95 books like Shadow of a Dark Queen

By Raymond E. Feist,

Here are 95 books that Shadow of a Dark Queen fans have personally recommended if you like Shadow of a Dark Queen. 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 Lord of the Silver Bow

Luciana Cavallaro Author Of Search for the Golden Serpent

From my list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my teens, I read a book by Charles Berlitz titled Atlantis: the lost continent. I was enthralled and fascinated about this lost race of people, who were technically and sophisticated advance society and on one fateful day, vanished. My appetite for Greek mythology and ancient history grew from there, and I wanted to learn more about various ancient cultures and their mythologies. I eventually studied ancient history and continue my education as new archaeological discoveries and advancements are made. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe and seeing the Roman Forum and Colosseum, that I was inspired to write and combine my love for mythology and ancient history into historical fiction fantasy.

Luciana's book list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary

Luciana Cavallaro Why did Luciana love this book?

I’m cheating a little here by recommending a trilogy but this was one of the best historical fiction I’ve read.

The series is about Prince Aeneas and the legendary story of the war between the Trojans and the Greeks. David Gemmell sets the scene prior to war from the POV of Aeneas, who was regarded as pirate but as the story progresses you learn more about his actions and why he keeps roaming the sea.

It is full of action and stays true to the unfolding drama of the Trojan War. For me, the historical backdrop and the research the author included was one of the main reasons this series wins.

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Lord of the Silver Bow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three lives will change the destiny of nations. Hellkaon, the young prince of Dardania, haunted by a scarred and traumatic childhood. The priestess Andromache, whose fiery spirit and fierce Independence threatens the might of kings. And the legendary warrior Argurios, cloaked in loneliness and driven only by thoughts of revenge. In Troy they find a city torn apart by destructive rivalries - a maelstrom of jealousy, deceit and murderous treachery. And beyond its fabled walls blood-hungry enemies eye its riches and plot its downfall. It is a time of bravery and betrayal; a time of bloodshed and fear. A time…


Book cover of The Risen Empire

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From my list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds

Ronald A. Geobey Why did Ronald love this book?

I had been reading Heroic and Epic Fantasy for years, and I’d purposely avoided reading Sci-Fi, convinced that it would influence my burgeoning plot development. I wanted to maintain my plot integrity and not be subconsciously led by other authors in the genre (but of course I couldn’t avoid the influence of the SF I watched on TV). Of course, I was missing out on some great writing. I was enthralled by this story—it combined an undead trope with space opera, as the ‘risen empire’ maintains its territory while facing an external threat from the technologically hybrid Rix. There’s a fascination with the potential of biological augmentation and the place of AI in our distant future (consider ‘immortal’ humans against potentially ‘eternal’ hybrid humans), but this story is extremely character-driven and concerned with the place of the individual. The fictional science was breathtaking and not without research, but what stuck…

By Scott Westerfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The undead Emperor has ruled his mighty interstellar empire of 80 human worlds for 1600 years. Because he can grant a form of eternal life-after-death, creating an elite known as the Risen, his power is absolute. He and his sister, the Child Empress, who is eternally a little girl, are worshipped as living gods. No one can touch them. No until the Rix, machine-augmented humans who worship planetary Al compound minds. The Rix are cool, relentless fanatics, and their only goal I to propagate such Als throughout the galaxy. They seek to end, by any means necessary, the Emperor's prolonged…


Book cover of Pawn of Prophecy

Cleave Bourbon Author Of Red Mage Ascending

From my list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first got fascinated with fantasy as a very reluctant high school reader. I didn’t like to read all that much because I was a slow reader and it was a laborious task for me. A high school friend offered me a fantasy book to read sophomore year and I couldn’t put it down. That one book started me on a reading journey that has never stopped. I also studied English, became a teacher, and finally began writing my own fantasy. These books took a reluctant reader in high school to the man and author I am today. I hope my own work does the same for future writers.

Cleave's book list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers

Cleave Bourbon Why did Cleave love this book?

When I was in high school, I didn’t like to read that much because I was a slow reader.

My best friend was an avid reader and he loved fantasy in particular. One day he handed me this book and said I needed to read it. He said the characters were amazing and the book was not one of the big thick fantasy tomes I refused to read.

I decided to try it and I read it cover to cover in about two days. I continued on and read the entire five book series, and then went on to read more from the author. This book turned a non-reader into a reader, then an English major, and finally into a teacher and an author. I still read slower than I would like, but this book and series set me on the path I still follow today. 

By David Eddings,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first part of a saga set against a history of 7000 years of struggles of gods and kings and men. Long ago, the evil god Torak sought dominion and drove men and gods to war. Belgarath the Sorcerer led a quest to reclaim the Orb of Aldur - but so long as it lay at Riva, men would be safe.


Book cover of Black Sun Rising

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From my list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on science fiction and fantasy for exploring new worlds

Ronald A. Geobey Why did Ronald love this book?

I had never planned to read this book, but by a strange twist of fate, it became highly influential for me. I saw the cover art first, featuring the protagonist with his ‘coldfire’ blade and with the dark creeping lines of magic at his feet—this became the basis for an early rendering of the central character in Kiranis.

Rising focuses on a dark power that attacks the minds of humans, thriving on their fear. There was a wonderful tone to this dark fantasy story that permeated the creepy forests in which I recall most of the action taking place; and the anti-hero at the centre of the story occupies this gothic, almost Victorian Stoker-esque world. Tarrant was an ‘evil’ character with the hope of redemption through a woman he falls in love with, and this story, alongside my reading of Gemmell and Feist, taught me how to create more depth…

By C. S. Friedman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Black Sun Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over a millennium ago, Erna, a seismically active yet beautiful world was settled by colonists from far-distant Earth. But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold. The colonists found themselves caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a terrifying natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life.

Twelve centuries after fate first stranded the colonists on Erna, mankind has achieved an uneasy stalemate, and human sorcerers manipulate the fae for their…


Book cover of Tinsmith 1865

Michelle Rene Author Of Hour Glass

From my list on western historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in West Texas, westerns were just as good as bedtime stories to me. I grew up with all the greats… and the not as greats. The quality didn’t always matter because the spirit was the same. Freedom, opportunity, and possible lawlessness. Survival of the quickest draw. An untamed place where anything could happen. Someone once said that the western genre was America’s genre. It was invented here and our frontier spirit inspired the world. When I decided to write Hour Glass, I channeled the independent spirit of those westerns I grew up with. I wrote the first draft in sixteen days out of pure passion for the subject matter. 

Michelle's book list on western historical fiction

Michelle Rene Why did Michelle love this book?

I should preface this with some bit of transparency. One reason I love Tinsmith is because I personally know the author. Not only is she a great writer, but she’s one of the only female tinsmiths working in the United States. She makes her own cookware, and it is amazing.

The main character, Marie Kotlarczyk, moves to the Dakota territories with her tinsmith family. When the family encounters disaster, Marie has to learn the family trade in order to survive. It’s not an easy task when women were not meant to do such things. 

Sarah puts so much of herself in this book, it’s enchanting. Since she’s a professional tinsmith, every scene is tangible. I can’t recommend it enough.

By Sara Dahmen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tinsmith 1865 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When her tinsmith father and brothers head West, Polish immigrant Marie Kotlarczyk has no choice but to go along. Family, after all, is family. The Dakota Territories are anything but welcoming to the Kotlarczyks, and as the months trip by, Marie must pick up the hammers she’s secretly desired but also feared. When she faces the skeptical people of Flats Town, the demands of the local Army commander, and her public failures, her inner voice grows destructively, forcing Marie to decide exactly who she is and what it means to be a woman smith.


Book cover of Blood of a Fallen God

Walter Rhein Author Of The Reader of Acheron

From my list on from criminally oppressed and exploited authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been working professionally as a writer for twenty-five years. I’m nothing close to a household name, but a number of my articles have gone viral throughout the years. I’ve had educators reach out to mention they’ve taught my work at both the high school and college levels. Writing is an occupation of passion, and the authors I’ve mentioned are all talented and passionate about their craft. It’s rare to find people who speak the truth anywhere in our society. These writers don’t just speak the truth, they make it sing.

Walter's book list on from criminally oppressed and exploited authors

Walter Rhein Why did Walter love this book?

This is the first book in the Forgemaster Cycle. The audiobook features a fantastic vocal performance. Again, this is a well-realized fantasy world with a palpable history. You follow the adventures of a young blacksmith who aspires to perfect his craft in service of the fallen god of the forge. It’s an exciting adventure with high stakes and believable characters.

By Joshua C. Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood of a Fallen God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Blood of a Fallen God is the award winning start of an incredible epic fantasy series that has readers hooked.

The Reach has been a major mining town for as long as anyone in Alos can remember. Once, it was a grand and powerful city. But when the god of craft and creation fell, so too did the Reach. Now the Reach is surrounded by the Mistlands, dangerous territory populated by corrupted humans who live for blood.

The Reis family has always lived in the Reach. And Duncan Reis is happy to stay there, searching ruins for artifacts and jewelry…


Book cover of The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con

Barbara Elsborg Author Of Edge of Forever

From my list on gay cowboys.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by men, the way they think and behave, the problems they have in their relationships. The very first gay romance I wrote was a cowboy story – Cowboys Downand who doesn’t love cowboys? They’re enigmatic, strong, rugged, ultra-masculine. But what if they were also gay? I think it’s that challenge, to show another side of a role that has so predominantly been drawn in one particular way in western books and films. I think gay men must have to work even harder to be accepted as a cowboy than in many other industries and exploring that is enthralling.

Barbara's book list on gay cowboys

Barbara Elsborg Why did Barbara love this book?

Jasper is the blacksmith at a small guest ranch. Ellis is the ex-con who is so traumatised by his experience in prison that he can hardly speak. The moment I knew that I was instantly hooked. It’s a slow burn, comfort-hurt story where the blacksmith works his own particular magic to mend the broken Ellis. Lots of heart-wrenching feels and a touching tale of how someone can fall and be helped to rise again. It’s lovely. Hits all the right buttons for me.

By Jackie North,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“If anybody ever needed him, Ellis did. Ellis was broken. Jasper liked to fix things.”

Jasper has the perfect life. He’s a blacksmith at a small guest ranch in Wyoming. The last thing he needs is to have that perfect life interrupted by a shifty-eyed ex-con, but the ranch needs the tax benefits the ex-con program will bring.

Traumatized by his time in prison, Ellis can barely speak. He’s about to be offered parole. He knows he will hate working on the guest ranch, but what other option does he have?

It’s not love at first sight. It’s not hate…


Book cover of The Dwarves

Baiculescu Ovidiu Nicolae Author Of Winterhorn

From my list on adventure fantasy that inspire my work.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being of Eastern European origins, and also a child of the 80s, definitely had a say in what my likings and my character would become growing up. From the cold long winters and the white landscapes, Fantasy genre, and everything Might and Magic have shaped my childhood, my studies, my art (traditional oil painting and clay sculpting) and lingered until now (and definitely beyond).

Baiculescu's book list on adventure fantasy that inspire my work

Baiculescu Ovidiu Nicolae Why did Baiculescu love this book?

The Dwarves series (especially the first two books) bring the readers back in time and sets them up, straight from the beginning, on a simpler way of seeing things and also a simpler way of writing, while also being able to convey the true values of the fantasy genre with class.

By Markus Heitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For countless millennia, no man or beast has ever succeeded in breaching the stone gateway into Girdlegard. Until now . . .

Abandoned as a child, Tungdil the blacksmith is the only dwarf in a kingdom of men. But when he is sent out into the world to deliver a message and reacquaint himself with his people, the young foundling finds himself thrust into a battle for which he has not been trained. Not only his own safety, but the life of every man, woman and child in Girdlegard depends upon his ability to embrace his heritage.

Although he has…


Book cover of Handmade: A Scientist's Search for Meaning through Making

Rebecca Struthers Author Of Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History

From my list on for people who love taking things apart.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with figuring out how things work. What started with me pulling apart redundant household tech as a child (thanks to my very supportive parents) has become a lifelong passion in making and restoring one of the most incredible machines invented – the watch. Our millennia-old obsession with making things tells us so much about who we are and the world we like in. I love all of these books as, in varied ways, they inspire curiosity and connect us with our innately human instinct to understand the world around us.

Rebecca's book list on for people who love taking things apart

Rebecca Struthers Why did Rebecca love this book?

As adults, we get to a point in our lives where we generally know what we’re good at, and when we’re good at something, it becomes challenging to try new things we know we’ll initially, probably, be very bad at it. It pushes us outside our comfort zone.

Ploszajski is a brilliant materials scientist who bravely heads outside her field on a journey to explore the hands-on world of the materials she knows so well in the lab. It’s an incredibly inspiring read for anyone holding back from trying new skills. It’s hard to come away from this book without having set your heart on taking up a new craft!

By Anna Ploszajski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From atomic structures to theories about magnetic forces, scientific progress has given us a good grasp on the properties of many different materials. However, most scientists cannot measure the temperature of steel just by looking at it, or sculpt stone into all kinds of shapes, or know how it feels to blow up a balloon of glass. Handmade is the story of materials through making and doing. Author and material scientist Anna Ploszajski journeys into the domain of makers and craftspeople to comprehend how the most popular materials really work. Anna has the fresh perspective of someone at the forefront…


Book cover of The Other Hotel

Joe Barrett Author Of Managed Care

From my list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read Lolita as a college freshman and laughed out loud as Nabokov made me love the goofy, intelligent, and clearly sociopathic Humbert Humbert. Nabokov’s fun was palpable; it made me want to write. And knee-jerk criticisms of Lolita drove me crazy – how can people take themselves so seriously as to be offended by fictional characters? To me, an author’s ability to inspire genuine empathy for characters with distorted, irreverent, or socially unacceptable perspectives is both genius and riotously fun (something that people too busy looking for a reason to be offended will unfortunately never appreciate). Hope you enjoy this book list for people who don’t take themselves too seriously!

Joe's book list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously

Joe Barrett Why did Joe love this book?

The Other Hotel was my first Jack Stroke book and after the first few pages I was hooked.

The writing is easy, authentic, and unpretentious – reading it quickly made me feel like I was hanging out with an old friend. The plot is twisted, the characters are off-the-hook, and Stroke has the unique capacity to inject a sense of apathetic calm into situations where all hell is breaking loose – making the book a tremendous amount of fun.

I highly recommend the whole series.

By Jack Stroke,

Why should I read it?

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


5 book lists we think you will like!

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