100 books like Night Watch

By Terry Pratchett,

Here are 100 books that Night Watch fans have personally recommended if you like Night Watch. 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 Life After Life

Sam Taylor Author Of The Two Loves of Sophie Strom

From my list on making the impossible feel real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved stories that rearrange reality in some simple, allusive way, including movies like Groundhog Day or The Truman Show. They remind me of a quote about Italo Calvino that I first read when I was a teenager and have loved ever since: ‘He holds a mirror up to life, then writes about the mirror.’ I tend not to be attracted to stories that simply depict reality and even less so to stories that completely abandon reality for an invented fantasy world. All my favorite fictions take place somewhere in between, in the blending of the real and the impossible. 

Sam's book list on making the impossible feel real

Sam Taylor Why did Sam love this book?

It always seemed unfair to me that not only do we get just one life, but we only get to live it once. So I fell in love with this novel from the moment I read its premise: Ursula Todd is born and dies and is born again… and again… and again.

I love that she doesn’t remember her previous lives except as vague intuitions that help her avoid making the same mistakes twice–and I also love that avoiding those mistakes often means she makes other (often fatal) mistakes. I found this book funny, moving, and thought-provoking, but what I love most about it is the way its down-to-earth, realistic style allowed me to fully inhabit the impossible conceit at its heart. 

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Life After Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula's apparently infinite number…


Book cover of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

From my list on combining fantasy and social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

My great interests have been ships and space travel, and if one takes time to consider the similarities the parallels stand out. Ships, especially submarines, travel in a medium and through an environment that is hostile to human life. In space travel, the ‘ship’ becomes the only habitat in which we can survive for any extended period, leaving it without a space suit is a fatal move. I cannot claim to be an expert in closed environments, but it's a subject that has fascinated me throughout my life. Every ‘biosphere’ is unique and incredibly complex and depends on the symbiosis of an enormous number of living creatures right down to bacteria and even viruses. 

Patrick's book list on combining fantasy and social commentary

Patrick G. Cox Why did Patrick love this book?

This is the story that first got me interested in science fiction. Of course, we now recognise some of the flaws in the science, but consider that at the time of its writing steam propulsion was still in its infancy, most ships were still built of timber, and Verne envisaged a ship capable of indefinite travel beneath the ocean surface – something not even possible until the advent of nuclear power almost a century later. Even today Verne’s vision and the story he wove around it can inspire.

By Jules Verne,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

First serialized in a French magazine from 1869-1870, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is an incredible adventure story that popularized science fiction throughout the world.

Professor Aronnax, a marine biologist, joins harpoonist Ned Land in search of a mysterious sea creature in the open ocean, only to discover that the beast is actually a submarine piloted by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. They are taken captive, thus beginning a strange undersea voyage from Antarctic ice shelves to the subterranean city of Atlantis, hunting sharks along the way.

With its sprawling, exotic plot and vivid descriptions, Jules Verne's epic underwater adventure…


Book cover of A Memory Called Empire

R.M. Olson Author Of Redshift

From my list on restoring your faith in humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former journalist-turned-lawyer and a recovering news junky, I’ve spent much of my life watching unhappy scenarios play out. But what’s always astonished me me is how, no matter how bad things get or how difficult the situation, there’s a spark of humanity, of kindness and compassion and optimism, that comes out in people at the most unexpected of times. Now, as an author and a parent, I find myself drawn to stories that remind me of that—that no matter how bleak life may look, how cruel or arbitrary the circumstances, there’s something good and beautiful and worth fighting for, not “somewhere out there,” but inside us. 

R.M.'s book list on restoring your faith in humanity

R.M. Olson Why did R.M. love this book?

The delicious worldbuilding, with its gorgeous, sensual details, and the intriguing story setup, were the things that grabbed me and pulled me into the book. The characters—funny, complicated, and utterly loveable—convinced me to stay.

But it was the complex, beautiful exploration of identity, belonging, love, grief, and longing that’s stayed with me since I listened to the last word of the audiobook. This book manages to be both an exciting and action-packed adventure and a beautiful tribute to the bittersweet complexities of being human. 

By Arkady Martine,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Memory Called Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This incredible opening to the duology recalls the best of John le Carre, Iain M. Banks's Culture novels and Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy.

In a war of lies she seeks the truth . . .

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire's interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn't accidental - and she might be next.

Now Mahit must navigate the capital's enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths. And while she hunts for the…


Book cover of Doomsday Book

Clare Broyles Author Of In Sunshine or in Shadow

From my list on spunky women in historical mayhem who nevertheless persisted.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been known to read a book a day, and I read widely: all the classics, mystery and suspense, science fiction, future fiction, and fantasy. My favorite novels in any genre take me to a place or time far away. My favorite characters are like hobbits; they are caught up in big adventures but fun to have a beer with and don’t take themselves too seriously. And all the protagonists in the novels I have chosen are women, because women my age have spent enough time reading about men who have adventures. 

Clare's book list on spunky women in historical mayhem who nevertheless persisted

Clare Broyles Why did Clare love this book?

This book is both future fiction and historical. An Oxford historian journeys back in time and ends up by accident in a plague-filled village in the Middle Ages.

What I love about this novel is the bravery of the characters and their commitment to the good. Willis makes me a believer that humans have not changed much in a thousand years. Ties of love, faith, and humor are the stronghold for confused humans in the past, present, or future, and Willis’ universe is a benevolent one that responds to reward those acts of faith.

Although this book could be classified as science fiction, it is lovingly historical with a deeply researched and rich experience of our past. I absolutely love this book. 

By Connie Willis,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Doomsday Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A tour de force" - New York Times Book Review

"Ambitious, finely detailed and compulsively readable" - Locus

"It is a book that feels fundamentally true; it is a book to live in" - Washington Post

For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing a bullet-proof backstory. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and…


Book cover of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Z.S. Diamanti Author Of Stone & Sky

From my list on fantasy adventure filled with fun, magic, and hope.

Why am I passionate about this?

Creativity can lead to beautiful things. As a child I needed glasses and didn’t know it. Instead of reading books, my brother and I would tell stories to each other while we were supposed to be sleeping in our bunk beds at night. Eventually, I did get glasses and found that all the fantastical things that my mind came up with gave me quite the propensity toward fantasy. And once my eyes were set, it was game on! Over the years, I’ve authored numerous pieces in other genres, but my first books were always going to be fantasy. And that’s how the Stone & Sky series was born.

Z.S.'s book list on fantasy adventure filled with fun, magic, and hope

Z.S. Diamanti Why did Z.S. love this book?

A list of fantasy adventure books filled with fun, magic, and hope would hardly be complete without one entry from The Chronicles of Narnia. And though it’s hard to pick just one, I think we have to go with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

When Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace are swept away into the magical world of Narnia to sail with king Caspian and his ragtag crew across the sea, there is no shortage of adventure. They face many challenges along the way, including the incessant whining of Eustace.

Our protagonists never give up, even in the face of difficult bouts with sea serpents, wizard’s tricks, and dragon curses. And at the end of their journey, they grow into the heroes they were meant to be.

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A beautiful paperback edition of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, book five in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. This edition is complete with cover and interior art by the original illustrator of Narnia, Pauline Baynes.

A king and some unexpected companions embark on a voyage that will take them beyond all known lands. As they sail farther and farther from charted waters, they discover that their quest is more than they imagined and that the world's end is only the beginning.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the fifth book in C. S. Lewis's classic…


Book cover of Chalice

Rachel Neumeier Author Of Tuyo

From my list on fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fantasy author, I love stories set within complex and unusual worlds. I especially enjoy worlds where the rules of physics and metaphysics are re-imagined, adding an extra dimension to the story. Most fantasy worlds are much like our own – big, spherical, ordinary climactic zones, normal physics. Magic sort of exists around the edges. A handful of fantasy worlds are different: the world is flat, layered, hollow, has physical and metaphysical laws that change when you step across a political border – or is wholly contained within an infinite House with oceans pouring through the lower levels. Those are worlds I find especially delightful to visit – and to write about!

Rachel's book list on fantasy novels

Rachel Neumeier Why did Rachel love this book?

The world in Chalice isn’t flat. Or spherical. Or any particular shape. This is a world of little bubble domains embedded in surrounding chaos and the story is all about protecting one of those domains. This book is like a dream. It’s slow and graceful and, well, dreamy. I like the bees. And the honey. I’m not especially fond of honey in the real world, but I love the honey in this story. Some stories are instant “comfort reads". Chalice is one of those. It’s like wrapping up in a fuzzy robe in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate. If you’re in the mood for a warm story, beautifully told, you could hardly do better.

By Robin McKinley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chalice 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 earthlines speak to Mirasol, but her family has lived in the demesne for centuries, and many of the old families can hear the land. She knows that the violent deaths of the last Master and Chalice have thrown Willowlands into turmoil; but she is only a beekeeper, and the problems of the Circle that govern Willowlands have nothing to do with her—although she wonders what will become of her demesne, because the Master and Chalice left no heirs to carry on their crucial duties.

And then the Circle come to Mirasol, to tell her that she has been chosen…


Book cover of The Pyramids of London

Rachel Neumeier Author Of Tuyo

From my list on fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fantasy author, I love stories set within complex and unusual worlds. I especially enjoy worlds where the rules of physics and metaphysics are re-imagined, adding an extra dimension to the story. Most fantasy worlds are much like our own – big, spherical, ordinary climactic zones, normal physics. Magic sort of exists around the edges. A handful of fantasy worlds are different: the world is flat, layered, hollow, has physical and metaphysical laws that change when you step across a political border – or is wholly contained within an infinite House with oceans pouring through the lower levels. Those are worlds I find especially delightful to visit – and to write about!

Rachel's book list on fantasy novels

Rachel Neumeier Why did Rachel love this book?

The Pyramids of London has the most ornate, baroque alternative-history setting of any novel in the entire history of fantasy novels. Seriously. To start with, every kind of mythology is true in whatever region that mythology developed. Also, the pharaohs of Egypt have been vampires for thousands of years. Plus, when they die, vampires might become stars. Which are also gods. Plus France is ruled by the Fae. At night, when the Fae Court of the Moon arises in Paris, gravity suddenly drops dramatically.

Insert a murder mystery into this wildly ornate setting, plus fully realized characters you both believe in and root for, and off you go, on a fantastic journey through a world that is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

By Andrea K. Host,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a world where lightning sustained the Roman Empire, and Egypt's vampiric god-kings spread their influence through medicine and good weather, tiny Prytennia's fortunes are rising with the ships that have made her undisputed ruler of the air. But the peace of recent decades is under threat. Rome's automaton-driven wealth is waning along with the New Republic's supply of power crystals, while Sweden uses fear of Rome to add to her Protectorates. And Prytennia is under attack from the wind itself. Relentless daily blasts destroy crops, buildings, and lives, and neither the weather vampires nor Prytennia's Trifold Goddess have been…


Book cover of Piranesi

H.J. Reynolds Author Of Without a Shadow

From my list on unique and memorable magic systems.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read almost any genre, but fantasy is what I love most, both reading and writing. Stories are magic, but when they have actual magic in them, I’m hooked. Having studied both Film and Creative Writing at university, I love to go in-depth on storytelling and have reviews aplenty on my website if you want further recommendations. The books I’ve chosen for this list have incredibly unique worlds full of bizarre magic. When I enter a new world, I want it to be exactly that: new and exciting with a touch of the surreal. To me, these books showcase magic at its most vivid and creative. 

H.J.'s book list on unique and memorable magic systems

H.J. Reynolds Why did H.J. love this book?

I very nearly stopped reading this book–even though it’s so short as it starts off unbelievably abstract. I didn’t know what was going on, and the descriptions only added to the confusion. But I’m so glad I kept going.

The main character does amnesia in the most charming way, and discovering his past and the strange world he seems both lost in and totally at home in was absolutely enchanting. This has stuck with me ever since, like the most vivid fever dream.

By Susanna Clarke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction
A SUNDAY TIMES & NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The spectacular new novel from the bestselling author of JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL, 'one of our greatest living authors' NEW YORK MAGAZINE
__________________________________
Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has.

In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend,…


Book cover of The Way of Shadows

Christopher Patterson Author Of A Chance Beginning

From my list on broken and struggling heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that in our real world, most heroes are like any other human, exhibiting the struggles, the moral dilemmas, and the psychological battles any human would be. And that is what makes a hero so great. They rise above the internal and external struggles to become something better and something others can look up to. Heroes are not supposed to be Superman. They are Batman, struggling with the darkness of trauma and the weight of responsibility like everyone else. 

Christopher's book list on broken and struggling heroes

Christopher Patterson Why did Christopher love this book?

Durzo Blint is an assassin and the last person anyone would suspect would be a hero and liberate the world from a number of tyrannical and lunatic dictators and rulers, but as a broken man, always questioning his own sense of morality and worth, he becomes the perfect man for the job, unclouded by a need for fame or fortune. 

By Brent Weeks,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Way of Shadows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From NYT bestselling author Brent Weeks comes the first novel in his breakout fantasy trilogy in which a young boy trains under the city's most legendary and feared assassin, Durzo Blint.

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art -- and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly -- and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and…


Book cover of Throne of Glass

K. Marie Smith Author Of Touch

From my list on strong female leads who might be morally gray.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with Irish folklore, Lord of the Rings, and X-Men comics as my bedtime stories, but I am also a domestic violence survivor twice over with c-PTSD. I was never able to get justice for anyone who hurt me. I created my stories as a way to cope and understand my feelings and triggers by making them their own personalities. So, I made my trauma available for everyone in a fantasy setting with two love interests to adore the heroine who had to endure so much but never gave up on giving people someone to root for when they couldn’t for themselves anymore.

K.'s book list on strong female leads who might be morally gray

K. Marie Smith Why did K. love this book?

I really loved the female main character. She was so witty and strong. I recommend this book to be paired with my own because the FMCs are similar, but the story is complex. The emotional energy of the book was also complex, and nothing is black and white, which always makes for a more fun read.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Throne of Glass 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?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas started a worldwide phenomenon when she published her debut novel, Throne of Glass. To date, Sarah's books have spent more than 92 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and she has hit #1 on charts around the world. Her books have sold more than seven million copies and have been translated into 36 languages. Throne of Glass alone has sold over one million copies. Now you can own this epic fantasy classic in a deluxe hardcover collector's edition. Throne of Glass begins the sweeping saga of assassin Celaena Sardothien,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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