67 books like Legend

By David Gemmell,

Here are 67 books that Legend fans have personally recommended if you like Legend. 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 Blade Itself

Tim Facciola Author Of A Vengeful Realm: The Scales of Balance - Book 1

From my list on epic fantasy with unforgettable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Psychology, the human condition, and interpersonal relationships fascinate me. I’ve studied the psychology of stories, their effect on readers, and things like moral development to understand better how to structure growth arcs and falls from grace in my writing. However, these studies have also changed the way I consume stories. Through books, movies, and video games, I can’t help but analyze story structure and its impact on its audience. As an author of epic fantasy, I am also active on TikTok and Instagram, reviewing stories and their structures and talking about all things fantasy. I hope you enjoy the stories on this list as much as I have!

Tim's book list on epic fantasy with unforgettable characters

Tim Facciola Why did Tim love this book?

Joe Abercrombie didn’t earn the moniker Lord Grimdark for nothing. This story explores the darker depths of the human experience and is not for the faint of heart, but the characterization is something completely other.

Though this first book almost serves as more of a prologue for the trilogy, the characters are more than enough to carry this story on their own. Each is a therapist’s headache (and payday) because the Union is a tough place to live, as Logen Ninefingers will continue to remind the reader.

Though I read this book years ago, it still sticks with me as an unforgettable experience because of how immersive the cast was. 

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

11 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…


Book cover of The Crippled God

Marius H. Visser Author Of Mercury Dagger: A Tale From Kraydenia

From my list on taking you away from reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent the better part of a decade honing my writing skills and pushing the bounds of imagination after my debut fantasy novel Mercury Dagger - A Tale From Kraydenia. When I am not off exploring the wilds of Australia, I am dreaming up new adventures and monsters to cause chaos in a fantastical world filled with twists, loyalty, honour, and great and terrible battles. Originally from South Africa, I have travelled the African continent, visiting numerous countries, seeing first-hand the differences in many cultures who roam the lands and found it fascinating. It is this fascination that inspires my love for creating new characters and finding out what makes them tick.

Marius' book list on taking you away from reality

Marius H. Visser Why did Marius love this book?

If you like to be toyed with emotionally, pick up this novel. It will make you want to cry, laugh, turn away in disgust while wanting more. I have never had a book play with my emotions so much, especially when reaching the end and knowing the series was finished. As the tenth and final book of the Malazan book of the fallen, I tip my hat to Steven Erikson for his creation. Some of the best characters I have come to love are from this series. I loved every second of it.

By Steven Erikson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The climax to the epic Malazan Book of the Fallen series that will determine how the world is ruled.

Savaged by the K'Chain Nah'Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore…


Book cover of Blood of Elves

Marius H. Visser Author Of Mercury Dagger: A Tale From Kraydenia

From my list on taking you away from reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent the better part of a decade honing my writing skills and pushing the bounds of imagination after my debut fantasy novel Mercury Dagger - A Tale From Kraydenia. When I am not off exploring the wilds of Australia, I am dreaming up new adventures and monsters to cause chaos in a fantastical world filled with twists, loyalty, honour, and great and terrible battles. Originally from South Africa, I have travelled the African continent, visiting numerous countries, seeing first-hand the differences in many cultures who roam the lands and found it fascinating. It is this fascination that inspires my love for creating new characters and finding out what makes them tick.

Marius' book list on taking you away from reality

Marius H. Visser Why did Marius love this book?

Stunning character visualization and world-building make for a good read. Throw in some good humor, some daring fights and beasts to slay, and a plot filled with twists and you have yourself a great read. Andrzej Sapkowski has done a fantastic job of carving great characters for your enjoyment.

By Andrzej Sapkowski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This collection of articles concerning the economic development of Africa was written by a group of scholars who are experienced in African societies and are knowledgeable about African needs. This experience and knowledge allows the authors to improve the focus on subjects like productivity, rural development, and transportation along with social and political issues involved in African developmental problems. The work consists of three parts: a general introduction, a section focusing on theoretical perspectives, and a section on practical problems. Since much of the work is derived from original research, it is unique in its treatment of the subject. The…


The Forest Knights

By J. K. Swift,

Book cover of The Forest Knights

J. K. Swift Author Of Acre

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good fight scene! It doesn’t need to be long and gruesome, but it must be visceral and make me nervous for those involved. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good first-kiss scene but unfortunately, my past has made me more adept at recognizing and writing one over the other. I started training in martial arts at the age of nine and continued for thirty years. I don’t train much these days but I took up bowmaking a few years back and now spend a lot of time carving English longbows and First Nations’ bows. I recently also took up Chinese archery.

J. K.'s book list on with realistic fight scenes

What is my book about?

The greatest underdog story of the medieval age.

A wild land too mountainous to be tamed by plows. A duke of the empire, his cunning overshadowed only by his ambitions. A young priestess of the Old Religion, together with a charismatic outlaw, sparking a rebellion from deep within the forests. And an ex-Hospitaller caught between them all.

The Forest Knights

By J. K. Swift,

What is this book about?

A druid priestess enlists the help of an ex-Hospitaller warrior and a charismatic outlaw to fight Austrian tyranny in medieval Switzerland. A subtle blend of fantasy and history, ALTDORF (Book 1) tells the events leading up to one of the greatest underdog stories of the medieval age, the Battle of MORGARTEN (Book 2).


Book cover of The Seventh Gate

Marius H. Visser Author Of Mercury Dagger: A Tale From Kraydenia

From my list on taking you away from reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent the better part of a decade honing my writing skills and pushing the bounds of imagination after my debut fantasy novel Mercury Dagger - A Tale From Kraydenia. When I am not off exploring the wilds of Australia, I am dreaming up new adventures and monsters to cause chaos in a fantastical world filled with twists, loyalty, honour, and great and terrible battles. Originally from South Africa, I have travelled the African continent, visiting numerous countries, seeing first-hand the differences in many cultures who roam the lands and found it fascinating. It is this fascination that inspires my love for creating new characters and finding out what makes them tick.

Marius' book list on taking you away from reality

Marius H. Visser Why did Marius love this book?

A tremendous conclusion to the Death Gate Cycle series. All that is needed is to enter the final gate and this brings new and old enemies to their doorstep. Magic has greater meaning than in this tale. A tale of treachery and heroism awaits you, take the leap through the seventh gate…

By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Seventh Gate is the thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. In this tale of treachery, power, and heroism, Alfred, Haplo, and Marit embark on a journey of death and discovery as they seek to enter the dreaded Seventh Gate. Encountering enemies both old and new, they unleash a magic no power can control, damning themselves to an apocalypse of unimagined proportion in a final struggle between good and evil.


Book cover of Magician: Apprentice

Trudie Collins Author Of The Guide

From my list on fantasy to read again and again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a huge fan of fantasy since I was a child, starting off with high fantasy before trying out urban. The genre helps me escape from the real world for a while and fires my imagination. I write fantasy books because there is no limit on what you can do with characters and storyline. I write for pleasure and I hope others get enjoyment out of my work. I read a lot, not to get ideas, but just for the pure pleasure of reading. There is just something about the feeling of turning the pages of a printed book you can’t get anywhere else.

Trudie's book list on fantasy to read again and again

Trudie Collins Why did Trudie love this book?

This is the first book in a series that goes on and on, following the life of a couple of characters as the world changes around them. Spanning two different worlds, this first book builds up a number of characters you want to keep reading about. As the series continues through time, new threats to the two worlds introduce new characters. What I like most about this series is it keeps moving the worlds forward instead of stagnating.

By Raymond E. Feist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the westernmost province of the Kingdom of the Isles, upon the world of Midkemia, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan.

Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds. Discover where the story begins.

The world had changed even before I discovered the foreign ship wrecked on the shore below Crydee Castle, but it was the harbinger of the chaos and death that was coming to our door.

War had come to the Kingdom of the Isles, and in the years that followed it would scatter my friends across the world.…


Book cover of Lord Foul's Bane

Nick Stevenson Author Of Nethergeist

From my list on compelling world building in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been intrigued by fantastical world-building that is complex, detailed, forensically credible, and immeasurably encyclopedic in scope. It should propel you to a world that feels almost as real as the world you leave behind but with intricate magic systems and razor-shape lore. Ironically, some of my choices took a while to love, but once they “sunk in,” everything changed. Whenever life gets too much, it has been cathartic, essential even, to transport to another universe and find solace in prose dedicated to survival, soul, and renewal.

Nick's book list on compelling world building in fantasy

Nick Stevenson Why did Nick love this book?

Thomas Covernant is a leper shunned by society but finds himself in the Land where some herald him as the one who’ll save them from an evil sorcerer, Lord Foul. He is not always a sympathetic character, but being on society’s edge where all and sundry openly shun him can do that to anyone.

What I loved the most was the captivating Land with its many peoples and inhabitants, such as the sentient woods and the Forestals that ward them, the Elohim, a benign people with special powers, the Giants and the evil Viles, Waynhim, and ur-viles.

Outside being exotic, the world feels credible and immersive, especially the “wild magic” Covernant begins to wield. I ended up caring passionately about what happened to the Land and wanting Covernant to acknowledge his worth.

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Lord Foul's Bane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Comparable to Tolkien at his best' WASHINGTON POST

Instantly recognised as a modern fantasy classic, Stephen Donaldson's uniquely imaginative and complex THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, THE UNBELIEVER became a bestselling literary phenomenon that transformed the genre.

Lying unconscious after an accident, writer Thomas Covenant awakes in the Land - a strange, beautiful world locked in constant conflict between good and evil.

But Covenant, too, has been transformed: weak, angry, and alone in our world, he now holds powers beyond imagining and is greeted as a saviour. Can this man truly become the hero the Land requires?


Book cover of Incursion

Derek Prior Author Of The Codex of Her Scars

From my list on conflicted protagonists in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of more than twenty fantasy novels, including the acclaimed Annals of the Nameless Dwarf series, and the hauntingly dark Sorcerers’ Isle duology. In my capacity as a developmental editor, I’ve worked on almost a hundred books for both traditionally published and independent authors. I was brought up reading classic fantasy and Sword and Sorcery, then spent more time than I perhaps should have playing D&D throughout the late 70s and the 80s. I confess to being an unashamed fan of Thongor. I’m an Englishman abroad, pining for the Sussex Downs and warm beer beside an open fire in a medieval pub I was once wont to visit.

Derek's book list on conflicted protagonists in fantasy

Derek Prior Why did Derek love this book?

The concept is what initially sold me on this one: the child of a “dark lord” figure. Ultimately, Incursion, the first of five books in The Necromancer’s Key series, is a concatenation of unmaskings as the reader tries to work out who the heir of the Necromancer Queen is—and, be warned, there are some big red herrings.

The protagonist,  Anskar DeVantte, is a young man preparing to become a holy knight, yet as he works his way through the trials of initiation, buried powers and a past deliberately hidden from him by his superiors begin to manifest. He becomes involved (against the Order’s rules) with another trainee knight, a woman taken from among the subjugated local population and forced to adopt the ways of her people’s oppressors. They both begin to demonstrate phenomenal sorcerous powers, which draw the attention of the Order’s superiors, as well as that of the…

By Mitchell Hogan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An immersive and ambitious new series from the Aurealis Award winning author of A Crucible of Souls.

A corrupted power stirs from beyond the grave.
A sacred order of knights sworn to protect the world from evil.
The Necromancer Queen will rise again.

Seventeen years have passed since the Necromancer Queen Talia was overthrown and slain, and her capital city destroyed by the Knights of the Order of Eternal Vigilance.

Anskar DeVantte, raised in the sacred disciplines of the Order, is now ready to face the brutal initiation trials to become a consecrated knight-sorcerer.

But the further Anskar rises in…


Book cover of Elric of Melniboné

JR Konkol Author Of Citadel of the Fallen

From my list on fantasy to draw you into a dark, dangerous world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came of age in the early 80s, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not very far from where Gary Gygax and others invented Dungeons and Dragons. I grew up playing role-playing games. When other kids were running around, we were gathered around huge tables, rolling dice, and having fun. But that wasn’t enough. I went on to invent my own games, and build my own worlds. Over the decades, we wove rich tapestries of adventures together into intricate stories that beg to be told. So, seeing no other option, I became an author.

JR's book list on fantasy to draw you into a dark, dangerous world

JR Konkol Why did JR love this book?

This was the first fantasy series I read, and it changed my life. Elric of Melniboné is a glorious blend of Grimdark and Sword and Sorcery, that starts a satisfying series, which, in and of itself, is the cornerstone of a larger collection of fantasy works.

So many works have borrowed from Elric, you really owe it to yourself to read the original. The books are short, and read quite quickly. There is incredible pathos within the story arc, and a deep, dark creativity to the worldbuilding.

By Michael Moorcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Michael Moorcock comes the first book in his famous Elric of Melniboné series, brought to vivid new life with stunning illustrations.

In one of the most well-known and well-loved fantasy epics of the 20th century, Elric is the brooding, albino emperor of the dying Kingdom of Melnibone. With Melnibone’s years of grandeur and decadence long since passed, Elric’s amoral cousin Yrkoon sets his eyes on the throne. Elric, realizing he is his country’s best hope, must face his nefarious cousin in an epic battle for the right to rule.

Elric of Melnibone is…


Book cover of Wolf of Wessex

J. K. Swift Author Of Acre

From my list on with realistic fight scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good fight scene! It doesn’t need to be long and gruesome, but it must be visceral and make me nervous for those involved. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good first-kiss scene but unfortunately, my past has made me more adept at recognizing and writing one over the other. I started training in martial arts at the age of nine and continued for thirty years. I don’t train much these days but I took up bowmaking a few years back and now spend a lot of time carving English longbows and First Nations’ bows. I recently also took up Chinese archery.

J. K.'s book list on with realistic fight scenes

J. K. Swift Why did J. K. love this book?

Mathew Harffy has a lot going for him in the historical fiction world. His fight scenes are not overly technical and are easy to follow. They have just the right amount of blood and gore to make you believe the characters are really in danger but are not simply gratuitous violence. What I really love about this book is his voice when he writes descriptions of the forest and the people who live in it. I grew up in the woods of a small town in Canada, and I know how the forest can be a peaceful, tranquil setting one moment and then suddenly transform into a place of shadows and dread. Judging by the cover of this book, I think Harffy knows this as well.

By Matthew Harffy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Harffy's Dunston is a fantastic creation - old, creaking and misanthropic. The forest is beautifully evoked. A treat of a book' The Times.

AD 838. Deep in the forests of Wessex, Dunston's solitary existence is shattered when he stumbles on a mutilated corpse.

Accused of the murder, Dunston must clear his name and keep the dead man's daughter alive in the face of savage pursuers desperate to prevent a terrible secret from being revealed.

Rushing headlong through Wessex, Dunston will need to use all the skills of survival garnered from a lifetime in the wilderness. And if he has any…


Book cover of The Archer's Tale

J. K. Swift Author Of Acre

From my list on with realistic fight scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good fight scene! It doesn’t need to be long and gruesome, but it must be visceral and make me nervous for those involved. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good first-kiss scene but unfortunately, my past has made me more adept at recognizing and writing one over the other. I started training in martial arts at the age of nine and continued for thirty years. I don’t train much these days but I took up bowmaking a few years back and now spend a lot of time carving English longbows and First Nations’ bows. I recently also took up Chinese archery.

J. K.'s book list on with realistic fight scenes

J. K. Swift Why did J. K. love this book?

Bernard Cornwell’s fight scenes are what I would call emotional rather than technical. You feel his fights, the vibration of sword against shield, the panic of your feet slipping in the mud, the fear rising up in your guts that will allow only a half-crazed scream to come out of your mouth. If you’re looking for a manual on sword fighting, Cornwell is not your man. But if you want to be put in a character’s armor while someone is trying to skewer him with a spear, no one does it better. I was drawn to this book because it was about an archer, and I know how hard it is to write fight scenes with archers in them. I am an amateur bowyer and having made more than a few bows I know how much skill it takes to make and use these weapons. Cornwell did a lot of…

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Harlequins are lost souls, so loved by the devil that he would not take them to hell, but left them to roam the earth. In French the word is hellequin - the name given to the English archers who crossed the Channel to lay a country to waste.

Thomas of Hookton is one of those archers. When his village is sacked by French raiders, he makes a promise to God: to retrieve the relic stolen from Hookton's church. Escaping his father's ambitions, he becomes a wild youth who delights in the life of an army on the warpath.

Driven by…


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