62 books like The Merlin Trilogy

By Mary Stewart,

Here are 62 books that The Merlin Trilogy fans have personally recommended if you like The Merlin Trilogy. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

S.G. Slade Author Of Touch of a Witch

From my list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core.

Who am I?

I’m a British writer with a passion for the stories of history, both real and imagined. I have always been fascinated by tales and relics of the past, old ruins, ancient buildings, mythology, and the uncanny power of the natural world. All these things connect us to the ghosts of the past. So, I write historical fantasy novels based in the England I explored growing up, but brushed with the shadow of the supernatural, magic, witchcraft, and seductive illusion. I also write straight historical fiction under the name Samantha Grosser.

S.G.'s book list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core

S.G. Slade Why did S.G. love this book?

I read this strange and riveting novel several years ago, so I have to confess that I’ve forgotten a lot of the details.

But I have remembered with absolute clarity the richness of the prose and the well-observed wit, so reminiscent of all the Victorian novels I devoured when I was young; the imaginative scope of a world in which an empire can rise or fall on the skill of her magicians, and the all-too-familiar danger of a rivalry between two powerful and ambitious men vying for supremacy.

It is delightful, moving, and an absolute pleasure from beginning to end.

By Susanna Clarke,

Why should I read it?

21 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…


Book cover of Wildwood Dancing

H.J. Nelson Author Of The Last She

From my list on reads according to your favorite Taylor Swift song.

Who am I?

I’m a Sci-Fi and Fantasy author who loves all things young adult! I always listen to Taylor Swift when I write, because I love how her songs are full of nostalgia, romance, humanity, and a lust for adventure—just like my books. If you couldn’t make it to the Era’s tour, no fear, check out some of these books below! 

H.J.'s book list on reads according to your favorite Taylor Swift song

H.J. Nelson Why did H.J. love this book?

If your favorite song is “Love Story” try Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier.

There is something about Julier Marillier’s writing that feels ethereal and innocent and mysterious and romantic all in the same moment. Wildwood Dancing is my favorite of hers. It’s a fairytale retelling of the dancing sisters that it’s based in Romania and includes some of the local culture and customs.

I love how the realistic, unique setting blends with the fairytale story, and it really sets it apart for me from other fairytale retellings.

By Juliet Marillier,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Wildwood Dancing 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 wildwood holds many mysteries. Jena and her sisters share the biggest of all, a fantastic secret that enables them to escape the confines of their everyday life in rural Transylvania. They have kept it hidden for nine long years.

When their father falls ill and must leave their forest home over the winter, Jena and her older sister Tati are left in charge. All goes well until a tragic accident allows their overbearing cousin Cezar to take control. The appearance of a mysterious young man in a black coat divides sister from sister, and suddenly Jena finds herself fighting…


Book cover of The Crown's Game

Mary-Jean Harris Author Of Night Of The Immortals

From my list on historical fantasy with captivating natural magic.

Who am I?

As a fantasy reader and writer, I love to explore magic systems and see how a story can seamlessly be brought to life. The natural, mysterious magic we often see in fantasy creates a sense of whimsy and wonder that takes readers to new worlds. I have two degrees in theoretical physics and a minor in philosophy, something that would seem to naturally lead to science fiction, but it’s also true that understanding magic is related to science. Indeed, the physicist Albert Einstein once said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” I hope you find some new books on this list that will sweep you to another world!

Mary-Jean's book list on historical fantasy with captivating natural magic

Mary-Jean Harris Why did Mary-Jean love this book?

The Crown’s Game is a beautiful novel set in Imperial Russia, with two protagonists who possess markedly different magical abilities: Vika, whose powers are natural and arising from within herself and the land, and Nikolai, an enchanter who has learned his skills through difficult studies. It is a beautiful and enchanting read, with thoughtful prose and unforgettable characters. With a heart-wrenching love triangle and a magical contest between these two enchanters, it is a story that’s hard to put down (and fortunately, there is a sequel that is just as captivating!).

By Evelyn Skye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller The Crown's Game is a thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy about two teenagers who must compete for the right to become Russia's Imperial Enchanter-or die in the process-from debut author Evelyn Skye. Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen. Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters-the only two in Russia-and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the…


Bottled Secrets of Rosewood

By Mary Kendall,

Book cover of Bottled Secrets of Rosewood

Mary Kendall Author Of Campbell's Boy

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Storyteller Historian Walking enthusiast Yogi

Mary's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Miranda falls in love with her dream house but soon discovers it's an affair with complications. A lot of them. Rosewood is a centuries old, tumble-down, gambrel roofed charmer located in an isolated, coastal corner of Virginia referred to as "strange". Known for long-standing and antiquated customs, an almost indecipherable brogue and possible witchcraft connections, Miranda shrugs all locational concerns aside to pursue her new love.

When an archeological dig is undertaken at the property, a series of incidents commences that goes beyond just "bumps in the night". Awakened one night by the eerie glow from a ring of fire around her house, Miranda must decide. Should she leave Rosewood or stay---and potentially pay the ultimate price?

Bottled Secrets of Rosewood

By Mary Kendall,

What is this book about?

After a logics professor buys the house of her dreams, she must contend with unexplainable happenings. An ancient blue bottle appears to be at the root of the mysterious incidents, but is it?

Miranda falls in love with her dream house but soon discovers it's an affair with complications. A lot of them. Rosewood is a centuries old, tumble-down, gambrel roofed charmer located in an isolated, coastal corner of Virginia referred to as ""strange"". Known for long-standing and antiquated customs, an almost indecipherable brogue and possible witchcraft connections, Miranda shrugs all locational concerns aside to pursue her new love.

When…


Book cover of The Rose Demon: A Terrifying Tale of Medieval England

Mary-Jean Harris Author Of Night Of The Immortals

From my list on historical fantasy with captivating natural magic.

Who am I?

As a fantasy reader and writer, I love to explore magic systems and see how a story can seamlessly be brought to life. The natural, mysterious magic we often see in fantasy creates a sense of whimsy and wonder that takes readers to new worlds. I have two degrees in theoretical physics and a minor in philosophy, something that would seem to naturally lead to science fiction, but it’s also true that understanding magic is related to science. Indeed, the physicist Albert Einstein once said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” I hope you find some new books on this list that will sweep you to another world!

Mary-Jean's book list on historical fantasy with captivating natural magic

Mary-Jean Harris Why did Mary-Jean love this book?

This is a darker read than the others on my list, but it’s such an excellent book that it deserves a place here. The story follows Matthias through the trials of his life with a breathtaking plot across different cultures and times. We see a battle involved in the War of the Roses, James III's court in Edinburgh, Scotland, Isabella and Ferdinand recapturing Granada from the Moors, and even Christopher Columbus, all of whom are truly real characters we can relate to. The magic involved is that of the Rose Demon which, like natural magic, is caught in glimpses and naturally woven into the tale. Though sometimes shocking when there is demonic possession, The Rose Demon is a beautiful read that should not be passed over!

By Paul Doherty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Matthias Fitzosbert is the illegitimate son of the parish priest of the village of Sutton Courteny. Despite the recent spate of murders, each day he braves the dark woods to visit his friend, a mysterious hermit who shows him many strange and beautiful things. Though enthralled, the boy is always puzzled by his lessons with the hermit - never more so than the night the villagers hunt the hermit down, and burn him, believing him to be responsible for the many deaths.

THE ROSE DEMON explores Matthias's unique relationship with a spirit he strives to placate but ultimately flees from.…


Book cover of Uther

Allison M. Azulay Author Of The Ghost of the Highlands

From my list on historical fiction those born in the wrong century.

Who am I?

A psychic once told me I was born in the wrong century, and I can believe it. I have always been drawn to tales of the past, feeling a kinship for the men and women of whom I read―whether they are real or born of someone's imagination―and longing for a life not digitalized or controlled and one in which self-reliance and community are not at odds. Am I a romantic? You bet, and happy to be.

Allison's book list on historical fiction those born in the wrong century

Allison M. Azulay Why did Allison love this book?

Jack Whyte's Uther blew me away. Instead of the semi-mystical style I expected, given the magical associations with the Arthur legends, it wove a gritty, down-to-earth tale of Roman-influenced Britain in a time of raiders, intrigue, and warring factions. The characters came to life in my imagination as I read, and their hopes and experiences, conflicts, and loves became my own.

By Jack Whyte,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fans of Jack Whyte's richly praised Camulod Chronicles, an authentic retelling of the Arthurian legend as it actually may have happened, have enjoyed watching the story of Camelot evolve through the eyes of Merlyn - witnessing firsthand Merlyn's role in shaping the boy who would be king. But there has been a part of the story that readers have been denied. With UTHER, Jack Whyte provides a portrait of Merlyn's shadow - his boyhood companion and closet friend, the man who would sire the King of the Britons. From the trials of boyhood to the new cloak of adult responsibility,…


Book cover of Elanor and the Song of the Bard: The Once and Future Chronicles, Book 1

Brae Wyckoff Author Of The Orb of Truth

From my list on epic fantasy that are under the radar.

Who am I?

I grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons. I’m always on the hunt for not just good but great stories. One of the most profound things I have done revolving around fantasy writing was walk the same streets as the legends walked. Oxford, UK is a magical location and the place where Narnia and The Hobbits were born. I visited CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien gravesites. I visited their homes where they wrote their works. Adventure is around every corner in life. If we choose it. Here is a dwarven proverb from my book series, “May your light shine bright and blind your enemies.”

Brae's book list on epic fantasy that are under the radar

Brae Wyckoff Why did Brae love this book?

Wowzers! I’m a sucker for Merlin and King Arthur so I gobbled this one up. I was not disappointed but instead enamored by the characters and Angela’s writing style.

Fantastic storytelling that truly brings you in and doesn't let you go. The opening chapter drew me in deep and I couldn’t stop reading from there. Seeing Merlin so emotionally tortured after the fall of Arthur was an eye opener. Definitely grab this one.

By Angela R. Hughes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elanor and the Song of the Bard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Merlin…Merlin!” Elanor desperately called out, reaching to him. Like a ghost she stood across the chasm, her arms outstretched and her raven black hair blowing behind her in the wildness of the wind.

“Please, Elanor!” Merlin cried out. “Elanor!”

He couldn’t lose her this time. This time he would reach her. This time he would grip her hands and not let go. The wind tore violently between them, like an angry beast threatening to separate them…

Merlin was all Elanor could think of since her strange dreams had begun. She kept reminding herself that he was not real. He was…


Book cover of Merlin: Knowledge and Power through the Ages

Helen Fulton Author Of A Companion to Arthurian Literature

From my list on sensible stories about King Arthur.

Who am I?

I came to the Arthurian legends through the medium of medieval Welsh literature, a subject that had intrigued and challenged me since I was an undergraduate. I found the language impenetrable and yet beautiful, while the literature it encoded was fascinatingly unlike the literary traditions of England and France. I wanted to connect with a version of Arthur that preceded the romance traditions of France and England and bears witness to a much older culture and social organisation. Though I've learned to love other versions of Arthur, and indeed I teach the Arthurian legends as part of my academic work, the stark drama of the Welsh poems and tales continues to intrigue me.

Helen's book list on sensible stories about King Arthur

Helen Fulton Why did Helen love this book?

This book-length study of the magical figure of Merlin is the most authoritative account of the literary lives of Merlin, Arthur’s wizard guide, from his earliest incarnation in Welsh poetry to his reinvention in modern novels and films.

Stephen Knight, a prolific medievalist whose work is always readable and entertaining, takes Merlin’s gifts of knowledge and foresight as his theme, arguing that throughout the many versions of Merlin in literary texts, operations of power are always working to restrict and contain Merlin’s command of knowledge.

Reading this book takes you on a journey that will enrich your understanding of the Arthurian legends.

By Stephen Knight,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, has been a source of enduring fascination for centuries. In this authoritative, entertaining, and generously illustrated book, Stephen Knight traces the myth of Merlin back to its earliest roots in the early Welsh figure of Myrddin. He then follows Merlin as he is imagined and reimagined through centuries of literature and art, beginning with Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose immensely popular History of the Kings of Britain (1138) transmitted the story of Merlin to Europe at large. He covers French and German as well as Anglophone elements of the myth and brings the story up…


Book cover of Arthur Rex: A Legendary Novel

Cory O'Brien Author Of Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

From my list on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Who am I?

Cory O’Brien, author of such books as Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: a No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology, grew up reading myths and legends of all sorts, and turned that passion into a career with the advent of his extremely serious mythology website. He has always had a fondness for the Arthurian Legend in particular, ever since his father read him Howard Pyle’s King Arthur books as a child, and he realized he could use them as a moral justification for hitting other kids with big sticks.

Cory's book list on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Cory O'Brien Why did Cory love this book?

Arthur Rex tells the same story as Le Morte D’Arthur, but in a radically different way. Where Mallory idolizes the knights and nobles of Arthur’s court, Thomas Berger paints them in the most unflattering light possible. Everyone is a cretin, a sex maniac, or both, and their backwards morals are used as clever mirrors of our own modern moral failings. Arthur Rex is probably the funniest version of the Arthurian Legend that I’ve read. It’s got its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek. Even so, the ending managed to make me cry, so props to Berger for capturing the full range of emotions with this one.

By Thomas Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Reinterpreting and expanding upon the Arthurian legend, the author begins to inject his own personality into the narrative, which constitutes a salute to the Age of Chivalry


Book cover of The Crystal Cave

Tina Zee Author Of Fires of Brigantia

From my list on romantic Celtic Britain: Druids, Romans and female warriors.

Who am I?

I love British history. I am fascinated by ancient roots; legends and myths arising from around the Roman invasion. Stories of Boudicca, Casswallen, Celtic legends, and Arthurian tales hold me in a world of imaginings and anticipation. These exciting stories have been told and retold, but Cartimandua, Warrior Queen of Brigantia is new to me. She, a Yorkshire lass like me – led the largest tribe in Britain. I have become absorbed into the iron-age lives and loves of her Brigantia. The interwoven links between known facts and fantasy intrigue me. My favourite books here encouraged my journey of discovery; the old birthing the new. The legends from Britain grow.

Tina's book list on romantic Celtic Britain: Druids, Romans and female warriors

Tina Zee Why did Tina love this book?

Through the pages of this book, unfolds a tangible reality of the birth and boyhood of Merlin the magician, leading up to his central position in the legend of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

As I read, I saw how Stewart wove a story using some accepted historical facts and myths, to create something new and solid. I saw the way Stewart used mystical moments and magical spells to sit above common logic.

Her ability to write in this imaginative way makes her characters more believable. And I do believe it. I have feelings of satisfaction at the end of the book, which inspired me to write my own historical story.

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Crystal Cave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The spellbinding story of Merlin's rise to power.

Vivid, enthralling, absolutely first-class - Daily Mail

So begins the story of Merlin, born the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess in fifth century Britain, a world ravaged by war. Small and neglected, with his mother unwilling to reveal his father's identity, Merlin must disguise his intelligence - and hide his occasional ability to know things before they happen - in order to keep himself safe.

While exploring the countryside near his home, Merlin stumbles across a cave filled with books and papers and hiding a room lined with crystals. It is…


Book cover of Merlin and the Grail: The Trilogy of Arthurian Prose Romances attributed to Robert de Boron

Anne Lawrence-Mathers Author Of The True History of Merlin the Magician

From my list on Merlin and magic.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by magic and its history since I was at school. One of my first Saturday jobs was as a shelf stacker in Portsmouth Central Library, and I was delighted to discover that the library had a special collection on the occult and magic. I spent as much time dipping into the books as I did shelving them! That interest was sharpened by holiday visits to places with links to magical people and events in the past – and I am very grateful for the patience of my family. I now research and teach medieval magic at Reading University and enjoy discussing spells and instruction manuals on various types of magic.  

Anne's book list on Merlin and magic

Anne Lawrence-Mathers Why did Anne love this book?

Merlin as the Antichrist?! 

Robert de Boron was a medieval French writer of romances who made Merlin a central figure in the story of the Arthurian world and almost the inventor of the quest for the Holy Grail.

Medieval romances are a bit of a niche read, but I want to tell everyone about this version of Merlin. The Romance of Merlin actually starts in Hell, with the demons plotting to win the ongoing battle against God by bringing about the birth of Antichrist. 

The chosen demon expresses squeamishness at the idea of seducing a human woman but does his duty – and the result is Merlin! 

These stories helped make Merlin the time-travelling superhero of later romances, and the prophet who influenced Joseph of Arimathea’s decision to come to Britain with the Grail.  

By Robert de Boron, Nigel Bryant (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This trilogy establishes a provenance for the Holy Grail and, through the figure of Merlin, links Joseph of Arimathea with mythical British history and with the knightly adventures of Perceval's Grail quest.

It is hard to overstate the importance of this trilogy of prose romances in the development of the legend of the Holy Grail and in the evolution of Arthurian literature as a whole. They give a crucial new impetus to the story of the Grail by establishing a provenance for the sacred vessel - and for the Round Table itself - in the Biblical past; and through the…


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