100 books like The Cruel Prince

By Holly Black,

Here are 100 books that The Cruel Prince fans have personally recommended if you like The Cruel Prince. 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 Hunger Games

Johnny B. Truant Author Of The Dream Engine

From my list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a healthy dose of skepticism, having been a scientist before I was an author. I look for the con when something’s too good to be true, even in fiction…so don’t insult me by saying, “a magic amulet that makes everyone nice all the time.” If you want me to believe in pixie dust, tell me what’s in place to keep pixie dust smugglers from rigging the system. I raised smart, critical-minded kids, so I always pointed them to my own favorite young-audience books: those that felt real, even if they were fantastical, instead of ones with the more common “just trust me” attitude. 

Johnny's book list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence

Johnny B. Truant Why did Johnny love this book?

I love the thought that went into building the world of the Capital and the districts: not just the dystopian aesthetic and the could-easily-be-overdone teen angst it creates, but instead the whole idea of class rebellion and the inevitability of comeuppance. Power corrupts, no matter the person who holds that power…and those without power will never be suppressed for long. 

You have to stick with the whole series to see the full cycle, but this book doesn’t dumb down the “karmic cycle of revenge” like some other YA books do. There are two sides to everything, and while this book has plenty of evil and plenty of good, there are also those oh-so-crucial-to-believability characters who walk the gray areas in between.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

49 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...


Book cover of Halfway to the Grave

Maxym M. Martineau Author Of Kingdom of Exiles

From my list on fantasy with kick-ass heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fantasy romance author with a love of creating real, in-depth characters with agency. To me, that’s the very definition of a “kick-ass” heroine. It doesn’t matter how she’s kick-ass (e.g., loud/vocal vs. quiet and cunning; the one charging ahead of the army or the one strategizing the attack), just that she’s in control of her own destiny. It’s important for me to have my characters feel like actual people, facing real decisions and the consequences of said decisions, and then I want those characters to have onus and show off their true bad-assery. 

Maxym's book list on fantasy with kick-ass heroines

Maxym M. Martineau Why did Maxym love this book?

Good lord, Kat simply dominates when she enters a scene.

She leaves no room for argument with all her decisions (some of them bad, some of them good) or dialogue, and even in moments where you’re screaming at her or she’s second-guessing herself, she grounds herself in her resolve and pushes forward.

Plus, Bones is swoon-worthy, and she still honors her own feels in the presence of his…well…everything, haha. I also love her evolution through the Night Huntress series and how her viewpoint toward vampires and paranormals shifts in a way that suits her character development. Also the spice? Heck. Yes.

By Jeaniene Frost,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Halfway to the Grave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kicking off the sexiest, smartest, most badass paranormal romance series out there. You won't be able to stop turning the pages.

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of those deadbeats is her father - the guy responsible for ruining her mother's life.

But when she's captured by Bones, a bounty hunter and a vampire, she finds herself forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for his help in finding her father, and still astonished she hasn't ended up as his dinner, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her…


Book cover of A Court of Thorns and Roses

Ella d’Avoine Author Of Midnight Blood

From my list on fantasy with incredible worlds to escape into.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved anything fantasy-related, and I especially loved stories where the world around you would completely melt away as you read. I used to write my own stories then, too, and I’ve always had a passion for diving into it headfirst and immersing myself in the world entirely. I went through a period in my life where I was dealing with depression, and fantasy books that I could escape into were very important to me at that time. 

Ella's book list on fantasy with incredible worlds to escape into

Ella d’Avoine Why did Ella love this book?

I’ve never read anything with such a well-thought-through and descriptive world as the one in this book. The more you read, the richer it becomes, creating such an incredible story.

I was such a sucker for this book because it had a little of everything that I loved, and it is absolutely a story that’ll leave you wanting to make a Pinterest board. I love books with strong aesthetics, and I find them enjoyable to read. This book was absolutely that!

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked A Court of Thorns and Roses 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?

Experience Feyre Archeron's journey all over again with the beautiful collector's edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the seductive first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series by Sarah J. Maas, featuring a deluxe new package, an updated map, ribbon pull, and more! When nineteen-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she…


Ballad for Jasmine Town

By Molly Ringle,

Book cover of Ballad for Jasmine Town

Molly Ringle Author Of Sage and King

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist Editor Sociolinguist HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) Good witch

Molly's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A human child raised by the fae is an uncommon thing. But Rafi was such a child.

Now grown, half-fae but mortal, he lingers on the edge of human society in Miryoku, a nearby town sharing a border with fae territory. He doesn’t want to join the human world properly; he just wants to play music with a local cover band and avoid the cruelest members of his fae family.

Then, he meets Roxana, and his world shifts. She’s a human metalworking witch, up for a friendly fling with Rafi before she and her twelve-year-old daughter move away from Miryoku…

Ballad for Jasmine Town

By Molly Ringle,

What is this book about?

A law-abiding metalworking witch and a form-shifting half-fae musician embark on a secret romance, but soon become caught in escalating tensions between fae and humans that threaten their hometown. The second story after the popular Lava Red Feather Blue comes alive in Ballad for Jasmine Town.

The town of Miryoku has ocean views, fragrant jasmine vines, and a thriving arts scene, including a popular nineties cover band. It also sits on the verge, sharing a border with fae territory, a realm of both enchantments and dangers.

Rafi has been unusual all his life: a human born to a fae mother,…


Book cover of The Golden Compass

Johnny B. Truant Author Of The Dream Engine

From my list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a healthy dose of skepticism, having been a scientist before I was an author. I look for the con when something’s too good to be true, even in fiction…so don’t insult me by saying, “a magic amulet that makes everyone nice all the time.” If you want me to believe in pixie dust, tell me what’s in place to keep pixie dust smugglers from rigging the system. I raised smart, critical-minded kids, so I always pointed them to my own favorite young-audience books: those that felt real, even if they were fantastical, instead of ones with the more common “just trust me” attitude. 

Johnny's book list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence

Johnny B. Truant Why did Johnny love this book?

I love how Lyra’s world is so different from ours, yet doesn’t require a huge leap of faith to believe. The science-like attention to detail somehow makes it sensible. Are there talking polar bears who shape metal with their paws and claws? Yes. Are my objections to that bizarre idea addressed so well that I accept it as normal? Also yes. 

The amount of thought put into the world makes the unreal feel very real, in other words. Yes, there are subtle magical forces, witches, and humans tethered to literal spirit animals…but scientists have studied and invented machines to work with all of it the same way we work with forces in our own world that we don’t understand. This series respects its readers' intelligence, regardless of age.

By Philip Pullman,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Golden Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The first volume in Philip Pullman's groundbreaking
HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, now a thrilling, critically
acclaimed BBC/HBO television series. First published
in 1995, and acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, this first
book in the series won the UK's top awards for children's literature.

"Without this child, we shall all
die."

Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live
half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford.

The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands
of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight.

Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences
far beyond her own world...



This…


Book cover of Throne of Glass

K. Marie Smith Author Of Touch

From my list on strong female leads who might be morally gray.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with Irish folklore, Lord of the Rings, and X-Men comics as my bedtime stories, but I am also a domestic violence survivor twice over with c-PTSD. I was never able to get justice for anyone who hurt me. I created my stories as a way to cope and understand my feelings and triggers by making them their own personalities. So, I made my trauma available for everyone in a fantasy setting with two love interests to adore the heroine who had to endure so much but never gave up on giving people someone to root for when they couldn’t for themselves anymore.

K.'s book list on strong female leads who might be morally gray

K. Marie Smith Why did K. love this book?

I really loved the female main character. She was so witty and strong. I recommend this book to be paired with my own because the FMCs are similar, but the story is complex. The emotional energy of the book was also complex, and nothing is black and white, which always makes for a more fun read.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Throne of Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas started a worldwide phenomenon when she published her debut novel, Throne of Glass. To date, Sarah's books have spent more than 92 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and she has hit #1 on charts around the world. Her books have sold more than seven million copies and have been translated into 36 languages. Throne of Glass alone has sold over one million copies. Now you can own this epic fantasy classic in a deluxe hardcover collector's edition. Throne of Glass begins the sweeping saga of assassin Celaena Sardothien,…


Book cover of Coraline

Jay Miles Author Of The Mariverse: Guardians

From my list on the multiverse that dives through worlds beyond worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Multiverse had been my deepest passion of interest for a long time. Experiencing crossover stories in various mediums, both official and fan-made, especially fan-made. To see how two different worlds would meet. I spent hours reading fanfictions involving crossovers, as well as conjuring up my own. I considered the multiverse as a grand bedrock to create any story, hence why I wrote The Mariverse, followed by The Mariverse: Guardians, to create my own bedrock for my writing career.

Jay's book list on the multiverse that dives through worlds beyond worlds

Jay Miles Why did Jay love this book?

This book explores a parallel world, a familiar world like the protagonist’s but a mixture of a better and worse one, what could keep her there, and wanting to get out.

I watched the adapted film first then read the book, in a way, seeing them both is like looking at two different universes like I’ve been looking at the Other Coraline book. I recommend reading the book if you have seen the film, to spot differences but still enjoy a journey.

And it is a great journey even if the book is your first exploration in the story.

By Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Coraline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"Sometimes funny, always creepy, genuinely moving, this marvellous spine-chiller will appeal to readers from nine to ninety." - "Books for Keeps". "I was looking forward to "Coraline", and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was enthralled. This is a marvellously strange and scary book." - Philip Pullman, "Guardian". "If any writer can get the guys to read about the girls, it should be Neil Gaiman. His new novel "Coraline" is a dreamlike adventure. For all its gripping nightmare imagery, this is actually a conventional fairy story with a moral." - "Daily Telegraph". Stephen King once called Neil Gaiman 'a treasure-house…


Book cover of Struck

Kayla Krantz Author Of The Council

From my list on creative magical realms in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of all genres that’s found a lot of love, particularly in fantasy and thrillers. My love for epic fantasies first began when I was young, and like all young readers, was introduced to Harry Potter and the Magic Tree House series. The idea of being whisked away to a magical world captivated me, and so, I started to create my own stories to keep that magic alive. 

Kayla's book list on creative magical realms in fantasy

Kayla Krantz Why did Kayla love this book?

This story was interesting in the way that the author had two main characters who were twins with widely different roles. With one taking the role of the chosen one and the other being in a place to save her, this was an intense rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. Not to mention the worldbuilding, traveling through lightning, was a very unique idea that amped up the suspense. 

By Rachel Langley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Laney and Leela are identical twins, except for a birthmark and two very different personalities. Home for the summer after college graduation, they go on a camping trip with their two younger siblings. When they return home, they find the town empty. Everyone is missing, including their parents and Laney’s boyfriend, Hollister. 

Besides some strange marks on the ground caused by a lightning storm, there aren’t any clues, and without any leads on the disappearances, the police leave the town isolated and closed off. Laney falls into despair, and Leela is not sure how much longer they can remain in…


Book cover of Ember Burning

Kayla Krantz Author Of The Council

From my list on creative magical realms in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of all genres that’s found a lot of love, particularly in fantasy and thrillers. My love for epic fantasies first began when I was young, and like all young readers, was introduced to Harry Potter and the Magic Tree House series. The idea of being whisked away to a magical world captivated me, and so, I started to create my own stories to keep that magic alive. 

Kayla's book list on creative magical realms in fantasy

Kayla Krantz Why did Kayla love this book?

After Ember loses her grandmother, she finds herself retreating from the Real World and going into the woods. They’re no ordinary woods though. They’re a portal to another world. One where Ember isn’t lonely. The only catch? She can never return to her real life. This book I felt had a lot of good metaphors for depression and grief mixed with the fantasy elements to give it both a powerful message and an entertaining feeling.

By Jennifer Alsever,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ember Burning 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?

She wanted an escape from reality. Her ticket home could cost her life.
 
Ember Trouvé was never the same after her parents died tragically. Obsessed with finding other lost souls like herself, she collects missing-teenager flyers. But when they lead her to explore the eerie woods rumored to contain strange happenings, she's shocked to discover a group of happy-go-lucky high-schoolers.
 
As welcoming new friends and seductive boys show her the fun she's forgotten, Ember is reminded of the sweet taste of happiness. But just as her inner joy reignites, she learns there's a price for the forest's wondrous gift: She…


Book cover of Grey: The Covenant of Shadows

Kayla Krantz Author Of The Council

From my list on creative magical realms in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of all genres that’s found a lot of love, particularly in fantasy and thrillers. My love for epic fantasies first began when I was young, and like all young readers, was introduced to Harry Potter and the Magic Tree House series. The idea of being whisked away to a magical world captivated me, and so, I started to create my own stories to keep that magic alive. 

Kayla's book list on creative magical realms in fantasy

Kayla Krantz Why did Kayla love this book?

In Grey, Gabrian doesn’t believe in magic. She’s a psychologist, and proud to be one. She bases her life on logic, but when things start to happen that she can’t explain, she finds herself in a whirlwind of magic. The way that Gabrian slowly comes to the truth is probably my favorite part of this book. As a Borrower, she’s considered not just a magical being, but a dangerous one. At first, she doesn’t handle this well and takes on the role of an anti-hero, nearly villain which was an interesting way to not only build Gabrian’s character but to introduce the truth of the magical world as well.

By Kade Cook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enchantments will fail.

Closet doors will open.

And skeletons—all dressed in their finest secrets—will come out to dance.

Raised in urban downtown New York, Gabrian holds no grand illusions of how life really works. And legends of magic and vampires, nothing more than a bunch of hocus pocus stuffed within book pages or painted on the big screen.

But when a woman, no one else can see, enters her office and delivers a riddle filled warning about her intended fate, Gabrian's grip on sanity takes a big hit—terrified she is falling into madness.

As Gabrian untangles secrets of her past,…


Book cover of Going Postal

Caitlin Rozakis Author Of Dreadful

From my list on make you laugh and punch you in the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve never been a fan of polemics or schmaltz. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn or see new perspectives or feel deep feelings; I just think humor is the best way to get past people’s defenses. (All the better to sucker punch them in the feels.) I also think the world can be a pretty dark and scary place. I love books that give us hope, enough hope to have the courage to change what we can to make the world a little brighter.

Caitlin's book list on make you laugh and punch you in the feels

Caitlin Rozakis Why did Caitlin love this book?

I love Pratchett’s work so much in general that it’s really hard to pick just one. His work was side-splittingly funny but also the very best kind of satire. He had pointed things to say about society while also making you care deeply about his characters and making you laugh until your face hurts. Do you know how hard that is?

In this book, the protagonist is a con man forced into trying to resuscitate a dying postal service. He’s petty evil, the kind of selfish who has never thought about what happens to his victims. By the end, you can’t help but root for him to triumph over the much less petty but equally hidden evil of systems and big money. But you also can’t look away from the chaos of ravening stamp collectors, hapless wizards, and a literal avalanche of dead letters.

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A beautiful new hardback edition of the classic Discworld novel.

Moist von Lipwig is a con artist and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork's ailing postal service back on its feet.

It was a tough decision.

But he's got to see that the mail gets though, come rain, hail, sleet, dogs, the Post Office Workers Friendly and Benevolent Society, the evil chairman of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, and a midnight killer.

Getting a date with Adora Bell Dearheart would be nice, too.


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