100 books like Sisters of the Lost Marsh

By Lucy Strange,

Here are 100 books that Sisters of the Lost Marsh fans have personally recommended if you like Sisters of the Lost Marsh. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Land of Roar

Tamsin Winter Author Of Girl (in Real Life)

From my list on strong female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whatever story I’m telling, I try to write female characters who are smart, funny, kind, and ultimately empowering; characters that drive the narrative, not the other way around. It is really important for me that my female characters have agency – that they actively move the story forward, make decisions and step up. Those are the kind of stories I like to read too. The books on this list are some of my favourites and all contain strong female protagonists. I hope you enjoy.

Tamsin's book list on strong female protagonists

Tamsin Winter Why did Tamsin love this book?

As someone who has always had a somewhat overactive imagination, as soon as I heard the premise of this book – a land created by twins Rose and Arthur that comes to life – I was hooked. The Land of Roar is filled with incredible things – dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards! But it is also filled with their childhood fears, personified by the truly terrifying Crowky. This is a heart-in-your-mouth series with a celebration of childhood adventure at its heart. 

By Jenny McLachlan, Ben Mantle (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Land of Roar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The first in a new children's fantasy adventure series, full of imagination, humour and heart, and with echoes of Peter Pan, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Neverending Story and Jumanji.

The Land of Roar is perfect for children aged 8 to 12, and can sit on their bookshelf next to Nevermoor, Wizards of Once and How to Train Your Dragon. Readers can bring their fantasy world to life and meet dragons, unicorns, mermaids and more in this beautifully illustrated children's book.

Believing is just the beginning ...

When Arthur and Rose were little, they were heroes in the Land of…


Book cover of The Shark Caller

Tamsin Winter Author Of Girl (in Real Life)

From my list on strong female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whatever story I’m telling, I try to write female characters who are smart, funny, kind, and ultimately empowering; characters that drive the narrative, not the other way around. It is really important for me that my female characters have agency – that they actively move the story forward, make decisions and step up. Those are the kind of stories I like to read too. The books on this list are some of my favourites and all contain strong female protagonists. I hope you enjoy.

Tamsin's book list on strong female protagonists

Tamsin Winter Why did Tamsin love this book?

I have always been fascinated by sharks, so to read the story of Blue Wing, who lives among them, was an absolute joy. Set on an island near Papua New Guinea, this is a heartbreaking story, beautifully and originally told, that explores grief, friendship, forgiveness, and our relationship with nature. I’ve traveled and swam with sharks near where this book is set and it was so special to revisit those places in the book. But it’s Blue Wing’s selflessness, wisdom, and bravery that make this book utterly unforgettable. 

By Zillah Bethell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shark Caller 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?

WINNER OF THE EDWARD STANFORD CHILDREN'S TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022

A SUNDAY TIMES CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK

Dive beneath the waves with this spell-binding adventure of friendship, forgiveness and bravery, set on the shores of Papua New Guinea, perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell and Eva Ibbotson.

"I want to be able to call the sharks. Teach me the magic and show me the ways."

Blue Wing is desperate to become a shark caller, but instead she must befriend infuriating newcomer Maple, who arrives unexpectedly on Blue Wing's island.

At first, the girls are too angry to…


Book cover of Where The World Turns Wild

Tamsin Winter Author Of Girl (in Real Life)

From my list on strong female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whatever story I’m telling, I try to write female characters who are smart, funny, kind, and ultimately empowering; characters that drive the narrative, not the other way around. It is really important for me that my female characters have agency – that they actively move the story forward, make decisions and step up. Those are the kind of stories I like to read too. The books on this list are some of my favourites and all contain strong female protagonists. I hope you enjoy.

Tamsin's book list on strong female protagonists

Tamsin Winter Why did Tamsin love this book?

Where the World Turns Wild plays on one of my biggest fears about the future – a world without nature. Juniper and her little brother Bear live in a walled city where nature has been almost completely eradicated following the outbreak of a disease. What remains is a tightly controlled and terrifying society that they must escape. Juniper’s bravery and her capacity for survival are driven by the fierce, protective love she has for her little brother. This is an adventure story like no other and one I have returned to time and again.

By Nicola Penfold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where The World Turns Wild 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?

Animals, trees, flowers, our city forbids them all...
Juniper Greene lives in a walled city from which nature has been banished, following the outbreak of a deadly man-made disease many years earlier. While most people seem content to live in such a cage, she and her little brother Bear have always known about their resistance to the disease, and dream of escaping into the wild. To the one place humans have survived outside of cities. To where their mother is.
When scientists discover that the siblings provide the key to fighting the disease, the pair must flee for their lives.…


Book cover of The Ice Garden

Tamsin Winter Author Of Girl (in Real Life)

From my list on strong female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whatever story I’m telling, I try to write female characters who are smart, funny, kind, and ultimately empowering; characters that drive the narrative, not the other way around. It is really important for me that my female characters have agency – that they actively move the story forward, make decisions and step up. Those are the kind of stories I like to read too. The books on this list are some of my favourites and all contain strong female protagonists. I hope you enjoy.

Tamsin's book list on strong female protagonists

Tamsin Winter Why did Tamsin love this book?

This is an absolute heartstopper of a novel. The protagonist, Jess, has a rare skin condition that means she is allergic to sunlight. Even the tiniest exposure can cause her serious injury and pain. She lives her life in a world of loneliness and shadows, but is desperate for an adventure. When she sneaks out one night she discovers a garden of ice that will change her life forever. Not only did I love the magic of this novel, I loved Jess’s humour and I was weeping for her towards the end. A wonderful book that really touched my heart.

By Guy Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ice Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Tom's Midnight Garden meets The Secret
Garden in this mystical, classic-feeling adventure!

'A beautiful book that touches on friendship and the unbreakable
bond between a protective parent and her child.' THE
SUN

'Elegant, assured, sad and hilarious' GUARDIAN

Jess is allergic to the sun. She lives in a world of shadows and
hospitals, peeking at the other children in the playground from
behind curtains. Her only friend is a boy in a coma, to whom she
tells stories.

One night she sneaks out to explore the empty playground she's
longed to visit, where she discovers a beautiful impossiblity: a
magical…


Book cover of The Light Princess

Hester Velmans Author Of Slipper

From my list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of seven, already a devoted bookworm, I came upon a large stack of early-20th century children's magazines filled with stories, poems, and especially fairy tales, some the classic kind, and some weird, scary or unfamiliar. I don't know where those dog-eared, well-thumbed annuals came from, or what happened to them afterward – they were lost or given away when our family moved, I suppose. But I have never forgotten them, or the effect they had on my imagination and longings. I've been searching for those long-lost tales ever since... and it finally led me to decide I would just have to write a few of my own.

Hester's book list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read

Hester Velmans Why did Hester love this book?

The 19th-century Scottish writer George MacDonald is said to be the father of the modern fairy tale, inspiring C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and many others. I chose The Light Princess because I find it his most charming tale: it's about a princess under a wicked spell who has been made weightless, unable to obey the laws of gravity. As in all good fairy tales, a prince eventually comes along to drag her back down to earth. He must sacrifice himself for her, but in the end, it is she who rescues him – from a feminist perspective, a most gratifying conclusion.

By George MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald’s best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald’s finest short works―marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time.


Book cover of The First Woman

Sari Fordham Author Of Wait for God to Notice

From my list on by African women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Uganda and Kenya, and when I moved to the United States, I felt separated from myself. Learning how to be American was exhausting and so I disappeared into books. I’m now more settled, but I still travel through fiction. These days, I am reading fiction by African women. You should be, too! There is so much stunning literature out there. These five books are just the beginning, but they are novels I can’t stop thinking about.

Sari's book list on by African women

Sari Fordham Why did Sari love this book?

The First Woman is perhaps the best novel you haven’t yet read. Kirabo has never known her mother and she is looking for answers at the same time as she is becoming a woman. She is guided first by the village’s blind witch Nsuuta, who has her own reasons for getting involved. Nsuuta tells Kirabo that women were once, “huge, strong, loud, proud, brave, independent. But it was too much for the world.” The writing in this ambitious novel is sometimes funny and sometimes poignant.

By Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'In Jennifer Makumbi, we have a giant of literature living among us.' Peter Kalu, Jhalak Prize Judge

Longlisted for the Diverse Book Awards, 2021

'Jennifer Makumbi is a genius storyteller.' Reni Eddo-Lodge

A SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER, DAILY MAIL, BBC CULTURE & IRISH INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR

At once epic and deeply personal, the second novel from prize-winning author Jennifer Makumbi is an intoxicating mix of Ugandan folklore and modern feminism that will linger in the memory long after the final page.

As Kirabo enters her teens, questions begin to gnaw at her - questions which the adults in her…


Book cover of I Am Not Your Final Girl

Andrea Blythe Author Of Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

From my list on women reclaiming their own power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated fairy tales, folklore, and horror since I was a child, drawn to these strange stories in which wondrous and terrifying things happen. In many of these tales, the women often lack a sense of agency or control over their lives and work for a better life within the limitations of their situation. The act of retelling these stories provides space to explore this lack of power and how these women might find clever or unusual ways to reclaim it. In particular, I’m interested in the ways characters might make use of the danger or darkness around them to carve their own path in the world. 

Andrea's book list on women reclaiming their own power

Andrea Blythe Why did Andrea love this book?

Much like fairy tales and folklore, horror stories have their own rules and tropes for how the female protagonists or villains are expected to behave within the confines of their own stories. I Am Not Your Final Girl is a powerful collection of horror-themed poetry that gives voice to female characters from horror cinema — the survivors, victims, and monsters who prowl through dark worlds, facing oppression, persecution, violence, and death. Holland’s words provide these women a platform to channel their pain, trauma, and rage into a galvanizing force. These women are survivors and fighters, women who claim their own power and take ownership over their own bodies. They do not give up; they do not relent. 

By Claire C. Holland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Your Final Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now an Elgin Award-nominated book!

"There is nothing else in this world / like realizing / you’re going to live / and not being sure / you can."

From Claire C. Holland, a timely collection of poetry that follows the final girl of slasher cinema - the girl who survives until the end - on a journey of retribution and reclamation. From the white picket fences of 1970s Haddonfield to the apocalyptic end of the world, Holland confronts the role of women in relation to subjects including feminism, sexuality, violence, and healing in the world of Trump and the MeToo…


Book cover of The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories

Camilla Andrew Author Of When The Stars Alight

From my list on fantasy and cinematic experiences.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I was a maladaptive daydreamer. I could often be found crafting elaborate fantasies in my head featuring fully-fledged worlds and characters that I would actively interact with and speak to as if they were real. I was a strange child, and I kept that strangeness with me when I went into fiction. Since then, I’ve always wanted to encapsulate the feeling of giving a movie-like experience in book form. I want the people who read my work to feel like they’re experiencing something real.

Camilla's book list on fantasy and cinematic experiences

Camilla Andrew Why did Camilla love this book?

While more of an anthology than a book, this still encapsulates the theme quite well. Perhaps more suited to a mini episodic format than a feature-length film, Carter still imbues many of her short stories with striking and unforgettable imagery.

I think of the titular story and its ancient castle by the sea or The Erl-King and its inescapable labyrinth of a forest and am left dumbfounded that I have not seen it rendered anywhere other than my own mind’s eye.

By Angela Carter,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Bloody Chamber as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an introduction by Helen Simpson. From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.


Book cover of Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story

Christina St. Clair Author Of Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women

From my list on women whose spiritual understanding is enlightening.

Why am I passionate about this?

One Christmas Eve many years ago when I was a little girl, I was too excited to sleep. I prayed to the baby Jesus whom I’d heard about in carols. I felt wrapped in love and woke up well-rested on Christmas morning. I’ve always believed life is a spiritual journey: I respect and learn from many religious and secular traditions. After I joined a church, I became a spiritual director. When I was sixty, I earned an MA in pastoral ministry and women’s studies. I have pastored two churches and also became a preacher—something I could not imagine I’d ever be able to do. It’s never too late!

Christina's book list on women whose spiritual understanding is enlightening

Christina St. Clair Why did Christina love this book?

This somewhat academic collection of articles, essays, and poems began in a Boston living room when a group of Jewish women recognized that traditional Jewish study was invariably seen through the lens of men. These women had formerly dismissed the Book of Ruth as irrelevant to them, nothing more than a tale about an old man marrying a younger woman.

They decided to compile a commentary about the Book of Ruth using female voices. These writings encouraged me to compile my own midrash (interpretation) and deeply impressed me with their understanding that this Biblical story is relevant for women today to explore powerlessness, vulnerability, loss, women mourning and rejoicing, and relationships.

By Judith A. Kates (editor), Gail Twersky Reimer (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Book of Ruth is one of Western civilization's great narratives of women's relationships. This collection of modern-day interpretations brings together the wisdom, sensitivity, and spirituality of the biblical story with the struggles and insights of contemporary women. Readers will be moved and inspired by these essays."
--Susannah Heschel
Editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist
With Reading Ruth, two creative scholars have brought together an amazingly eclectic group of Jewish novelists, essayists, poets, rabbis, psychologists, and scholars--including Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsbrun, and Nessa Rapoport--to explore one of the most beloved stories in the Bible. In lively essays,…


Book cover of European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History

Jad Adams Author Of Women and the Vote: A World History

From my list on how women rock the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have specialised in writing about radicals and non-conformists who seem to me to be the most interesting people in the world. I like books about people doing challenging things and making a difference. I love travelling to obscure archives in other countries and finding the riches of personal papers in dusty old rooms curated by eccentric archivists who greet me like an old friend.

Jad's book list on how women rock the world

Jad Adams Why did Jad love this book?

This provocative book covers 250 years of European history. I find something to argue with on pretty much every page but I have to admire Offen’s ambition in this sweeping narrative extending across the nations of Europe from Finland to Greece, from Portugal to Poland.

I so admired this book that I wrote to Karen Offen asking her if she would read some of the chapters of my book, which she did, making helpful suggestions which improved it no end.

By Karen Offen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked European Feminisms, 1700-1950 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ambitious book explores challenges to male hegemony throughout continental Europe. It focuses especially on France, but it also offers comparative material on developments in the German-speaking countries and in the smaller European nations and aspiring nation-states. Spanning 250 years, the sweeping coverage extends from Portugal to Poland, Greece to Finland, Ireland to Ukraine, and Spain to Scandinavia-as well as international and transnational feminist organizations.
The study has several objectives. For general readers and those interested primarily in the historical record, it provides a comprehensive, comparative account of feminist developments in European societies, as well as a rereading of European…


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