10 books like Elder Race

By Adrian Tchaikovsky,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Elder Race. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Name of the Wind

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Book cover of The Name of the Wind

I return to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss again and again. It is a masterful account of magic, music, and memories. The prose is stunning and full of wonder. I catch new things in Rothfuss’ writing on every reread, from the recurring seven words of true love to the hidden rhymes within the prose. It is a book full of hidden mysteries and the subtle art of naming. I recommended it to friends and coworkers to scratch that magic school itch. It is a meditation on the nature of stories and magic itself. The music and legends we tell ourselves. It is an amazing book and one of my best loved.

The book resonates with me even more since I discovered that the author also has ADHD, something I was diagnosed with during the pandemic. I can see it in Kvothe, the main character. Each reread adds…

The Name of the Wind

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Name of the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lyrical fantasy masterpiece about stories, legends and how they change the world. The Name of the Wind is an absolute must-read for any fan of fantasy fiction.

'This is a magnificent book' Anne McCaffrey

'I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone' THE TIMES

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University…


Mistborn

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Mistborn: The Final Empire

The dreary desolation of the ash-covered Final Empire sets the tone for this heist story featuring a ragtag band of revolutionaries intent on taking down the immortal Lord Ruler. From the dark streets and seedy bars where the heroes make their plans to the lux parties of the elite, the Final Empire is as much a part of the story as the characters. Most of the story takes place in Luthadel, the capital city where their target, the Lord Ruler, reigns over a city being crushed under the weight of so much inequity and hopelessness. Sanderson builds this world so well that by the end of the prologue, you understand why things have to change and you’re willing to go to the extremes along with the characters to make that happen.

Mistborn

By Brandon Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Mistborn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brandon Sanderson - the international phenomenon who finished the Wheel of Time sequence - introduces a fantasy trilogy which overturns the expectations of readers and goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash…


The Eye of the World

By Robert Jordan,

Book cover of The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time Book One

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is the very definition of sprawling epic, the entire story spanning fourteen volumes. While it is steeped in a number of thematic elements that may, from modern perspective, be seen as tropes, the intricate design of the magic system in the books is undeniable. 

The system is described over time through the series with such nuance that the reader can begin to have a very clear notion of what is and is not possible, and feel an understanding of how things are done, almost as if we the readers are versed in the topic. Jordan accomplishes this without excessive info-dumping or the need for a character to attend a magic school so it can all be explained cleanly.

The Eye of the World

By Robert Jordan,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Eye of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

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…


Master of the Five Magics

By Lyndon Hardy,

Book cover of Master of the Five Magics

Master of the Five Magics delivers exactly what the title suggests. Hardy creates not only one, but five distinct and well-thought-out systems of magic. Each discipline is different from the next in practice, application, and style. The mechanics of how each of the systems functions is logical, precise, and adheres to a well-planned set of rules. The reader explores the world of magics through immersive storytelling and the reader can enjoy the journey without the perception of having attended a university course on the subject material.

The trilogy is seen as ahead of its time and is often credited as having influenced later authors as they explored the subject of magic in fantasy in their own writings.

Master of the Five Magics

By Lyndon Hardy,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Master of the Five Magics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Vendora, the crafty queen under siege in a castle that had never fallen.

Alodar, the mere journeyman, learning the least of the five crafts of magic.

He had no right to aspire for her hand --- but aspire he did!

Wizards, sorcerers, dragons, castles, and more!

Alodar's quest takes him from one magical craft to another—each with its own distinct powers and pitfalls. Aided by a mysterious eye from deep within the earth, at a college for magicians, he discovers the secret lying behind the hypnotic flicker of common flame.


Volume 1 of the Magic by the Numbers series


Some…


The Monster of Elendhaven

By Jennifer Giesbrecht,

Book cover of The Monster of Elendhaven

This book is just fun, but it’s also a weird kind of fun. Short and to the point, it follows two monstrous men as they wreak deadly havoc on a dark little town. It leans heavily on the media’s history of queer-coding villains in stories and allows the characters to be unapologetically evil. Readers who enjoy this book will find themselves thinking the pair are strangely cute together, all the while trying to remember that they’re very dangerous. It’s great as an audiobook and makes the perfect palate cleaners between longer books. 

The Monster of Elendhaven

By Jennifer Giesbrecht,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A black tide of perversity, violence, and lush writing. I loved it.” —Joe Hill

A Finalist for the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award!

Debut author Jennifer Giesbrecht paints a darkly compelling fantasy of revenge in The Monster of Elendhaven, a dark fantasy about murder, a monster, and the magician who loves both.

The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of industry and left to die. But not everything dies so easily. A thing without a name stalks the city, a thing shaped like a man, with a dark heart…


The Colour of Magic

By Terry Pratchett,

Book cover of The Colour of Magic

Once you start with Terry Pratchett, you won’t be able to stop. His books are highly entertaining and he has a unique style of writing that makes them something special. He develops a number of different characters throughout the books, but this first one contains my favourite: Rincewind, the most inept wizard ever created (and don’t get me started on the Luggage). The world the discworld series is set in is so far beyond anything anyone else has done it is amazing. Ridiculous, but amazing.      

The Colour of Magic

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious buy inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course The Edge of the planet...


Throne of the Crescent Moon

By Saladin Ahmed,

Book cover of Throne of the Crescent Moon

Sometimes, you just want to retire and have a nice, quiet cup of tea. And world-ending magical plots keep getting in the way. Adoulla Mahmoud, once the best Ghul hunter alive, is just trying to retire. Unfortunately, the world has other plans for him. Alongside the pious warrior Raseed bas Raseed, and the shapeshifting Zamia Badawi, Adoulla faces the greatest threat yet. One that could destroy not just his favorite teahouse, but the world. 

While there is some good-natured humor within this book, Saladin Ahmed establishes right away with a torture-scene prologue that Throne of the Crescent Moon will be dark and gory. I love the magic system and the Arabia-inspired world. The only downside to this book is that Ahmed doesn’t seem to be working on the sequel. 

Throne of the Crescent Moon

By Saladin Ahmed,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Throne of the Crescent Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditional swords & sorcery fantasy with an authentic middle-eastern spin.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, is at boiling point. A power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince is reaching its climax. In the midst of this brewing rebellion, a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. Only a handful of reluctant heroes can learn the truth, and stop the killing.

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years…


Belgarath the Sorcerer

By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings,

Book cover of Belgarath the Sorcerer

You want epic—you got epic! Belgarath becomes the disciple of the god, Aldur, and struggles to learn not only magic, but humility. Belgarath the Sorcerer is a late book in Eddings’ epic series, and if I recall correctly, it should be read after The Belgariad and The Mallorean (both of which are 5-book sequences). I’m pretty sure that reading about these hugely powerful gods and their disciples seeped into the developing inspiration for Kiranis, with its gods and prophets and grand schemes. There’s something deeply welcoming about this book, which is in 1st person as Belgarath tells his tale, especially following everything that happened in the preceding 10-book cycle. This is my favourite Eddings character, and he is more alive than those you might think were the central ones. From this book, I learned that true character development is an evolutionary process, and you just have to be patient…

Belgarath the Sorcerer

By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The life story of Belgararth the Sorcerer: his own account of the great struggle that went before the Belgariad and the Malloreon, when gods stills walked the land.

Here is the full epic story of Belgarath, the great sorcerer learned in the Will and the Word on whom the fate of the world depends. Only Belgarath can tell of those near-forgotten times when Gods still walked the land: he is the Ancient One, the Old Wolf, his God Aldur's first and most-favoured disciple. Using powers learned over the centuries Belgarath himself records the story of conflict between two mortally opposed…


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling,

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

After starting out as a more straightforward magical adventure, the Harry Potter series begins digging deeper into the murkiness of good and evil in Book 5. Harry himself is an unquestionably “good” person, who makes the right decision even if it’s difficult, so he provides a fitting contrast for other characters who aren’t so clean-cut. 

Though it’s now common knowledge, I can still remember how the scene where Harry sees his father bullying Snape in the Pensieve shook me to the core. Harry’s father had always been portrayed as a paragon of good, a true hero, while Snape was nothing more than a bully. As the series continues, Harry is forced to come to terms with the moral ambiguity of more than one character, most prominently Dumbledore. And Rowling provides no answers, instead leaving readers to debate endlessly over these questions.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The fifth adventure in the spellbinding Harry Potter saga - the series that changed the world of books forever Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors' attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord's return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort's savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and…


The Crystal Cave

By Mary Stewart,

Book cover of The Crystal Cave

Merlin’s story – with a difference. This one could really have happened: OK, disregarding the magic, but the events and the people are truly believable. Set in the 5th/6th century, the boy Merlin learns how to use his special abilities and becomes King Arthur’s friend and advisor, and so the legend is created. The first of Ms. Stewart’s Arthurian saga, I fell in love with these books when I first read them back in the 1970s. They were to set me on my own writing career, for I’d never liked the historically inaccurate and implausible traditional Arthurian legends, The Crystal Cave drew my attention to how Arthur (if he’d existed!) would likely have lived in the post-Roman era, and that the Medieval fabricated tales of knights, Lancelot and the Holy Grail were nowhere near as exciting as the very real Anglo-Saxon transformation from Britain into England…

The Crystal Cave

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The spellbinding story of Merlin's rise to power.

Vivid, enthralling, absolutely first-class - Daily Mail

So begins the story of Merlin, born the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess in fifth century Britain, a world ravaged by war. Small and neglected, with his mother unwilling to reveal his father's identity, Merlin must disguise his intelligence - and hide his occasional ability to know things before they happen - in order to keep himself safe.

While exploring the countryside near his home, Merlin stumbles across a cave filled with books and papers and hiding a room lined with crystals. It is…


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