10 books like The Heroes

By Joe Abercrombie,

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

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The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie,

Book cover of The Blade Itself

Not many writers pick a crippled torturer for a protagonist, let alone a privileged, cowardly, and selfish minor noble. Abercrombie doesn’t just start with these two, he also adds a sometimes psychopathic barbarian and a misanthropic, racist woman as his characters. Don’t even get me started on the old wizard. He’s the worst of all. Not only do these characters seem unheroic, but they also act as if they might just kill each other rather than move the plot of the novel along. Never a burden, always delightful, The Blade Itself will mesmerize you as these murderers and narcissists try to do just one thing right. Whether they do or not, I won’t say, but they definitely tell a fantastic tale.

The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior…


House of Dragons

By Jessica Cluess,

Book cover of House of Dragons

Jessica Cluess surprises not just the readers, but also each of the characters in her novel with her choices for protagonists. Every new emperor in her world is chosen from a contest amongst the eldest heirs of each of the five major houses of the land. But this time, the eldest of each family is spurned and the younger, apparently weaker child is picked to compete. House of Dragons is a lot of fun, and the story has a clever construction, for this strange choice of hero is no accident. There is a powerful reason and lesson in House of Dragons. Read it and find out why we sometimes want the second pick for the team.

House of Dragons

By Jessica Cluess,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win? Three Dark Crowns meets The Breakfast Club with DRAGONS.

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year these five outcasts will answer the…


The Pariah

By Anthony Ryan,

Book cover of The Pariah

The old story of the child who was secretly the son or daughter of royalty is a solid fantasy trope. And for good reason—it resonates. Almost all children secretly imagine they are a prince or princess, that they are special. The Pariah has none of that. Young Alwyn’s mother was a prostitute, and he never knew his father. Be certain that his dad was no one special, for this is not one of those kinds of stories. Alwyn is a thief, grubbing out an existence in the forest with a band of robbers. As far as personal virtues go, Alwyn is a liar and murderer. Anthony Ryan redeems Alwyn, though, digging into the good that exists even in those that have acted so heinously. And I may have described Alwyn uncharitably—the thief is a product of tough times, neglect, and hard realities. When he somehow ends up in service to…

The Pariah

By Anthony Ryan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance' John Gwynne

When the task is a killing, be quick and make sure of it.

Torment is an indulgence.

Save it for only the most deserving.

Born in the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the comradeship of his fellow thieves. Yet an act of betrayal sets him on a new path of blood and vengeance, which leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine…


Prince of Fools

By Mark Lawrence,

Book cover of Prince of Fools

Was there ever a less heroic leading character than Prince Jalan? Apparently a vain, selfish coward, he would not even be likable if he was not also funny and honest. Well, he is honest some of the time, in his inside voice, even while being a liar to almost everyone else. So, when Jalan gets unwillingly and unwittingly caught up with an enormous Viking to go on a quest to save the world, I had to wonder how this one was going to work out. But it turns out that Jalan may have been lying to himself more than the reader, or himself, even realized, and he may not be quite the coward that he says he is.

Prince of Fools

By Mark Lawrence,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author of THE BROKEN EMPIRE series comes a brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN'S WAR.

I'm a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play or bravery.

The Red Queen is dreaded by the kings of the Broken Empire as they dread no other.

Her grandson Jalan Kendeth - womaniser, gambler and all-out cad - is tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched…


Death of a Hero

By Richard Aldington,

Book cover of Death of a Hero

Perhaps the finest and least well-known novel to come out of the First World War. Imagist poet Richard Aldington takes his own experiences of the home and Western Fronts and turns both barrels on the sanctimony of Edwardian society and its parade of sycophants, socialites, and fools. Unusually, it is a book by a poet that resists turning war into poetry. Unafraid to use realistically coarse military language, it divided the critics at the time and has divided readers ever since. It is a howl of rage that speaks across the century, a timeless reminder that there is no romance in the needless carnage of war.

Death of a Hero

By Richard Aldington,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Death of a Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great World War I antiwar novels - honest, chilling, and brilliantly satirical

Based on the author's experiences on the Western Front, Richard Aldington's first novel, Death of a Hero, finally joins the ranks of Penguin Classics. Our hero is George Winterbourne, who enlists in the British Expeditionary Army during the Great War and gets sent to France. After a rash of casualties leads to his promotion through the ranks, he grows increasingly cynical about the war and disillusioned by the hypocrisies of British society. Aldington's writing about Britain's ignorance of the tribulations of its soldiers is among…


Ghost Fleet

By P.W. Singer, August Cole,

Book cover of Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

The book portrays a scenario in which nation-state adversaries launch a sophisticated cyberattack against the United States. Though it is science fiction, the political scenario it depicts is a realistic description of how today’s nation-states consider technology options when they are engaged in traditional war. For people interested in cybersecurity and attracted to that genre, it will be an eye-opening experience because the basic scenarios it describes are very easy to project into the near future. It is also a tale of adventure.

Ghost Fleet

By P.W. Singer, August Cole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ghost Fleet is a page-turning imagining of a war set in the not-too-distant future. Navy captains battle through a modern-day Pearl Harbour; fighter pilots duel with stealthy drones; teenage hackers fight in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilise for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on who can best blend the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future. But what makes the story even more notable is that every trend and technology in book - no matter how sci-fi it may seem - is real. The debut novel by…


Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership

By R. David Edmunds,

Book cover of Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership

Indians fought on both sides in this war, but for the British, who were tied up in the Napoleonic Wars, they played a central role in saving Canada. The preeminent Native leader was the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh, who built an Indian confederacy allied to the British and was killed in 1813 in the Battle of the Thames. Dave Edmunds does a superb job of ferreting out the details of the life of the man who was arguably North America’s greatest war chief.

Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership

By R. David Edmunds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this biography, David Edmunds examines the life of legendary Shawnee leader Tecumesh and his pivotal role in defending the Native American way of life.



Since his death as an avowed warrior at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, the details of Tecumseh's life have passed into the realm of legend, myth and drama. In this new edition, David Edmunds considers the man who acted as a diplomat - a charismatic strategist who attempted to smooth cultural divisions between tribes and collectively oppose the seizure of their land.



The titles in the Library of American Biography Series make ideal…


Dear Mrs. Bird

By A.J. Pearce,

Book cover of Dear Mrs. Bird

There is so much to enjoy in this original and charming novel! Set in London during the Blitz, Emmy is trying to remain cheerful, despite the nightly bombings and disruption of life as she once knew it. Emmy takes on a job helping Mrs. Bird, the renowned agony aunt for Woman’s Friend magazine. But if there is any hint of Unpleasantness, the letters must be cut up immediately – until Emmy decides to take matters into her own hand. Dear Mrs. Bird captures the language of the time beautifully, no doubt influenced by the 1940s magazines the author has collected. This novel is both funny and very moving, a tale of love and friendship, loss and understanding, and ultimately a book of kindness and compassion.

Dear Mrs. Bird

By A.J. Pearce,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Richard & Judy Book Club Pick and Sunday Times Bestseller

'Funny, fresh, and touching, Dear Mrs Bird is a treat of a read.' Annie Barrows, author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

'The sweetest, most uplifting, lovely book about courage, friendship, love . . . It'll be huge; it deserves to be' Marian Keyes

London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she…


The Door

By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (translator),

Book cover of The Door

It’s mid-20th century, Budapest, and the narrator, a Hungarian writer named Magda, interviews Emerence about cleaning her house. I fell in love with this book early on, when Emerence makes it clear that she, not Magda, will decide whether she’ll take the job. To this day, Emerence haunts me. She’s a peasant, illiterate, an anti-intellectual, tall, and powerfully built. And she’s a relentless gift giver, a caretaker of the sick, and a tireless worker, sweeping the snowy or leaf-stricken street for the 11 buildings on the block. The contradictions and inconsistencies pile up, which is why she continues to roam around in my brain. And there’s the lovely mystery, which only reveals itself toward the end, as to why she’s never allowed anyone into her house. 

The Door

By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This 1987 Hungarian novel in the modernist tradition combines emotionality and literary quality in the story of two women, a writer and her housekeeper.


Mayflower

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Book cover of Mayflower: Voyage, Community, War

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history, Philbrick’s book tells the extraordinary story of the first fifty-five years of the Plimoth Colony, beginning with the arduous and perilous journey of the little wooden ship Mayflower and ending in the bloody King Philip’s War, which nearly wiped out the New England colonists and the native populations as well. Philbrick's writing style is compelling and never boring. This book is full of factual information and makes an old story new.

Mayflower

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nathaniel Philbrick, bestselling author of 'In the Heart of the Sea', reveals the darker side of the Pilgrim fathers' settlement in the New World, which ultimately erupted in bloody battle some fifty years after they first landed on American soil.

Behind the quaint and pious version of the Mayflower story usually taught in American primary schools is a tumultuous and largely untold tale of violence, subterfuge and epic drama.

For amidst the friendships and co-operation that sprang up between the settlers and indigenous people, whose timely assistance on more than one occasion rescued the Pilgrims from otherwise certain death, a…


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