98 books like Sand Dancer

By Trudie Skies,

Here are 98 books that Sand Dancer fans have personally recommended if you like Sand Dancer. 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 Jade City

Troy Church Author Of The Severing

From my list on fantasy trilogies that will keep you up all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a great passion for fantasy books and from a very early age spent any time I could with my nose in a fantasy book traveling to fantastical worlds. In my teens, I got into dungeons and dragons and began creating my own worlds and stories until I took the next step and decided to write my own stories. I work as a prison guard and while too busy during the day to write or read much I have many nightshifts that allow me ample reading and writing time. I still run role-playing games once a week and am always searching for that next great book to read.

Troy's book list on fantasy trilogies that will keep you up all night

Troy Church Why did Troy love this book?

I chose this book because I have a love of Asia, especially Japan and this story has a rich Asian setting with martial arts, yakuza-like elements, and a magic system based around the precious stone, jade that provides the wearer with special abilities. I also like how the story is centered around a family and the complex relationships between the different members which you don’t see very often in fantasy novels. This complicated family saga had me engrossed as it racked up the tension with great pacing, awesome characters, and dialogue.

By Fonda Lee,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Jade City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD

'An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book' KEN LIU

'Gripping!' ANN LECKIE, author of Ancillary Justice and The Raven Tower

'Lee's astute worldbuilding raises the stakes for her vivid and tautly-described action scenes' SCOTT LYNCH, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora

*****Shortlisted for the Nebula Awards, the Locus Awards, the Aurora Awards, the Sunburst Awards and an Amazon.com Best Book of the Month*****

TWO CRIME FAMILIES, ONE SOURCE OF POWER: JADE.…


Book cover of Sheepfarmer's Daughter

Nathan W. Toronto Author Of Rise of Ahrik

From my list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I care about military SFF because it has the potential to contribute to a just and prosperous society by building bridges of understanding between military professionals and civilians. I've never served in the military, but I taught operations and strategy to US Army officers for six years, after which I went to Abu Dhabi as one of the founding faculty members of the UAE National Defense College. I wrote a book, How Militaries Learn, which is one of the few academic books on civil-military relations to use large-n statistical analysis. I’ve lived in ten countries and I speak four languages, including Arabic.

Nathan's book list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans

Nathan W. Toronto Why did Nathan love this book?

We need more characters like Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, the daughter of a sheep farmer who joins a mercenary company to avoid an unwanted marriage. Moon, who served as a Marine in Vietnam, gives us a perfect hero’s tale. Paksenarrion (“Paks” for short) doesn’t set out to garner fame and glory, but she works hard at what she does, and her moral compass is firmly attuned to a sense of justice and truth. Paks captures everything we want in a hero, and Moon’s understanding of infantry, siege, and melee tactics filters through in subtle yet powerful ways, from details like foot soreness on the march to how most sieges end with rebellion within the gates. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter literally has it all. Go read it today. 

By Elizabeth Moon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sheepfarmer's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter may be the daughter of a humble sheep farmer in the far north end of the kingdom, but she dreams of so much more. After refusing her father’s orders to do the sensible thing and marry the pig farmer down the road, Paks, runs away to join a band of mercenaries, dreaming of daring deeds and military glory. But life in the army is different than she imagined, and her daydreams at first seem to be turning to nightmares. But Paks refuses to let her dreams die—and does her duty with honor and integrity. Her path is an…


Book cover of Wayfarer

Steven Wilton Author Of Queen of Crows

From my list on fantasy set in strange new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Back in the dark ages, before the internet and cell phones, the most common form of off-duty soldiers’ entertainment was reading. I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, but I was always most excited to read fantasy and science fiction. If a book has a wild new world, magic, or tech, I’m in and usually can’t get enough. I remain a cross-genre reader to this day, but fantasy and science fiction always feel like home. Bonus points for dragons.

Steven's book list on fantasy set in strange new worlds

Steven Wilton Why did Steven love this book?

Listed as a ‘gas lamp’ fantasy, and me being a pre-Victorian/Victorian era London fan, I had to grab this one. It had a fresh twist on the mad scientist’s experiment went wrong, creating a superhero and a supervillain. I found that exciting. I loved how the main character (the hero) struggled to learn his abilities and limitations, all the while not knowing who the villain was or what he was up to. I enjoyed this master class on how to put your main character through the wringer. And the twist ending surprised me. Great stuff. 

By K.M. Weiland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this heroic gaslamp fantasy, superhuman abilities bring an adventurous new dimension to 1820 London, where an outlaw speedster and a master of illusion do battle to decide who will own the city.

Think being a superhero is hard? Try being the first one.

Will’s life is a proper muddle—and all because he was “accidentally” inflicted with the ability to run faster and leap higher than any human ever. One minute he’s a blacksmith’s apprentice trying to save his master from debtor’s prison. The next he’s accused of murder and hunted as a black-hearted highwayman.

A vengeful politician with dark…


Book cover of Keeper

Steven Wilton Author Of Queen of Crows

From my list on fantasy set in strange new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Back in the dark ages, before the internet and cell phones, the most common form of off-duty soldiers’ entertainment was reading. I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, but I was always most excited to read fantasy and science fiction. If a book has a wild new world, magic, or tech, I’m in and usually can’t get enough. I remain a cross-genre reader to this day, but fantasy and science fiction always feel like home. Bonus points for dragons.

Steven's book list on fantasy set in strange new worlds

Steven Wilton Why did Steven love this book?

I cheated on this one, no new strange world here. It’s more of an urban fantasy. I was swept up with the main character, though, as she learned she belonged in a secret society of witches. Her struggles are so real, I couldn’t help but bite my nails as I ripped through the pages. And again, treachery abounds. I’m a sucker for needing to overcome a traitor. This being book one of a short series, the ending left me gasping for more.

By Kim Chance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Keeper 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?

When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow…


Book cover of The Other Brother

Devin Sloane Author Of Live Again

From my list on to take your heart on an emotional rollercoaster.

Why am I passionate about this?

At age five, I was reading under the blankets with a flashlight far past my bedtime. It’s an often told story of how I believed I was getting away with something while my makeshift tent, held up by my head, was lit up like a snowglobe. By age eleven, when I picked up my aunt’s book, I discovered romance novels. I was hooked. I’ve read thousands of romance novels in the almost four decades that have since passed, and I’ve learned that each person who reads a book takes something different from it, and I hope these five books that gave so much to me, might do the same for you.

Devin's book list on to take your heart on an emotional rollercoaster

Devin Sloane Why did Devin love this book?

I loved the entire series for which this book is the fourth, but this book ensured that I can never go back and read the series again; it hurt that much. Still. I loved it. The characters in this series are family in the deepest, most loving and loyal sense of the word, and it is that sense of family that drives the storyline of this book. This series is sexy and taboo, and yet the biggest thing I took from it was the love and trust that pulsed between them. I wondered, often, if there could not have been a different way, if the author could not have chosen a different storyline, but it is in the difficulties that we sometimes find the stunning. And this story was stunningly beautiful.

By Dyan Layne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Things happen as they’re meant to.

There’s no avoiding your destiny…

Dillon Byrne always believed in fate.

He would meet someone. Fall in love. Be a family.

All in that order.

Sometimes fate has other plans…

Life changes in an instant. Love is lost.

But how do you let go of the life you once had?

To appreciate the magic of a brand new beginning, you have to make peace with the ending first.

Endings are never easy, but a beautiful beginning is destined to follow, isn’t it?

And just maybe out of sorrow, joy can grow…

The Other Brother,…


Book cover of The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

Nick Inman Author Of A Guide to Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites

From my list on seeing what isn’t there (or is it?).

Why am I passionate about this?

A while ago I lived with the extraordinary spiritual Findhorn community in Scotland and that experience opened my eyes to the mysteries that we are and that surround us. Subsequently, I became a professional travel guide writer and as I visited churches and megaliths, it gradually occurred to me that the ancients may have recorded information useful to us if only we could work out how to interpret it. Twenty years ago I settled in France, a country densely packed with extraordinary places. Here, I have been able to deepen my understanding of the universal, greater reality of which we are part.  

Nick's book list on seeing what isn’t there (or is it?)

Nick Inman Why did Nick love this book?

The late great Alan Watts was the master of reminding us not to take reality – or ourselves – at face value. His prose manages to be simple and profound at the same time and he always has his feet on the earth. I could recommend any of his books but this is the one with which I began. No one else can ever tell me who or what I am. My experience of the world is always subjective, whatever science says; and the best way to see accurately is to get to know myself.

By Alan Watts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are explores an unrecognised but mighty taboo - our tacit conspiracy to ignore who, or what, we really are. Alan Watts, key thinker of Western Zen Buddhism, explains how to reconsider our relationship with the world.

We are in urgent need of a sense of our own existence, which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe. In The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Alan Watts asks what causes the illusion of the self as a separate ego…


Book cover of Winterlong

Brent Hayward Author Of Filaria

From my list on sci-fi able to stand toe to toe with any genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Canadian science fiction writer who writes very, very slowly. I’m interested in experimental fiction and books that are unique, both thematically and stylistically. I’d like to think my books fall into this category, or at least that’s what I aspire to. I used to read science fiction exclusively, and the five books I’ve listed here were all read during those formative years; they were fundamental stepping-stones for me, as a writer, and each of them left a profound mark on my idea of how good, or effective, novels can be.

Brent's book list on sci-fi able to stand toe to toe with any genre

Brent Hayward Why did Brent love this book?

Hand’s sentences are always beautiful, and this novel, her first, is dense with new ideas and original imagery. She evokes a bizarre future in a post-apocalyptic city where twins go on a hallucinogenic quest. Reads like a somewhat disturbing mythology. Gods and talking animals, autistic prophets, feral children, and death is personified. Unforgettable.

By Elizabeth Hand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The “sensuous and evocative” debut of the Nebula Award–winning author of Waking the Moon: A dystopian journey through a world unburdened by moral taboos (Library Journal).
 Set in the surreal, post-apocalyptic City of Trees, Winterlong centers on Wendy Wanders, a girl who can tap into the dreams and emotions of the people around her, and her long-lost twin brother, Raphael, a seductive, sacred courtesan to the City’s decadent elite. During their voyage, they encounter man-made and godlike monstrosities—both hideous and gorgeous—in their effort to stop an ancient power from consuming all. Blending science fiction and fantasy, Winterlong is a dark…


Book cover of Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo

Monica Black Author Of A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany

From my list on for historians who wish they were anthropologists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the things people do and the reasons they give for doing them. That people also do things in culturally specific ways and that their culturally specific ways of doing things are related to their culturally specific ideas about what makes sense and what does not inspires in me a sense of awe. As a professor and historian, thinking anthropologically has always been an important tool, because it helps me look for the hidden, cultural logics that guided the behavior of people in history. It helps me ask different questions. And it sharpens my sense of humility for the fundamental unknowability of this world we call home.

Monica's book list on for historians who wish they were anthropologists

Monica Black Why did Monica love this book?

For me, the power of both history and anthropology as disciplines of knowledge is their shared capacity for taking a thing you thought you knew and showing you that you didn’t actually know anything about it at all—in fact, you didn’t even know what questions to ask about it. I would be seriously remiss in a list like this if I did not mention the book that first fascinated me, as a historian, with the anthropologist’s way of posing questions. In this towering classic of British social anthropology, Professor Douglas forces us completely to rethink something we actually never think about at all: dirt. But trust me, once you pose the question, “what is dirt?” you can never think about filth (and its structural counterpart, purity) in the same way again.

By Mary Douglas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Purity and Danger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is cleanliness next to godliness? What does such a concept really mean? Why does it recur as a universal theme across all societies? And what are the implications for the unclean?

In Purity and Danger Mary Douglas identifies the concern for purity as a key theme at the heart of every society. In lively and lucid prose she explains its relevance for every reader by revealing its wide-ranging impact on our attitudes to society, values, cosmology and knowledge. This book has been hugely influential in many areas of debate - from religion to social theory. With a specially commissioned preface…


Book cover of Rose

DeMisty D. Bellinger Author Of Peculiar Heritage

From my list on poetry inspired by history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I care about social justice, equality, and history, as well as beauty and art. As an African-American woman who was raised working class and who understands how history informs the present, I have fallen in love with the depiction of history in poetry and prose. Not all of my writing has something to do with race or gender or class, but all of my writing is about justice in some way. I want to get to the good of people.

DeMisty's book list on poetry inspired by history

DeMisty D. Bellinger Why did DeMisty love this book?

These poems—most of every poem that Lee writes, really—do more than paint a picture. These poems appeal to every one of your senses. They are rich in description and you want to savor each one, sit with it, and let the poem envelop you. 

I heard or read somewhere that Li-Young Lee is a slow writer, not producing a lot of work but always producing good work. I don’t know if this is true, and except for my greed of wanting to consume more of his words asap, I don’t mind that his poems are slower coming. I like to spend time with them.

I share Rose because Lee teaches me—and my students—that writers depend too much on visual imagery and fear spreading out into the other senses.

By Li-Young Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Table of Contents

I.
Epistle
The Gift
Persimmons
The Weight Of Sweetness
From Blossoms
Dreaming Of Hair
Early In The Morning
Water
Falling: The Code
Nocturne
My Indigo
Irises
Eating Alone

II.
Always A Rose

III.
Eating Together
I Ask My Mother To Sing
Ash, Snow, Or Moonlight
The Life
The Weepers
Braiding
Rain Diary
My Sleeping Loved Ones
Mnemonic
Between Seasons
Visions And Interpretations


Book cover of The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton

Daniel Damiano Author Of The Woman in the Sun Hat

From my list on character and personal journeys.

Why am I passionate about this?

While The Woman in the Sun Hat is my debut novel, as a seasoned playwright, I have often gravitated to character studies in a variety of genres, usually blending comedy with pathos. What was exciting for me in writing a novel was that I could really explore an even more nuanced arc of the central character. I am a Brooklyn, NY-based Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor, and Poet. Recent publications include my play Day of the Dog (Broadway Play Publishing) and my debut poetry collection 104 Days of the Pandemic (fandango 4 Art House). My latest novel is Graphic Nature, due out later in 2022.

Daniel's book list on character and personal journeys

Daniel Damiano Why did Daniel love this book?

While, yes, this is not a novel, there is a true character journey in reading the complete works of Ms. Sexton in sequence; a sort of poetic analysis the likes of which I have not read to such a soul-baring degree, as she depicts her thoughts and struggles with marriage, relationships, motherhood, her own parents and various other facets of her life. To me, Ms. Sexton is very much the symbol of what became the confessional poetry movement. The eloquence and depth of her writing, especially in poems like " The Double Image", "Flee on Your Donkey" and " For My Lover Returning to His Wife", are remarkable.

By Anne Sexton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton comprises the poet's ten volumes of verse, including the Pulitzer Prize-winner Live or Die, as well as seven poems from her last years.

From the joy and anguish of her own experience, Sexton fashioned poems that told truths about the inner lives of men and women.

"Women poets in particular owe a debt to Anne Sexton, who broke new ground, shattered taboos, and endured a barrage of attacks along the way because of the flamboyance of her subject matter...Sexton has earned her place in the canon."—from the Foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Maxine Kumin


5 book lists we think you will like!

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