100 books like The Sword, the Ring and the Parchment

By Ed Dunlop,

Here are 100 books that The Sword, the Ring and the Parchment fans have personally recommended if you like The Sword, the Ring and the Parchment. 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 On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

C.S. Johnson Author Of Slumbering

From my list on book series for growing kids into lifelong readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and a mom, and a former teacher, and someone who constantly has to pay attention to the world we live in today, I feel especially compelled to find a good balance for parents to help their kids love reading without compromising their childhood innocence. As adults, we know we live in a broken world. But telling kids about these things without giving them a reason to hope for a better future or without giving them a good role model is more detrimental than helpful. It dooms them to nihilism and cynicism, and only a mature mind is able to successfully break free from that mind trap. 

C.S.'s book list on book series for growing kids into lifelong readers

C.S. Johnson Why did C.S. love this book?

The Wingfeather Saga is a great in-between series for fans of Narnia and Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings (I did read The Hobbit to my kids but they didn’t always get why things were funny or scary, and I think with the later Harry Potter books especially, it would be more in my interest to start those when my children are over 10 so they can grow up along with Harry in the series). 

The Wingfeather Saga starts off a little darker, with a family dealing with the past and the secrets. Two boys, Janner, Tink, and their sister, Leeli, are all gifted objects, and they set out to find answers; in the process, they are captured and their mother and grandfather step up to help them. Part fantasy, with a historical feel to it, the book centers on unraveling a mystery while facing down fearful creatures…

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

After living for years under the occupation by the evil Fangs of Dang, the Igiby children find a map rumoured to lead to the lost Jewels of Anniera - the one thing the Fangs will do anything to find. The family is thrown headlong into a perilous adventure, uncovering truths about who they are that will change their world forever.

Repackaged with new illustrations, this is the opportunity to discover the Wingfeathers.


Book cover of Once I Knew

Hosanna Emily Author Of The Torch Keepers

From my list on non-magical fantasy for truth seekers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I roamed the forests and imagined I was on epic adventures to change the world with a sword, live epically, and be part of a Kingdom. I dove into stories like that, stories that whetted my appetite to see Truth discovered and the world’s eyes opened to the beauty and purpose one has when following that Truth. As I followed Jesus and fell in love with Him, He guided me to create those stories, and I love writing beautiful words in novels, poems, and children’s books. I hope you become a dreamer again and believe there’s a Kingdom that’s calling.

Hosanna's book list on non-magical fantasy for truth seekers

Hosanna Emily Why did Hosanna love this book?

Once I Knew is a stirring and adventurous story of a peasant girl who courageously rescues an enemy soldier only to have her entire life torn apart. The fantasy world is interwoven with danger, and I enjoyed the exciting read that shone with hope applicable to our own world today. It addresses hard issues for mature readers and doesn’t shy away from diving into truth and showing that because of that truth, life has a huge and beautiful purpose and hope.

By Victoria Lynn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chronicles of Elira Book #1

Violet lives her quiet life in her sleepy village, trying to remain as dead to the politics that are threatening their world as possible. She follows the rules, stays out of trouble and does her best to remain out of sight from the dreaded and overbearing Kingsmen.

With the new regent on the throne till the prince comes of age, the country has been thrown into a turmoil. Unlike the kindly king before him, the new ruler is overbearing, frightening and tyrannical in his rule. Taxes are bleeding the people dry and without the money…


Book cover of Kingdom's Dawn

Hosanna Emily Author Of The Torch Keepers

From my list on non-magical fantasy for truth seekers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I roamed the forests and imagined I was on epic adventures to change the world with a sword, live epically, and be part of a Kingdom. I dove into stories like that, stories that whetted my appetite to see Truth discovered and the world’s eyes opened to the beauty and purpose one has when following that Truth. As I followed Jesus and fell in love with Him, He guided me to create those stories, and I love writing beautiful words in novels, poems, and children’s books. I hope you become a dreamer again and believe there’s a Kingdom that’s calling.

Hosanna's book list on non-magical fantasy for truth seekers

Hosanna Emily Why did Hosanna love this book?

Kingdom’s Dawn is a favorite book from my pre-teen/teenage years! Not only do you fall in love with the unique, heroic characters, but the adventures are riveting, drawing on the child-like tugging in your heart to do something big and live for a kingdom. The swords and adventures, tales of courage and heroism, all point to a deep truth that encouraged me as a young reader and still today.

By Chuck Black,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kingdom's Dawn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A Riveting Medieval Parallel to the Bible

Good and evil clash. Leinad and Cedric are determined to not only survive, but claim hope and victory! In Kingdom’s Dawn, Leinad and Tess, along with all the king’s people, must escape slavery by the powerful Lord Fairos. Kingdom’s Hope finds them free and arriving in the Chessington Valley. But when they forget the king, will Kergon and the Kessons capture them for good? After many years, Kingdom’s Edge finds Cedric living a hopeless life until a stranger appears with powerful words of a new kingdom and a grand army. Finally, Kingdom’s Reign…


Book cover of The Bark of the Bog Owl

Hosanna Emily Author Of The Torch Keepers

From my list on non-magical fantasy for truth seekers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I roamed the forests and imagined I was on epic adventures to change the world with a sword, live epically, and be part of a Kingdom. I dove into stories like that, stories that whetted my appetite to see Truth discovered and the world’s eyes opened to the beauty and purpose one has when following that Truth. As I followed Jesus and fell in love with Him, He guided me to create those stories, and I love writing beautiful words in novels, poems, and children’s books. I hope you become a dreamer again and believe there’s a Kingdom that’s calling.

Hosanna's book list on non-magical fantasy for truth seekers

Hosanna Emily Why did Hosanna love this book?

The Bark of the Bog Owl satisfied my urging desire for adventure and a mission for a higher calling as a pre-teen reader! The fast-paced escapades were so realistic I wanted to search my own forest home for mystical creatures to befriend and go on adventures with. As I dreamed of belonging to a greater kingdom, this book was a taste of that fulfillment. Even as an adult reader, I go back to this series to re-realize that life is a purposeful adventure with God, and the truth within has stuck with me over the years.

By Jonathan Rogers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bark of the Bog Owl 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?

Courage and a heart for adventure drive twelve-year-old shepherd boy Aidan Errolson. When the bark of the bog owl echoes from the forest across his father’s well-tended pastures, Aidan dreams of wild places still untamed and quests not yet pursued.

Aidan’s life changes forever on the day Bayard the Truthspeaker arrives at Longleaf with an astonishing pronouncement: it is Aidan’s destiny to be the Wilderking, who will ascend to the throne from Corenwald’s wildest places. Only the Wilderking can balance his people’s civilizing impulses with the wildness that gives Corenwald its vitality. But not just yet. Many trials and adventures…


Book cover of The Singer: A Classic Retelling of Cosmic Conflict

Rick Hocker Author Of Four in the Garden: A Spiritual Allegory About Trust

From my list on fantasy that has a spiritual theme.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an artist, I have always had an active imagination which is fueled by great imagery found in fantasy and sci-fi books and movies. When this is coupled with spiritual themes, the experience becomes transcendent for me. Given my passion for spirituality and my desire to know God more deeply, I write books with characters that ask hard spiritual questions and who ponder their place in the universe. I also write inspirational articles that challenge people to rethink their suppositions about God. Currently, I am a game programmer who is working on my second novel, a mystery thriller, in my free time.

Rick's book list on fantasy that has a spiritual theme

Rick Hocker Why did Rick love this book?

This book is an allegory of the Gospel story. I devoured the entire trilogy in college as I was hungry to learn anything about God during that time. The writing is poetic and rich, and the symbolism of a troubadour who sings the ancient Star-Song is well-crafted. It’s a fresh retelling of the Gospel story that has spiritual depth in its pages.

By Calvin Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over 400,000 Copies in Print "In the beginning was the song of love." In this timeless classic, Calvin Miller retells the story of Jesus through an allegorical poem about a Singer whose song could not be silenced. Since it was first published in 1975, The Singer has left an indelible impression on Christian literature and offered believers and seekers the world over a deeply personal encounter with the gospel. With a new foreword by IVP Publisher Jeffrey Crosby and an updated interior design, The Singer is now available as part of the IVP Signature Collection, which features special editions of…


Book cover of The Childhood of Jesus

Peter Gadol Author Of The Stranger Game

From my list on invented places that haunt us into thinking about the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As much as I enjoy traveling to real places in fiction, I find that authors who ask me to inhabit a world of their own making make me think more deeply, and these are also the novels I dream about when I’m not actually reading them, the pages I cannot wait to return to when I can pick up the book again. By exiting the world we inhabit, and occupying a world very much like our own, I end up reflecting more thoughtfully about the contemporary moment, and in a way, feel more connected. I tried to create such a world in The Stranger Game, and this is something I hope to do again in a future novel.

Peter's book list on invented places that haunt us into thinking about the world

Peter Gadol Why did Peter love this book?

In conjuring a nation's refugees and writing in his typically austere style, the South African Nobelist JM Coetzee asks us to reflect on our current world with all of its harsh and maddening disparities. In three novels, Coetzee tells a fable-like story of one charismatic boy who can never be understood, never followed, never appreciated fully for his wisdom. Coetzee’s distillation of everyday suffering is haunting, yet ultimately cathartic.

By J. M. Coetzee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Waiting for the Barbarians, The Life & Times of Michael K and Disgrace.

Nobel laureate and two-time Booker Prize winner J. M. Coetzee returns with a haunting and surprising novel about childhood and destiny that is sure to rank with his classic novels.

Separated from his mother as a passenger on a boat bound for a new land, David is a boy who is quite literally adrift. The piece of paper explaining his situation is lost, but a fellow passenger, Simon, vows to look after the boy. When the boat docks, David and Simon…


Book cover of Hinds' Feet on High Places

Rick Hocker Author Of Four in the Garden: A Spiritual Allegory About Trust

From my list on fantasy that has a spiritual theme.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an artist, I have always had an active imagination which is fueled by great imagery found in fantasy and sci-fi books and movies. When this is coupled with spiritual themes, the experience becomes transcendent for me. Given my passion for spirituality and my desire to know God more deeply, I write books with characters that ask hard spiritual questions and who ponder their place in the universe. I also write inspirational articles that challenge people to rethink their suppositions about God. Currently, I am a game programmer who is working on my second novel, a mystery thriller, in my free time.

Rick's book list on fantasy that has a spiritual theme

Rick Hocker Why did Rick love this book?

This book is an allegory that shows life as full of struggles and doubts as we make our way to our spiritual destination. I fully related to the main character, Much-Afraid, and her insecurities. This book helped me to focus less on my fears and more on trusting a loving God who wants to help me to overcome my insecurities and fears.

By Hannah Hurnard,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hinds' Feet on High Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With over 2 million copies sold, Hinds’ Feet on High Places remains Hannah Hurnard’s best known and most beloved book: a timeless allegory dramatizing the yearning of God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. In this moving tale, follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey as she overcomes many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and is transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd. Included in this special edition (February 2009 release) is Hannah Hurnard’s own account of the circumstances that led her to write…


Book cover of Hunter of Demons

J.L. Gribble Author Of Steel Victory

From my list on blending fantasy and alternate history.

Why am I passionate about this?

With a graduate degree in Writing Popular Fiction (seriously, someone gave me a degree for writing an urban fantasy book), I know that genres are nothing more than marketing terms that tell bookstores which shelves to put the books on. As an author, combining genres and subverting their topes allows me to stretch their potential and tell fresh stories that might not find an easy home on a single shelf, so it’s also important for me to read and support those making the same attempts. Stories that adhere to strict reader expectations will always find a home, but I’ve always had way more fun exploring the other possibilities.

J.L.'s book list on blending fantasy and alternate history

J.L. Gribble Why did J.L. love this book?

If a happy medium between those two extremes exists, you can find it in the series kicked off by this novella. If the government doesn’t demand complete control over magic, you can bet they’re still going to dedicate an agency to it. The stigma in this world against the “paranormally-abled” becomes an allegory for stigma against other minority populations, used to good effect in terms of world-building and character development. The stuffy government agent and the civilian getting caught up in a case together are another well-worn trope, but Hawk excels in breaking stereotypes through the small touches, which is important for intricate storytelling in shorter forms.

By Jordan L. Hawk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The SPECTR series is paranormal romance with bite, for readers who’re looking for something a little extraordinary." - The Novel Approach Reviews

What happens when an exorcist falls in love with a demon he's sworn to destroy?

Caleb Jansen’s life is going from bad to worse. First he’s possessed by an opinionated vampire spirit who drinks the blood of demons, then pursued by a fundamentalist group who want him dead.

His only hope is hotshot federal exorcist John Starkweather…the last man Caleb should be falling for, and the only one he wants in his bed.


Book cover of Orphan's Song

Stefanie Lozinski Author Of Magnify

From my list on Christian fantasy if you like The Lord of the Rings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have longed to move to the Shire ever since I first saw the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring. I wasn’t aware at first of Tolkien’s deep Catholic faith, but once it was pointed out to me, I was amazed at how he managed to weave Christian virtue into everything he wrote. As a long-time writer myself, I realized that I wanted to tell stories about the big stuff—love and hope, good and evil, doubt and courage—in a way that was genuine and unflinching. I think that all of the authors on this list have pulled off just that.

Stefanie's book list on Christian fantasy if you like The Lord of the Rings

Stefanie Lozinski Why did Stefanie love this book?

Orphan’s Song is a lot more of a subtle allegory than some of the books on this list, but that is not a criticism! The author has such a gorgeous writing style, and her world really draws you in. It’s the kind of place you want to visit, but it doesn’t bog down the story. The music theme is also very well done, and there’s a hint of mystery that keeps you turning pages. If you like griffons, this is the book for you.

By Gillian Bronte Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Orphan's Song 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?

Her solo is a death sentence.

Deep within the world of Leira flows a melody that was sung at the beginning of time by Emhran, the Master Singer. Now it is broken, buried, forgotten. But in each generation, a Songkeeper arises to uphold the memory of the Song against those who want it silenced forever.

When Birdie first hears the Song coming from her own mouth, her world shatters. She is no longer simply an orphan but the last of a hunted people. Forced to flee for her life, she must decide whom to trust—a traveling peddler, a streetwise thief,…


Book cover of The Lemming Condition

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Author Of The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore

From my list on children’s books about freedom.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former children’s librarian who writes books for children and young adults. I love history, especially black history. We didn’t get much in school when I was a child, so I’ve been catching up on some of what I missed. I am particularly drawn to under-told stories about people who deserve more recognition for their contributions. I’m proud that some of those people are members of my own family.

Vaunda's book list on children’s books about freedom

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Why did Vaunda love this book?

The time is nearing for the lemming community to take the great leap—to run to the cliffs and keep going, plunging into the water below. Why? Because that’s what lemmings do. In his brilliant allegory, Alan Arkin explores what happens when one young lemming asks, “Can lemmings swim?” What happens when one suddenly realizes he’s uncomfortable with following the crowd and has the courage to say, This isn’t right and I don’t want any part of it. Arkin’s book has always been a source of hope for me, hope and belief in the power of the individual resisting what sometimes feels like society run amok.

By Alan Arkin, Joan Sandin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lemming Condition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

The wonderful story of Bubber the Lemming that teaches everyone something about conformity and individual values


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