100 books like Sea of Ruin

By Pam Godwin,

Here are 100 books that Sea of Ruin fans have personally recommended if you like Sea of Ruin. 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 Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates

Gwyn McNamee Author Of Squall Line

From my list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a criminal defense attorney, mom, and wife who grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and lived there for 35 years, staring out at the vast water of the “Inland Seas” aka The Great Lakes. Intrigued by pirates, the criminals of the water, and the stories of pirates roaming the lakes, when I began writing fiction, I absolutely had to write a modern pirate series set in the area where I grew up. I’ve read dozens and dozens of historical non-fiction books about pirates, watched all the classic films and shows about them, and have read pirate romances my entire life, so writing my own was the next logical step.

Gwyn's book list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies

Gwyn McNamee Why did Gwyn love this book?

I am a sucker for a good non-fiction book, especially if it features pirates. Ever since childhood, growing up in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan, the water called to me, and learning about real-life pirates and the history kept me reading late into the night. Black Flags, Blue Waters is the epic history of America’s most notorious pirates and it tells riveting tales that are almost unbelievable. While non-fiction, the stories are so enthralling, it almost reads like they can’t possibly be true.  

By Eric Jay Dolin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Flags, Blue Waters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the surprising history of American piracy's "Golden Age" - spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s - when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. "Deftly blending scholarship and drama" (Richard Zacks), best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them the…


Book cover of Shatter Me

Katerina St Clair Author Of The Order: Kingdom of Fallen Ash

From my list on dystopian books that leave a mark.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I could read, I have found myself finding security and escape through the words on the paper. As I grew older, I no longer wanted to just read these realities, I wanted to create them for myself. Writing is the one thing in my mundane existence that has made me feel like more than just a number in the system. I laugh with my characters and love with them. My writing is a part of me that will live long after I am gone. Whether it be a novel, or a simple letter, I want my words to linger with the reader long after the page is turned.

Katerina's book list on dystopian books that leave a mark

Katerina St Clair Why did Katerina love this book?

Shatter Me is one of the most groundbreaking dystopian novels to hit the YA section of any bookstore. She created a world that spoke to my heart, through its originality as well as its diverse character arcs.

Mafi's writing skillfully weaves a gripping tale of dystopia, blending thrilling plotlines, intense romance, and a deep exploration of societal chaos. Juliette's world, painted with Mafi's poetic prose, felt like a refuge where I could truly immerse myself within Julliette’s character.

The unexpected twists left me breathless, creating a connection with the characters that lingered long after I closed the book. The romantic elements, filled with passion and vulnerability, drew me as a reader in, leaving me feeling as if I was in the relationships myself. Mafi's portrayal of a dystopian society made me reflect on power and control in our own world.

Shatter Me isn't just a must-read; it's a personal journey,…

By Tahereh Mafi,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Shatter Me 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?

Stranger Things meets Shadow and Bone in this first instalment of an epic and romantic YA fantasy series - perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard. Now a TikTok phenomenon.

A fragile young teenage girl is held captive. Locked in a cell by The Reestablishment - a harsh dictatorship in charge of a crumbling world. This is no ordinary teenager. Juliette is a threat to The Reestablishment's power. A touch from her can kill - one touch is all it takes. But not only is she a threat, she is potentially the most powerful weapon…


Book cover of A Shadow in the Ember

Dina Thala Author Of The Director Must Die: A Stardust story

From my list on about love hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dostoevsky wrote that the opposite of love is not hatred, it is indifference. That’s why I have always been fascinated by the topic of love hate. They are not opposed, they are somehow connected, and when I started writing romance I spent an insane amount of time trying to understand how people cross the bridge from hate to love. It makes for incredible stories of seduction, corruption, resilience, and ultimately happiness. As a ‘villain writer’ who enjoys writing about passionate characters going the extra mile, burning the world down to keep their love warm, I am familiar with the tropes and my imagination knows no bounds.

Dina's book list on about love hate

Dina Thala Why did Dina love this book?

Oh, this one? It is everything. The villain is a virgin! Which deep down we all want. Seraphena is promised to him since childhood, groomed into marrying him and killing him in order to save her country. When the wedding night comes – he rejects her, leaving her behind. People blame her. If she hated him before, she loathes him even more. Until he reappears into her life to save her and they both fight this attraction. She still has a mission, and this is her excuse to try to seduce him. He is a tough nut to crack. He is actually more in control of himself than she is. As she grows to know him in his supernatural surroundings, hatred is hard to keep and so is distance…

By Jennifer L. Armentrout,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Shadow in the Ember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns with book one of the all-new, compelling Flesh and Fire series—set in the beloved Blood and Ash world.

Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosenbefore birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.

However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but…


Book cover of Poison Study

Maggie Claire Author Of House of Vultures

From my list on strong characters and unpredictable plots.

Why am I passionate about this?

I get bored easily when I read a book where I can predict the plot. The two things that really set apart the original stories are world development and character complexity. You need a strong character, filled with their own eccentricities, flaws, and virtues. And you need an interesting, well-developed world in which your character can live. If you do these two things well, the story easily writes itself. If you can discover how the character thinks, acts and interacts in their world, how they seek to solve their problems and fix their flaws—that’s what makes a story worth telling…and for me, that’s the story I want to write.

Maggie's book list on strong characters and unpredictable plots

Maggie Claire Why did Maggie love this book?

This book draws you into its own, unique world right from the first page. You immediately meet the main character in unusual circumstances—not where you might expect a protagonist to be found. Yet the author does a wonderful job of slowly showing you past events that brought the character to this place, and you find yourself hoping she will find a happy ending. I love the way the author draws you into the story so that you feel like you are experiencing what the main character feels.

By Maria V. Snyder,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Poison Study as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How much is your life worth?

In the territory of Ixia the government maintains control through the Code of Behaviour, forbidding the practice of magic, but danger lurks in mysterious places...

Imprisoned for murder Yelena Zaltana's punishment is death, until she is reprieved - for a price.

As the Commander of Ixia's food taster she will risk assassination from poison daily, a position she would be a fool to refuse... In a world where magic equals death and freedom is for the lucky few, survival is all Yelena has and the battle for her life has just begun.

A CHRONICLES…


Book cover of Call the Coroner

Dina Thala Author Of The Director Must Die: A Stardust story

From my list on about love hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dostoevsky wrote that the opposite of love is not hatred, it is indifference. That’s why I have always been fascinated by the topic of love hate. They are not opposed, they are somehow connected, and when I started writing romance I spent an insane amount of time trying to understand how people cross the bridge from hate to love. It makes for incredible stories of seduction, corruption, resilience, and ultimately happiness. As a ‘villain writer’ who enjoys writing about passionate characters going the extra mile, burning the world down to keep their love warm, I am familiar with the tropes and my imagination knows no bounds.

Dina's book list on about love hate

Dina Thala Why did Dina love this book?

Daniel doesn’t care about life anymore. He only cares about finding the hitman who killed his wife, the only person he ever loved. Unfortunately, when he does find him, his hatred and contempt for the man are only matched by their fiery attraction. Can he betray his wife? With the very man who killed her? This is true love/hate, starting very much on the hate side, and remaining so for a long time, even when the passion is burning high and they have to hide from other Mafiosi. Very much a violent read, I am a fan of the guilt and of the bi trope. This very desperate, very edgy MM mafia love/hate romance will blow your mind, the darkness and the hotness are unforgettable.

By Avril Ashton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the AWARD-WINNING author of the bestselling BROOKLYN SINNERS series comes a dark, twisted tale of pain, revenge, and the deadliest emotion of all...love. 

A clash of wills between predators…

He’s been living underground for a long time, but the only thing guaranteed to bring Daniel Nieto back to the surface is the identity of his wife’s killer. With the whisper of one name, he puts it all on the line for vengeance. He’s got plans for Stavros Konstantinou.

The title of monster fits too well for Stavros to want to be anything other than what he is. Time spent…


Book cover of Treasure Island

Len Travers Author Of The Notorious Edward Low: Pursuing the Last Great Villain of Piracy's Golden Age

From my list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome).

Why am I passionate about this?

Let's face it: pirates of the Golden Age are just cool. No one would actually want to encounter them, but they have been the stuff of escapist dreams since childhood. Adventure, fellowship, treasure–the “romantic” aspects of piracy are what make these otherwise nasty individuals anti-heroes par excellence. As an adult and academic and as an occasional crewman on square riggers, I adopted pirates as a favorite sub-set of maritime history. As with other aspects of the past, I view the history of pirates and piracy as really two narratives: what the records tell us happened and why and what our persistent fascination with them reveals about us.

Len's book list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome)

Len Travers Why did Len love this book?

In my humble opinion, this is the greatest adventure tale in the English language!

Robert Louis Stevenson practically invented pirates for the modern world, particularly his chief antagonist, the crippled but formidable Long John Silver. Highly intelligent, cunning, crafty, ruthless, yet somehow appealing, Silver set the standard for all pirate heroes to come.

Whenever I get bogged down studying pirates, I turn to Treasure Island to remember what it is to enjoy my subject!

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Treasure Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . .


Book cover of Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

Gwyn McNamee Author Of Squall Line

From my list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a criminal defense attorney, mom, and wife who grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and lived there for 35 years, staring out at the vast water of the “Inland Seas” aka The Great Lakes. Intrigued by pirates, the criminals of the water, and the stories of pirates roaming the lakes, when I began writing fiction, I absolutely had to write a modern pirate series set in the area where I grew up. I’ve read dozens and dozens of historical non-fiction books about pirates, watched all the classic films and shows about them, and have read pirate romances my entire life, so writing my own was the next logical step.

Gwyn's book list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies

Gwyn McNamee Why did Gwyn love this book?

Growing up, I was always more intrigued by Captain Hook, the villain of Peter Pan, more so than I was the title character. John Leonard Pielmeier writes an incredible “memoir” from the most famous fictional pirate and uses the beloved characters from the Peter Pan story of our childhoods in a whole new way. The backstory with Smee, the conflict with the infamous crocodile, and all the major things we see in the classic story are told in a whole new way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend reading in tandem with the original Peter Pan for a fun way to see two sides to a story.

By John Leonard Pielmeier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hook's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rollicking debut novel from award-winning playwright and screenwriter John Pielmeier reimagines the childhood of the much maligned Captain Hook: his quest for buried treasure, his friendship with Peter Pan, and the story behind the swashbuckling world of Neverland.

Long defamed as a vicious pirate, Captain James Cook (a.k.a Hook) was in fact a dazzling wordsmith who left behind a vibrant, wildly entertaining, and entirely truthful memoir. His chronicle offers a counter narrative to the works of J.M. Barrie, a "dour Scotsman" whose spurious accounts got it all wrong. Now, award-winning playwright John Pielmeier is proud to present this crucial…


Book cover of Meet The Pirates

Gwyn McNamee Author Of Squall Line

From my list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a criminal defense attorney, mom, and wife who grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and lived there for 35 years, staring out at the vast water of the “Inland Seas” aka The Great Lakes. Intrigued by pirates, the criminals of the water, and the stories of pirates roaming the lakes, when I began writing fiction, I absolutely had to write a modern pirate series set in the area where I grew up. I’ve read dozens and dozens of historical non-fiction books about pirates, watched all the classic films and shows about them, and have read pirate romances my entire life, so writing my own was the next logical step.

Gwyn's book list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies

Gwyn McNamee Why did Gwyn love this book?

This one is for all the parents out there. My five-year-old daughter absolutely adores all things pirate and we love James Davies’ book, Meet the Pirates. It gives historical information and background in a really bright and fun way that keeps kids interested in learning. My daughter was riveted when I was reading to her from this book, all about the background of the pirates, where they roamed the seas, where they settled, and about pirate ships. Even I learned a lot of interesting tidbits of information that I didn’t know. This is part of a series by James Davies that introduces kids to the Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, too. 

By James Davies,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There's so much to digest when it comes to History - how do you know where to begin? These incredible short introductions are just the thing for readers aged 6+ who are beginning to explore ancient history. Get to know the basics on Pirates from famous looters to scurvy and hygiene, with easy-to-digest, humorous text that is reminiscent of the bestselling Horrible Histories series. James Davies' stunning artwork and infographics provide a fresh nonfiction approach that is sure to captivate young readers.


Book cover of The Redemption

Grace A. Johnson Author Of Held Captive

From my list on romantic swashbuckling adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was twelve years old and scribbling stories in an old notebook, I’ve been in love with pirate romance. The intense adventure, the dramatic romance, the freedom of the sea—and most importantly, the chance to find love and redemption, a theme that’s prominent in my Christian pirate romance series and the novels I read and enjoy! This list curates some of the top pirate/privateer novels I’ve read, all with clean romance and inspiring themes, to keep your TBR filled with swashbuckling high-seas voyages!

Grace's book list on romantic swashbuckling adventure

Grace A. Johnson Why did Grace love this book?

When I first began writing Christian pirate romances, I had no clue such a genre existed. And then, out of the blue, I discovered MaryLu Tyndall’s The Redemption. This intense and romantic pirate adventure opened me up to a whole new world of fiction and inspired me to continue writing pirate novels that were realistic and exciting. Whether you’re a long-time pirate fan or new to the genre/topic, The Redemption will sweep you away with Charlisse and Merrick on an adventure you won’t soon forget!

By MaryLu Tyndall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lady Charlisse Bristol sets off on a voyage in search of a father she never knew, only to find herself shipwrecked on a desert island. Near starvation, she is rescued by a band of pirates and their fiercely handsome leader, Edmund Merrick. Will Clarisse win her struggle against the seductive lure of this pirate captain? While battling his attraction to this winsome lady, Edmund offers to help Charlisse on her quest-until he discovers her father is none other than Edward the Terror, the cruelest pirate on the Caribbean. Can Edmund win this lady's love while shielding her from his lecherous…


Book cover of Oathbound

Grace A. Johnson Author Of Held Captive

From my list on romantic swashbuckling adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was twelve years old and scribbling stories in an old notebook, I’ve been in love with pirate romance. The intense adventure, the dramatic romance, the freedom of the sea—and most importantly, the chance to find love and redemption, a theme that’s prominent in my Christian pirate romance series and the novels I read and enjoy! This list curates some of the top pirate/privateer novels I’ve read, all with clean romance and inspiring themes, to keep your TBR filled with swashbuckling high-seas voyages!

Grace's book list on romantic swashbuckling adventure

Grace A. Johnson Why did Grace love this book?

There’s only one thing that can compare to historical pirate romance...fantasy pirate romance! Oathbound by Victoria McCombs is one of many amazing clean fantasy pirate novels out there, perfect for historical pirate readers looking for something new or long-time fantasy fans in search of a swashbuckling adventure full of intrigue, spookiness, and all the pirate vibes! Pirates of the Caribbean lovers (like myself) will love this YA fantasy novel!

By Victoria McCombs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beware the waters. The dangerous deep brings ruin to all.

Emme has spent her life avoiding anything to do with pirates. But the fates are cruel, and now a hidden sickness leads her to partner with pirates for the one thing that can save her—a cure on an island none are certain exists.

The pirate captain’s secrets are darker than the deep and threaten to kill them all. His obligations are tinged with betrayal, for his oathbind must be fulfilled. To ignore it is to invite peril of unimaginable destruction.

As the adventure unfolds, the sea takes more than she…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in piracy, swashbucklers, and New York State?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about piracy, swashbucklers, and New York State.

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