100 books like Fly By Night

By Frances Hardinge,

Here are 100 books that Fly By Night fans have personally recommended if you like Fly By Night. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Screaming Staircase

By Jonathan Stroud,

Book cover of The Screaming Staircase

Wayne Thomas Batson Author Of Dreamtreaders

From the list on fantasy with a unique ingredient or twist.

Who am I?

I believe with all of my heart that each one of us was created with two achingly powerful inner drives: 1) the longing for new worlds and 2) the desperate urge to do something meaningful. I simply could never believe that human beings are all simply cosmic accidents produced by some sort of cosmic casino. I believe God created people and gave us each an instinct to seek our true home. The books I write—all 22 of them—are tales of flawed individuals, thrown into unexpected, life-changing events, and given the chance to journey through many astoundingly lush worlds, all in an effort to do the seemingly impossible.

Wayne's book list on fantasy with a unique ingredient or twist

Why did Wayne love this book?

Imagine a contemporary fantasy, driven by sword-wielding, swashbuckling, mystically empowered, ghostbusting teenagers. Yup. That is the cool twist in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. Series.

He’s best known for the Bartimaeus Trilogy, and takes all of his fantasy worldbuilding craft to design a modern world where ghosts are not only real but common and quite deadly to us living folk. You will fall in love with Lockwood and Lucy, sense the tension between them, and yet be relieved to discover that their connection isn’t the predictable stuff of typical teen romance.

The remarkable ghosts are similar to fantasy races. Rather than elves, gnomes, warlocks, etc., you have screamers, wailers, howling maids, and a whole host of specific ghost types that I dare not spoil. If you like fantasy with a touch of creepy, you’ll love Lockwood & Co.

By Jonathan Stroud,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Screaming Staircase as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment…

The False Prince

By Jennifer A. Nielsen,

Book cover of The False Prince

Aly Kay Tibbitts Author Of Operation Latensification: HADES

From the list on young adult for spy lovers.

Who am I?

One fateful day in 4th grade, after finishing the Chronicles of Narnia, I picked up a YA spy novel off my teacher’s bookshelf. I never went back. I was immediately drawn to the depth of the characters, the nuance of how their public persona didn’t always match their internal thoughts, and their ability to succeed when no one thought they could. Eventually, what I read became what I wrote. Now, whenever I get overwhelmed, I love to turn to the genre that helped me through High School. Whether I reread old favorites, revisit my own stories, or find new friends, these characters remind me I can do anything.

Aly's book list on young adult for spy lovers

Why did Aly love this book?

When my roommate suggested I read The False Prince, I did not expect to be drawn in and read the entire 5 book series in a week. What’s a sleep schedule?

Sage is the kind of character that can keep everyone guessing…including the reader, even though you are reading from his point of view. He is guarded and defiant. As he is being sculpted to be what someone else wants him to be, he remains spitefully himself, even when it might mean his demise. He might not technically be a spy, but he embodies everything I love about the genre.

Sage has an unwavering knowledge of who he really is, and I can only hope I can have that for myself someday.

By Jennifer A. Nielsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you love the danger and sword-fighting of MERLIN, you'll like this! In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point - he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. As Sage's…


By Brandon Mull, Brandon Dorman (illustrator),

Book cover of Dragonwatch

Kevin Sands Author Of Children of the Fox

From the list on children’s fantasy series beyond Harry Potter.

Who am I?

I’ve been an avid reader of fantasy since before I can remember—and to this day, from reading to writing to gaming, fantasy worlds remain my favourite places to stay. I’m the author of six books so far, five in the Blackthorn Key adventures; my latest series is Thieves of Shadow

Kevin's book list on children’s fantasy series beyond Harry Potter

Why did Kevin love this book?

Jurassic Park meets Lord of the Rings. Need I say more? Fablehaven, and its sequel series, Dragonwatch, draws upon centuries of mythology to create a wildlife haven—or, rather, a "monsterlife" haven—protected by a kindhearted cast of rogues. The series’ biggest strength is that author Brandon Mull understands there’s something sinister lying behind most fairytales, and he brings that danger to every scene. 

By Brandon Mull, Brandon Dorman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The dragons that have been kept in sanctuaries want their freedom—and their revenge—and the world’s only hope is the reformation of the ancient order of Dragonwatch in this New York Times bestselling first novel of a new sequel series to Fablehaven from author Brandon Mull.

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The…

The Dragonet Prophecy

By Tui T. Sutherland,

Book cover of The Dragonet Prophecy

Anushka Bhattacharjee Author Of My Magic Mirror

From the list on where ordinary items become magical.

Who am I?

Anushka is an avid reader and reads thousands of books every year. She loves fantasy stories. She has been inspired by many of these stories before she planned to write one of her own. As a young reader and writer, she also understands what her peers will enjoy.

Anushka's book list on where ordinary items become magical

Why did Anushka love this book?

The entire Wings of Fire series has stories full of mystery and adventure. And the best part is that the main characters are dragons. This is an animal-based fantasy where the dragons have to end a war. Dragons are definitely one of my favorites! I highly recommend this series to my peers (around my age, 10+). 

By Tui T. Sutherland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The beginning of a thrilling new dragon saga-- now in paperback!

Clay and his friends have grown up under a mountain, secretly raised by the Talons of Peace to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. The five young dragons are destined to end the war that's been raging between the tribes of Pyrrhia -- but how they'll do this, none of them knows.But not every dragonet wants a destiny. When one of their own is threatened, Clay and his friends decide to escape. Maybe they can break free and end the war at the same time -- or maybe they'll risk everything…

Island of the Aunts

By Eva Ibbotson, Kevin Hawkes (illustrator),

Book cover of Island of the Aunts

Sheila Grau Author Of The Boy with 17 Senses

From the list on middle grade with breathtaking imagination.

Who am I?

I am an author of five books for children. I am also an avid reader of middle grade fiction, especially speculative fiction. I love exploring other people’s imaginations. It’s not only entertaining, but incredibly inspiring. Like most people, when I discover a book that I love, I can’t wait to share it with my friends. I hope you love these selections as much as I do! It was really hard to limit myself to just five. 

Sheila's book list on middle grade with breathtaking imagination

Why did Sheila love this book?

Imagination + humor. The opening line of this books is one of my favorites – “Kidnapping children is not a good idea. All the same, sometimes it has to be done.” – Ibbotson was a genius at combining fantastical settings with humor. This book in particular spoke to my childhood fantasies of taking care of strange animals and visiting exotic locales. It’s a whole lot of fun, like all her books.

By Eva Ibbotson, Kevin Hawkes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the kindly old aunts decide that they need help caring for creatures who live on their hidden island, they know that adults can't be trusted. What they need are a few special children who can keep a secret-a secret as big as a magical island. And what better way to get children who can keep really big secrets, than to kidnap them! (After all, some children just plain need to be kidnapped.) Don't miss this wildly inventive and funny read from master storyteller Eva Ibbotson.


By Liesl Shurtliff,

Book cover of Rump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Rumpelstiltskin

Jessica Lawson Author Of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher

From the list on middle grade retellings of classics and fairytales.

Who am I?

I grew up reading all kinds of stories, but I was also a big fan of playing outdoors. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was always a favorite of mine, but as an adult, I realized something…the one main female character who was my age, Becky Thatcher, didn’t seem to like adventure at all! I loved the idea of Becky being as much of a mischief-maker as the boys – and that became my first novel, The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. I love retellings of classics and how they respect the original story, but are also able to imagine a new path! I hope all readers have adventures, inside and outside of books!

Jessica's book list on middle grade retellings of classics and fairytales

Why did Jessica love this book?

Rump by Liesl Shurtliff is a funny and poignant fractured fairy tale based on Rumpelstiltskin. It breathes new life into a character that has been typecast in the past as somewhat one-dimensional. I love that this author made tweaks to the original tale and brought another fairy tale character, Red Riding Hood, into the mix as a support system. I love the idea of origin stories that make readers think twice about judging supposed villains. Imagination abounds from this author, and the reader learns so much about Rump throughout his journey; both strengths and internal wounds that can be healed. This story has it all: humor, adventure, and heart.

By Liesl Shurtliff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. New York Times Bestselling author Liesl Shurtliff "spins words into gold [Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor winner]."

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell,…


By Akwaeke Emezi,

Book cover of Pet

Erik Christopher Martin Author Of The Case of the French Fry Phantom: Dotty Morgan Supernatural Sleuth Book One

From the list on middle-grade featuring an LGBTQIA+ protagonist.

Who am I?

The world is an amazing, diverse place that needs stories that represent everyone. I identify as gender fluid and am part of my city’s LGBTQIA+ community. For kids, there aren’t enough stories that feature non-straight cis protagonists where that identity isn’t the focus. LGBTQIA+ kids exist. They are normal. Let a gay kid go into space. Let a teenage lesbian solve a mystery. Let a trans girl defeat a dragon. Let an ace teen be a witch. Everybody deserves their adventure. 

Erik's book list on middle-grade featuring an LGBTQIA+ protagonist

Why did Erik love this book?

The City of Lucille has gotten rid of all its monsters.

That’s what Jam, a teenage trans girl, believed until the demonic-looking Pet emerged from one of her mother’s paintings. But despite their monstrous appearance, Pet isn’t the monster, but came forth to hunt a monster already living among the people of Lucille undetected. 

Pet contains vivid imagery, powerful themes, and a sensitive and brave protagonist. Be bold. Be vigilant. Monsters never entirely go away because we are the monsters.

By Akwaeke Emezi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

She stumbled backwards, her eyes wide, as the figure started coming out of the canvas
She tried to be brave. Well, she said, her hands only a little shaky, at least tell me what I should call you.
Well, little girl, it replied, I suppose you can call me Pet.

There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson…

Book cover of Three Mages and a Margarita

JP McLean Author Of Blood Mark

From the list on urban fantasy with kickass heroines.

Who am I?

I’ve been mesmerized by paranormal stories since grade school when I first read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. Paranormal, supernatural, and magical books capture my imagination, probably because I’ve always wished I could fly like I can in my dreams. But since gravity is real, I make the magic happen in my writing. I especially enjoy when the magic takes place in a contemporary setting but is hidden to all but the reader and the ones who possess it. It feels like being in on a very big secret. The books I’ve recommended are a mix of secretive and outed magic. I hope you enjoy them.

JP's book list on urban fantasy with kickass heroines

Why did JP love this book?

I lived in Vancouver for many years, so I really enjoyed the familiar Vancouver setting of Three Mages and a Margarita, not that you have to know Vancouver to enjoy the books (Vancouver is much like any other big city). Marie writes like a troublemaker, tosses in a dash of romance, and spices it up with sassy dialogue. Her use of magic guilds and their brands of magic is unique and imaginative: two of my favourite things in an urban fantasy. The heroine, Tori Dawson, kicks butt, but she’s also big-hearted. The mages, who practically live at the bar where Tori works, court trouble and are easy on the eyes. Thankfully, there are many more books—and now comic books—to read in this series.

By Annette Marie,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Three Mages and a Margarita as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview — to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they… offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And…

Don't Believe a Word

By David Shariatmadari,

Book cover of Don't Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language

Clare Williams Author Of An Economic Sociology of Law Reimagined: Beyond Embeddedness

From the list on how we use metaphor and how metaphor uses us.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by (and in love with) language for as long as I can remember; how and why it works, and how slight alterations in phrasing and framing can produce vastly different results in practice. I love looking out for metaphors and phrases that function as tools, directing how we understand and engage with the world. While my research applies these insights to both law and economics, the key takeaways are widely applicable and relevant to all areas of life. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have.

Clare's book list on how we use metaphor and how metaphor uses us

Why did Clare love this book?

Shariatmadari writes beautifully, and this book will make you think differently about how we use language and how that language uses and shapes us, both as individual actors and as a society. Our language – those everyday vocabularies and grammars that we deploy without a second thought – is neither original nor value-free; instead, “to speak is ‘to swim in an inherited stream of images and words’”, crafted by generations before us. For small talk, this may not matter so much. But for the bigger, weightier things in life, for the things that really matter, the way we talk can have real consequences on what we are able to understand, and how we are able to respond.

By David Shariatmadari,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Believe a Word as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think you know language? Think again.

There are languages that change when your mother-in-law is present. The language you speak could make you more prone to accidents. Swear words are produced in a special part of your brain.

Over the past few decades, we have reached new frontiers of linguistic knowledge. Linguists can now explain how and why language changes, describe its structures, and map its activity in the brain. But despite these advances, much of what people believe about language is based on folklore, instinct, or hearsay. We imagine a word's origin is it's "true" meaning, that foreign languages…

In the Name of Terrorism

By Carol K. Winkler,

Book cover of In the Name of Terrorism: Presidents on Political Violence in the Post-World War II Era

Randall Fowler Author Of More Than a Doctrine: The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East

From the list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East.

Who am I?

I'm a Communication professor at Fresno Pacific University and former Fulbright grantee to Jordan. Growing up in west Texas I was always fascinated with other countries. I encountered Arabic in college, and I quickly fell in love with a language and society that reminded me so much of my home—in fact, the word “haboob” is used by Texas farmers and Bedouin herders alike to describe a violent dust storm. While I was teaching English in Amman, I realized how much I enjoy learning how different cultures come to understand one another. My driving passion is to explore the centuries-long rhetorical history tying Americans and Middle Easterners together in mutual webs of (mis)representation, and this topic has never been more relevant than today.

Randall's book list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East

Why did Randall love this book?

While not a book about the Middle East per se, Winkler’s In the Name of Terrorism traces the rise of terrorism as a concern in U.S. politics and charts the narratives, frames, metaphors, and rhetoric used by presidents to make sense of terrorism to the American people. Focusing specifically on the evolution of “terrorism” as a concept in the leadup to the 9/11 attacks, this book provides vital background for those who wish to understand, as George W. Bush put it, why “they” hate “us.” A wide-ranging volume that effectively bridges the Cold War and the War on Terror, readers will better appreciate the importance of the president’s language choices after finishing this captivating book.

By Carol K. Winkler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traces the shifts in presidential discourse on terrorism since World War II.

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