100 books like Kushiel's Dart

By Jacqueline Carey,

Here are 100 books that Kushiel's Dart fans have personally recommended if you like Kushiel's Dart. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Alchemist

Eve Gaal Author Of The Happy War

From my list on adventure books that will make you forget reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a survivor. Whether flaming engines on a plane, a hurricane, or breast cancer, I have made many unusual journeys. The way I see it, I am also a writer, and God keeps giving me material for my adventure novels. Of course, I’m also a reader and could fill this page with more than five recommendations. Hopefully, you’ll want to read one of these awesome books. I guarantee they will make you escape reality.

Eve's book list on adventure books that will make you forget reality

Eve Gaal Why did Eve love this book?

This book is a perfect story. It has a beginning, a middle, and a satisfying ending. I love it because I’m guilty of overthinking many things.

I also love books that take you on a journey. As an armchair traveler, the best adventures make me leave my chair, taking me somewhere far away, at least until dinner. 

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


Book cover of The Left Hand of Darkness

Sara Jo Easton Author Of A Dream of Light

From my list on LGBTQ+ to annoy the people trying to ban them.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Sara Jo Easton, and I’m the bisexual author of the Zarder novels, a fantasy series where a race of dragon-like creatures called Onizards learns to get past their prejudices. When I was at a book signing for my third book, The Blood of Senbralni, a strange man loudly declared I was part of an agenda to turn people to homosexuality and Satan with my evil dragons. To be clear, I am not and will never be affiliated with Satan. I made a vow that every book I wrote from that point forward would have at least one LGBTQ+ romance with a happy ending to annoy people like that man.

Sara's book list on LGBTQ+ to annoy the people trying to ban them

Sara Jo Easton Why did Sara love this book?

If you’re like me, you are a sucker for stories about an outsider finding themselves in a new society and having to struggle and adapt to circumstances they don’t fully understand.

Genly Ai is a man who is sent to the planet Gethen to convince the people there to join a planetary alliance. The problem is Genly is so fixated on his manhood and personal identity that he can’t adapt culturally in a world where everyone is genderfluid.

Genly’s political mistakes get him into a lot of trouble that his lone ally Estraven tries to save him from, and it is only by learning to accept differences and listen to Estraven that Genly finally succeeds in his quest.

You can’t go wrong with the engrossing worldbuilding in this book, and as a bonus the people trying to ban LGBTQ+ books will be extremely annoyed if you read a book where…

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Left Hand of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION-WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY DAVID MITCHELL AND A NEW AFTERWORD BY CHARLIE JANE ANDERS

Ursula K. Le Guin's groundbreaking work of science fiction-winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants' gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an…


Book cover of Burn for Me

J.L. Gribble Author Of Steel Victory

From my list on blending fantasy and alternate history.

Why am I passionate about this?

With a graduate degree in Writing Popular Fiction (seriously, someone gave me a degree for writing an urban fantasy book), I know that genres are nothing more than marketing terms that tell bookstores which shelves to put the books on. As an author, combining genres and subverting their topes allows me to stretch their potential and tell fresh stories that might not find an easy home on a single shelf, so it’s also important for me to read and support those making the same attempts. Stories that adhere to strict reader expectations will always find a home, but I’ve always had way more fun exploring the other possibilities.

J.L.'s book list on blending fantasy and alternate history

J.L. Gribble Why did J.L. love this book?

It might look like another romance novel slipped into this list by mistake, but Andrews elevates a typical paranormal romance plot by placing it in an extraordinary open-world urban fantasy setting and emphasizing the main character’s relationship with her family over her love life. Nevada and her loved ones would rather live quiet lives than welcome society’s scrutiny by exposing abilities that are extraordinary even in a world socially ruled by magical dynasties. This book proves explosive magical fights can occur in a world where the response is live-streaming and not an immediate cover-up attempt.

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Burn for Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire ...Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career-a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. Then she's kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan-a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn…


Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice

Liam Lombard Author Of The Calling

From my list on fantasy great world building relatable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved the intricacies and secrets our world has to offer. In pursuing knowledge, I delved deep into the ‘magic’ of science to learn about its mysteries. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experiment with the laws of our world. After much schooling and reading many fantasy books, I eventually wrote about a fantastical world where science has been tweaked just enough to make things interesting. I hope you enjoy my list of books and that they excite you as much as they have excited me. 

Liam's book list on fantasy great world building relatable characters

Liam Lombard Why did Liam love this book?

I really enjoyed the magic system in this book. It made me want to be part of the world and gain the powers/bonds of the characters. As Fitz is unwittingly pulled from relationships and put into difficult situations, I felt so much empathy and wanted to reach out and help him.

As I wanted these things, Robin Hobb granted me some of my wishes, but not always in the way I expected. The character development is superb, and each character is believable and has good motivation. 

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Assassin's Apprentice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Voyager Classics - timeless masterworks of science fiction and fantasy.

A beautiful clothbound edition of Assassin's Apprentice, the first book in the critically acclaimed Farseer Trilogy.

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if…


Book cover of Iron Widow

Gabriella Buba Author Of Saints of Storm and Sorrow

From my list on Asian fantasy heroines breaking the minority mold.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an Asian author myself, nothing makes me happier than when authors and stories gleefully break the mold of the perfect model minority sidekick character that Asian characters have been boxed into in English media/literature for years. No more Mathy model minorities or sexually submissive mail-order brides. It’s time for Asian women to break those bamboo ceilings and become messy, angry, fully realized characters ready to tear down the sky to achieve their goals.

Gabriella's book list on Asian fantasy heroines breaking the minority mold

Gabriella Buba Why did Gabriella love this book?

I loved Iron Widow because reading it is like a train wreck you can’t possibly look away from.

The main character, Zetian, is angry, unhinged, and bent on vengeance, and not once does the narrative punish her for it, which I loved. Zetian is willing to kill, torture, girl boss, and reverse-harem her way to ruling an empire whether anyone cooperates with her or not.

And I was merrily along for the ride from the moment she psychically murdered her chrysalis copilot as vengeance for the death of her sister.

By Xiran Jay Zhao,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Iron Widow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
 
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through…


Book cover of Empress

Selah J Tay-Song Author Of Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern

From my list on epic fantasy with characters to fall in love with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading epic fantasy since I was fourteen, and over the years my taste has evolved. But the one thing that has always drawn me to fantasy, and always will, is the characters. Whether simple and familiar or deep and complex, every good epic fantasy leaves me a little richer in imaginary friends. While writing my own books over the last twenty-five years, I’ve gained the ability to create my own characters to fall in love with. I get to push them to grow and watch them succeed. I hope you will fall in love with the characters in Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern too!

Selah's book list on epic fantasy with characters to fall in love with

Selah J Tay-Song Why did Selah love this book?

Reading Empress forced me to face my own assumptions about the nature of evil. The first book of the Godspeaker trilogy, Empress is a detailed account of the life of the villain. Hekat is a mistress of her own fate, cutting herself a path from child slave to renown warrior, to god-touched wife of the great Warlord, and finally to Empress as she spurs her warlord on to conquer the entire world. Even as Hekat commits terrible atrocities, you can’t help but fall in love with her ability to navigate a bloodthirsty culture and always come out on top. If you enjoy the complicated feeling of falling in love with a villain, Empress is a must-read for your booklist.

By Karen Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader. But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen. It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her God, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak.This is the story of Hekat, precious and beautiful.


Book cover of The Eye of the World

JMD Reid Author Of A Spark in the Night

From my list on fall in love with fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a reader. In my childhood, I read Hardy Boys novels by the bucketload. I loved scholastic book fairs, pouring over the lists to find new books to read. Then my uncle gave me The Hobbit followed by giving me a hardback set of Lord of the Rings for Christmas of the 6th Grade. After that, my mother gave me Pawn of Prophecy, which cemented my love of the genre. I write fantasy because of all the books I listed. Each one led me down a path that ended with me publishing my first novel.

JMD's book list on fall in love with fantasy

JMD Reid Why did JMD love this book?

When I read this book after my mom gave it to me for Christmas in 7th Grade, I was hooked on the masterful writing of Robert Jordan. It was my first time reading limited third person and how he made each character come alive.

While this is not my favorite book in the series, it hooked me. I waited for each new release, diving into fan forums and theory crafting. I loved his foreshadowing and his world-building. No other author had a greater impact on my writing style than RJ.

By Robert Jordan,

Why should I read it?

14 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 Broken Crown

Selah J Tay-Song Author Of Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern

From my list on epic fantasy with characters to fall in love with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading epic fantasy since I was fourteen, and over the years my taste has evolved. But the one thing that has always drawn me to fantasy, and always will, is the characters. Whether simple and familiar or deep and complex, every good epic fantasy leaves me a little richer in imaginary friends. While writing my own books over the last twenty-five years, I’ve gained the ability to create my own characters to fall in love with. I get to push them to grow and watch them succeed. I hope you will fall in love with the characters in Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern too!

Selah's book list on epic fantasy with characters to fall in love with

Selah J Tay-Song Why did Selah love this book?

The Broken Crown is one of those epic fantasy books that snuck up on me. The story starts slow, but by the end of the book I was deeply in love with the characters. The story follows a host of characters from two very different lands, on the eve of war between their countries. Although the customs of one of the lands seem strange, the trials of the characters are universal. For example, the high-born can only show affection for their loved ones in public one night of the year. In the beginning, we see a main character reveling in her father’s affection that one evening. Later, her father destroys everything important to her in the pursuit of power. Her recollection of that one display of affection becomes a real tear-jerker. If you like a fantasy story with more emotional pain than blood, you’ll love The Broken Crown!

By Michelle West,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first novel of the acclaimed Sun Sword series introduces readers to a war-torn world of noble houses divided and demon lords unleashed...

Tor Leonne—the heart of the Dominion of Annagar, where the games of state are about to become a matter of life and death—and where those who seek to seize the crown will be forced to league with a treacherously cunning ally....

Tor Leonne, ancestral seat of power, where Serra Diora Maria di’Marano—the most sought-after beauty in the land, a woman betrayed by all she holds dear—may strike the first blow to change the future of the Dominion…


Book cover of Ethan of Athos

Lizzie Newell Author Of The Fisherman and the Gene Thief

From my list on speculative fiction about sex and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe sex is at the core of every society. Not just intimacy, but procreation—how entities, human or otherwise, reproduce. I’m interested in how they select mates and care for their young. From this most basic of imperatives flows all of biology, history, and society. What would happen if society were different? What would happen if sex were different? I write speculative fiction exploring what could be. So far I’ve written about 20 short stories and 6 novels. 2 of the short stories and 3 of my novels have been published—with more on their way.

Lizzie's book list on speculative fiction about sex and society

Lizzie Newell Why did Lizzie love this book?

This book is fun. It’s about a society that is entirely male. In order to have children, they make use of ovarian tissue. Unfortunately, the society’s supply of this essential tissue has degraded. When a replacement shipment arrives from a biological supply house, it’s unusable. A rather idealistic doctor sets out on a quest to solve the mystery and replace the ovarian tissue.

By Lois McMaster Bujold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Our hero is a quiet, upstanding citizen of Athos, an obstetrician in a world in which reproduction is carried out entirely via uterine replicator, without the aid of living women. Problem: the 200-year-old cultures are not providing eggs the way they used to, and attempts to order replacements by mail have failed catastrophically. But when Ethan is sent to find out what happened and acquire more eggs, he finds himself in a morass of Cetagandan covert ops and Jackson Whole politics - and the only person who's around to rescue him is the inimitable - and, disturbingly, female - Elli…


Book cover of The Gate to Women's Country

Marian Thorpe Author Of Empire's Daughter

From my list on settings in a world that’s not quite ours.

Why am I passionate about this?

My books blend two of my lifelong passions—post-Roman British history, and landscape archaeology. I fell in love with the first somewhere in my late teens, through the not-unusual route of Arthurian legend, and with the latter the first time I saw the British tv series Time Team. Over the last nearly-fifty years, I’ve continued to read and study, both formally and informally, in both areas. My books are an extension and expression of both those interests, but I am too much of a ‘what if?’ person to limit myself to true historical fiction. You’ll also find a few hints of two of my other interests, birdwatching and walking, dropped into the books here and there.

Marian's book list on settings in a world that’s not quite ours

Marian Thorpe Why did Marian love this book?

While generally considered science fiction, this one of Tepper’s books is centred on a society where men and women live separately – and why, and the effects of such a divided society on the lives of men and women. Although the divided society in my book owes more to Sparta than Tepper’s book, she gave me the idea to examine the consequences of such a society in my pseudo-post-Roman world.

By Sheri S. Tepper,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Gate to Women's Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE GATE TO WOMEN'S COUNTRY tells of a society that exists three hundred years after our own has nearly destroyed itself. Now, male warriors are separated from women at an early age and live in garrisons plotting futilely for the battles which must never be fought again. Inside the women's towns, education, arts and science flourish. But for some like Stavia, there is more to see. Her sojourn with the man she is forbidden to love brings into sharp focus the contradictions that define their lives.

And when tragedy strikes, Stavia is faced with a decision she never thought she…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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