshed and fear. A time…


Book cover of The Risen Empire

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From my list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds

Ronald A. Geobey Why did Ronald love this book?

I had been reading Heroic and Epic Fantasy for years, and I’d purposely avoided reading Sci-Fi, convinced that it would influence my burgeoning plot development. I wanted to maintain my plot integrity and not be subconsciously led by other authors in the genre (but of course I couldn’t avoid the influence of the SF I watched on TV). Of course, I was missing out on some great writing. I was enthralled by this story—it combined an undead trope with space opera, as the ‘risen empire’ maintains its territory while facing an external threat from the technologically hybrid Rix. There’s a fascination with the potential of biological augmentation and the place of AI in our distant future (consider ‘immortal’ humans against potentially ‘eternal’ hybrid humans), but this story is extremely character-driven and concerned with the place of the individual. The fictional science was breathtaking and not without research, but what stuck…

By Scott Westerfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The undead Emperor has ruled his mighty interstellar empire of 80 human worlds for 1600 years. Because he can grant a form of eternal life-after-death, creating an elite known as the Risen, his power is absolute. He and his sister, the Child Empress, who is eternally a little girl, are worshipped as living gods. No one can touch them. No until the Rix, machine-augmented humans who worship planetary Al compound minds. The Rix are cool, relentless fanatics, and their only goal I to propagate such Als throughout the galaxy. They seek to end, by any means necessary, the Emperor's prolonged…


Book cover of The Amulet of Samarkand

Jinn Nelson Author Of Traveler

From my list on underrated humorous fantasy with happy endings.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fantasy writer, I love to play with possibilities and invent new words for our experiences. I find that humorous fantasy is especially powerful in this regard because it pairs possibilities with absurdity, coming at reality sideways or backwards, putting everyday life into a new and more interesting light. Humor has the unique ability to transcend genres, from thrillers to cozy mysteries. It helps you process difficult emotions, or lift your spirits when the world feels a little too dark. These are some of my favorites within this category, and they all happen to be the first books in a series (you’re welcome). I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Jinn's book list on underrated humorous fantasy with happy endings

Jinn Nelson Why did Jinn love this book?

This is possibly the best known book on my list, yet it took me a long time to discover it.

This is a thriller-style adventure that follows Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice on a quest for revenge, who summons Bartimaeus, an all-powerful djinni. Nathaniel (unwittingly) and Bartimaeus (unwillingly) get caught up in a tangled plot of magic-fueled mayhem in which they have to work together to survive.

Bartimaeus’ sarcastic observations and side tangents add an element of humor that keep it from staying dark and somber, while also highlighting the underlying threads of slavery and social injustice in this fantasy world.

By Jonathan Stroud,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Amulet of Samarkand 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?

The first volume in the brilliant, bestselling Bartimaeus sequence.

When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Against his will, Bartimaeus is packed off to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician of unrivalled ruthlessness and ambition. Before long, both djinni and apprentice are caught up in a terrifying flood of magical intrigue, murder and rebellion.

Set…


Book cover of Pawn of Prophecy

Cleave Bourbon Author Of Red Mage Ascending

From my list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first got fascinated with fantasy as a very reluctant high school reader. I didn’t like to read all that much because I was a slow reader and it was a laborious task for me. A high school friend offered me a fantasy book to read sophomore year and I couldn’t put it down. That one book started me on a reading journey that has never stopped. I also studied English, became a teacher, and finally began writing my own fantasy. These books took a reluctant reader in high school to the man and author I am today. I hope my own work does the same for future writers.

Cleave's book list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers

Cleave Bourbon Why did Cleave love this book?

When I was in high school, I didn’t like to read that much because I was a slow reader.

My best friend was an avid reader and he loved fantasy in particular. One day he handed me this book and said I needed to read it. He said the characters were amazing and the book was not one of the big thick fantasy tomes I refused to read.

I decided to try it and I read it cover to cover in about two days. I continued on and read the entire five book series, and then went on to read more from the author. This book turned a non-reader into a reader, then an English major, and finally into a teacher and an author. I still read slower than I would like, but this book and series set me on the path I still follow today. 

By David Eddings,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Pawn of Prophecy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first part of a saga set against a history of 7000 years of struggles of gods and kings and men. Long ago, the evil god Torak sought dominion and drove men and gods to war. Belgarath the Sorcerer led a quest to reclaim the Orb of Aldur - but so long as it lay at Riva, men would be safe.


Book cover of Deryni Rising

Eressë Belley Author Of Sacred Fate

From my list on realistic and compelling world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lover of fantasy stories, mythology, and folklore for a long time, mostly because fully realized fictional settings beyond our world enthralled me. My first forays into writing dwelt on fantasy with a strong historical slant, even when I dabbled in romance. It was also then that I realized my male characters had more chemistry with each other than with the females I’d paired them with. This is how I wound up in fan fiction, where virtually anything goes. During those years, I honed my writing, deepened my fascination with world-building, and crafted stories that would feed the wellspring of my first historical fantasy novel.

Eressë's book list on realistic and compelling world-building

Eressë Belley Why did Eressë love this book?

It was this book that disabused me of the notion that fantasy had to be written in a specific way, often in highfalutin or profound language. It encouraged me to put my own stories into writing.

Though very much a historical fantasy novel, this book was easy to understand despite the unfamiliar terms and background details of a fantastical universe. I think it’s due to Katheryn Kurtz’s initial use of simple, down-to-earth language and a fairly straightforward story, which, looking back now, was probably aimed at teenagers or young adults. I was sometimes reminded of the first volume of JRR Tolkien’s epic novel, especially because the succeeding books got progressively darker and more complex.

In this introductory book, the world of the Deryni, a race of mortals with magical powers, is fleshed out so well that the kingdom of Gwynedd, its people, and its neighboring realms feel so real that…

By Katherine Kurtz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the kingdom of Gwynedd, the mysterious forces of magic and the superior power of the Church combine to challenge the rule of young Kelson. Now the fate of the Deryni -- a quasi-mortal race of sorcerers -- and, indeed, the fate of all the Eleven Kingdoms, rests on Kelson's ability to quash the rebellion by any means necessary . . . including the proscribed use of magic!


Book cover of Theft of Swords

Cheryl Dyson Author Of The Gauntlet Thrown

From my list on epic fantasies with epic bromances.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, “bromance'' is simply two (or more) men having a bond that extends deeper than mere friendship. It is usually not romantic (sadly, in some cases), and is often between cousins or even brothers, but I absolutely love it when a hero is willing to die for his friend/soulmate/brother/mortal enemy. Men have been discouraged from saying the dreaded “I love you,” especially to other men, so they have been forced to disclose their feelings through action. I find a special delight in bonds that develop between two people who initially dislike one another; they must first reach “like” before they can achieve real emotional connection.

Cheryl's book list on epic fantasies with epic bromances

Cheryl Dyson Why did Cheryl love this book?

The bromance in this series is between two longtime friends that are also independent thieves. A running joke between them is Hadrian’s insistence on constantly doing “good deeds” instead of simply taking jobs that pay well. Despite Royce’s complaints about Hadrian’s apparent charitable streak, it becomes clear that he also has a penchant for doing the right thing. The banter between them is fluid and speaks of a shared history that keeps me reading, hoping to dig more into their past and discover how they became such a strong team. I also adore books with humor in the midst of drama or stress and this book definitely delivers.

By Michael J. Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires?

And so begins the first tale of…


Book cover of Shadow of a Dark Queen

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From my list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds

Ronald A. Geobey Why did Ronald love this book?

This was the first Feist book I read, back then having no knowledge of the enormity of the Midkemia universe and yet to read Magician (oh, to be young again!). Shadow is the first book of the Serpentwar Saga, starting decades after the events of the preceding Riftwar Saga. Aside from the building scope of this book and its introduction to the breathtaking scale of events to come, I can still recall the tone and clarity of the scenes in which young Erik, initially an apprentice blacksmith, is facing the noose. For me, Feist captured the dread and hopelessness of impending nothingness, and…well, I won’t spoil it.

There’s a massive plot developing, as you’d expect from Feist, but I think this was probably the first time I’d appreciated the political and military machinations of large-scale campaigns, and it wasn’t just one day there’s peace, the next there’s war. That sense…

By Raymond E. Feist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The astonishing first volume in Raymond E. Feist's bestselling Serpentwar Saga...

A nest of vipers is stirring. . .

Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation. A dark queen has raised her standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might.

Into this battleground of good and evil a band of desperate men are forced, whose only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature.

Among them are some unlikely heroes - Erik, a bastard heir denied his birth right, and his friend Roo, an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery. They…


Book cover of Red Rising

Jeremy Szal Author Of Stormblood

From my list on SFF books about brotherhood and male friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young man who deals with issues of loneliness, depression, and melancholy, I’ve always been drawn to platonic male friendships in fiction. Seeing acts of brotherly courage and heroism on the page has always resonated with me, especially when my own friendships in the real world have felt lacking. Men aren’t the best at discussing their emotions, especially not with each other, and I’ve desperately sought out stories where even the most grizzled male heroes are, deep down, in need of a friend. In writing Stormblood, I wanted to have a strong sense of brotherhood and unity between the male cast members as they battle enemies and face their personal demons.

Jeremy's book list on SFF books about brotherhood and male friendships

Jeremy Szal Why did Jeremy love this book?

Red Rising and its sequels have a special place in my heart. They’re about war, violence, terrorism, tragedies, and betrayal, but there’s a stronger thread woven throughout the pages: love. Love of your family, of your brothers, and your kin. It’s this love that drives the characters to rise up against godlike enemies. To fight for a better tomorrow.

The bromance that’s on display between Darrow and Sevro is so moving, especially when either of them fall on hard times (which is often). Whenever I feel lost or depressed, reading about these broken, beautiful, loyal characters helps me to find my own path again.

These books were, and are, the single biggest influence on my writing.

By Pierce Brown,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Red Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, BUZZFEED, GOODREADS AND SHELF AWARENESS

Pierce Brown's heart-pounding debut is the first book in a spectacular series that combines the drama of Game of Thrones with the epic scope of Star Wars.

**********

'Pierce Brown's empire-crushing debut is a sprawling vision . . . Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow' - Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of Pandemic

'[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field' - USA Today

**********

Darrow is a Helldiver. A pioneer…


Book cover of Between Jobs

Lydia Sherrer Author Of Beginnings

From my list on urban fantasy adventures with snarky humor.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the author of 10+ books in my snark-filled and magical Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus universe, I’ve had plenty of practice mixing humor and urban fantasy. I’m also addicted to British humor like Monty Python and Black Books. Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, the magical talking cat in my books is my main outlet for humor with his feline aphorisms like “pride is unbecoming to humans, only cats and dragons do it justice,” and “if you wanted sympathy, you should have adopted a dog.” It has been my joy to seek out the snort-laugh-worthiest novels, learn from them, and produce laugh-out-loud adventures for my own wonderful readers.

Lydia's book list on urban fantasy adventures with snarky humor

Lydia Sherrer Why did Lydia love this book?

The Tasmanian setting and more subtle, understated snark of the protagonist threw me for a loop for the first part of this book, but it had been highly recommended to me so I stuck with it (plus I loved the premise and characters of this urban fantasy romp). By the end of it and into the second and third books in the series I was head-over-heels in love with the series, the author’s voice, and her wonderfully unique Aussie sense of humor. We all know that the first book can be a bit rough, and I promise you that by the end of the series I was so blown away by the excellent story-smithing and craftsmanship of Ms. Gingell that this series is one of my top favorite.

By W.R. Gingell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When you get up in the morning, the last thing you expect to see is a murdered guy hanging outside your window. Things like that tend to draw the attention of the local police, and when you're squatting in your parents' old house until you can afford to buy it, another thing you can't afford is the attention of the cops.

Oh yeah. Hi. My name is Pet. It's not my real name, but it's the only one you're getting. Things like names are important these days. 

And it's not so much that I'm Pet. I am a pet. A…


Book cover of If Wishes Were Curses

Avily Jerome Author Of The Breeding

From my list on urban fantasy books to explore if magic were real and in the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love urban fantasy and all the associated genres, like paranormal and horror. I love the question of “what if” and exploring how things would work if certain rules of magic or the supernatural were real. I love the variety and scope of world building that can be done parallel to and within our world through urban fantasy. That “what if” question is at the center of my own writing, and especially when I read non-fiction on topics like parallel universes and aliens and demons, I get so much inspiration for stories and worlds and what might be happening just beyond our view. 

Avily's book list on urban fantasy books to explore if magic were real and in the world

Avily Jerome Why did Avily love this book?

This book was so much fun. Quintessential urban fantasy—a supernatural world overlaying the real world, with a fantastic jumble of supernatural characters, including fae, shifters, vampires, genies, and more. There’s mystery and romance and fae politics and magic, and it was an absolute blast to uncover the world and get to know the characters. The main character is part-genie, but has a curse put on her so she can only use a little of her magic. She is framed for a crime, so she has to figure out what is really going on. One of my favorite aspects was that it was pretty mild when it came to the sensual elements, so while it had plenty of romantic tension, there was more plot than sex, which I prefer. 

By Janeen Ippolito,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If Wishes Were Curses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

So I accidentally killed a shifter. On purpose.

With genie powers I shouldn’t be able to use, thanks to my curse-mark.

In my defense, the damn grizzly was threatening civilians and might have been a vampire as well. Pittsburgh is safer without him. Only the Fae court doesn’t believe my story, and the shifters are out for blood.

Now I’ve lost my job as a romantic investigator, and I’m on death row. My only hope is an oddly outgoing vegetarian vampire lawyer who seems strangely familiar. Too familiar. Almost like we’ve met before, and this whole thing was a set-up…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in vampires, fairies, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about vampires, fairies, and presidential biography.

Vampires Explore 275 books about vampires
Fairies Explore 131 books about fairies
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography