100 books like Lion of Ireland

By Morgan Llywelyn,

Here are 100 books that Lion of Ireland fans have personally recommended if you like Lion of Ireland. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Golem and the Jinni

Alison Levy Author Of Magic By Any Other Name

From my list on a mythical creature’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mythological creatures! I grew up gravitating toward fantasy books but because I have a narcissistic parent, I got teased for reading them. To avoid the teasing, I ended up reading a lot of mythology because that was a “safe” fantasy option; reading mythology was “educational” rather than “silly.”  When I got older, I discovered that there’s a whole category of fantasy books that retell myths from alternative points of view. This subgenre opened new doors of understanding and empathy for me. Reading old stories from new perspectives opens my eyes to a myriad of different types of people and broadens my view of the world. And I’ve been reading them ever since.

Alison's book list on a mythical creature’s point of view

Alison Levy Why did Alison love this book?

The story of two mystical creatures stuck in 1899 New York who have to make their own way in the world.  Despite their different natures, they become unlikely friends and have to work together to survive. 

While I enjoyed the perspective of both supernatural beings in this book, I found the golem especially engaging. Through her eyes, the reader gets an amazingly detailed view of turn-of-the-century New York as well as the intricacies of human behavior. 

The jinni faces different challenges—he’s lost a chunk of his memory—but he also has to adapt to life among people. Wrapped in a rich tapestry of historical details, the story walks us through their processes of acclimating to human society and facing the dangers of their pasts.

By Helene Wecker,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Golem and the Jinni as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of only two novels I've ever loved whose main characters are not human' BARBARA KINGSOLVER

For fans of The Essex Serpent and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

'By far my favourite book of of the year' Guardian

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in…


Book cover of Daughter of the Forest

Jennifer Ivy Walker Author Of The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven

From my list on paranormal romances with shapeshifting warriors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved fairy tales, myths, and fantasy, having developed a vivid imagination during childhood because we lived far from friends. When I began studying French, I discovered a love for medieval legends such as Tristan et Yseult.  During trips to France, I explored troglodyte caves of the Loire Valley and prehistoric grottos, such as La Grotte de Lascaux. The more I researched legends and myths, the more my fantasy world of paranormal romance and shapeshifting warriors evolved.

Jennifer's book list on paranormal romances with shapeshifting warriors

Jennifer Ivy Walker Why did Jennifer love this book?

This story is a retelling of a fairy tale of six brothers who transform into swans due to an evil enchantment. Their sister Sorcha, the Daughter of the Forest, painfully weaves shirts from starwort nettle to break the spell and save them. Filled with romance, otherworldly elements of medieval Celtic legends such as fairy folk and magic spells, this novel is a powerful testament to love and loyalty.

I have always loved legends and fairy tales and felt totally immersed in this magic world of Marillier’s Celtic forest.

By Juliet Marillier,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Daughter of the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum, faces the difficult task of having to save her family from its enemies, who have bewitched her father and six older brothers while forcing her to choose between the life she has always known and a special love.


Book cover of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Author Of Bohemian Gospel

From my list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as an overachieving student, I struggled with true/false tests, always writing short essays explaining why the answer wasn’t quite clear cut. Some teachers loved my need to blur the lines. Others not so much. But this aversion to boundaries—the idea that something (or someone) must be this or that—it’s part of my blood. I read everything in the library, nonfiction, fiction, all genres. I like books that cross from real to fantasy, history to fiction. I love characters who refuse to be told who and what they can (or can’t) be. I want love to break boundaries, too. That’s what this list is all about.

Dana's book list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Why did Dana love this book?

When a story gives me a character so real I feel like I know them, someone I can invest in, then I’ll go through anything with them—mistakes, victories, heartbreaks, joy. Connie Goodwin brings us into her life as she clears out her grandmother’s estate and then takes us with her as she discovers the remarkable life of Deliverance Dane, a midwife during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. The book swirls with mystery and romance and the power of women in any age. 

By Katherine Howe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While clearing out her grandmother's cottage for sale, Connie Goodwin finds a hidden parchment inscribed with the name Deliverance Dane. And so begins the hunt to uncover the woman behind the name, a hunt that takes her back to Salem in 1692 . . . and the infamous witchcraft trials.

But nothing is entirely as it seems and when Connie unearths the existence of Deliverance's spell book, the Physick Book, the situation takes on a menacing edge as interested parties reveal their desperation to find this precious artefact at any cost.

What secrets does the Physick Book contain? What magic…


Book cover of Bellewether

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Author Of Bohemian Gospel

From my list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as an overachieving student, I struggled with true/false tests, always writing short essays explaining why the answer wasn’t quite clear cut. Some teachers loved my need to blur the lines. Others not so much. But this aversion to boundaries—the idea that something (or someone) must be this or that—it’s part of my blood. I read everything in the library, nonfiction, fiction, all genres. I like books that cross from real to fantasy, history to fiction. I love characters who refuse to be told who and what they can (or can’t) be. I want love to break boundaries, too. That’s what this list is all about.

Dana's book list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Why did Dana love this book?

I love a good story told well—where the plot has me eager to flip the page, but the writing is so gorgeous I want to linger. Bellewether entwines the story of present-day Charley with Lydia, a woman living in the midst of war between the British and French American colonies in 1759. It’s a story of ghosts, figurative and real, of love, forbidden and lost, and it’s about discovering the truths that matter the most. 

By Susanna Kearsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"I've loved every one of Susanna's books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly's delicate touch with characters-a sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won't let go!"-DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outlander
From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley-A magical novel that blends history, forbidden romance and the paranormal
Secrets aren't such easy things to keep: It's late summer in 1759, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French-Canadian lieutenant is captured and…


Book cover of How the Irish Saved Civilization

Angela R. Hughes Author Of Elanor and the Song of the Bard: The Once and Future Chronicles, Book 1

From my list on historical fantasy with twists on Arthurian legend.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the fantastic since childhood—ever since I read my first book, The Princess & the Goblin. As a young adult, I lived on the Emerald Isle of Ireland and I fell in love with the history and legends of the British Isles. Stories of King Arthur, Saint Patrick, and the mighty warrior Cu Chulainn inspired my imagination. Now through years of studying Arthurian Legend and Celtic Mythos—I write historical fantasy filled with the ageless inspirations of the ancient Celtic world.

Angela's book list on historical fantasy with twists on Arthurian legend

Angela R. Hughes Why did Angela love this book?

As someone who loves history, particularly Celtic history, this one hit me in a really special place in my heart. This little-known history of the Celtic Saints, and particularly Saint Patrick really opened my eyes. It details how Celtic monks quietly saved the written word while barbarians and Vikings burnt Roman literature—which would have made all western thought—even the bible on the threat of extinction. It dazzled me to be given a much bigger perspective on the infamous Book of Kells, and even how schools throughout the western world originated because of these men that hid behind the chaos of the times. All this history by itself was amazing to learn, but even more, the author wrote with wit and charm that made it a fun read.

By Thomas Cahill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Irish Saved Civilization as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shamelessly engaging, effortlessly scholarly, utterly refreshing history of the Irish soul and its huge contribution to Western culture' Thomas Keneally

Ireland played the central role in maintaining European culture when the dark ages settled on Europe in the fifth century: as Rome was sacked by Visigoths and its empire collapsed, Ireland became 'the isle of saints and scholars' that enabled the classical and religious heritage to be saved.

In his compelling and entertaining narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Irish monks and scrines copied the mauscripts of both pagan and Christian writers, including Homer and Aristotle, while libraries…


Book cover of The Collected Stories

Alison Jean Lester Author Of Lillian on Life

From my list on keeping it real about older women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Literary agents often say they are looking for books about ‘quirky’ female protagonists. I’m more entertained by female characters who feel real to me. When I write, I make myself uncomfortable a lot of the time, trying to express the many ways people both disguise and reveal the truth. I blame my devotion to my parents for this because when I left home in Massachusetts for college in the foreign land of Indiana, studied for a year in China, then studied in Italy, then worked in Taiwan, then moved to Japan, and later to Singapore, I wrote them copious descriptive, emotional letters. My parents are gone now, but in a way, I’m still doing that.

Alison's book list on keeping it real about older women

Alison Jean Lester Why did Alison love this book?

Lots of men write women in middle and older age well – Jim Harrison’s short story called "The Woman Lit by Fireflies" is incredible, and of course, there’s Shakespeare. I’d like to point you to the Irish writer William Trevor, though. His collected stories begin with one called "A Meeting in Middle Age" in which the character of Mrs. da Tanka (who is seeking grounds for her second husband to divorce her by paying a man to spend a sexless night with her in a hotel bed) crackles with dissatisfaction. Trevor writes aging people with a tenderness that isn’t always immediately evident. You learn to wait for it, if you can stand the tension while you do and the heartache when it arrives.

By William Trevor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Collected Stories - a stunning volume of William Trevor's unforgettable short stories

William Trevor is one of the most renowned figures in contemporary literature, described as 'the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language' by the New Yorker and acclaimed for his haunting and profound insights into the human heart. Here is a collection of his short fiction, with dozens of tales spanning his career and ranging from the moving to the macabre, the humorous to the haunting. From the penetrating 'Memories of Youghal' to the bittersweet 'Bodily Secrets' and the elegiac 'Two More Gallants', here…


Book cover of Gerald of Wales: A Voice of the Middle Ages

Charity L. Urbanski Author Of Writing History for the King: Henry II and the Politics of Vernacular Historiography

From my list on medieval historians and history writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian of medieval Europe who specializes in twelfth-century England and France. I’ve been fascinated with history since childhood and distinctly remember being obsessed with a book on English monarchs in my mom’s bookcase when I was young. In college, I took a class on Medieval England with a professor whose enthusiasm for the subject, along with the sheer strangeness of the medieval world, hooked me. I’ve been exploring medieval Europe ever since, and deepening my understanding of how our own world came into being in the process. 

Charity's book list on medieval historians and history writing

Charity L. Urbanski Why did Charity love this book?

Any book by Robert Bartlett is worth reading (check out The Hanged Man and Trial by Fire and Water as well), but I love this one because it examines one of the most interesting and entertaining historians of the twelfth century, Gerald of Wales.

Gerald was famously opinionated, prejudiced (mainly against the Irish – check out his History of Ireland), and gossipy. Bartlett explores Gerald’s attitudes, experiences, and works to paint a compelling picture of the wider world around him. Much like Chibnall’s book on Orderic, this is a fascinating portrait of an important historian and the complicated world he lived in.

By Robert Bartlett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This study of Gerald discusses the political path he had to tread and portrays him as an example of the medieval world.


Book cover of Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: The Dynasty of Ivarr to A.D. 1014

Rory Naismith Author Of Early Medieval Britain

From my list on Britain in the Early Middle Ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of Early Medieval English History at the University of Cambridge. I also work on relations with the rest of Britain, and between Britain and its European neighbours, especially from an economic and social point of view. My interest in early medieval history arose from the jigsaw puzzle approach that it requires: even more so than for other periods, sources are few and often challenging, so need to be seen together and interpreted imaginatively. 

Rory's book list on Britain in the Early Middle Ages

Rory Naismith Why did Rory love this book?

‘Viking’ really refers more to an activity than an ethnicity, and has developed an unhelpful amount of baggage in modern times. This book, however, is about vikings red in tooth and claw who fought, raided, and conquered across Britain, but did so as conscious and coherent historical figures rather than an aggressive force of nature. Through delicate source-work that traverses several linguistic and cultural divides, Downham traces the activities of a powerful Scandinavian dynasty that played a formative role in the history of Britain and Ireland across the ninth and tenth centuries.

By Clare Downham,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vikings plagued the coasts of Ireland and Britain in the 790s. By the mid-ninth century vikings had established a number of settlements in Ireland and Britain and had become heavily involved with local politics. A particularly successful viking leader named Ivarr campaigned on both sides of the Irish Sea in the 860s. His descendants dominated the major seaports of Ireland and challenged the power of kings in Britain during the later ninth and tenth centuries. This book provides a political analysis of the deeds of Ivarr's family from their first appearance in Insular records down to the year 1014. Such…


Book cover of Conquests, Catastrophe and Recovery: Britain and Ireland 1066–1485

Marc Morris Author Of The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

From my list on medieval Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into medieval history from the moment I arrived at university, when I looked at a lecture list that included the Norman Conquest, King John and Magna Carta, Edward I – in short, the subjects of the books I have gone on to write. The attraction for me was that the medieval centuries were formative ones, shaping the countries of the British Isles and the identities of the people within them. After completing my doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk I was keen to broaden my horizons, and presented a TV series about castles, which was a great way to reconnect with the reality of the medieval past.

Marc's book list on medieval Britain

Marc Morris Why did Marc love this book?

This is a fantastic introduction to what was going on in the British Isles during the medieval period. The scholarship is up-to-the-minute, the writing is witty and engaging, and it is teeming with original ideas. It’s not a political history, plodding predictably from one reign to the next, but a sweeping overview, covering diverse topics such as the decline of slavery, the rise of parliament, kingship and queenship, religion, education, leisure, crime, and chivalry.

By John Gillingham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beginning with the Norman Conquest of England, these tumultuous centuries and their invasions shaped the languages and political geography of present-day Britain and Ireland.

The Irish, Scots and Welsh fought their battles against the English with varying success - struggles which, like the events of 1066 in England, produced spectacular upheavals and left enduring national memories. But there was still a common enemy: the Black Death - still the greatest catastrophe in their history.

There were significant advances, too. Hundreds of new towns were founded; slavery, still prevalent until the twelfth century, died out; magnificent cathedrals built, schools and universities…


Book cover of Stone Heart

Katherine Black Author Of Leverage

From my list on dark and twisted psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing for a long time and reading even longer. I enjoy intelligent books that are well written—not overwritten or over punctuated—and as we all do both of those, I mean that it’s been well edited. And I understand the struggle which is why four of my five choices are from indie authors like myself.

Katherine's book list on dark and twisted psychological thrillers

Katherine Black Why did Katherine love this book?

I loved this book. If I had to describe this novel in one word it would be intelligent. Set in Celtic Ireland in the Iron Age, the language is rich and expressive and Merrigan takes you into his world until you feel you belong there. You are drawn into a time where everything is governed by the gods. The story takes you through the training of the young warriors and druids. With the ongoing conflict over land, and with the people’s lives steeped in superstitious beliefs, we come to care that the outcome falls well with our tribe.

Fionn is born into a simple rural tribe. His life is sweet as he grows to double figures playing with his sisters in the fields. At the age of ten, he is called to serve, and the boys of fighting age are gathered from across the land, taken from their families, and…

By Peter J Merrigan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ireland, 279 BC. A nation at war. For two boys, it will be gruelling. For Ireland . . . it will be bloody.

When the first raiding skirmishes of a foreign army are crushed and Ireland mourns her dead, one king knows their newfound peace is destined to fail. As Overking of Ailigh, Keeper of the North, he calls for the boys of his Celtic tribes to train as formidable warriors under his command.

For Aed, it begins as a fantastical quest. For Ronan, it helps him escape a cruel chieftain. Together, they must train and grow in strength and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Middle Ages, Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Middle Ages, Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.

The Middle Ages Explore 416 books about the Middle Ages
Ireland Explore 285 books about Ireland
The Republic Of Ireland Explore 32 books about the Republic of Ireland