10 books like Hekla's Children

By James Brogden,

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

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The Wine of Angels

By Phil Rickman,

Book cover of The Wine of Angels

This is where it all began. When I read this, I thought, I want to write a book like this one day. This long-running series is carefully crafted to walk the line between the real world and what might be out there, beyond the veil. They are cosy thrillers at their heart, I suppose, but the supernatural element adds a layer of spooky that darkens them, makes them more savage. The characters are wonderful, they can infuriate you at times, but they do not bore you. The locations, the weather, the buildings, they all play a part. These are very good British spooky thrillers.

The Wine of Angels

By Phil Rickman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE FIRST IN THE INCREDIBLE MERRILY WATKINS SERIES
Merrily Watkins: late thirties, single mum, parish priest. Cosy? I don't think so...

The new vicar had never wanted a picture-postcard parish - or a huge and haunted vicarage. Nor had she wanted to walk into a dispute over a controversial play about a seventeenth-century clergyman accused of witchcraft... a story that certain long-established families would rather remained obscure.

But this is Ledwardine, steeped in cider and secrets...

A paradise of cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. And also - as Merrily Watkins and her teenage daughter, Jane, discover - a village where…


Among You

By Jake Wood,

Book cover of Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken By War

This is a story that deals with old soldiers who never give up. It’s the story of Jake surviving Afghanistan as a serving soldier. I write about soldiers with PTSD, so it’s important I study the area, and it can be tough. Really tough. Heartbreaking to read about the effects of war on the mind of a soldier. I’ve read several, but this one really knocked me for six. It’s an educated, intelligent narrative about a young life full of honour, duty, passion, and hope. Then he goes to war. If we are ever to understand why war is so terrible, then we need to listen to those on the front line. Highly recommended for those brave enough.

Among You

By Jake Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Among You is the gripping real-life story of a soldier serving on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an unforgettable, unflinching account of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jake Wood lives parallel lives: encased in the glass tower of an international investment bank by day, he is also a dedicated TA soldier who serves on the front line during the invasion of Iraq, later returning to the war zone to conduct surveillance on insurgents. Disillusioned with the dullness and amorality of the banking world, he escapes back to the army for a third tour of duty. But…


Wakenhyrst

By Michelle Paver,

Book cover of Wakenhyrst

Another spooky one, but this is more historical. It’s unusual because the protagonist is a child for a huge portion of the book, but you never feel like that’s a problem. It adds to the supernatural element beautifully. It’s an odd story, one of those where you are not quite sure if it’s supernatural or the characters are slowly going mad. Superstition, murder, conspiracy, it’s all there in a potent mix. And the ending is brilliant, it brings everything together with real skill.

Wakenhyrst

By Michelle Paver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Times Best Book of 2019. 'Paver is one of Britain's modern greats. This sinister, gothic chiller shows why' BIG ISSUE, Books of the Year 2019.

"Something has been let loose..."

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father.

When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened.

Maud's battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old…


Battle Scars

By Jason Fox,

Book cover of Battle Scars: A Story of War and All That Follows

Another story about a mind broken by war. Jason Fox is former Special Forces, and it shows. Exploring the effects of war on the mind of a soldier who is trained to abhor weakness in all its forms is deeply moving. Also, reading about man’s life descending into chaos when it’s been so ordered is tough. The effect on family and friends, work colleagues. Again, not an easy read, because this is real life folks, but well worth the effort. It’s also very interesting to read about the conflicts from a warrior’s point of view.

Battle Scars

By Jason Fox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

___________

THE EXTRAORDINARY NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER.

'The most important book you'll ever read... Battle Scars will save lives.' TOM MARCUS, author of SOLDIER SPY

Battle Scars tells the story of Jason Fox's career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service, to a very different kind of battle that awaited him at home.

After more than two decades of active duty, Foxy was diagnosed with complex PTSD, forcing him to leave the military brotherhood and confront the hard reality of what follows. What happens when you become your own enemy?…


Blacklung

By Chris Wright,

Book cover of Blacklung

As captivating as it is disturbing, this nautical tale of a schoolteacher who’s accidentally shanghaied (this seems to be a theme with nautical comics!) and winds up having to figure out how to survive amidst a crew of sadists—the worst among them the captain, who’s devoted his life to committing the most depraved acts possible, a scheme designed to ensure he’ll meet his dead wife in Hell.  

Blacklung

By Chris Wright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this graphic novel cartooned by a promising up-and-comer, a schoolteacher and a gangster team up when pirates shanghai them.

Chris Wright’s Blacklung is unquestionably one of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years, a sweeping, magisterially conceived, visually startling tale of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption, one part Melville, one part Peckinpah. Blacklung is a story that lives up to the term graphic novel, that could only exist in sequential pictures ― densely textured, highly stylized, delicately and boldly rendered drawings that is, taken together, wholly original. In a night of piratical treachery when an arrogant school…


Imaginary Friend

By Stephen Chbosky,

Book cover of Imaginary Friend

This is one of the books that made me wonder at the world. What begins as a conventional story of a boy haunted by an “imaginary friend” turns into something far more complex and frightening. For most of the novel I had no idea of a theological element in the book, so when that element hit it was a surprise, at least to me. The effect reminded me of Rudolf Otto’s description of meeting a supernatural being as “mysterious, tremendous, and fascinating”—I was pulled in even as I was drawn away.

Imaginary Friend

By Stephen Chbosky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Astonishing ... Genius ... A masterpiece'
EMMA WATSON

'Haunting and thrilling'
JOHN GREEN, author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

* * * * *

IMAGINE...
Leaving your house in the middle of the night.
Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she's just as scared as you.

IMAGINE...
Starting a new school, making friends.
Seeing how happy it makes your mother.
Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

IMAGINE...
Following the signs, into the woods.
Going missing for six days.
Remembering nothing about what happened.

IMAGINE...
Something that will change everything...
And having to save everyone you love.…


Robicheaux

By James Lee Burke,

Book cover of Robicheaux

James Lee Burke is now 85 as of the date of this submission and writes every day. As I just turned 76 this month, his remarkable work habits are a goal to which I can aspire. 

James Lee Burke’s writing is filled with memorable metaphors and similes that no one uses quite as well as this Southern man of letters

In Robicheaux: A Novel, Burke reminds us that Robicheaux is plagued by the acts he committed in Vietnam, now manifested in the ghosts of his alcoholism and tendency to violence. Complicating his life even more is the sudden death of his beloved wife, Molly. The New Iberia man who killed Molly is also killed, and colleagues accuse Robicheaux of murdering the man who killed Molly.

Dave Robicheaux is a good man who does not tolerate evil deeds by others, even though he must battle his tendency to react violently when…

Robicheaux

By James Lee Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this New York Times bestselling mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana: an “enthralling yet grim novel that…will captivate, start to finish” (Publishers Weekly).

Dave Robicheaux is a haunted man. From the acts he committed in Vietnam, to his battles with alcoholism, to the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts pepper his reality. Robicheaux’s only beacon remains serving as a detective in New Iberia, Louisiana.

It’s in that capacity that Robicheaux crosses paths with…


Damiano

By R.A. MacAvoy,

Book cover of Damiano

The first in a trilogy of books of magical fantasy set in Renaissance Europe and beyond that looks at magic and witchery at an unusual slant. Centre stage is Damiano Delstrego: son of a wizard and alchemist with an inheritance of Dark Magics. Forced out by war, he goes on pilgrimage to seek the aid of the powerful witch Saara, but the road he is obliged to walk is a dark one. R. A. MacAvoy is another writer I have admired for a long time and I was very sad when ill health stopped her from writing. I believe, however, that she has started to write again, so I can but hope for new novels while recommending her older, skillful work.

Damiano

By R.A. MacAvoy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This alternate history fantasy by a Nebula Award nominee follows a young alchemist's quest in Renaissance Italy under the wing of an archangel.

Set against the turbulent backdrop of the Italian Renaissance, this alternate history takes place in a world where real faith-based magic exists. Our hero is Damiano Dalstrego. He is a wizard's son, an alchemist, and the heir to dark magics. But he is also an innocent, a young scholar and musician befriended by the Archangel Raphael, who instructs him in the lute. To save his beloved city from war, Damiano leaves his cloistered life and sets out…


Penric's Demon

By Lois McMaster Bujold,

Book cover of Penric's Demon

While Bujold is famous for her science fiction Vorkosigan Saga, she has taken a welcome turn to fantasy in recent years with her Penric & Desdemona series, starting with Penric’s Demon. The book focuses on the accidental sorcerer Penric and the demon who possesses him and gives him power, Desdemona. Theirs is a complicated relationship, in no small part because Desdemona retains the memories and personalities of the many people—and animals!—she has possessed before. While having magical powers obviously has its advantages for Penric, demonic possession is not without its dangers, and quite a few people in the world of the Five Gods believe that sorcerers and their demons are best drowned at sea. The book features exciting adventures in an exotic world—but also touching mediations on death, fate, and destiny.

Penric's Demon

By Lois McMaster Bujold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Penric's Demon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On his way to his betrothal, young Lord Penric comes upon a riding accident with an elderly lady on the ground, her maidservant and guardsmen distraught. As he approaches to help, he discovers that the lady is a Temple divine, servant to the five gods of this world. Her avowed god is The Bastard, "master of all disasters out of season", and with her dying breath she bequeaths her mysterious powers to Penric. From that moment on, Penric's life is irreversibly changed, and his life is in danger from those who envy or fear him.

Set in the fantasy world…


Little Robot

By Ben Hatke,

Book cover of Little Robot

A young girl, who appears to be different from the other kids in her town, finds a misplaced robot and teaches it the joys of nature (exploring, petting cats, skipping rocks, etc.). They continue to meet every day, and each day their friendship grows stronger. Eventually, the friends realize they are very different, and the robot longs to find more of his kind. 

The concepts are more advanced in this story than the others I’ve chosen. The girl is a loner who finds a friend she wants to protect by any means. The robot resists her protective nature because he wants to be free. Through this struggle, we watch the girl uncover a talent for tinkering and building that helps everyone in the end. 

Ben Hatke does so much storytelling in his amazing art. Most of the dialogue consists of Jonks, Morps, and other sound effects. I would recommend this…

Little Robot

By Ben Hatke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A lonely girl befriends a sweet little robot in this brand new adventure from Zita the Spacegirl author Ben Hatke! When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!


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