10 books like House of Dragons

By Jessica Cluess,

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

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The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie,

Book cover of The Blade Itself

Not many writers pick a crippled torturer for a protagonist, let alone a privileged, cowardly, and selfish minor noble. Abercrombie doesn’t just start with these two, he also adds a sometimes psychopathic barbarian and a misanthropic, racist woman as his characters. Don’t even get me started on the old wizard. He’s the worst of all. Not only do these characters seem unheroic, but they also act as if they might just kill each other rather than move the plot of the novel along. Never a burden, always delightful, The Blade Itself will mesmerize you as these murderers and narcissists try to do just one thing right. Whether they do or not, I won’t say, but they definitely tell a fantastic tale.

The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior…


The Pariah

By Anthony Ryan,

Book cover of The Pariah

The old story of the child who was secretly the son or daughter of royalty is a solid fantasy trope. And for good reason—it resonates. Almost all children secretly imagine they are a prince or princess, that they are special. The Pariah has none of that. Young Alwyn’s mother was a prostitute, and he never knew his father. Be certain that his dad was no one special, for this is not one of those kinds of stories. Alwyn is a thief, grubbing out an existence in the forest with a band of robbers. As far as personal virtues go, Alwyn is a liar and murderer. Anthony Ryan redeems Alwyn, though, digging into the good that exists even in those that have acted so heinously. And I may have described Alwyn uncharitably—the thief is a product of tough times, neglect, and hard realities. When he somehow ends up in service to…

The Pariah

By Anthony Ryan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance' John Gwynne

When the task is a killing, be quick and make sure of it.

Torment is an indulgence.

Save it for only the most deserving.

Born in the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the comradeship of his fellow thieves. Yet an act of betrayal sets him on a new path of blood and vengeance, which leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine…


Prince of Fools

By Mark Lawrence,

Book cover of Prince of Fools

Was there ever a less heroic leading character than Prince Jalan? Apparently a vain, selfish coward, he would not even be likable if he was not also funny and honest. Well, he is honest some of the time, in his inside voice, even while being a liar to almost everyone else. So, when Jalan gets unwillingly and unwittingly caught up with an enormous Viking to go on a quest to save the world, I had to wonder how this one was going to work out. But it turns out that Jalan may have been lying to himself more than the reader, or himself, even realized, and he may not be quite the coward that he says he is.

Prince of Fools

By Mark Lawrence,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author of THE BROKEN EMPIRE series comes a brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN'S WAR.

I'm a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play or bravery.

The Red Queen is dreaded by the kings of the Broken Empire as they dread no other.

Her grandson Jalan Kendeth - womaniser, gambler and all-out cad - is tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched…


The Heroes

By Joe Abercrombie,

Book cover of The Heroes

This novel hooked me from the start with its play on heroism as it told of a Gettysburg-type battle through the eyes of a group of decidedly unheroic fantasy characters. Abercrombie keeps the readers’ mind on concept as the massive military fight unfolds on a Stonehenge-like hill and its ancient ruins, known as ‘The Heroes.’ Each character has a flaw that is as obvious as the mud all those troops trudge through, but somehow the reader ends up rooting for each of them. The novel reads well—like movie popcorn, but the story is well constructed, and the character conflicts and resolution are hilarious. Abercrombie is more than he seems and amidst all this apparent cynicism, there are some real moments of perspectivity on the concept of heroism.

The Heroes

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They say Black Dow's killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.

THE HEROES

For glory, for victory, for staying alive.


Dragon Rider

By Cornelia Funke,

Book cover of Dragon Rider

This was one of the first books I read with dragons in it. We follow a dragon named Firedrake as he ventures to find a place where dragons can live in peace forever. He is accompanied by his little brownie friend, Sorrel, and a boy named Ben. This book sparked my love of dragons, and to this day, I love to go back and read through the adventure that started it all.

Dragon Rider

By Cornelia Funke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The very first dragon adventure from the legendary author
of Inkheart, Cornelia Funke - now a major film, over
1 million English language copies sold worldwide and a New
York Times bestseller!
Now a Sky Original film, only on Sky Cinema

'A warm-hearted dream of a book.' THE GUARDIAN

'Funke is the queen of world-building ... glorious escapism'
THE TIMES

A dragon. A boy. A journey.

Firedrake, a brave young dragon, embarks on a magical journey
to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace
for ever.

Along the way, he discovers extraordinary new friends and a…


Innocent Traitor

By Alison Weir,

Book cover of Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

I loved Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir because it focuses solely on a much-forgotten woman of Tudor History. Weir gets across that Jane Gray was simply used as a political pawn. She was such a young girl, at only 17, and her parents gave no thought as to her happiness. She was scared and felt utterly alone and was handed the crown. If only for nine days, this young girl was Queen of England before her execution. She truly was an innocent traitor.

Innocent Traitor

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

_____________________________________
A wrenching novel about the life and death of Lady Jane Grey, one of the most complex and sympathetic figures in Tudor England, by popular historian Alison Weir: ideal for fans of Wolf Hall

Lady Jane Grey was born into times of extreme danger. Child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she was merely a pawn in a dynastic power game with the highest stakes, she lived a life in thrall to political machinations and lethal religious fervour.

Jane's astonishing and essentially tragic story was played out during one of the most momentous periods of…


Queen Emma and Queen Edith

By Pauline Stafford,

Book cover of Queen Emma and Queen Edith: Queenship and Women's Power in Eleventh-Century England

Going back into the Anglo-Saxon period, Pauline Stafford’s joint study of the powerful Queens Edith and Emma is essential reading. Stafford’s research into these two women is peerless, providing the most comprehensive study of late Anglo-Saxon queenship to date. She has left no stone unturned in her research, giving fine detail to the lives and activities of her subjects. Stafford’s book certainly disproves the common misapprehension that the Anglo-Saxons did not have queens.

Queen Emma and Queen Edith

By Pauline Stafford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through detailed study of these women the author demonstrates the integral place of royal queens in the rule of the English kingdom and in the process of unification by which England was made.


Half a King

By Joe Abercrombie,

Book cover of Half a King

In the first chapter as Yarvi stands before his father as the king and suffers verbal abuse, I wanted to rush into the throne room and support him. With only one arm, this young disabled prince had to go out into a bloodthirsty world to prove that he was not only worthy of the throne (which he didn’t want), but that he could survive the cruelties of his enemies while lacking the ability to hold a shield or swing an axe. I was pulling for Yarvi from the very beginning and through the entire series. I also love the titles of the Shattered Seas. Half a King, Half a War, and Half the World. So good!

Half a King

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND THE WASHINGTON POST • LOCUS AWARD WINNER

“The Shattered Seas trilogy has worked its way into a very exclusive group of my favorite fantasy novels of all time.”—James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner

“A fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.”—George R. R. Martin

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to…


The System of the World

By Neal Stephenson,

Book cover of The System of the World: Volume Three of the Baroque Cycle

The System is the third book in the Baroque Cycle which begins with Quicksilver and continues with The Confusion. The whole Cycle is a rip-roaring, wildly inventive, and massively ambitious saga, ranging from the mid-seventeenth to the early eighteenth century, spanning the globe and casting an amazing set of characters from Leibnitz and Newton, to King George, Thomas Newcomen and William Teach the pirate. It's astonishing and has some of the best subterranean London episodes I've ever read, including an escape from Newgate Prison which takes in the Bank of England, a Roman Temple, and a medieval privy. Read all three books and hang on to your hats, it's a thrilling ride.

The System of the World

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Neal Stephenson follows his highly-praised historical novels, Quicksilver and The Confusion, with the extraordinary third and final volume of the Baroque Cycle.

The year is 1714. Daniel Waterhouse has returned to England, where he joins forces with his friend Isaac Newton to hunt down a shadowy group attempting to blow up Natural Philosophers with 'Infernal Devices' - time bombs. As Daniel and Newton conspire, an increasingly vicious struggle is waged for England's Crown: who will take control when the ailing queen dies?

Tories and Whigs clash as one faction jockeys to replace Queen Anne with 'The Pretender' James Stuart, and…


Odalisque

By Fiona McIntosh,

Book cover of Odalisque: Book One of The Percheron Saga

Odalisque blew me away. I did not expect this author to produce such a raw and dark series. Set in a time where brutality was the norm, I loved exploring Ana’s journey as she fought to regain not only her freedom from slavery, but the epic lengths she went toto gain power in a world ruled by strength and deception. Fiona draws out the reader’s emotions and will cast you into a scene right out of history. Revenge and honour, sex and murder all take place in the desert, so keep your eye out for this book.

Odalisque

By Fiona McIntosh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fifteen-year-old Boaz is the new Zar, freshly ascended to his throne. In the turmoil following the old Zar's death, courtiers jostle and conspire to secure their positions - not least his scheming mother, the new Valide. It seems his only genuine friends are his late father's mad jester; Spur Lazar, head of Percheron's security; and a golden beauty - a new odalisque purchased in the foothills as a slave for the harem.

But can a madman, a soldier and a concubine be trusted to keep him safe from the Byzantine manoeuvres of his father's ambitious entourage?

Pleasure and politics collide…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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