69 books like The Fairies in Tradition and Literature

By Katharine M. Briggs,

Here are 69 books that The Fairies in Tradition and Literature fans have personally recommended if you like The Fairies in Tradition and Literature. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Coming of the Fairies

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Book cover of The Coming of the Fairies

Bobbie Hinman Author Of The Sock Fairy

From the list on children’s books about fairies.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by fairies. I remember watching dragonflies in my backyard, convinced that they carried fairies on their backs. I hung pictures of fairies on my bedroom walls. I even moved my dollhouse furniture outside and set it up under a tree so the fairies would be comfy. This wasn’t as farfetched as it sounds when you consider that I grew up before the digital age and was always encouraged to use my imagination. When the movie Peter Pan was released, I fell in love with Tinkerbell. I’m convinced that all of this prepared me to become the writer of a series of fairy books. Who knew?

Bobbie's book list on children’s books about fairies

Why did Bobbie love this book?

This is a surprise pick. It’s the first book about “real” fairies that I read. I was 15 years old when my local librarian showed me the book. The author was best known for creating the Sherlock Holmes series, and he wrote a book about fairies? 

The Cottingley fairies appear in a series of photographs taken by two young girls living in England in 1917. When the pictures came to the attention of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he interpreted them as clear and visible evidence of the existence of fairies. Many people accepted the images as genuine; others believed they had been faked. This fascinating account of the “sightings” allows us to get inside the mind of a highly intelligent man who also happened to believe in fairies. But were the fairies real?

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

PREFACE This book contains reproductions of the famous Cottingley photographs, and gives the whole of the evidence in connection with them. The diligent reader is in almost as good a position as I am to form a judgment upon the authenticity of the pictures. This narrative is not a special plea for that authenticity, but is simply a collection of facts the inferences from which may be accepted or rejected as the reader may think fit. I would warn the critic, however, not to be led away by the sophistry that because some professional trickster, apt at the game of…

Book cover of Irish Fairy and Folk Tales

Mary Losure Author Of The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World

From the list on fairies for adults and kids.

Who am I?

Mary Losure is the author of The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World. Though she doesn’t happen to believe in fairies herself, when she went to Cottingley, England, and explained that she was writing a children’s book about the girls who took the Cottingley Fairy Photographs, she met a surprisingly large number of people who did.  Plus, she’s always been interested in imaginary worlds. Her most recent book, Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d, is the story of a magic-seeking boy who grew up to become the world’s greatest alchemist. Oh, and also discovered the secrets of the universe….

Mary's book list on fairies for adults and kids

Why did Mary love this book?

Yeats, a mystic poet, travelled across Ireland in the late 1800s and early 1900s, asking country people if they’d ever seen fairies and taking down their stories. “I believe when I am in the mood that all nature is full of people whom we cannot see,” he wrote in an earlier book, The Celtic Twilight. “Even when I was a boy I could never walk in a wood without feeling that at any moment I might find before me somebody or something I had long looked for without knowing….” Yates believed the songs and stories "handed down among the cottages” were “Folk art [which]… because it has gathered into itself the simplest and most unforgettable thoughts of the generations… is the soil where all great art is rooted.”  His own poetry bears this out. 

By W.B. Yeats,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Irish Fairy and Folk Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fairy and folk tales from the best preserved branch of Celtic mythology.

Book cover of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm Author Of The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences

From the list on to shatter the myth of modernity.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning historian and philosopher of the human sciences. But I got here by means of an unusually varied path: working for a private investigator, practicing in a Buddhist monastery, being shot at, hiking a volcano off the coast of Africa, being jumped by a gang in Amsterdam, snowboarding in the Pyrenees, piloting a boat down the canals of Bourgogne, playing bass guitar in a punk band, and once I almost died from scarlet fever. Throughout my journey, I have lived and studied in five countries, acquired ten languages, and attended renowned universities (Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford), all while seeking ways to make the world a better place.

Jason's book list on to shatter the myth of modernity

Why did Jason love this book?

I couldn't resist recommending one of my favorite novels.

The period following the French Revolution has often been described in terms of the birth of the modern nation-state and the globalization of the domination of nature, but Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, despite being a work of fiction, does a better job than many works of history in undermining these myths and portraying popular attitudes toward fairies and magic in the early 19th century.

When many people think of fairies, they imagine Tinker Bell and little winged creatures, but cutesy fairies were a Victorian invention, and Clarke preserves the ambiguities of early fairy lore. Magic, too, was understood by many of its practitioners as a practical craft, similar to how Clarke depicts it.

All that is to say, this novel explores fascinating themes and is also a cracking good read.

By Susanna Clarke,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of…

Artemis Fowl

By Eoin Colfer,

Book cover of Artemis Fowl

Thomas B. Cavanagh Author Of Head Games

From the list on non-mystery youth that are really mysteries.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning mystery author of several private detective novels. All of my recommendations have an especially sentimental appeal since they were favorites of my son when he was younger. As we read them together, my mystery novelist sensibility couldn’t help but notice the classic crime story elements in all of these books. Dressed up as middle-grade fantasies, each of these novels uses the structures, tropes, and conventions of the mystery genre to propel its plot forward.

Thomas' book list on non-mystery youth that are really mysteries

Why did Thomas love this book?

Yes, it’s about elves, centaurs, and gnomes. But it is also very much a mystery. Part police procedural with Capt. Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police, part ransom caper, and part ticking bomb suspense, Artemis Fowl mixes all of these classic crime components with fantasy, scatological humor, and unexpected twists to create a story both original and familiar. Another much-loved selection from the Cavanagh library.

By Eoin Colfer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now an original movie on Disney+!

Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous--and extremely high-tech--fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family's fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies' powers. Is he about to trigger a cross-species war?

Disney's “Artemis Fowl” is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonzo Anozie, with Josh Gad, and Judi Dench.

An Encyclopedia of Fairies

By Katharine M. Briggs,

Book cover of An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies and Other Supernatural Creatures

Hal Johnson Author Of Apprentice Academy: Sorcerers: The Unofficial Guide to the Magical Arts

From the list on magic not to let your parents catch you reading.

Who am I?

The only thing I love reading more than books about myth and legend are books you’re not supposed to read. George Bataille once wrote that if you ever caught him producing a book that he risked nothing to write, you should throw it away, and I take that to heart. Every book should be dangerous, because only danger makes you think. I hope every book I’ve written is, in some sense, dangerous, although of course I also hope my readers do not get ripped to pieces by the devil. That’s a little too dangerous. 

Hal's book list on magic not to let your parents catch you reading

Why did Hal love this book?

Katharine Briggs spent her whole life learning every single thing about every fairy, goblin, bogie, and sprite, and she put it all in one book.

Now, fairies are famous for their dislike of being talked about—cautious people refer to them as “the fair folk” or “the people of peace” so as not to offend. But Briggs put it right in the title! An Encyclopedia of Fairies! That was a very dangerous thing to do.

If your parents know anything about anything, they will object to your reading a book so dangerous. Still, you’ve got to learn these things sometime, don’t you?

By Katharine M. Briggs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A complete guide to fairy lore from the Middle Ages to the present. Both an anthology of fairy tales and a reference work with essays about the fairy economy, food, sports, powers and more.

Book cover of The Wanderings of Oisin: And Other Poems

Cassia Hall Author Of Songs of Love & Longing: Poem & Songs from the Seasons Cycle

From the list on romantic fantasy poetry to make you swoon and sigh.

Who am I?

I grew up loving the works of Shakespeare and the Romantic poets. Now I write romantic fantasy with a lyrical, fairy-tale vibe. The Seasons Cycle is a spin-off series from my main Lake Traveler saga. My poetry includes Poems of Myth & Magick, and Songs of Love & Longing. I compose songs and background music for key scenes in my stories. My music has been described as GoT meets LoTR with a lyrical twist and a musical theatre vibe. You can check out my songs and instrumental pieces on my youtube channel and my music website.

Cassia's book list on romantic fantasy poetry to make you swoon and sigh

Why did Cassia love this book?

Yeats is one of my favourite poets, and while you may not associate him with fantasy, he did write some extraordinarily beautiful poems that are retellings of Irish folk tales and legends. Teeming with faeries, immortals, and other fey creatures, these are poems in the tradition of the great Romantic poets such as Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Tennyson. The titular poem is only one of many beautiful fantasy poems in this collection.

Prison Fae

By Drake Mason, Marisa Mills,

Book cover of Prison Fae: Supernatural Penitentiary

Fiona Faith Ross Author Of Far Out

From the list on keeping people you love close.

Who am I?

I write about aloneness and individuals, what it takes to connect to family and community, and how to hang on to the people we hold dear. This means I think a lot about points of view and personal perception. We often wonder: Have I got this right? Did they get my meaning? Does everybody feel this? And more often than not, everybody does. These interpretations are both personal and universal at the same time. We all fear loss; we all have to be brave to hold onto people we love and principles we value.

Fiona's book list on keeping people you love close

Why did Fiona love this book?

I've just discovered Fae Urban Fantasy and I'm absolutely hooked. I love this world and this writing partnership sparkles like endless glitter showers of fairy dust. I connected with student Noelle like a sister, and – you guessed it – by a quirk of fate, she finds herself in the land of the fae, and they are Bad People. Well, they're not all bad, but they can be every bit as mean and spiteful as mortals, even though they look pretty. I've read both books and I believe there's a third one coming out. Again, it's about being brave, confronting your problems, and holding on to people you love. I can't wait to see how the story turns out. 

By Drake Mason, Marisa Mills,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abducted by a cruel Fae. Condemned to fight, or die.
"My heart is still racing...an adrenaline filled gem."
"Purchased this book on the off chance and so glad I did."

All college student Noelle Fidelis wants is a chance to be normal. To blend in at a party, without the crippling social anxieties that come from a history of abuse and insecurity. Instead, a chance encounter with a dark-alley creep turns into a terrifying prison sentence, after she's abducted by a royal Fae and condemned to fight against other supernatural inmates in a battle for survival. Her only allies are…

The Folk of the Air

By Holly Black,

Book cover of The Folk of the Air

Nafiza Azad Author Of Road of the Lost

From the list on about the fae.

Who am I?

Many kids love fairy tales and so did I but I was always puzzled by the lack of fairies in these tales. The idea of a separate world containing these beautiful but flawed creatures enthralled me from an early age. I read everything about them so that I could get my hands on, whether the book was fiction or nonfiction. When doing my Master's in Children’s Literature, I studied fae tales that appear around the world which evoked a thirst in me to write my own…so I did. All the books on this list give a glimpse of the chaotic nature of the fae, of the world that surely exists beyond our comprehension. I hope they are as much a treat for your imagination as they were mine.

Nafiza's book list on about the fae

Why did Nafiza love this book?

Holly Black is a master of the fae tale. Much has been said about this trilogy already but I assure you, the praise is well-deserved. Each book has a tight and dynamic plot, prose that fairly flies off the page, and a conclusion that is very satisfying. The first book was almost deceptive in the way it presented a not-very-strong protagonist until she evolves and becomes so much more than the reader thinks her to be. It’s the best kind of fictional surprise.

By Holly Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover Holly Black's epic bestselling The Folk of the Air series in this complete e-book collection which includes: The Cruel Prince, The Lost Sisters, The Wicked King, and The Queen of Nothing.

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her…

Book cover of Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales

Kay Freeman Author Of The Devil You Know: Gothic Romance Suspense

From the list on gothic with obsessed characters.

Who am I?

I’ve always had an interest in art, growing up a military brat and constantly moving, left me time to doodle and read. I spent the first part of my life as an art professor and artist. I began writing three years ago when my manuscript was chosen for RWA’s Ramp program in 2021. With my art, my interest leans more towards the bizarre and unexplained. I believe the romance stories I write follow suit, dark and gothic romance my primary interest, but always with spiritual and hopeful undertones. I also write some non-fiction for a local magazine where I live, The Greenville Stroll and on substack a newsletter for romance writers.

Kay's book list on gothic with obsessed characters

Why did Kay love this book?

This is what fairy tales would look like if they were gothic, so I love this book.

I read it a few years ago and fell in love with it. I purchased the print copy because I wanted the illustrations in front of me to look at too. Almost any story you read comes from a myth or a fairy tale if you deconstruct it, so reading this book keeps your brain tuned into this idea, but you don't need to be a writer to find delight in this book.

The cover of this book is quite lovely, too!

By Angela Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once upon a time fairy tales weren't meant just for children, and neither is Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales. This stunning collection contains lyrical tales, bloody tales and hilariously funny and ripely bawdy stories from countries all around the world- from the Arctic to Asia - and no dippy princesses or soppy fairies. Instead, we have pretty maids and old crones; crafty women and bad girls; enchantresses and midwives; rascal aunts and odd sisters.

This fabulous celebration of strong minds, low cunning, black arts and dirty tricks could only have been collected by the unique and much-missed Angela Carter.…

Book cover of Scottish Folk Tales for Children

Allison Galbraith Author Of Funny Folk Tales for Children

From the list on world folktales for reading to everyone over six.

Who am I?

I'm a storyteller and folktale collector. All my jobs have involved telling stories – as a community librarian, in theatre, in education, and since 2006 as a professional storyteller and writer. I work in schools, festivals, and outdoor education with all sorts of people and their animals. I have honed my skills to find the most enjoyable traditional tales that can be shared widely. I live in Scotland, where I encourage families to read and tell their favourite stories together. Storytelling is a living art form that belongs to everyone. More than anything, I love the natural world, and I bring the magnificence of nature into all my work.

Allison's book list on world folktales for reading to everyone over six

Why did Allison love this book?

This is a timeless volume of classic Scottish folktales. Judy Paterson has wisely chosen a diverse and enthralling selection of folk stories from Scotland.

Her writing style is superb for children aged 7 plus. She blends her literary skills with an intimate knowledge of Children's literacy needs. They are sensitively chosen stories, nothing overtly scary, but some are supernatural enough for bed covers to be pulled up if needed.

Children will adore the beautiful pictures and the carefully crafted attention to detail within each tale. I particularly loved her tender descriptions of horses. I recommend this book to anyone (children and adults) who want to enjoy Scottish folklore and folktales.

Read this book, and you will be initiated into the Celtic world of myths, giants, kelpies, fairies, and supernatural creatures.

By Judy Paterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scottish Folk Tales for Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A giant sea monster ... trees that can dance ... a water-horse ... a girl so clever she outwits a giant ... Welcome to the world of the Scottish folk tale - a world of talking animals, mischief-making witches, giants, trolls, bold girls, reckless boys and, of course, the Wee Folk. These stories - specially chosen to be enjoyed by 7 to 11-year-old readers - burst with adventure and glitter with magic. As old as the mountains and the glens, these well- loved tales are retold by storyteller Judy Paterson.

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