100 books like The Goose Girl

By Shannon Hale,

Here are 100 books that The Goose Girl fans have personally recommended if you like The Goose Girl. 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 Bear and the Nightingale

Jelena Dunato Author Of Dark Woods, Deep Water

From my list on folklore and fairy-tale inspired fantasy for dark winter nights.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an art historian, curator, and speculative fiction writer from Croatia, and I’ve always been in love with folklore, mythology, and all things ancient. In my work, I always try to blend real historical details with magic, and I adore secondary worlds that are immersive and solid enough to walk into yet different from our own.

Jelena's book list on folklore and fairy-tale inspired fantasy for dark winter nights

Jelena Dunato Why did Jelena love this book?

This is a perfect wintry read for me: a book set in the dark, snow-laden forests filled with dangerous creatures who stepped right out of the Russian folk tales.

I love the main protagonist, Vasya, a brave, stubborn girl who fights to protect her family. I found the story immersive and unputdownable, filled with darkness and enchanting beauty, and I wholeheartedly recommend it, as well as its two sequels in the Winternight Trilogy.

By Katherine Arden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

_____________________________
Beware the evil in the woods...

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods. . .

Atmospheric and enchanting,…


Book cover of The Eyes of the Dragon

Charlene Williams Author Of Unexpected Places

From my list on a supernatural twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a big believer in ghosts. I love to read about them both in fiction and in nonfiction. I think ghosts can be used to elevate a plot in so many ways, either in subtle ways via background influences or overtly by making the supernatural entity a vital character. Beyond ghosts, there are so many ways the supernatural and its various creatures/forms can add layers to a text. Not all supernatural stories have to be a horror story. I also enjoy comedic ones and ones that relay a meaningful message. It’s not the things we see that fascinate me; it’s the things we don’t see.

Charlene's book list on a supernatural twist

Charlene Williams Why did Charlene love this book?

I adored this book because it was not of the typical Stephen King variety. I did, of course, enjoy the rich kingdom that King weaves, but the very ingenious escape of one of the main characters nailed it for me.

I like it when things are not easily guessed, and I love it more when books are so creative that you remember details 30 years after you’ve read them.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Eyes of the Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the kingdom of Delain, a young prince must struggle against powerful forces to gain his rightful inheritance.


Book cover of Mistborn: The Final Empire

Liam Lombard Author Of The Calling

From my list on fantasy great world building relatable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved the intricacies and secrets our world has to offer. In pursuing knowledge, I delved deep into the ‘magic’ of science to learn about its mysteries. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experiment with the laws of our world. After much schooling and reading many fantasy books, I eventually wrote about a fantastical world where science has been tweaked just enough to make things interesting. I hope you enjoy my list of books and that they excite you as much as they have excited me. 

Liam's book list on fantasy great world building relatable characters

Liam Lombard Why did Liam love this book?

I enjoyed the clever world-building and its realistic yet fantastical elements. The magic system intertwines beautifully with the world.

I found myself feeling for the characters and wondering about their connection with the world and its magic. As I learned about the plot, I kept trying to predict the big pay-off and was still surprised when I learned the truth!

The book is full of clever twists and turns, and I loved how it kept me guessing. I still get shivers thinking about some of the fight scenes. 

By Brandon Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Mistborn 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?

Brandon Sanderson - the international phenomenon who finished the Wheel of Time sequence - introduces a fantasy trilogy which overturns the expectations of readers and goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash…


A School for Unusual Girls

By Kathleen Baldwin,

Book cover of A School for Unusual Girls

Kathleen Baldwin Author Of Sanctuary for Seers: A Stranje House Novel

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Loves God Mother to Many Wilderness Adventurer History Enthusiast

Kathleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A spy school for girls amidst Jane Austen’s high society.

Daughters of the Beau Monde who don’t fit London society’s strict mold are banished to Stranje House, where the headmistress trains these unusually gifted girls to enter the dangerous world of spies in the Napoleonic wars. #1 NYT bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this exciting historical series "completely original and totally engrossing."

A School for Unusual Girls

By Kathleen Baldwin,

What is this book about?

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure "completely original and totally engrossing."

It's 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England's dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society's constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young…


Book cover of The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

J.D. Blackrose Author Of Demon Kissed

From my list on Great romantasy books that aren’t by Sarah J. Maas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about this because I write romantasy too, and so do many other wonderful authors. Sarah J. Maas is a legend in the Romantasy genre, and she’s prolific, so there’s a lot to read with her various series. But, if you’ve finished with her books and are looking for more, there are plenty of authors out there doing amazing, spine-tingling, dare I say loin-tingling work, and we should celebrate them. Besides, no matter how prolific Ms. Maas is, readers will always finish books faster than even she can write them.

J.D.'s book list on Great romantasy books that aren’t by Sarah J. Maas

J.D. Blackrose Why did J.D. love this book?

What? You didn’t know there was a book? There is! Now, the movie is, in my humble opinion, the most perfect movie ever made, but the book came first.

I read the book ages ago and fell in love with it. More in-depth than the movie and a little different in places, it is worth the read, and if you want to follow up with a small, equally as fun read, try The Silent Gondoliers, also by Goldman.

By William Goldman,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Princess Bride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers.

This tale of true love, high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts was unforgettably depicted in the 1987 film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Fred Savage, Robin Wright, and others. But, rich in character and satire, the novel boasts even more layers of ingenious storytelling. Set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin, home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest…


Book cover of Inkheart

Jacey K. Dew Author Of Three Souls

From my list on fantasy to bring magic to familiar worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I was consistently described as one who had her head in the clouds. I was far away imagining all sorts of fantastical things; dragons soaring in the sky, a witch blasting a fireball in the grocery store, a werewolf coming to eat the gym teacher, the coffee barista is actually a vampire, etc. There is something alluring about supernatural beings existing in our often mundane world; whether they are being subjected to the same life we are or are wreaking havoc for any reason.

Jacey's book list on fantasy to bring magic to familiar worlds

Jacey K. Dew Why did Jacey love this book?

A book about books.

Who hasn’t imagined the books they read coming to life in their living room or being able to dive into the fictional world? A father and daughter have a magical ability to do just that.

Unfortunately, the villain of one story was released and this sets them off on an adventure typically only available in books.

Meggie and Mo are an endearing father/daughter team while they navigate the consequences and reaches of their magic.

By Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Inkheart 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?

The first book in Cornelia Funke's internationally celebrated
trilogy - magical, thrilling and mesmerising.

'I
don't think I've ever read anything that conveys so well the
joys, terrors and pitfalls of reading' Diana Wynne Jones

Meggie
loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder,
although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously
disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger
knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces
Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret - a storytelling secret that
will change their lives for ever.

Also a major film starring…


Book cover of Tehanu

Adina Rishe Gewirtz Author Of Blue Window

From my list on literary fantasies for young adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a daydreamer – I spent a lot of my childhood imagining the different places I could go if I just crawled through some magical crack in the universe or discovered a hidden tunnel under my bedroom floor. So fantasy has been at the top of my reading list forever. Fantasy does what all great books do, just more explicitly – they take you somewhere new, and by leaving this world behind, they give you a fresh perspective on everything that’s old and familiar. My favorite fantasies take big ideas and play them out in language rich enough to make me love that new and alien place with a passion. 

Adina's book list on literary fantasies for young adults

Adina Rishe Gewirtz Why did Adina love this book?

Ursula K. LeGuin was the first writer who taught me that words can transport you not just into other worlds, but into other people. In this book, she continues the story of Tenar, the escaped priestess of the Wizard of Earthsea series, as she adopts and cares for a brutalized child. Of all the Earthsea books, this one is my favorite for the way in which LeGuin takes the seemingly mundane details of Tenar’s life as she struggles to protect Tehanu and turns them into something deeper and more profound than even the magic her companion Ged wielded as the great wizard leader in the earlier books in the series. 

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tehanu 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 fourth book of Earthsea in a beautiful hardback edition. Complete the collection with A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan and The Furthest Shore.

With illustrations from Charles Vess

In this fourth novel in the Earthsea series, we rejoin the young priestess the Tenar and powerful wizard Ged. Years before, they had helped each other at a time of darkness and danger. Together, they shared an adventure like no other. Tenar has since embraced the simple pleasures of an ordinary life, while Ged mourns the powers lost to him through no choice of his own.
Now the two…


Book cover of The Great Good Thing

Adina Rishe Gewirtz Author Of Blue Window

From my list on literary fantasies for young adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a daydreamer – I spent a lot of my childhood imagining the different places I could go if I just crawled through some magical crack in the universe or discovered a hidden tunnel under my bedroom floor. So fantasy has been at the top of my reading list forever. Fantasy does what all great books do, just more explicitly – they take you somewhere new, and by leaving this world behind, they give you a fresh perspective on everything that’s old and familiar. My favorite fantasies take big ideas and play them out in language rich enough to make me love that new and alien place with a passion. 

Adina's book list on literary fantasies for young adults

Adina Rishe Gewirtz Why did Adina love this book?

“Slyvie had an amazing life, but she didn’t get to live it very often . . .” There are several fantasies about fictional characters breaking out of their books, but Roderick Townley’s is my favorite because it’s the most surprising. I loved this book because of the way it expresses the beauty and joy of reading and because of its exploration of what it means to break out of the outlines that other people draw for you and discover in yourself something completely new. 

By Roderick Townley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Good Thing 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?

Open the book and let Princess Sylvie enter your world and dreams in this imaginative, intriguing and touching fantasy for children. Sylvie is eternally twelve years old and has been a princess for more than 80 years, ever since the novel she lives in was first published. But she longs to break free of the never-ending adventure. It's not that she doesn't like her story - she does - it's great - she's the heroine and it's full of excitement. But the trouble is that it's always exciting in the same way, and although Sylvie loves her storybook friends and…


Book cover of The Scorpio Races

Joy Jarrett Author Of Curse of the Orkney Sea

From my list on islands as a setting.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I received an electronic typewriter as a gift and immediately got to work on a story about a family living on an island. Even at ten, I recognized the power of islands, with their built-in problems of isolation and rich possibilities for metaphors. So it only made sense I’d one day publish a book set on one. If you’re like me and can’t resist books with island settings, you’ll love these book recommendations. Each island in this collection has its own personality that becomes a character of its own, and none of these books could exist in the same way without their unique settings. 

Joy's book list on islands as a setting

Joy Jarrett Why did Joy love this book?

I loved this YA because it contains many of my favorite things: an evocative island setting, strong characters, high stakes, some romance, and animals.

The Celtic-inspired island of Thisby felt so incredibly real to me, as did the dangerous water horses the men raced every fall. I loved how brave the female protagonist, Puck, is to want to enter this race with her ordinary pony, Dove. Sean, an island boy, has his own sympathetic reasons for entering the race.

I’m always drawn to books with impossible problems. Neither Puck nor Sean can afford to lose, even as a romance develops between them. I also really like a YA book that touches on sibling relationships. This book stayed with me for a long time.

By Maggie Stiefvater,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Scorpio Races 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?

A spellbinding novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

Some race to win. Others race to survive.It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio…


Book cover of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Erica Bauermeister Author Of No Two Persons

From my list on (re)immersing you in the magic of books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been book-besotted my entire life. I've read, studied, taught, reviewed, and written books. I went to “gradual” school, as John Irving calls it, earning a PhD in literature before gradually realizing that what I really loved was writing. For me, books contain the intellectual challenge of puzzles, the fun of entertainment, the ability to fill souls. They have changed my life, and the best compliments I have received are from readers who say my books have changed theirs. I read widely and indiscriminately (as this list shows) because I believe that good books are found in all genres. But a book about books? What a glorious meta-adventure. 

Erica's book list on (re)immersing you in the magic of books

Erica Bauermeister Why did Erica love this book?

Magical doors that appear out of nowhere, a fantastical book that may not be fiction, some truly sketchy villains, a quest, and an intrepid heroine.

The author had me at fantastical book, but what I love about this novel is the world and character building, that feeling of opening the cover and being somewhere that has nothing to do with ordinary life.

And yet, there is mystery. And romance. A lost father. A daring daughter. You’ll want to race through it, but slow down at the same time, just to savor the ride.

By Alix E. Harrow,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Ten Thousand Doors of January as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers, and the doors they lead us through...absolutely enchanting."—Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice and Lost Boys

LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER! Finalist for the 2020 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. 

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely…


Book cover of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Kayla E. Green Author Of Aivan: The One Truth

From my list on clean fantasy books featuring animal companions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my childhood, my mother repeated the mantra, “Love your own, leave others alone.” Her purpose was to prevent me and my siblings from begging to keep every animal we saw. Arguably, the phrase had some impact because we obviously didn’t bring home every animal. (But we also adopted a opossum from the backyard and named him Mr. Jenkins, so you be the judge.) For as long as I can remember, I have loved finding fantasy adventure books that feature the animals I love so much as trusted companions. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I do!

Kayla's book list on clean fantasy books featuring animal companions

Kayla E. Green Why did Kayla love this book?

Creating a book recommendation list of clean fantasy books with animal companions and not including The Girl Who Drank the Moon is like going ice skating without skates—I just can’t do it!

Though written for a middle grade audience, this fantasy novel is one all ages can enjoy. It is clean and the narrative focuses on found family, goodness in life despite bad things happening, and hope—there’s so much beautiful hope in this book. But wait; there’s more! The cast of lovable characters includes Fyrian, a Perfectly Tiny Dragon (who believes he is a Simply Enormous Dragon).

Every Luna needs a Fyrian. And every witch. Oh, I can’t forget about swamp monsters—it seems everyone needs a Fyrian!

By Kelly Barnhill,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Girl Who Drank the Moon 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?

THE NO 1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER

'This beautifully written, darkly funny coming-of-age story will enchant and entertain' Daily Mail

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is in fact a good witch who shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest,…


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