100 books like Sabriel

By Garth Nix,

Here are 100 books that Sabriel fans have personally recommended if you like Sabriel. 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 Circe

S.G. Slade Author Of Touch of a Witch

From my list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core.

Who am I?

I’m a British writer with a passion for the stories of history, both real and imagined. I have always been fascinated by tales and relics of the past, old ruins, ancient buildings, mythology, and the uncanny power of the natural world. All these things connect us to the ghosts of the past. So, I write historical fantasy novels based in the England I explored growing up, but brushed with the shadow of the supernatural, magic, witchcraft, and seductive illusion. I also write straight historical fiction under the name Samantha Grosser.

S.G.'s book list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core

S.G. Slade Why did S.G. love this book?

I read this book when I was in hospital having surgery a few years ago, and it utterly transported me away from pain and anxiety to another world.

I’ve always loved Greek myth, and I love a book that makes you question things you thought you knew, bringing another side of the story to the fore. For thousands of years, we’ve taken Odysseus’s side on his long journey home from Troy. But who was the witch Circe, and how did she come to be alone on her island in the first place?

Questions of power and justice, love and betrayal, are woven through the text, and these are the themes that never fail to stir me. Written in beautiful prose, I’ve read it twice and recommended it to everyone I know.

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…


Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Uri Gatt Author Of Winds of Strife

From my list on morally grey characters.

Who am I?

Growing up in the Middle East, I’ve met all kinds of moral ambiguity. There’s a lot to say about it. How both sides think they’re right, how the ends justify the means and all that. Then there are the consequences. Even the winners often lose things. So I’ve set out to write about grey characters! About people who do bad things for the greater good, and how their life turns up after. And if you like the trope as much as I do, check the recs!

Uri's book list on morally grey characters

Uri Gatt Why did Uri love this book?

This is a multiplayer chess game, each side with their own agenda. Some play for love, others for revenge, others just to survive. 

It’s a treat to cheer for one side, only to find out we chose wrong. No side is pure good, and no side is pure evil. They’re all just people, and it’s impossible to cheer for only one person when in each chapter, someone else does something amazing or terrible.

The best part about this book is the wisdom. Every character clings to their own principles, and the author chooses the best words to describe these principles. Like, a dwarf who’s principle is “Never forget what you are. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.” 

Words to live by.

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

14 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 Bloody Jack

Anna Jane Greenville Author Of The Girl Who Was a Gentleman

From my list on romance featuring tomboys.

Who am I?

Having climbed many a tree with the boys as a kid, I cannot stay away from a good gender-bender romance. The suspense, the humour of it, and the inevitable conclusion that not your appearance but your choices define who you are – a perfect combination in my opinion. Mix in a male counterpart who is supportive and understanding and I am hooked! So much so, that I have written a book about a girl who dressed up as a boy.

Anna's book list on romance featuring tomboys

Anna Jane Greenville Why did Anna love this book?

Mary "Jacky" Faber, an orphaned street kid in early 19th century London, begins her adventures across the seven seas by dressing up as a ship's boy. Throughout the series she builds up quite the amazing resume that would put a Navy Seal to shame. And of course, there is a bit of romance here and there but the focus lies on Jacky sailing the world and kicking butt!

By L. A. Meyer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bloody Jack as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .


Book cover of True Grit

Kim Taylor Blakemore Author Of The Good Time Girls

From my list on fierce women in the American West.

Who am I?

The United States Old West is a legend, a myth, a land of contradictions. I grew up and have never left this vast land of scorching deserts, soaring peaks, misty coasts, and redwoods that touch the heavens. I grew up on the myths – Tombstone, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Pearl Hart. What I love most are the stories of the women of the West, who survive with grit, wiles, and no small amount of courage. I love finding the lesser known women through novels and research and seeing their lives bloom before my eyes. Cowgirls, sufragettes, doctors, ex-slaves, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, cattle rustlers, homesteaders, dancehall girls.

Kim's book list on fierce women in the American West

Kim Taylor Blakemore Why did Kim love this book?

One of my all-time favorites, both heartrending and humorous and a must read.

True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, a determined and tenacious young girl seeking justice for her father's murder. She hires the relentless U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn to help her track down the killer.

Readers will love this book for its gripping narrative, vivid characters, and Mattie's unwavering resolve and courage, which challenges traditional gender roles in the Wild West.

By Charles Portis,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked True Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down…


Book cover of Echo North

M. L. Farb Author Of Vasilisa

From my list on based on lesser known folk and fairytales.

Who am I?

One of my favorite sections in the library is the collections of folk and fairy tales. Especially the lesser-known tales. My novel, Vasilisa, is inspired by the Russian folktale Vasilisa and Staver, plus my question of “how did Vasilisa get so strong?” I love combining folk tales with extensive research of the culture and history of their settings, as well as delving into characters who have vastly different experiences than mine. And I love reading character and detail-rich novelizations of traditional tales. It was difficult to pick only five novels based on lesser-known fairy tales. Enjoy, then go find some others!

M. L.'s book list on based on lesser known folk and fairytales

M. L. Farb Why did M. L. love this book?

Echo North combined several familiar-to-me folk tales, and introduced me to the tale of Tam Lin. I loved the blending of known and original—especially the mirror room, where stories layered upon stories and acquaintances took on completely new qualities. The sewing together of a fracturing magical house also fascinated me. I was never sure about the intentions of certain people until the end, and despite guessing wrong, I was delighted by what really was happening.

By Joanna Ruth Meyer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Echo North 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?

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books- turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf's enchantment before her time is up otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.


Book cover of Graceling

Melissa Marr Author Of The Hidden Dragon

From my list on if you want to go on a magical adventure.

Who am I?

I grew up on fairy tales and folklore in the Appalachian Mountains. Stories of adventure and dusty fairy tale books in my grandmother’s attic were my entertainment. The library trips we took “into town” added to my reading. I discovered that the step from fairy tales to classics wasn’t as wide as folks argue. Years later, when I went off to college, I became an English major, then a graduate student, and then started teaching literature at college. From childhood to adulthood, magic and fiction were my life... which led to selling a book of my own. Over the last 17 years, I’ve been writing fantasy.

Melissa's book list on if you want to go on a magical adventure

Melissa Marr Why did Melissa love this book?

I loved this book since before it was published.

I gave a quote for the cover of the first printing of it, in fact. Fifteen years later, it still remains a book that can carry me away to a world where magic is not a gift but a challenge to overcome.

Kristen had a fresh idea here, but it still folded into my love of adventure and magic and finding out who we are inside.

That’s a story that will always get my attention, and the writing in this one is also lush enough to make me want to pause and re-read lines.

By Kristin Cashore,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Graceling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Discover the Graceling Realm in this unforgettable, award-winning novel from bestselling author Kristin Cashore.

A New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature Winner
Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal,Booklist, and BCCB Best Book of the Year

"Rageful, exhilarating, wistful in turns" (The New York Times Book Review) with "a knee weakening romance" (LA Times). Graceling is a thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure that will resonate deeply with anyone trying to find their way in the world.

Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the…


Book cover of Gideon the Ninth

Tim Pratt Author Of Heirs of Grace

From my list on fantasy with women heroines.

Who am I?

I've been reading fantasy for 42 years and writing it for 40, and because I was raised by badass women, I've always enjoyed tales of clever, kickass, indomitable heroines. I've written a bunch of them (a dozen books in an urban fantasy series about a sorcerer named Marla Mason; four books in the Axiom space opera series about ship captain Callie Machedo and her love interest, time refugee xenobiologist Elena Oh; contemporary fantasy/romance Heirs of Grace, about an art student who discovers a magical inheritance, and more). I'm also a longtime book reviewer, editor at SF/fantasy trade magazine Locus, and frequent award juror (Bradbury Prize, Philip K. Dick Award, and more), so... I think about SF/fantasy books a lot. 


Tim's book list on fantasy with women heroines

Tim Pratt Why did Tim love this book?

Gideon the Ninth lit up the sky of the science fiction/fantasy world when it was published, launching the Locked Tomb series (which is ongoing, and great; third volume Nona the Ninth is especially lovely).

It's been described as "lesbian necromancers in space" but it's more "lesbian necromancer and swordsperson on various weird planets in the far future with a god-emperor who uses death magic to fight planet-sized spectral monsters...." for a start.

The whole series is enigmatic, complex, and laced through with humor, action, and yearning, but the first book is notable for the power of Gideon's voice.

By Tamsyn Muir,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Gideon the Ninth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

15+ pages of new, original content, including a glossary of terms, in-universe writings, and more!

A USA Today Best-Selling Novel!

"Unlike anything I've ever read. " --V.E. Schwab

"Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!" --Charles Stross

"Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through." --NPR

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth, first in The Locked Tomb Trilogy, unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as…


Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice

A.H. Anderson Author Of In the Eye of the Crow

From my list on medieval fantasy that do their research.

Who am I?

Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated with various historical societies, but particularly that of medieval Europe. The ebb and flow of political strife as well as the gradual creeping advancement of technology in an era too-often deemed “the Dark Ages” sparked a passion in me that led me to pursue a degree in history. Prior to my studies, I had the opportunity to travel to Norway, where my love for the medieval era was ignited as my family toured the dipping green fjords and walked the burial mounds of kings long past. I aim now to tell their stories.

A.H.'s book list on medieval fantasy that do their research

A.H. Anderson Why did A.H. love this book?

Aside from the gripping descriptions of the medieval setting, what sets the Assassin’s Apprentice apart is the humanity of its characters. I always like to advocate for the realness of characters, even in plot-driven stories.

As a reader, I need to be able to connect with the humanity of the characters I encounter. This novel’s protagonist is a flawed and relatable hero whose struggles and triumphs feel truly real. Likewise, the supporting cast, from nobles to servants, are complex characters. This pleases me as a reader and inspires me as an author. 

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

9 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 Scorpio Races

Laurel Wanrow Author Of The Unraveling

From my list on determined heroines who won’t be crossed.

Who am I?

I grew up camping and hiking, and spent my career teaching others about nature. I feel my best in the outdoors. Nature connections thread through my stories, to the point my kids joke my heroines are all geeky me. Well, true…or the geek I wish I was: one with secret magic to protect our earth. Folks know nature needs help, but my volunteer group still runs into roadblocks putting in native plant gardens. While I—and my characters—fight for protecting wild spaces, I appreciate that everyone’s fight is different and my keeper stories are those with determined characters—IRL or on the page—who turn the tables to succeed.

Laurel's book list on determined heroines who won’t be crossed

Laurel Wanrow Why did Laurel love this book?

Puck is doing all she can to keep her and her brothers together after their parents die from an attack by bloodthirsty waterhorses surrounding their island home of Thisby. I admire how this one fantastical element changes a ‘normal’ life to an ‘otherworldly’ one, and makes the island a strong character in the story. Raising and racing waterhorses is Thisby’s livelihood, and dire circumstances lead to Puck competing for the annual Scorpio Race prize money as the first girl to race, against great odds by riding her beloved island pony. 

I love the feel of the small Thisby and its quaint community of characters. Some are mercenary, some tough, but, like Puck and love-interest Sean, most love the wild nature of the ocean and waterhorses, which is magic to me.

By Maggie Stiefvater,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Scorpio Races as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A spellbinding novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

Some race to win. Others race to survive.It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio…


Book cover of A Deadly Education

Tim Pratt Author Of Heirs of Grace

From my list on fantasy with women heroines.

Who am I?

I've been reading fantasy for 42 years and writing it for 40, and because I was raised by badass women, I've always enjoyed tales of clever, kickass, indomitable heroines. I've written a bunch of them (a dozen books in an urban fantasy series about a sorcerer named Marla Mason; four books in the Axiom space opera series about ship captain Callie Machedo and her love interest, time refugee xenobiologist Elena Oh; contemporary fantasy/romance Heirs of Grace, about an art student who discovers a magical inheritance, and more). I'm also a longtime book reviewer, editor at SF/fantasy trade magazine Locus, and frequent award juror (Bradbury Prize, Philip K. Dick Award, and more), so... I think about SF/fantasy books a lot. 


Tim's book list on fantasy with women heroines

Tim Pratt Why did Tim love this book?

A Deadly Education is the first novel in Naomi Novik's Scholomance trilogy, set at a dangerous school for magic where the students are lucky to survive, let alone graduate (I've described it as "Hogwarts, but a meat grinder").

Main character Galadriel "El" Higgins has a knack for indescribably horrific death magic, and is prophesied to be a destroyer of worlds... but she really doesn’t want to fulfill that destiny, and works hard to stay on the right side of the line between good and evil.

Then there's this boy, Orion Lake, who is everything a "hero" should be, and wow, does he ever annoy her... it's charming, funny, and inventive, and the whole series is delightful.

By Naomi Novik,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked A Deadly Education as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered.

There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal. Once you're inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die.

El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school's many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions - never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school.

Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying…


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