100 books like Mistborn

By Brandon Sanderson,

Here are 100 books that Mistborn fans have personally recommended if you like Mistborn. 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 Lord of the Rings

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Author Of The Transformational Path: How Healing, Unlearning, and Tuning into Source Helped Me Manifest My Most Abundant Life

From my list on completely transforming your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known I was “special” since I was a child. I saw, felt, and heard things that others did not. Eventually I embraced my clairaudient mediumship gifts and turned it into a thriving business, allowing me to live a life of purpose: helping others find their passions and live their most joyful lives. But the journey never ends; I am always on a mission to transform. Consistently, literature has been where I turn when I am seeking wisdom on becoming the best version of myself. I also pursued certification as a Book Therapist - the first thing I’ll recommend to friends, family, or clients is the best book for their dilemma!

Claudia's book list on completely transforming your life

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Why did Claudia love this book?

J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful storytelling is unmatched, and The Lord of the Rings weaves together moral dilemmas and profound philosophical ideas seamlessly, encouraging me to contemplate the nature of power, the importance of preserving the natural world, and the significance of individual choices.

The book's themes of heroism, friendship, sacrifice, and the struggle between good and evil resonate deeply. In addition, each of his characters feels like an aspect of oneself; the introspection it inspires is brilliant!

The Lord of the Rings instills a sense of wonder, ignites the imagination, and imparts timeless wisdom, which heavily transformed my perspective on life, my values, and my understanding of the human condition.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

52 authors picked The Lord of the Rings 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?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…

Book cover of The Black Prism

J.W. Kiefer Author Of Death

From my list on the most unique magic systems.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a fiction author and minister from Upstate New York. As a young boy, I had many supernatural experiences. My earliest memory is of a supernatural basis. For me, the unseen world, and those things that others either deny exist or have relegated to ancient history and myth, have always been real to me. Reading, films, video games, and all other forms of storytelling were ways for me to experience the strange and the mysterious. What I found as I walked through such places as Middle Earth, Narnia, and Ice Wind Dale, was that the stories of these characters that overcame adversity, failures, and weaknesses to become heroes inspired me as well.

J.W.'s book list on the most unique magic systems

J.W. Kiefer Why did J.W. love this book?

So, if you haven’t already noticed, for most of this list I have chosen the first book in a series. Let's be honest, if you read fantasy, then you know pretty much every book is part of a series. In The Black Prism we are introduced to one of my favorite magic systems. In this system, the magicians or “Drafters” are able to turn light into substance. Each color of the light spectrum has a different property. A drafter can create constructs using light. Most people can only access one color, but there are those special people that can use multiple colors, and of course, there are the select few who can use all. What I love about this system is that it is only limited to the strength and imagination of the user.

I am a big fan of systems that you have to think to use. Anyone can…

By Brent Weeks,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Black Prism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a world where magic is tightly controlled, the most powerful man in history must choose between his kingdom and his son - in the first book of the New York Times bestselling Lightbringer series, one of the most popular fantasy epics of the decade.


Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he…

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Teresa M. Schulz Author Of Barbed Wire and Daisies

From my list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a wicked imagination and loved to tell stories. Unfortunately, this had me naively believing in fairy tales and happy endings. Cinderella has a lot to answer for. My kind heart and trusting nature were a magnet for bad men, and boy, did I suffer because of it. The term “Viking Berserker” comes to mind. This is why I have a passion for reading about strong women. I’ve learned (through reading books – such as those on my recommended list) that to survive, you have to have hope for a better future, and inspiring people – within inspiring stories – can often give you that hope.

Teresa's book list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour

Teresa M. Schulz Why did Teresa love this book?

A medieval world with dire wolves, dragons, and John Snow.

But seriously, Daenerys was a favourite of mine in that series. I have mentioned earlier that I love when the underdog wins – well I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but in my mind, that young woman who came from a place of being bullied by her crazy brother, pursued by a vengeful enemy on the iron throne, challenged by Dothraki, and judged by almost everyone else, grew in confidence, strength and courage to become a force to be reckoned with. She earned the title "Mother of Dragons."

There were several other strong females in this series: Arya, Sansa, Catelyn, Brienne, and Ygritte, to name a few. At times, the story is a bit gruesome and not for the faint-hearted – but definitely a good series to read.

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…

Book cover of Dune

Jean Gilbert Author Of Shifters

From my list on science fiction books that suck you into their world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have prosopagnosia, Face Blindness. I can’t recognize my face, let alone anyone else. Not being able to remember people makes for a lonely existence. Ever since I was little, I created worlds inside my head. These were places where I could control what happened when the real world felt lonely and out of control. Discovering books that created worlds I could immerse myself in was life-changing for me. It was like finding my lost tribe. Science fiction became a comfortable home, becoming a science fiction writer was a natural progression. I still get excited when I find a book that sucks me into its world.

Jean's book list on science fiction books that suck you into their world

Jean Gilbert Why did Jean love this book?

I was a young teenager the first time I read this book. At the time, I didn’t understand all that was going on, but I knew I liked the story and the world. But as an adult, all the underlying tensions and the deeper story touched something deep within me. I think it has to do with the struggle to survive and how to cope in a hostile environment–man and planet alike.

The idea that something so simple as a worm on a seemingly insignificant desert planet affected the whole universe fascinated me. If I had the power Paul Atreides had, would I have made the same difficult choices he had made? Probably. And that’s what scares me the most.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…

Book cover of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Beau Johnston Author Of Sleep with One Eye Open

From my list on casual (or non) readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I despise long-winded books with an electoral roll of characters or characters with unnecessarily complex names. Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. High school does its best to suck the joy out of reading with its “what did the author mean here?” nonsense. If the reader has to guess what the author means, the author failed to tell their story. Symbolism and hidden meanings are a joke. I won’t read pretentious books that people only read so they can say they’ve read them. One of the reasons I started writing was to reach people who ended up as non-readers because high school ruined reading for them.

Beau's book list on casual (or non) readers

Beau Johnston Why did Beau love this book?

This book is a fantastic collection of short stories about the Zombie Apocalypse. Some of the stories broach the subject of corruption, which enabled a local epidemic to spread globally.

I first read this book in 2006 with an “imagine if…..” frame of mind, but I watched world events unfold in 2020 from the perspective of “life imitating art.” I loved the author’s conversational style of storytelling and the believable characters he described. There are no hardcore action heroes, just regular people.

By Max Brooks,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked World War Z as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginning of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse.

Faced with a future of mindless man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight against the horde, World War Z brings the finest traditions of journalism to bear on what is…

Book cover of The Book Thief

Jesse Maas Author Of Not for the Faint of Heart

From my list on fiction books that capture the meaning of simply being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about writing books that put good into the world and highlight meaningful and inspiring themes, which, in turn, means I am also passionate about reading books that do the same. I love to write and read books that leave the reader feeling like there is still good in the world, even when it seems to be very dark around us. If people read my books or any on this list, I sincerely hope they feel encouraged and inspired and enjoy them as much as I do.

Jesse's book list on fiction books that capture the meaning of simply being human

Jesse Maas Why did Jesse love this book?

My husband first recommended this book to me, and when he described it, he said it was written from the perspective of death, and I was not very interested in learning more about what exactly that meant. It took me years to finally follow his recommendation, and when I did, I was greatly surprised.

This historical fiction novel is very different than the others on this list, but it is inspiring all the same. Its unique narrative perspective challenges readers to think about life from a different point of view, and I thoroughly enjoyed the thought-provoking challenge.

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

30 authors picked The Book Thief 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?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph


1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


Book cover of A Monster Calls

Sarah Allen Author Of The Nightmare House

From my list on where the monsters are more than monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my high school creative writing class, my teacher once said that good writing was a bit like looking at a star. If you look directly at it, it gets a little fuzzy and hard to see. But if you look just off to the side, the star becomes vivid and clear. That, to me, is exactly the power of spooky stories for young readers. We all deal with monsters, to varying degrees, throughout our lives. Even kids. But if we look at it just off to the side, through the angle of a fun, spooky story, those monsters suddenly become much more comprehensible. More faceable. More beatable. 

Sarah's book list on where the monsters are more than monsters

Sarah Allen Why did Sarah love this book?

It’s been said by smarter people than me how writing horror for kids isn’t about scaring them, it’s about showing them how brave they are.

A Monster Calls is the perfect illustration of that. The scariness and the spookiness are a stand-in for the real-life horrors that this kid is facing. Kids deal with a lot, and this book is the perfect example of how to survive when the worst happens.

The artwork too—wow! I wish I could get some of this artwork to hang on my walls. Absolutely gorgeous book.

By Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Monster Calls 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 bestselling novel and major film about love, loss and hope from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness.

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don't quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there's a visitor at his window. It's ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking…

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice

Brandi Schonberg Author Of The Gate

From my list on hopeful unlikely heroes who change their fate.

Why am I passionate about this?

Escapism is my drug of choice. As a child, I was angry that my existence was confined to this reality, and I did everything I could to find a way out. Stories made it bearable. Whether it was Thor’s Bifrost, the wardrobe of Narnia, or the mirror in Stephen R. Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need duology, I was hooked. Now, I tell my own stories of escape. I create and invite others to find solace, adventure, love, and passion in fantasy realms, outer space, and reinvented parallel realities. This door is always open. 

Brandi's book list on hopeful unlikely heroes who change their fate

Brandi Schonberg Why did Brandi love this book?

I never wanted to reach into a book and pluck a character out of their situation more than I did with this one. I ached for Fitz Chivalry, beat my fists on whatever chair I sat in as I read, and ultimately wept openly as I completed the series. But my tears weren’t of sadness. A real journey had ended, and I was grieving the tale's end.

No one seeks out painful stories, but those that sting can resonate. Robin Hobb spins a bittersweet tale full of characters you love, characters you root for, and others you’d like to punch in the face. The worldbuilding and lore are extravagant, rich, and believable, as are the characters.

This is a book and series that you will reach for to reread time and time again.

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

10 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 The Name of the Wind

Tyler Krings Author Of War and the Wind

From my list on humor, romance, and a dash of fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an American-born writer and I have been writing fantasy and science fiction since I was just out of elementary school. I have been obsessed with Star Wars (and later Trek) since I was able to watch television, and I believe I was twelve when Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters…needless to say, I have not stopped reading and writing fantasy since. The books on my list are some (but not all) of my very favorites and many of them have gone on to heavily inspire my own style when writing my own works.

Tyler's book list on humor, romance, and a dash of fantasy

Tyler Krings Why did Tyler love this book?

The Name of the Wind is a beautifully told tale of Kvothe and his conflict with the Chandrian (mystical beings of suspect nature existing in a parallel plane).

After the murder of his parents and troupe, Kvothe goes claw his way through the city streets and then on to scheme through the ranks of the Magical Academy, looking for evidence of and information about his parents' killers. There is love, music, magic, and mystery with a dash of wit and violence.

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Name of the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lyrical fantasy masterpiece about stories, legends and how they change the world. The Name of the Wind is an absolute must-read for any fan of fantasy fiction.

'This is a magnificent book' Anne McCaffrey

'I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone' THE TIMES

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University…

Book cover of Free the Darkness

RC Hancock Author Of An Uncommon Blue

From my list on fantasy books with Gary Stu protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

My therapist would say my passion for “Gary Stu” characters comes from a childhood of inadequacy. I was always smaller than the other kids (even the girls). I was sooo awkward. Sports? Forget about it. Also, I was a kleptomaniac. Wait… I’m not sure I was supposed to tell you that last one. When I open up a book and become an attractive, smart, athletic pseudo-Ryan my inner child takes the wheel of a monster truck. And life is good.

RC's book list on fantasy books with Gary Stu protagonists

RC Hancock Why did RC love this book?

Speaking of wish-fulfillment, Rezkin is simultaneously the most competent and incompetent young man I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. He’s a Gary Stu because he is basically a warrior god. His only weakness is his lack of experience in… everything else. (He does grow savvier as the series progresses, but until it he does, hilarity ensues.) This is definitely my second favorite book (very closely following The Name of the Wind.) I want to be Rezkin so hard. Until then I’ll have to be content reading the book over and over and over.

By Kel Kade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A #1 Best Seller in Amazon's Epic Fantasy!

Raised and trained in seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows. With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bestowed upon him by a dead king, Rezkin must travel across Ashai to find the one man who may hold the clues to his very existence.

Determined to adhere to his last orders, Rezkin extends his protection to…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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