83 books like Elantris

By Brandon Sanderson,

Here are 83 books that Elantris fans have personally recommended if you like Elantris. 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 Parable of the Sower

Michael J. Albert Author Of Navigating the Polycrisis: Mapping the Futures of Capitalism and the Earth

From my list on books that help us make sense of the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lecturer in Global Environmental Politics at the University of Edinburgh. My work is driven by the conviction that we need more thorough and realistic maps of possible futures in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world. Ever since learning about the intersections between climate, energy, and economic crises, I have been fascinated by the question of how our future will unfold and how we might create more just and liveable futures from the wreckage of the present world. And I have been driven to bring down artificial disciplinary divides in order to integrate knowledge across the sciences and humanities in ways that can illuminate the possible pathways ahead. 

Michael's book list on books that help us make sense of the future

Michael J. Albert Why did Michael love this book?

The recent Octavia Butler renaissance means that the book needs no introduction. It remains a prescient, gripping, ominous, yet inspiring narrative that transports us into a future ravaged by climate change and neo-fascism.

The book is ruthlessly brutal in its account of what a collapse trajectory would look like in a future “United States” (existing in name and memory only). It anticipated a Trump-like figure coming to power well before this was remotely considered by mainstream American political scientists.

While dark, the book is also inspiring in that it shows how the breakdown of our current world could seed the emergence of new movements of mutual aid, solidarity, and earth-based spiritualities. 

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked Parable of the Sower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The extraordinary, prescient NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling novel.

'If there is one thing scarier than a dystopian novel about the future, it's one written in the past that has already begun to come true. This is what makes Parable of the Sower even more impressive than it was when first published' GLORIA STEINEM

'Unnervingly prescient and wise' YAA GYASI

--

We are coming apart. We're a rope, breaking, a single strand at a time.

America is a place of chaos, where violence rules and only the rich and powerful are safe. Lauren Olamina, a young woman with the extraordinary power to…


Book cover of The Golden Compass

A.A. Vora Author Of Spin of Fate

From my list on ethics in age appropriate ways for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m of Indian ethnicity and Japanese nationality, so it felt natural to write a book that drew inspiration from both cultures without being adjacent to either one. Like me, my book is a mixed bag. It features an original mythology with a unique religion and mythical beasts that you’ve (hopefully) never seen before. It’s also pretty heavy on themes and tries to provide some context to questions that baffled me as a kid: Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do war and violence exist? I can’t say that I’ve answered those questions, but I hope I’ve provided a multifaceted perspective into the conversation around them.

A.A.'s book list on ethics in age appropriate ways for kids

A.A. Vora Why did A.A. love this book?

I loved that this book doesn’t oversimplify challenging themes for a young audience. It mingles magic, action, and fascinating worldbuilding with some heavy philosophical and ethical undercurrents in a unique and compelling way.

The protagonist, Lyra, was a bit of a brat (in the best way), and I loved her mix of naivety and intelligence. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of dust as a conscious particle, and the most fascinating aspect for me was the study of its mysteries.

While I can’t comment on the specific religious undertones—I am not Christian and harbor no negative feelings against the church—I did appreciate the overarching conversation around religion as an institution.

By Philip Pullman,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked The Golden Compass 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 Philip Pullman's groundbreaking
HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, now a thrilling, critically
acclaimed BBC/HBO television series. First published
in 1995, and acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, this first
book in the series won the UK's top awards for children's literature.

"Without this child, we shall all
die."

Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live
half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford.

The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands
of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight.

Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences
far beyond her own world...



This…


Book cover of The Duke and I

Cassiopeia Fletcher Author Of The World Over

From my list on writing a “realistic” zombie apocalypse.

Why am I passionate about this?

Zombies are not my writer’s passion, family is. I chose the zombie backdrop to showcase the family I wanted to write about at both their best and worst moments. Because when it all comes down to the end of the world, it really doesn’t matter what happened to end it. But who you’re with at the end can make all the difference.

Cassiopeia's book list on writing a “realistic” zombie apocalypse

Cassiopeia Fletcher Why did Cassiopeia love this book?

In a list about zombie apocalypse references, this is definitely a quirky entry. But it is important for all writers to read outside of their genre, or they run the risk of becoming generic. 

Far more important than the story’s backdrop is the story’s focus. People predominantly care and read about people.

Whether that means writing about people resisting zombies, as is the case with most zombie stories, or writing about zombies doing their best to become human—as seen in Elantris and The Girl With All The Gifts—writers need to know how to tell stories about people.

I don’t write books about zombies, I write books about families. And there is probably no more famous family right now than the Bridgertons (though if I had one more recommendation, it would definitely be Swiss Family Robinson).

By reading books about strong families, I’m better able to translate my own…

By Julia Quinn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A #1 New York Times Bestseller

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the story of Daphne Bridgerton, in the first of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix.

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince-while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable...but not too amiable.…


Book cover of The Cruel Prince

E.M. Epps Author Of A Winter of Fish and Favor

From my list on fantasy books with pragmatic heroes who are still heroic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong fantasy reader, but all too often, I find myself grousing at the characters: “Listen! You could solve all your problems with a really confident lie!” Or: “...by revealing the truth in a public campaign before the villain gets you!” Or: “May I suggest a well-placed arrow?” Or: “Is he really the villain? The infrastructure seems pretty sound, and you have no expertise in governance!” Every now and then, I’m delighted to find characters as pragmatic as I am (or as I would be if I were a fantasy hero). These are my favorites.

E.M.'s book list on fantasy books with pragmatic heroes who are still heroic

E.M. Epps Why did E.M. love this book?

Jude Duarte, a human girl living in Faerie, is a cold-hearted ball of ambitious rage. Never have I rooted for a character so much.

Although picking fights with the clever and cruel Fair Folk is not pragmatic – on the surface – when the choice is between waiting for a random death on a bully’s whim or fighting back with every weapon at her disposal, Jude will always fight. I may have cheered out loud when she stabbed an enemy who broke into her bedroom and then stuffed his body under her bed until she could bury him. She does what she has to do to survive–and, in the end, to make Faerie a (slightly) better place.

Holly Black’s writing is so poetic, so smart, so sharp, like a honed fairy blade. She is a master.

By Holly Black,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Cruel Prince 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?

"Lush, dangerous, a dark jewel of a book . . . intoxicating" - Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three…


Book cover of Eragon

M.B. Strang Author Of Arrow's Flight: A Knights of the Pearl Order Novel

From my list on fantasy dragons from someone who loves them.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since childhood, I have been enthralled by dragons. The stories of these mythical creatures can be told in so many ways, from dragons as pets to bonding with them or even shapeshifting into them. I chose these books because they are memorable, they have stuck with me, and they have fascinated and inspired me for years. All of these writers have influenced my own work, and they are sure to resonate with you, too.

M.B.'s book list on fantasy dragons from someone who loves them

M.B. Strang Why did M.B. love this book?

I loved the relationship between the boy and the dragon in this book. Although stories showing the bond between child and dragon are common, Paolini makes it new by sharing a depth of feeling between the two.

The development of that relationship and the world-building of the setting make for a fascinating read that kept my attention. This book was so captivating that I had to read the other two in the trilogy.

By Christopher Paolini,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Eragon 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 book in The Inheritance Series

When poor farm boy Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it's a lucky discovery. Perhaps, he will be able to buy his family food for the winter.

But, when a baby dragon hatches out of the stone, Eragon realises he's stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

His simple life is shattered, and he's thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. To navigate this dark terrain, and survive his cruel king's evil ways, he must take up the mantle of the…


Book cover of The Eye of the World

Benjamin Patterson Author Of The Shadow of His Hand

From my list on old school fantasy books that pit good against evil.

Why am I passionate about this?

After devouring fantasy novels in my late teens and early twenties, I eventually hit a dead end. Where had all the good old-school fantasy gone? I wanted dashing heroes, compelling love stories, and epic battles between good and evil, but I could not seem to find it anymore–at least not as regularly as I wanted to. Eventually I set about writing my own stories, the kind of stories I always wanted to read. When I’m writing, I always go back to books on this list to rekindle my fire and remind me what good fantasy should be.

Benjamin's book list on old school fantasy books that pit good against evil

Benjamin Patterson Why did Benjamin love this book?

From the moment I spied the cover, I knew I had to read this book. 

It featured an armored soldier on horseback leading a group of weary travelers on a dark, foreboding night. It whispered of danger and mystery–two things all good fantasy contains. The group, inspired by prophecy, battles against unworldly creatures, eyeless monsters, and enigmatic foes in their quest to defeat the dark one.

I loved the clear delineation between the creator and the dark one and their contrasting visions for the world.

By Robert Jordan,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Eye of the World 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 Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the Two Rivers seeking their master's enemy, Moiraine persuades Rand al'Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light .

Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel…


Book cover of The Girl With All the Gifts

J. Martain Author Of Forgetting the Lost

From my list on uncanny children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an uncanny child myself, I always gravitated toward reading about the strange—whether in historical accounts or fiction—and as a passably normal adult, I often write from the perspective of “the other.” I never intentionally mix science fiction and paranormal elements into my work…they just happen to be my characters’ truths! So much of what we humans know about our world is filtered through our collective reality, and I love following the connecting threads and plucking at the flaws. 

J.'s book list on uncanny children

J. Martain Why did J. love this book?

A dystopian zombie-type tale, this novel focuses on a hyper-intelligent child who is starved for affection—and non-vegetarian protein.

Melanie struggles to control her biological impulses, to be more than what the adults fear and to be seen as human instead of an abomination, because she’s capable of love. Yet, it’s her immense capacity for clear, rational thought that makes her oh-so uncanny. 

I’ve read the book—and watched the film—multiple times. If you don’t mind some gore, this story is much more than just a zombie sci-fi.

By M.R. Carey,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Girl With All the Gifts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'ORIGINAL, THRILLING AND POWERFUL' - Guardian
'HAUNTING, HEARTHBREAKING' - Vogue
The phenomenal million-copy bestseller that is also a BAFTA Award-nominated movie

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the…


Book cover of The Hero and the Crown

Leanne M. Pankuch Author Of Dragon's Truth

From my list on girls and dragons, or girl dragons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading and re-reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But it always bothered me that there weren’t many girls or women in those books—and most of those that did appear were pretty, perfect, and—well—kind of boring. In college, I studied literature, myths, and fairytales and found that most of the female characters in those stories didn’t reflect women I wanted to be or know, either. So, I wrote my own high fantasy novel and continue to seek out great fantasy, sci-fi, and fairytale-inspired literature featuring strong female characters that are dragons on the inside—and sometimes on the outside, too. 

Leanne's book list on girls and dragons, or girl dragons

Leanne M. Pankuch Why did Leanne love this book?

This is a beautifully written YA fantasy that has the flavor of a traditional epic—like the Lord of the Rings—but also brings us intimately close to its characters, their individual cares, and their unique world. The story centers on Aerin, the king’s daughter, and her journey from being an outcast at her father’s court to becoming a hero in her own right—at the expense of a dragon, unfortunately. 

The Hero and the Crown is often praised as an example of classic feminist fantasy. It was one of the first stories I encountered where the goal of the female main character wasn’t to be rescued or married. But in my opinion, it’s McKinley’s lyrical and compelling prose and fantastic world-building that truly makes this a not-to-be-missed read.

By Robin McKinley,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Hero and the Crown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A Newbery Medal Winner

Although she is the daughter of Damar's king, Aerin has never been accepted as full royalty. Both in and out of the royal court, people whisper the story of her mother, the witchwoman, who was said to have enspelled the king into marrying her to get an heir to rule Damar-then died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son. But none of them, not even Aerin herself, can predict her future-for she is to be the true hero who will wield the power of the Blue Sword...

“[The Hero…


Book cover of Winter

Cassiopeia Fletcher Author Of The World Over

From my list on writing a “realistic” zombie apocalypse.

Why am I passionate about this?

Zombies are not my writer’s passion, family is. I chose the zombie backdrop to showcase the family I wanted to write about at both their best and worst moments. Because when it all comes down to the end of the world, it really doesn’t matter what happened to end it. But who you’re with at the end can make all the difference.

Cassiopeia's book list on writing a “realistic” zombie apocalypse

Cassiopeia Fletcher Why did Cassiopeia love this book?

The World Over is the first book in a series, so it sets up the expectations for what is coming.

Winter, on the other hand, is the last in a series, and it did a lot to show me how to bring together an ensemble cast in a way that builds to a satisfying ending without making previous installments feel unnecessary or redundant.
While zombies don’t appear in Winter, the history of the experimentation done to create the evil queen’s lupine army gets a lot of screen time without crossing the line into over-telling.

For anyone interested in the more technical aspects of a zombie apocalypse, Winter is a great novel for learning to weave background exposition with foreground action.

By Marissa Meyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winter 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?

Don't miss the thrilling final chapter of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series.

Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She's said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana...

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's…


Book cover of Naruto, Vol. 1: The Tests of the Ninja

A.A. Vora Author Of Spin of Fate

From my list on ethics in age appropriate ways for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m of Indian ethnicity and Japanese nationality, so it felt natural to write a book that drew inspiration from both cultures without being adjacent to either one. Like me, my book is a mixed bag. It features an original mythology with a unique religion and mythical beasts that you’ve (hopefully) never seen before. It’s also pretty heavy on themes and tries to provide some context to questions that baffled me as a kid: Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do war and violence exist? I can’t say that I’ve answered those questions, but I hope I’ve provided a multifaceted perspective into the conversation around them.

A.A.'s book list on ethics in age appropriate ways for kids

A.A. Vora Why did A.A. love this book?

My favorite manga series of all time, and I love the elemental magic system and feudal Japan-inspired worldbuilding. But the best aspect is the characters and their dynamics.

Naruto has made me laugh and cry so much. No matter how old I get, I can’t grow out of it—from the silly jokes to the inspirational monologues to the ‘let’s yell about our ideologies in the middle of a fight’ scenes. Manga is a very different medium from western literature, especially with how ideas and character development are communicated, but it’s worth a read for anyone who can accept those stylistic differences.

I enjoy how Naruto tackles themes of violence, hatred, the cause of conflict, and its vicious cycle… all in a manner that is palatable and touching for young readers but still resonates with adults.

By Masashi Kishimoto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Naruto, Vol. 1 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?

Naruto is a ninja-in-training with a need for attention, a knack for mischief, and sealed within him, a strange, formidable power. His antics amuse his instructor Kakashi and irritate his teammates, intense Sasuki and witty Sakura, but Naruto is serious about becoming the greatest ninja in the village of Konohagakure!

In another world, ninja are the ultimate power - and in the village of Konohagakure live the stealthiest ninja in the world. But twelve years ago Konohagakure was attacked by a fearsome threat - a nine-tailed fox demon which claims the life of the Hokage, the village champion. Today, peace…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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