10 books like The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Blade Itself. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Troy

By David Gemmell,

Book cover of Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow

No list of mine would be complete without a title from my favourite author; but the Troy trilogy is a bittersweet masterpieceGemmell died before it was completed. Thankfully, his wife took up the work from his extensive notes and it’s graciously unclear as to where in the final book the transition is made. She captured his voice tremendously.

As a lover of the Classics, it didn’t take long for me to get fully immersed in this reimagining of Homer’s Iliad, with the excellent characterisation and worldbuilding you’d expect from Gemmell. It also incorporates echoes of the author’s love of biblical stories (playing on the claims to a potential overlap in the chronology) and ancient Roman literatureespecially the Aeneid (Virgil’s attempt to appropriate for Rome the legacy of Troy). If you enjoy epic historical fiction/fantasy, this is an absolute must-read. The research is clear, the passion for…

Troy

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Troy 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…


The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

When writing anything fantasy or fairy-tale-like, it’s hard to avoid the influence of Tolkien. He’s certainly an influence on me in world-building (as is Dune, Star Wars, and a host of others), but the main thing I think I’ve retained from multiple read-throughs of The Trilogy is the focus on maps. I loved looking at the maps that came with the books and imagined where the characters were in relation to everything else. They are integral to the story; even the film/TV adaptations rely heavily on them. As I’ve written more books, the map/geographical aspect of where the different terrain and resident societies are in relation to each other in my world of Aponna has taken a larger part in the storytelling. I hope to publish future books with beautiful, illustrated maps that show trails and paths of the characters, etc.

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

47 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…


The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of The Road

I can’t say enough about this apocalyptic horror novel. The prose is beautiful, the realism adds to the tragedy, and the terror created is truly gut-wrenching. Everything that occurs in this story is realistic and powerful. This novel is so well done that the main characters don’t even need names for the reader to feel their pain. By reading this book, I learned exactly what high-level horror could truly be. If done right, horror can transcend into timeless art.

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked The Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…


Excalibur

By Bernard Cornwell,

Book cover of Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur

I was about seventeen, at an airport waiting for a flight to Cyprus when I picked up this book whilst browsing. Didn’t realise at the time it would change my life forever. I read it three times in two weeks, despite finding out after the first time it was the third in a trilogy. I was hooked on the blood and the battles, the brotherhood of Arthur’s soldiers, the bygone era Bernard Cornwell seemed to so effortlessly breathe back to life. I haven’t looked back since.

Excalibur

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A story of love, war, loyalty and betrayal, EXCALIBUR begins with the failure of Lancelot's rebellion and the ruin of Arthur's marriage to Guinevere. The Saxons, sensing the disunity of the Britons, seize the chance to destroy Arthur. The climax of the war comes with the legendary triumph at Mount Badon, and Arthur`s great victory. But the promises he made then come back to haunt him after the years of peace and glory.


The Forgotten Legion

By Ben Kane,

Book cover of The Forgotten Legion

Ben instantly became one of my favourite authors after this. It’s not often you can feel an author’s passion for their work, but it shone from every page in this book. I was already hooked on ancient Rome, but I just found this stood out amongst its peers. Ben didn’t concentrate on the generals and senators that would write their names into history, but on the everyday soldiers that lived by the edge of their sword. It is a book I will certainly never forget

The Forgotten Legion

By Ben Kane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Forgotten Legion - fighting for honour, freedom and revenge

Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery after their mother is raped by a drunken nobleman. At thirteen years old they are sold - Romulus to gladiator school, Fabiola into prostitution, where she will catch the eye of one of the most powerful men in Rome. Tarquinius is an Etruscan, a warrior and soothsayer, born enemy of Rome, but doomed to fight for the Republic in the Forgotten Legion. Brennus is a Gaul, his entire family killed by the Romans, and he rises to become one of the most…


Emperor

By Conn Iggulden,

Book cover of Emperor: The Gates of Rome: A Novel of Julius Caesar

Reliving the lives of two famous Romans in a new fictional light is what makes this five-book series a dazzling example of magical realism. The entire settings, that is Ancient Rome during the Republic, is real and has existed in the form it is presented. The characters, though, have taken on a more personal shape, independent from the historical image we know. Caesar and Brutus become larger-than-life characters, allowing more to be told about them, their feelings, their ambitions, and giving us a version of them we may never read in history books. We become closer to them, and try to understand them more as human beings engulfed by history rather than historical figures. It is an unparalleled humanisation of history through fiction.

Emperor

By Conn Iggulden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ultimate Rome story

From the spectacle of gladiatorial combat to the intrigue of the Senate, from the foreign wars that secure the power of the empire to the betrayals that threaten to tear it apart, this is the remarkable story of the man who would become the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar.

In the city of Rome, a titanic power struggle is about to shake the Republic to its core. Citizen will fight citizen in a bloody conflict - and Julius Caesar, cutting his teeth in battle, will be in the thick of the action.

The first…


Legend

By David Gemmell,

Book cover of Legend: Book One of the Drenai Saga

Legend and the rest of the Drenai saga were required reading for initiation into a fraternity that I joined many years ago. I can say these books were by far and away the most enjoyable required reading that I have ever been assigned. David Gemmell’s greatest strength is his ability to manage a vast cast of characters and keep the reader’s interest maintained in each and every one. He is an author who is lauded by his peers as one of the best to ever write in the epic fantasy genre and rightfully so.

Legend

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Legend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“David Gemmell tells a tale of very real adventure, the stuff of true epic fantasy.”—R. A. Salvatore

Druss, Captain of the Ax, is the stuff of legends. Tales of his battles are told throughout the land, and the stories expand with each telling. But Druss himself grows older, until finally, the warrior turns his back on glory and retreats to his mountain lair. There he awaits his old enemy: death. 

But far below, the barbarian Nadir hordes are on the march. All that stands between them and the Drenai people is a mighty six-walled fortress, Dros Delnoch—a great citadel that…


Kings of the Wyld

By Nicholas Eames,

Book cover of Kings of the Wyld

Nicholas Eames crafted a radical take on the standard fantasy adventuring party by giving them rock band style. This book is a fun take on the fantasy genre with a group of over-the-hill mercenaries getting together for one last score. It isn’t often that a book comes along and grabs me by the ears and sets me to head banging. Kings of the Wyld was that book. I couldn’t put it down as I followed Clay and his ragtag band of mercenaries. I love the mix of humor and epic fantasy with the found family thrown in. The audio version is a riot that preserves the rock and roll tone and makes for a great time painting your newest D&D miniature.

Kings of the Wyld

By Nicholas Eames,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An outstanding debut which will make you laugh and cry and hold your breath. This is a book that has it all' - K. J. Parker Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best - the meanest, dirtiest, most feared and admired crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. But their glory days are long past; the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk - or a combination of the three. Then a former bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help: his daughter Rose is trapped in a city…


The Lies of Locke Lamora

By Scott Lynch,

Book cover of The Lies of Locke Lamora

Welcome to Camorr, the city of prosperity and thieves where you’ll be down to your skin if your hair wasn’t stuck on your body. While thieves and heists are a huge part of the story, this world is filled with the subtleties of black magic where your true name could be your end, and anyone regardless of economic status is a victim. It’s up to a band of thieves to protect their assets and their lives. 

The Lies of Locke Lamora

By Scott Lynch,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Lies of Locke Lamora as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of my top ten books ever. Maybe top five. If you haven't read it, you should' Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind

'Fresh, original and engrossing' George R.R. Martin, the phenomenon behind A Game of Thrones

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the…


The Traitor Baru Cormorant

By Seth Dickinson,

Book cover of The Traitor Baru Cormorant

How can a fantasy novel about a math and economics genius in a world governed by an empire top my list? Suffice it to say that these subjects fascinate me. And I read it at a time when the housing crisis devastated so many people, many of whom I knew personally, so the economy and its manipulations were front of mind. The world of Baru Cormorant is rich and gritty. Baru herself is complex, brilliant, and likable, but deeply flawed. She has a plan, but to accomplish it she might have to choose between the people she loves and her drive to destroy the Imperium that erased the culture of her home. What she does and the choices she makes are shocking and heart-wrenching.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

By Seth Dickinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

[Published as The Traitor Baru Cormorant in the US]

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people - even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her Fathers, Baru vows to hide her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way up enough rungs of power to put a stop to the Emperor's influence and set her people free.

As a natural savant, she is sent as an imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn - a post she worries will never get her the…


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