67 books like The Sword of Shannara

By Terry Brooks,

Here are 67 books that The Sword of Shannara fans have personally recommended if you like The Sword of Shannara. 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 A Wizard of Earthsea

Timothy Moriarty Author Of Drowntown Girl

From my list on mind-blowing sci-fi-fantasy-alternate-world trilogies.

Who am I?

In the summer of 1999, the second book in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series (The Chamber of Secrets) was published. It seemed that everyone was reading it–kids, young adults and grownups. More than that though, kids were getting excited about reading, maybe for the first time. Parents were reading it with their kids. The excitement they shared was inspiring. I thought Rowling had achieved something remarkable–something worthwhile–for a writer of fiction. It compelled me to change the story I was working ona rather violent, edgy taleinto a book for young adults. 

Timothy's book list on mind-blowing sci-fi-fantasy-alternate-world trilogies

Timothy Moriarty Why did Timothy love this book?

Dragon riders! Heroic quests! A flawed hero! Schools of magic!

The Earthsea trilogy has to be considered, alongside Lord of the Rings, as a template-setter for all the fantasy epics that have followed. What I loved about it, instantly, was the contrast in style to Tolkien’s book. Tolkien’s writing is ornate, his story epic. Leguin’s books, however, are short and lean with prose like a polished gem.

It inspired the style I aspire to in my own writing: slim, elegant prose, not a wasted word. And characters with flaws. In this first book, we follow Ged, a new student at a school of wizardry. In a rash action born of ego and power-greed, Ged unleashes a dark spirit, then must undo the wrong he’s done.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

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

With illustrations from Charles Vess

'[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking' Neil Gaiman

'Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it' David Mitchell

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge,…


Book cover of The Hobbit

Paige E. Ewing Author Of Precise Oaths

From my list on sci-fi that blow raspberries at hero stereotypes.

Who am I?

I’m a woman in a technology field dominated by men, a person with both mental and physical problems, and I’ve studied a dozen different martial arts. I’m a mean shot with a bow and love to hurl axes and spears. None of these things are contradictory. They’re just different aspects of me. Real people don’t fit in boxes and neither should good characters. My world is filled with my Hispanic grandkids, my bi daughter, my gay foster brother, my friends and family and people I love that don’t fit the Captain Awesome stereotype. Remember that we, too, can be heroes.

Paige's book list on sci-fi that blow raspberries at hero stereotypes

Paige E. Ewing Why did Paige love this book?

I know I made a big jump from a modern sci-fi series to classic fantasy, but when I was a skinny, anemic 10-year-old kid, Bilbo Baggins, a hero who was three feet tall and liked good food, was the first time I genuinely identified with a fantasy hero. 

Heroes are always these big, strong, aggressive men. I love Marvel movies, so I think of Steve Rogers, Captain America. Bilbo Baggins broke that mold so far it shattered in a million pieces. Some people forget that even Captain America started out as a small guy with poor hearing and some major health problems.

As someone who was a small person with health issues, I never forgot. Compassion, determination, and courage make a hero, and even little guys can have that.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

40 authors picked The Hobbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…


Book cover of Eragon

Melanie K. Moschella Author Of Iron-Bound Flames

From my list on bingeable book series for escapist readers.

Who am I?

I have always been an escapist reader. From fantasy to historical fiction, my favorite books have transported me from my life—providing me with the adventure and romance that I crave. I’m a lover of series, specifically, because they offer a longer, more immersive experience. As a writer, I hope to offer my readers the same respite from reality that my favorite series have offered me, and I’m publishing my completed five-book series, The Raek Riders series all at once in an effort to do just that. They will be available March 19th, 2024, ready for escapist readers to binge from start to finish. 

Melanie's book list on bingeable book series for escapist readers

Melanie K. Moschella Why did Melanie love this book?

I first read The Inheritance Cycle in middle school. It was my introduction to high fantasy, and I relished joining Eragon on his adventures into a world of dragons, elves, and dwarves.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I listened to the audiobooks with my husband. This is a series that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages and was worth repeating. I especially recommend the audiobook for the voice of the dragon, Saphira, and the pronunciation of the dwarfish and elvish languages.

It was this series that inspired me to escape into the dragon-riding daydream that became my first series as an author. 

By Christopher Paolini,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Eragon 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 first book in The Inheritance Series

When poor farm boy Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it's a lucky discovery. Perhaps, he will be able to buy his family food for the winter.

But, when a baby dragon hatches out of the stone, Eragon realises he's stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

His simple life is shattered, and he's thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. To navigate this dark terrain, and survive his cruel king's evil ways, he must take up the mantle of the…


Book cover of The Eye of the World

Cleave Bourbon Author Of Red Mage Ascending

From my list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers.

Who am I?

I first got fascinated with fantasy as a very reluctant high school reader. I didn’t like to read all that much because I was a slow reader and it was a laborious task for me. A high school friend offered me a fantasy book to read sophomore year and I couldn’t put it down. That one book started me on a reading journey that has never stopped. I also studied English, became a teacher, and finally began writing my own fantasy. These books took a reluctant reader in high school to the man and author I am today. I hope my own work does the same for future writers.

Cleave's book list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers

Cleave Bourbon Why did Cleave love this book?

After many years of avoiding large, thick fantasy books and series due to being a slower reader, I realized if I wanted to continue to read the best fantasy, I would have to break down and pick one up.

At the recommendation of a friend in the early 90s, I bought Eye of the World. I had a hard time getting into it at first, because I was intimidated. Then something happened in the book and I couldn’t put it down after that. I was amazed it read like a smaller book and I was amazed I finished in about the same amount of time as a smaller book.

Either I was becoming a faster reader (I was because I had been reading and that helps a lot) or I was so into the story I didn’t notice the time. Either way, I realized I did not have to be…

By Robert Jordan,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Eye of the World 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 Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the Two Rivers seeking their master's enemy, Moiraine persuades Rand al'Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light .

Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel…


Book cover of The Riddle-Master of Hed

P. H. Solomon Author Of The Bow of Destiny

From my list on fantasy series from the past to read or re-read.

Who am I?

I'm a life-long reader of fantasy who cut his reading teeth on Tolkien's The Hobbit in grade school. I credit Tolkien for making me truly literate as my vocabulary grew rapidly. As a sixth-grader, I labored through The Lord of the Rings with its big words while often sitting on a warm furnace vent on cold nights. I read Riddle-Master in wonder sitting at a cheery fire some years later. Now, my writing requires I read new books of fantasy, but I always look back to older works that broke ground with marvelous stories when such books were considered pulp fiction. Enjoy these recommendations when you can!

P. H.'s book list on fantasy series from the past to read or re-read

P. H. Solomon Why did P. H. love this book?

First published in 1976, The Riddle-Master series is still a very good story and high on my list of re-reads. Written with lyric quality, the magic and the world are mysterious, making the journey through the books a wondrous adventure. I re-read this series every few years and always enjoy the storytelling by the author.

By Patricia A. McKillip,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a land where wizards have long since vanished, Morgon, Prince of Hed, is confronted with a challenge much different from that faced by his land-bound predecessors. Although he wants only to rule and work the land of his birth, Morgon must search out a very different destiny - one dictated since birth by the mark of three stars imprinted on his forehead.

He must wander strange, foreign lands full of untamed magic in the form of riddling wraiths, mysterious harpists, a lost crown, a magical sword and an all-knowing High One who rules over all. In his quest for…


Book cover of The Dragonriders of Pern

Heather Ashle Author Of An Heir of Realms

From my list on adult fantasy that won’t make you grow up too much.

Who am I?

My favorite fantasy novels tend to be rather complex. Winding plotlines, mysteriously interconnected characters, whimsical settings, and intricate, thoughtful worldbuilding combine to create immersive stories that stick in the mind like overworn folklore. Time travel or interworld travel lend additional layers of intrigue and mystery, forcing the inescapable contemplation of a more thrilling, alternate reality. And if it’s all packaged in artful, breathtaking prose that breeds full-color images, audible noises, indelible flavors, nose-crumpling odors, and tangible textures, I will happily lose myself in the pages, truly forgetting about the strictures of everyday life… at least until I get hungry and remember I need to consume more than books to survive.

Heather's book list on adult fantasy that won’t make you grow up too much

Heather Ashle Why did Heather love this book?

I cut my young-adult teeth on the Dragonriders of Pern, and it contributed in large part to my fascination with dragons and subsequent dream of writing about them. McCaffrey’s dragonriders enjoyed such a long-enduring culture that many ancient, efficient ways of surviving were long forgotten to them. But now, while engaged in an unending battle against the thread—small, worm-like creatures invading their planet to prey on its biological matter—the dragonriders learn how severely they have been disadvantaged by the careless lapses in their cultural recordkeeping. This complexly interwoven and expansive cast of characters (which necessitates a glossary) unfolds the mysteries of dragons, dragonriders, and thread in surprising and creatively tangled ways.

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Together in one volume—the first three books in the world’s most beloved science-fiction series!

DRAGONFLIGHT

On a beautiful world called Pern, an ancient way of life is about to come under attack. Lessa is an outcast survivor—her parents murdered, her birthright stolen—a strong young woman who has never stopped dreaming of revenge. But when an ancient threat reemerges, Lessa will rise—upon the back of a great dragon with whom she shares a telepathic bond more intimate than any human connection. Together, dragon and rider will fly, and Pern will be changed forever.

DRAGONQUEST

Since Lessa…


Book cover of At Home in Mitford

D.V. Stone Author Of Kisa: Shield-Mates of Dar

From my list on with a war between humans and shifters.

Who am I?

My passion for books began at a very early age. My mom will tell you I never played with toys but toddled around, always with a book in my hand. From the Little Golden books of childhood, I grew into children's literature like Heidi and Black Beauty. Then came the horse books. Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Misty of Chincoteague was a particular favorite. Animal books have always been one of my go-to genres. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot started me on a series that I still return to from time to time. J. R. R. Tolkien is one of my inspirations as a fantasy author, along with C. S. Lewis.

D.V.'s book list on with a war between humans and shifters

D.V. Stone Why did D.V. love this book?

This book is a bit different from my other recommendations. It’s not a fantasy. What it is is a series of books to make you laugh, cry, think, and most of all, want to go live in the imaginary town of Mitford, North Carolina. This is a small town where the phrase “Mitford takes care of its own” is sometimes hard but always rewarding. Reverend Tim Cavanough is a flawed man with a heart of gold who is in the mid to later stage in life and takes care of his flock of often eccentric, lovable townsfolk with a heart of love. I was with a friend one time walking through a little town in West Virginia, and we had both finished Ms. Karon’s books. The town and its folks reminded us of Mitford with its quaint charm. 

By Jan Karon,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked At Home in Mitford as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel in #1 New York Times bestselling author Jan Karon's beloved series set in America's favorite small town: Mitford.

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's…


Book cover of Conan

Charles Carfagno Jr. Author Of A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

From my list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem.

Who am I?

I am an international award-winning fantasy author, who’s been writing since 2003. My love of Dungeon and Dragons and Martial Arts have influenced my writing and created a world full of wonder. I have an extensive background in both Western (Sword fighting) and Eastern Martial Arts, and I use that knowledge to create so many memorable fight scenes throughout the series.

Charles' book list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem

Charles Carfagno Jr. Why did Charles love this book?

There are many reasons why I love the character Conan. He is big, strong, and fearless in the face of danger. He battles monsters of epic proportions and evil beings to satisfy his own bloodthirsty tale of revenge. That plus the action kept me on the edge of my seat. 

By Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague De Camp, Lin Carter , Frank Frazetta (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Seven of the most exciting and fantastic adventures ever created! The unforgettable tales of the mighty Conan.


Book cover of Llana of Gathol

Charles Carfagno Jr. Author Of A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

From my list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem.

Who am I?

I am an international award-winning fantasy author, who’s been writing since 2003. My love of Dungeon and Dragons and Martial Arts have influenced my writing and created a world full of wonder. I have an extensive background in both Western (Sword fighting) and Eastern Martial Arts, and I use that knowledge to create so many memorable fight scenes throughout the series.

Charles' book list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem

Charles Carfagno Jr. Why did Charles love this book?

Llana of Gathol is book 10 of the John Cater series and in my opinion, the best. Published in 1948, the story is about an earthling named, John Carter. The reason why I liked this book is because John Carter can transform his mind into another body on Mars. That in itself is a pretty cool concept and the reason why I was drawn to it in the first place. The action is fast-paced as Carter gets captured by the inhabitants of Horz, one of the supposedly “dead” cities of Mars. He is sentenced to death along with his captor Pan Dan Chee for bringing Carter into Horz. They are sent down to the pits under the city where they discover the remnants of a maritime race which had existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, suspended in animation unaware of the changes that happened to the world. 

Book cover of Magic Kingdom for Sale

Cleave Bourbon Author Of Red Mage Ascending

From my list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers.

Who am I?

I first got fascinated with fantasy as a very reluctant high school reader. I didn’t like to read all that much because I was a slow reader and it was a laborious task for me. A high school friend offered me a fantasy book to read sophomore year and I couldn’t put it down. That one book started me on a reading journey that has never stopped. I also studied English, became a teacher, and finally began writing my own fantasy. These books took a reluctant reader in high school to the man and author I am today. I hope my own work does the same for future writers.

Cleave's book list on fantasy that inspire reluctant readers

Cleave Bourbon Why did Cleave love this book?

As a reader, I was on the slow side. I tended to analyze the text too much, I think.

By the time I came across the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, I still shied away from the giant fantasy tomes because I was intimidated that they were too long, and it would take me too long to get through them. I looked for smaller fantasy books and I came across Terry Brooks. I was intrigued by his Sword of Shanara series, but I settled on the Magic Kingdom of Landover instead.

These books are about a lawyer who buys a magic kingdom and is ported away to the kingdom to have an adventure. Talk about wishing you could go to another realm! In this series, the protagonist literary travels to another realm. After I completed this series, I was becoming more confident in my reading, and I was just about…

By Terry Brooks,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Magic Kingdom for Sale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here in his first non-Shannara novel, Terry Brooks has written a gripping story of mystery, magic, and adventure—sure to delight fantasy readers everywhere.

Landover was a genuine magic kingdom, with fairy folk and wizardry, just as the advertisement has promised. But after he purchased it, Ben Holiday learned that there were a few details the ad had failed to mention.

The kingdom was in ruin. The Barons refused to recognize a king, and the peasants were without hope. A dragon was laying waste the countryside, while an evil witch plotted to destroy everything.

Ben's only followers were the incompetent Court…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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