68 books like Servant of the Underworld

By Aliette de Bodard,

Here are 68 books that Servant of the Underworld fans have personally recommended if you like Servant of the Underworld. 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 Seventh Son

Gerry Ironspear Author Of Lakhoni

From my list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I turned to fantastical stories of determined, flawed heroes to bring me a world I could understand and control – unlike the scary reality I lived in. Most of the fantasy stories I read as I grew up were, of course, set in a medieval England-type world. But as I got older, I found myself fascinated by the history and mythology of the New World and got the feeling there was a lot of untapped potential there. So, I started studying Mesoamerican and Native American peoples, as well as picking up alternate history fantasies set in America. So of course, I had to write my own. 

Gerry's book list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America

Gerry Ironspear Why did Gerry love this book?

I like Seventh Son more than I liked Ender’s Game. There, I said it.

Seventh Son draws on legends and mythology that I’ve tasted throughout my life, but weaves a truly awesome tale of coming into power and heroism inside of all of that. Because Alvin is the seventh son, he’s endowed with a powerful potential but the world around him doesn’t want him to find his power. Evil forces do everything they can to stop him.

That sounds like my life at times. I know I have the ability to do special things, but forces outside my control seem to want me to fail. The Tales of Alvin Maker blew my imagination wide open, but also told me I could do anything if I was determined enough.

By Orson Scott Card,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Blending folklore and myth, this novel follows young Alvin Maker as he begins a dangerous journey to discover the secret of a magical power.


Book cover of The Rostikov Legacy

Rebecca Buchanan Author Of Asphalt Gods, and Other Pagan Urban Fantasy Tales

From my list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a serious passion for mythology and fairy tales. By the time I reached college, I knew that would be my path in life: honoring the Old Deities, honoring the earth, and writing new myths and fairy tales. To that end, I have published numerous short stories, novellas, and poems (the majority with a Pagan focus), serve on the board of directors of a Pagan publisher and a Pagan non-profit organization, and edit a Pagan literary ezine.

Rebecca's book list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans

Rebecca Buchanan Why did Rebecca love this book?

Charlotte English’s Malykant Mystery series is a rarity. Not only are the mysteries engaging, but the setting is unusual (a wintery Russian-type city) and the main character is the priest-assassin of the God of Death! Konrad Savast swore himself to the God’s service after his sister’s violent death, vowing to track down and kill those who had violated natural law through the act of murder. Savast’s devotion to his God and his duty will appeal to Pagans of every tradition. While tragic, the stories are never gruesome. Short enough to read in a single sitting, and lots of fun.

By Charlotte E. English,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Detective. Judge. Executioner.

In an icy, Victorianesque world, a harsh god rules, and He has one law: a life for a life.

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: detective, judge and executioner in one. It's kill and be killed in Konrad's world, and his unhappy duty to mete out his Master's implacable justice.

The body of an aristocrat lies in the mist-shrouded reaches of the Bone Forest. Her killer has signed their own death warrant; but first, Konrad must learn who could have wanted the delightful Lady Rostikova dead...

With a pair of bloodthirsty ghosts to assist him, Konrad will hunt…


Book cover of Deadlines & Dryads: A Terra Haven Chronicles Prequel

Rebecca Buchanan Author Of Asphalt Gods, and Other Pagan Urban Fantasy Tales

From my list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a serious passion for mythology and fairy tales. By the time I reached college, I knew that would be my path in life: honoring the Old Deities, honoring the earth, and writing new myths and fairy tales. To that end, I have published numerous short stories, novellas, and poems (the majority with a Pagan focus), serve on the board of directors of a Pagan publisher and a Pagan non-profit organization, and edit a Pagan literary ezine.

Rebecca's book list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans

Rebecca Buchanan Why did Rebecca love this book?

Chastain’s Terra Haven Chronicles currently stands at three books, with Deadlines and Dryads as the first. This is an exciting, feel-good urban fantasy series set in an alternate United States. Here, everyone practices some form of elemental magic (environmental destruction is almost unheard of and completely anathema), and humans live peacefully (mostly) alongside gargoyles, minotaurs, centaurs, dryads, and other species. I love the optimism of Chastain’s books. The world is grim enough. When I need a pick-me-up, Chastain is often my go-to read.

By Rebecca Chastain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Getting the scoop might cost Kylie and her gargoyle companion their lives...

Dryads are a reclusive, passive species—or they used to be. Overnight, the peaceful woodland creatures have turned violent, attacking travelers with crude weapons and whipping the trees of their grove into a ferocious frenzy.

When rumors of the dryads’ bizarre behavior reaches journalist Kylie Grayson, she pounces on the story, determined to unearth the reason behind the dryads’ hostile transformation. Accompanied by Quinn, her young gargoyle friend, Kylie plunges into the heart of the malevolent grove. But nothing she’s learned prepares her for the terrifying conflict she uncovers...…


Book cover of The Girl with Ghost Eyes

Rebecca Buchanan Author Of Asphalt Gods, and Other Pagan Urban Fantasy Tales

From my list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a serious passion for mythology and fairy tales. By the time I reached college, I knew that would be my path in life: honoring the Old Deities, honoring the earth, and writing new myths and fairy tales. To that end, I have published numerous short stories, novellas, and poems (the majority with a Pagan focus), serve on the board of directors of a Pagan publisher and a Pagan non-profit organization, and edit a Pagan literary ezine.

Rebecca's book list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans

Rebecca Buchanan Why did Rebecca love this book?

Most urban fantasy is very firmly fixed in the modern world, and the protagonists are overwhelmingly Caucasian. Boroson’s The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a wonderful change of pace. Not only is our hero a Chinese woman in 19th century San Francisco, but she is also a trained Daoshi priestess — who cannot take over her father’s practice precisely because she is a woman. The Girl with Ghost Eyes deftly deals with sexism, racism, labor exploitation, and immigration, while also introducing the audience to traditional Chinese beliefs and practices about magic, shapeshifters, spirits, and the afterlife. A terrific reminder that tradition can simultaneously strengthen and imprison us. 

By M. H. Boroson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a fun, fun read. Martial arts and Asian magic set in Old San Francisco make for a fresh take on urban fantasy, a wonderful story that kept me up late to finish."
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

It's the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco's Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and…


Book cover of Of Kindred and Stardust

Rebecca Buchanan Author Of Asphalt Gods, and Other Pagan Urban Fantasy Tales

From my list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a serious passion for mythology and fairy tales. By the time I reached college, I knew that would be my path in life: honoring the Old Deities, honoring the earth, and writing new myths and fairy tales. To that end, I have published numerous short stories, novellas, and poems (the majority with a Pagan focus), serve on the board of directors of a Pagan publisher and a Pagan non-profit organization, and edit a Pagan literary ezine.

Rebecca's book list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans

Rebecca Buchanan Why did Rebecca love this book?

This is hands down one of my favorite science fiction books ever, and it is very atypical for science fiction. No big space battles, no hungry aliens. Just three people trying to figure out their lives and how they work together, all while humanity prepares to launch our first expeditions beyond the solar system. Of Kindred and Stardust features a diverse cast (in terms of ethnicity and gender), a polyamorous romance, and a polytheistic protagonist who keeps an altar for the Goddess and ancestors in his room and who looks forward to attending his family’s solstice celebration. This is what the future might actually look like, with polytheism (and polyamory) fully accepted into society.

By Archer Kay Leah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After four years in the Alpha Centauri solar system, astrobiologist Dath Bellin is relieved to be back at ECHO-Crosspoint Space Station. His next mission: return to Earth and take a vacation. There's family to see, R&R to catch up on, and Imbolc to celebrate with his Druid grove—everything he could hope for from a Canadian winter. Unfortunately, everything goes wrong before he can even leave the station. There's also the matter of his exes, whom he can't have back no matter how much he wants them, not after his horrible mistake.

For the past four years, Mack Ainsley Tsallis and…


Book cover of Witchy Eye

Gerry Ironspear Author Of Lakhoni

From my list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I turned to fantastical stories of determined, flawed heroes to bring me a world I could understand and control – unlike the scary reality I lived in. Most of the fantasy stories I read as I grew up were, of course, set in a medieval England-type world. But as I got older, I found myself fascinated by the history and mythology of the New World and got the feeling there was a lot of untapped potential there. So, I started studying Mesoamerican and Native American peoples, as well as picking up alternate history fantasies set in America. So of course, I had to write my own. 

Gerry's book list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America

Gerry Ironspear Why did Gerry love this book?

Witchy Eye instantly transported me to a fascinating, alternate Appalachia, where magic and magical creatures abound.

Not only does this book tell a coming-of-age and heroic story about Sarah Calhoun, it takes place in a fascinating world where the New World has an emperor, legends that I’d heard tell of have come to life, and undead and shapeshifters haunt Sarah’s every step.

Sarah’s voice is accessible and sympathetic. At the same time, her journey to try to claim her own powerful heritage and discover the truth about her lineage, takes place in a world that is totally replete with creatures and mythology from the New World.

DJ Butler is deeply versed in the history and legends of many regions and people from old colonial America – making this a fascinating read.

By D.J. Butler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Witchy Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Sarah Calhoun is the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Elector Andrew Calhoun, one of Appalachee's military heroes and one of the electors who gets to decide who will next ascend as the Emperor of the New World. None of that matters to Sarah. She has a nat


Book cover of Let Sleeping Gods Lie: A Lovecraftian Gods Horror Story

Gerry Ironspear Author Of Lakhoni

From my list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I turned to fantastical stories of determined, flawed heroes to bring me a world I could understand and control – unlike the scary reality I lived in. Most of the fantasy stories I read as I grew up were, of course, set in a medieval England-type world. But as I got older, I found myself fascinated by the history and mythology of the New World and got the feeling there was a lot of untapped potential there. So, I started studying Mesoamerican and Native American peoples, as well as picking up alternate history fantasies set in America. So of course, I had to write my own. 

Gerry's book list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America

Gerry Ironspear Why did Gerry love this book?

Sometimes I want a dense, fascinating world to unpack, and sometimes I want to open a book and have it punch me in the face with no-holds-barred action and adventure.

The main character of Let Sleeping Gods Lie is Porter Rockwell – a real person from the history of Utah Territory and the Old West. But this story takes place where, once again, legends of the area have come to life and evil has real, lethal fangs. It’s like a spaghetti western meets Die Hard meets a D&D campaign – which pushes every single one of my buttons.

This one has a hero that refuses to be stopped, action that isn’t afraid of pushing expectations, and an unabashed love of over-the-top set pieces that made me giggle in delight.

By David J West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let Sleeping Gods Lie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Louis L’Amour Meets Lovecraft

Porter Rockwell, wanted for a murder he did not commit, is hiding out in Old California selling whiskey to thirsty forty-niners. When his friends dig up some monstrous bones and a peculiar book and offer to sell it for a helluva price, Porter can’t resist the mystery.

But when both his night bartender and the sellers are murdered at his saloon Porter has to find out what the mysterious artifacts are all about. With some Native American legends, Sasquatch, Lovecraftian horror, and murderous bandits thrown in, not even bullets and blades can stop Rockwell from leaving…


Book cover of New Amsterdam

Gerry Ironspear Author Of Lakhoni

From my list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I turned to fantastical stories of determined, flawed heroes to bring me a world I could understand and control – unlike the scary reality I lived in. Most of the fantasy stories I read as I grew up were, of course, set in a medieval England-type world. But as I got older, I found myself fascinated by the history and mythology of the New World and got the feeling there was a lot of untapped potential there. So, I started studying Mesoamerican and Native American peoples, as well as picking up alternate history fantasies set in America. So of course, I had to write my own. 

Gerry's book list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America

Gerry Ironspear Why did Gerry love this book?

New Amsterdam is a collection of noir detective fantasy set in an alternate New World with sorcery, magical creatures, and terrifying evil.

The main character is a fallen figure, Abigail Garrett, who self-medicates with booze while trying to fulfill her duties as a forensic sorceress. She investigates heinous crimes with a voice and motivation that I absolutely loved. Add to this character and world a scenario similar to Murder on the Orient Express and I had to pick this one up.

Abigail is not Hercule Poirot – she’s much more interesting. Her motivations and resigned duty resonated with me and I loved the textured world she inhabited. Fun alternate history with very interesting magic and setting.

By Elizabeth Bear,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abigail Irene Garrett drinks too much. She makes scandalous liaisons with inappropriate men, and if in her youth she was a famous beauty, now she is both formidable--and notorious. She is a forensic sorceress, and a dedicated officer of a Crown that does not deserve her loyalty. She has nothing, but obligations. Sebastien de Ulloa is the oldest creature she has ever known. He was no longer young at the Christian millennium, and that was nine hundred years ago. He has forgotten his birth-name, his birth-place, and even the year in which he was born, if he ever knew it.…


Book cover of Aztec

Andrew Hudgins Author Of After the Lost War: A Narrative

From my list on historical novels that I love to recommend.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with historical novels as a kid somewhere between reading Johnny Tremain and Ben and Me (from the point of view of a mouse living in Ben Franklin’s hat) in elementary school and Mika Waltari’s The Roman and The Egyptian and Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur in junior high. And that love led me to write After the Lost War, a historical novel in verse based on the life of the poet Sidney Lanier, who served in the confederate army in the civil war, survived to start a family and died from tuberculous he contracted as a prisoner of war.

Andrew's book list on historical novels that I love to recommend

Andrew Hudgins Why did Andrew love this book?

Mixtli, an elderly Aztec lord captured by the Spanish, is reluctantly questioned by a Catholic bishop charged with reporting to the king of Spain about the customs and mores of his new unwilling subjects. The bishop is repulsed and appalled by the violent history and, to his mind, sexual looseness of the Aztecs while blind to the violent depredations of the conquistadors who protect him. But the story that outrages the bishop is for the reader a spectacular tragic saga of the end of the Aztec empire from the point of view of the conquered and a telling of what was lost.

By Gary Jennings,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gary Jennings's Aztec is the extraordinary story of the last and greatest native civilization of North America.

Told in the words of one of the most robust and memorable characters in modern fiction, Mixtli-Dark Cloud, Aztec reveals the very depths of Aztec civilization from the peak and feather-banner splendor of the Aztec Capital of Tenochtitlan to the arrival of Hernán Cortás and his conquistadores, and their destruction of the Aztec empire. The story of Mixtli is the story of the Aztecs themselves---a compelling, epic tale of heroic dignity and a colossal civilization's rise and fall.


Book cover of Aztecs on Stage: Religious Theater in Colonial Mexico

Camilla Townsend Author Of Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs

From my list on the Aztecs by people who once knew an Aztec.

Why am I passionate about this?

Twenty-five years ago, I began to study Nahuatl, the language once spoken by the Aztecs—and still spoken today by more than a million Indigenous people in Mexico. This has opened up to me a world of great excitement. After the Spanish conquest, many Aztecs learned the Roman alphabet. During the day, they used it to study the texts presented to them by the Franciscan friars. But in the evenings, they used it to transcribe old histories recited for them by their parents and grandparents. Today we are beginning to use those writings to learn more about the Aztecs than we ever could before we studied their language.

Camilla's book list on the Aztecs by people who once knew an Aztec

Camilla Townsend Why did Camilla love this book?

Many Aztecs studied with Franciscan friars. Later, they helped the friars write books about Christianity and compose plays for their people to present on holidays.

They took European ideas and reinterpreted them for a Native audience. For instance, Hephaistos, a Greek god who was a bit of a loser, is given the name Tizoc, a former Aztec emperor who was also a bit of a loser. It is fascinating to watch people digesting a whole new way of thinking.

Best of all, some of the plays were meant to be funny!

By Louise M. Burkhart (editor), Barry D. Sell (translator), Stafford Poole (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nahuatl drama, one of the most surprising results of the Catholic presence in colonial Mexico, merges medieval European religious theater with the language and performance traditions of the Aztec (Nahua) people of central Mexico. Franciscan missionaries, seeking effective tools for evangelization, fostered this new form of theater after observing the Nahuas' enthusiasm for elaborate performances. The plays became a controversial component of native Christianity, allowing Nahua performers to present Christian discourse in ways that sometimes effected subtle changes in meaning. The Indians' enthusiastic embrace of alphabetic writing enabled the use of scripts, but the genre was so unorthodox that Spanish…


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