93 books like The Reluctant Sorcerer

By Simon Hawke,

Here are 93 books that The Reluctant Sorcerer fans have personally recommended if you like The Reluctant Sorcerer. 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 Neverwhere

David B. Coe Author Of The Chalice War: Stone

From my list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing fantasy professionally for more than twenty-five years, and have published novels of epic fantasy, contemporary urban fantasy, supernatural thriller, and (as D.B. Jackson) historical fantasy. I have devoted my professional life to the genre because I love writing about magic and the people who wield it. I believe fantasy novels should thrill and intrigue, but also touch our emotions, and carry us through narratives with beautiful writing. That is what I try to do with my books, and that is what draws me to the novels I have listed here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

David's book list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'

David B. Coe Why did David love this book?

Chances are many of you have heard of this one, or at least of its author.

Neverwhere is not Gaiman’s best-known or best-selling book. Not by a long shot on either score. But it is my personal favorite, in part because it is less flashy than his other books, while managing to be just as exciting and suspenseful.

Like all of Gaiman’s work, it is at once humorous and dark, fanciful and brutally believable. Our hero, Richard Mayhew, is hapless but ultimately lovable. Our villains, a pair of killers named Croup and Vandemar, are terrifying.

And the characters we discover in the world below the streets of London, are charming and worth fighting for.

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE EXTRAORDINARY FIRST NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF STORYTELLING

'Prose that dances and dazzles . . . Gaiman describes the indescribable' SUSANNA CLARKE

'It's virtually impossible to read more than ten words by Neil Gaiman and not wish he would tell you the rest of the story' OBSERVER

'Much too clever to be caught in the net of a single interpretation' PHILIP PULLMAN

ACCLAIMED BBC RADIO 4 DRAMATISATION WITH ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDING JAMES MCAVOY, NATALIE DORMER, DAVID HAREWOOD, SOPHIE OKONEDO AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

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'I love doors. Anything that leads to possibilities' NEIL GAIMAN

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Under the streets of London…


Book cover of Snow Crash

Wagner James Au Author Of Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For

From my list on understanding virtual worlds and internet culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since childhood, I’ve been dazzled by the idea of virtual worlds described by pixels, first in ancient computer games, and then in novels that gave the rudimentary graphics of decades past a vivid new life—from the hallucinatory realities in Philip K. Dick’s novels to William Gibson’s Neuromancer to most of all, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. As a young writer, I stepped sideways into a dream assignment: Helping make the Metaverse real. After writing about it for two decades, however, I’m still learning about it now.

Wagner's book list on understanding virtual worlds and internet culture

Wagner James Au Why did Wagner love this book?

The OG Metaverse novel is still as smart, hilarious, rollicking, and inspirational as it was 30 years ago.

I’m amazed at how many technologists talking about the concept have not read it and realized how influential and prophetic it actually is, envisioning scenes of virtual life that have since become commonplace for millions of Internet denizens.

Often pigeonholed as a standard dystopian sci-fi tale, Snow Crash is too sly, satirical, and kinetic to fit that category. And reading it will clarify why so many people in tech have yearned to build something like the Metaverse for decades, even referencing it during development discussions—including me! 

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Snow Crash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The “brilliantly realized” (The New York Times Book Review) breakthrough novel from visionary author Neal Stephenson, a modern classic that predicted the metaverse and inspired generations of Silicon Valley innovators

Hiro lives in a Los Angeles where franchises line the freeway as far as the eye can see. The only relief from the sea of logos is within the autonomous city-states, where law-abiding citizens don’t dare leave their mansions.

Hiro delivers pizza to the mansions for a living, defending his pies from marauders when necessary with a matched set of samurai swords. His home is a shared 20 X 30…


Book cover of Nine Princes in Amber

Katrina Archer Author Of The Tree of Souls

From my list on characters who don’t trust themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved characters with ambiguous morals, and the inherent tension they bring to stories: their path from ruin to redemption, the examination of their past misdeeds that requires them to choose what kind of person they want to be. As a former software engineer, I was traumatized by the Polytechnique massacre in Montréal, which happened while I was studying at a neighboring university, and in which fourteen women were murdered. I don’t consider its perpetrator redeemable, but after I wrote The Tree of Souls, I realized its character arcs were me trying to understand why people do bad things and forcing my characters to confront the pain they’d caused.

Katrina's book list on characters who don’t trust themselves

Katrina Archer Why did Katrina love this book?

This is the book that launched my Zelazny obsession as a teen. Carl Corey wakes up after a car crash with amnesia (sense a theme here?), which he hides from those close to him, some of whom insist on calling him Corwin. He gradually discovers he’s an immortal with a strong claim to the throne of Amber, the one true world at the center of infinite shadow worlds, including our Earth. As Corwin’s memories return, he realizes he was a cruel and arrogant man, and some of his numerous siblings have good reason to hate him. Here the amnesia trope truly allows a character to examine their past through a less biased lens. Top-rate fantasy set against a war for succession to the keys to the universe.

By Roger Zelazny,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Nine Princes in Amber as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honored with numerous prizes—including six Hugo and three Nebula Awards—over the course of his legendary career. Among his more than fifty books, arguably Zelazny’s most popular literary creations were his extraordinary Amber novels.

Now officially licensed by the Zelazny estate, the first book in this legendary series is now finally available electronically.

Carl Corey wakes up in a secluded New York hospital with amnesia. He escapes and investigates, discovering the truth, piece by piece: he is really Prince Corwin, of Amber, the one true world…


Book cover of Mister Monday

Jackary Salem Author Of Where the Lightning Goes

From my list on overlooked YA fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been told I live under a rock. I don’t know much about popular media, I can’t name any actors, and when I catch onto a trend, it’s usually five to six years after said trend has died out. People alert me of my lack of knowledge like it’s a bad thing, but I think if they could see all the books they’re missing out on, they’d feel otherwise. There are hundreds of thousands of fantastic stories that are neither glamorous nor gritty enough to make it to the forefront of the internet, and every time I find one, it changes my life. Living under a rock: 10/10 would recommend.

Jackary's book list on overlooked YA fantasy

Jackary Salem Why did Jackary love this book?

The Keys to the Kingdom is another oft-overlooked series, which I recommend to anyone I can.

I’ve yet to meet anyone else who’s read it. This is the series that made me fall in love with magic systems and worldbuilding. I’ve always enjoyed fantasy more than other genres—something about magic existing in the grass and little monsters hiding behind the trees just made sense to me—but it wasn’t until reading this series that I realized a fantasy world can be more than just a setting.

Magic and the way the world functions can be characters in and of themselves. Whenever I need inspiration for building an intricate, interactive world, I reread this series.  

By Garth Nix,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mister Monday 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?

This is a great time to reprint the spellbinding start to The Keys to the Kingdom!

Best-selling author Garth Nix creates a magical world and an intriguing mystery in this new blockbuster series.Seven days. Seven keys. Seven virtues. Seven sins. One mysterious house is the doorway to a very mysterious world -- where one boy is about to venture and unlock a number of fantastical secrets. This is another thrilling, triumphantly imaginative series from Garth Nix, the best-selling author of THE SEVENTH TOWER, SABRIEL, and LIRAEL.

Book cover of Blood and Bone

L.M. Dalgleish Author Of Fractured Hearts

From my list on sexy rockstars that make your heart skip a beat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always adored romance books—there’s nothing like the thrill of meeting characters that you know you’re going to fall in love with just as much as they’re going to fall in love with each other. I didn’t start out intending to write about rock stars. But when I was sitting down in front of that first blank screen looking for inspiration, it was a rock star that took shape in my mind. There is something so inherently appealing about the artistic, tortured souls of musicians. Relationships in the spotlight come with very special challenges, and I love exploring how characters navigate these while still developing passionate, soul-deep emotional bonds.

L.M.'s book list on sexy rockstars that make your heart skip a beat

L.M. Dalgleish Why did L.M. love this book?

Paula Dombrowiak writes non-traditional rock star romances that will absolutely touch your heart. This is the first book in her Blood & Bone series and tells the story of middle-aged rock star Jack, who is being interviewed by Erin about the rise and fall of his nineties grunge band, including his tumultuous relationship with his former bandmate and collaborator, Mia. Paula paints a vividly realistic picture of the nineties grunge scene, skillfully mixing past and present to tell Jack’s heartbreaking story. This book is a beautifully written and emotional look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the rock star life. 

By Paula Dombrowiak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A steamy, exciting, and emotional rock star romance with a bit of a slow burn, a love triangle and a '90s grunge aesthetic.

Two Days, One Interview, Twenty-Five Years of Rock 'N Roll. Telling his story might just repair past relationships and ignite new ones.

Jack O’Donnell is a middle-aged rock star with a long history of bad decisions. When unimaginable circumstances bring Jack and journalist Erin Langford, together, the two embark on a journey through Jack’s past where he recounts the rise and fall of his band and the profound bond he shared with his former bandmate and collaborator.…


Book cover of House of Hollow

Natalie Lund Author Of The Wolves Are Watching

From my list on YA to give you chills.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small town full of ghosts. They broke plates in a doctor’s office-turned-restaurant, feuded in a house built by twins, emerged from cornfields to stand in our headlights, and turned headstones blue in a cemetery where tombstones protruded from the ground like jagged teeth. The stories that surrounded me while I was a teen still bleed into my writing. And as reader, I gravitate toward books that are atmospheric, rich in moments of magic or the unreal, and riddled with stories of the past and long-forgotten.

Natalie's book list on YA to give you chills

Natalie Lund Why did Natalie love this book?

As one of four sisters, I appreciate a good sister story because there’s always something going on under the surface. House of Hollow is no different. There’s the complicated dynamic of the three sisters—the model and fashion designer, the grunge musician, and the loner high school student—revealed when the eldest goes missing and the two younger sisters search for her. And then there’s the twist of something otherworldly—the fact that the girls disappeared for a month as children, reappearing with black eyes, white hair, mysterious scars, and the ability to entrance others with their scent and touch. I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

By Krystal Sutherland,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked House of Hollow 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?

'A gorgeous, grisly modern fairy tale.'
- THE GUARDIAN

'Dark and delicious. House of Hollow hums with malice and mystery. I devoured it whole.'
- KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE

** SHORTLISTED FOR THE YA BOOK PRIZE 2022 **

The Hollow sisters - Vivi, Grey and Iris - are as seductively glamorous as they are mysterious. They have black eyes and hair as white as milk. The Hollow sisters don't have friends - they don't need them. They move through the corridors like sharks, the other little fish parting around them, whispering behind their backs.

And everyone knows who the Hollow sisters…


Book cover of Girl

Mary Rowen Author Of Leaving the Beach

From my list on people fixated on music.

Why am I passionate about this?

I wrote Leaving the Beach because I was once bulimic and music-obsessed. After seeking help and recovering, I realized I wanted to write a realistic book about a bulimic woman; it was critical that I didn’t unintentionally romanticize any aspects of this insidious, potentially fatal disease.

Mary's book list on people fixated on music

Mary Rowen Why did Mary love this book?

When I first read Girl, I thought Blake Nelson was a woman. That’s how convincingly this male author writes—diary-style—in the voice of female protagonist Andrea. Andrea’s a typical high school student in the Pacific Northwest who lives and breathes music and thrift-store clothing. But through her friendship with another like-minded woman, she becomes way more involved in the Portland, Oregon grunge scene than she ever imagined she would. One thing I love about Girl is the way we experience the world exclusively through Andrea’s eyes. She sees the world as it happens, without editorializing or offering any sweeping commentaries. I found this book impossible to put down.

By Blake Nelson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Girl 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?

Meet Andrea Marr, straight-A high school student, thrift-store addict, and princess of the downtown music scene. Andrea is about to experience her first love, first time, and first step outside the comfort zone of high school, with the help of indie rock band The Color Green.

"After I saw Todd Sparrow something deep inside me began to change. It was not a big change and I didn't shave my head and I didn't really think any differently about my life or Hillside or anything like that. But one glimpse of Todd and you immediately realized how limited you were and…


Book cover of Sing Backwards and Weep

Lillah Lawson Author Of So Long, Bobby

From my list on what it was like to come of age in the 60s and 90s.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of historical fiction, I have a number of time periods that I go back to again and again. Both the 1960s (specifically, the late 1960s) and the 1990s are two of those eras that I just can’t get enough of. The parallels between these two time periods are very compelling: both were times of political upheaval and amazing music, with young people leading the charge, hoping to create a better world than the one they were disenchanted with. 

Lillah's book list on what it was like to come of age in the 60s and 90s

Lillah Lawson Why did Lillah love this book?

This non-fiction work is the definitive grunge memoir, told in stark – sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking – detail.

Lanegan is candid and honest about his own struggles as well as those of his music colleagues and friends like Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, and others, always keeping their humanity at the forefront.

A must-read for anyone interested in the grunge scene of the Seattle ‘90s. 

By Mark Lanegan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

"Mark Lanegan-primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" Nick Cave

"A stoned cold classic" Ian Rankin

"Powerfully written and brutally, frighteningly honest" Lucinda Williams

From the back of the van to the front of the bar, from the hotel room to the emergency room, onstage, backstage, and everywhere in between, Sing Backwards and Weep reveals the abrasive reality beneath one of the most romanticized decades in rock history-from a survivor who lived to tell the tale.

When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle in the mid-1980s, he was just "an arrogant, self-loathing redneck waster seeking…


Book cover of The Whole Shebang

Kyle Fleischhacker Author Of Bear Serum

From my list on graphic novels for a long, dark weekend.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer/artist inspired by a lifetime of reading graphic novels. A visual artist at heart with a BFA in Industrial Design I have worked over a decade in conceptual thinking for research and development in the manufacturing sector. I love the experimentation that breaks the boring norms of industry standards. I wanted to use my talent, experience, and passion to create a sci-fi graphic novel, Bear Serum, and break the medium norms. I wrote and drew it to satiate my own wild ideas in the sci-fi category to push the medium further.

Kyle's book list on graphic novels for a long, dark weekend

Kyle Fleischhacker Why did Kyle love this book?

Scud is a ’90s indie comic at its best and is now in one giant collection. Vending machine robots with various whacky, funny, and violent scenarios. Artist/writer Rob Shrab created a ton of awesome indie work. His passion and talent are undeniable as he creates one crazy scenario to the next. I recommend going to a local coffee shop and spending some time with the printed copy sipping a latte while listening to 90’s grunge rock.

I suggest that you read this one on a Saturday afternoon.

By Rob Schrab, Dan Harmon, Mondy Carter

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the world of Scud, bullets are cheaper than human life. Corner vending machines provide any weapon you might need. The most popular weapons are Scud disposable assassins: Robot hitmen that self-destruct when they kill their target. This volume follows Scud 1373, assigned to take out a hideous female man-eater named Jeff. While fighting the indestructible Jeff, Scud discovers his infamous warning panel in a bathroom mirror. Realizing that to kill Jeff is to kill himself, Scud blows off her arms and legs and hospitalizes her. Her life support bills will have to be paid, and Scud will have to…


Book cover of The Crock of Gold

Rhys Hughes Author Of My Rabbit's Shadow Looks Like a Hand

From my list on underrated offbeat humorous fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

The world is a strange place and life can feel very weird at times, and I have long had the suspicion that a truly imaginative and inventive comedy has more to say about reality, albeit in an exaggerated and oblique way, than much serious gloomy work. Comedy has a wider range than people often think. It doesn’t have to be sweet, light, and uplifting all the time. It can be dark, unsettling and suspenseful, or profoundly philosophical. It can be political, mystical, paradoxical. There are humorous fantasy novels and short story collections that have been sadly neglected or unjustly forgotten, and I try to recommend those books to readers whenever I can.

Rhys' book list on underrated offbeat humorous fantasy

Rhys Hughes Why did Rhys love this book?

This book is luminous. The world of everyday reality and the world of magic overlap and interact and influence each other. There are philosophers and gods, leprechauns and (once again) taking animals, and women wiser than all of them put together. The plot concerns a crime that never occurred and various types of bizarre trouble that result from it. Adventures follow adventures in a picaresque manner, not all of them necessarily connecting with any other, a free and easy approach that gives great fluidity to the whimsical narrative.

By James Stephens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Crock of Gold (1912), one of three original novels by James Stephens, is a work only a master of fiction and folklore could imagine. Taking up the major philosophical and psychological concerns of the early-twentieth century-over a decade before works by T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf, among others, would cement literary Modernism's place in history-Stephens' novel is a groundbreaking and important work.

The text centers on the Philosopher and his wife, the Thin Woman, who undergo a series of journeys and harrowing trials. Faced with danger both human and divine, the two characters are forced to weather…


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