91 books like The Way of Kings

By Brandon Sanderson,

Here are 91 books that The Way of Kings fans have personally recommended if you like The Way of Kings. 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 The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Lynne Malcolm Author Of All In The Mind: Fascinating, inspiring and transformative stories from the forefront of brain science

From my list on psychology of the human experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a science journalist and broadcaster with a degree in Psychology and a deep passion and fascination for people, their behavior, and the workings of the human mind.  For nine years, I produced and presented the popular Australian ABC radio program and podcast, All in the Mind, in which I explored a range of topics, including neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, cognitive science, mental health, and human behavior. I’ve received numerous media awards and contributed to media award judging panels. All in the Mind - fascinating, inspiring, and transformative stories from the forefront of brain science is my first book. I continue to write and communicate about the topics I am inspired by. 

Lynne's book list on psychology of the human experience

Lynne Malcolm Why did Lynne love this book?

I found this book inspiring because it takes a different perspective on treating trauma, which is the basis of so many mental health problems. The author draws on his decades of experience treating people who are haunted by their stressful experiences. I love his clear explanation that when people are deeply traumatized by war, disaster, or abuse, their reality is distinctly different from those around them, and it’s like they live on another planet.

He uses stories and case studies to explain his view that the most powerful way to treat psychological trauma is not through the mind but through the body. I love his compassionate stories about how he has successfully helped children and adults heal, not through triggering talk therapy but by using play, yoga, and other physical therapies. His approach may be unconventional, but I admire his dedication and passion for healing deep trauma. 

By Bessel Van Der Kolk,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Body Keeps the Score as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestseller

"Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society." -Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der…


Book cover of A Game of Thrones

JD McKelvin Author Of These Cruel Watchers

From my list on exploring your inner darkness.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I learned that I was able to lucid dream at will, speaking to the beings I met in these places I’d never seen before, and it always gave me a sense of interconnectedness. A thread that goes through all of us and our histories. I believe that the ancients dedicated so much of their energy and resources to preserving their stories in order to maintain this connection because it’s so important. Inside all of us is a darkness that, if left unchecked would lead us to ruin. These books all demonstrate the inner struggle we have to understand and redirect that darkness toward the light and the good. 

JD's book list on exploring your inner darkness

JD McKelvin Why did JD love this book?

I absolutely love this book because it explores one of my deepest philosophical questions: What blindspots in our subjective humanity allow for such violence and depravity when the power to engage in such things is granted to us?

As a veteran and long-time student of war, I am fascinated by the ever-fluctuating value of human life when it comes to power, wealth, and empire. 

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


Book cover of The Blade Itself

Ashton Macaulay Author Of Whiteout: A Nick Ventner Adventure

From my list on heroes you love to hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about flawed characters as a reflex. I’m more interested in exploring the journey of an alcoholic monster hunter with literal and figurative demons than a white knight. Throughout my life, I’ve seen the effects of substance abuse up close, and while difficult, it helped me find the humanity in flaws. I choose to write about those flaws with a humorous bend, because life is far too long to go through without jokes. As a result, I gravitate towards pithy antiheroes and dark comedy. To feel a character’s pain is human, to laugh in the midst of their darkest moments is divine.

Ashton's book list on heroes you love to hate

Ashton Macaulay Why did Ashton love this book?

Here is yet another book where at first it seems as though there are no heroes.

Abercrombie writes a masterful world filled with magic, politics, swordfights, and bleak attitudes. One of the main POV characters is a torturer—I mean a full-on break your toes and laugh about it torturer—but even still, I found myself wanting more of his story. He’s certainly not a hero, but he was at one point, and that’s even more intriguing.

The characters drive this fantasy series, but the world is also a gorgeous setting that Abercrombie clearly spent many long nights thinking through. Every detail feels like it matters, and throughout this trilogy, the smallest specks of plot come back to matter.

On top of it all, I loved the audiobook narrator and his particular performances for each character brought the world to life.

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

10 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…


Book cover of The Book Thief

Michele DeMarco Author Of Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit

From my list on transforming your mental and spiritual health.

Why am I passionate about this?

Officially, I’m an award-winning author and specialist in the fields of psychology, trauma, and spirituality. I’m also a professionally trained therapist, clinical ethicist, and researcher. Ultimately, I’m an ardent believer that the same life that brings us joy also (sometimes) brings us pain. More importantly, that every aspect of life has a role to play in making us who we are today and who we’ll be tomorrow. We don’t always have control over the events in life, but the script we live by is ours to write—and write it we must, as only we can. I’m also a three-time heart attack survivor.

Michele's book list on transforming your mental and spiritual health

Michele DeMarco Why did Michele love this book?

Markus Zusak’s book is definitely not for the faint of heart or those easily bored: its narrator is Death, and the book is over 500 pages long. Not really the kind of book you’d think of for those aged 12 and up (as it’s listed). But it is one that really ought to be universally read.

The book follows two young children battling for survival in Nazi Germany. Entropy hangs in the air like Death’s shadow. Life’s harsh realities—like evil, heartache, pain, and mortality—are ever-present. In Max's (the young boy) dreams, he is boxing with Hitler and lands a punch, knocking the Fuhrer down, but soon he’s overtaken by the crowd.

This is one of the reasons I appreciate this book: winners sometimes lose; bad things happen to good people. And yet, the response to this existential injustice isn’t to become a mere survivor, victim, or martyr. It’s to…

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Book Thief 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?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph
___

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT…


Book cover of Beartown

Uri Gatt Author Of Winds of Strife

From my list on morally grey characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in the Middle East, I’ve met all kinds of moral ambiguity. There’s a lot to say about it. How both sides think they’re right, how the ends justify the means and all that. Then there are the consequences. Even the winners often lose things. So I’ve set out to write about grey characters! About people who do bad things for the greater good, and how their life turns up after. And if you like the trope as much as I do, check the recs!

Uri's book list on morally grey characters

Uri Gatt Why did Uri love this book?

If you want a break from fantasy and sci-fi, and you love a book with morally grey characters, then this is it.

Beartown is a town that survives on hockey. The kids play it, the grown-ups work in anything related, and just like in sports, both sides consider themselves the good side in every action they take.

We follow the manager of the hockey club as he must make impossible decisions, then the players, each making their own mistakes. We see villains grow from a place that we can understand, and we see good people making bad calls because no one can be perfect all the time.

And most importantly, we see how sometimes, no choice is the right choice. Especially for the victim.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FROM THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ANXIOUS PEOPLE AND A MAN CALLED OVE, FREDRIK BACKMAN

**NOW A MAJOR HBO TV SERIES**

'I utterly believed in the residents of Beartown and felt ripped apart by the events in the book' JOJO MOYES

'I couldn't put it down. Heart-rending and engrossing' 5***** Reader Review
_________

In a large Swedish forest, Beartown hides a dark secret . . .

Cut-off from everywhere else, it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart.

And each year, more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest.

Then the town is offered…


Book cover of City of Bones

Stephanie Duley Author Of A Bond of Fate

From my list on slump busters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello, my name is Stephanie Duley and my passion lies in fantasy. From books and movies to board games and tabletop RPGs, if it’s fantasy, I am usually a big fan. My love of reading started at a young age when my mom would take us to our local library to sign up for the summer reading programs. As an adult, I will gobble up any fantasy novel I can get my hands on. As a published author, I strive to give readers that same feeling and bring a little magic into their world, even if it is only for a few hundred pages.

Stephanie's book list on slump busters

Stephanie Duley Why did Stephanie love this book?

This was one of the first books I picked up after my reading slump in 2012, and I absolutely couldn’t put it down. The story concept was fascinating; I love it when story worlds have supernatural elements and societies hidden within the “regular world.” The characters are written very well, and you feel as though you are watching a movie while reading with the authors great attention to detail in the scenes she sets.

The world building is great and offers a unique take on the classic fantasy creatures, werewolves, vampires, and fey. You really feel that “found family” book trope in this series, and the ups and downs of book one will have you hooked. 

By Cassandra Clare,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked City of Bones 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?

Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he…


Book cover of The Hobbit

Liz Montague Author Of The Equinox Test (School for Unusual Magic #1)

From my list on Magical worlds for young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I struggled a lot with reading as a kid, I would not call myself a natural reader at all. When I was young, fantasy and magic stories were one of the few genres that could grip me enough to make me actually focus and attempt to read but I always hated the ones that took themselves too seriously (they always felt impossibly long to get through). Now, as a children’s author, myself, it’s my hope and passion to serve fellow young-readers-who-don’t-consider-themselves-readers with fun accessible stories. I hope you enjoy!

Liz's book list on Magical worlds for young readers

Liz Montague Why did Liz love this book?

A classic adventure story full of hobbits, trolls, and so much more.

It surprised me how much I enjoyed The Hobbit!

It’s underrated how funny this book is and it’s not as challenging a read as you’d think.

(I also highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Andy Serkis).

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

41 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 Ender's Game

Luke Mitchell Author Of Red Gambit

From my list on sci-fi character journeys you’ll probably never forget.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an ex-neuroengineer turned sci-fi pen monkey (turned melted heap of goo on the floor). More than anything, though, I’m a guy who simply could NOT get enough Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones as a kid, and it’s probably somewhere between those formative years and all the amazing books and movies I’ve gobbled down since that the writing bug seeped into my veins. Much as my writing has changed the way I read, this list constitutes 5 of the types of stories that made me fall so deeply in love with fiction (and good characters!) that I couldn’t help but eventually pick up the pen myself.

Luke's book list on sci-fi character journeys you’ll probably never forget

Luke Mitchell Why did Luke love this book?

It’s possible this book should’ve been #1 on the list because, let me tell you, I think about this book a lot. It’s not JUST that this was the first book I read (outside of my steady childhood diet of Star Wars) that made me say, “Wow, sci-fi can do THAT?!” It’s that the gravity of Ender’s burden (and the skill with which Orson Scott Card brings his story to life) have stuck with me so firmly since I first read it that I can’t help but come back for another reading every few years or so.

I feel like this one is a classic for darn good reason. And if you’re an audio person, I highly recommend the performance by Stefan Rudnicki and crew in the 20th anniversary edition. Great stuff.

By Orson Scott Card,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Ender's Game 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?

Orson Scott Card's science fiction classic Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut―young Ender is the Wiggin drafted…


Book cover of Six of Crows

Laura R. Samotin Author Of The Sins On Their Bones

From my list on queer family fantasy give you the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a trope-obsessed author who counts found family among her favorite Ao3 tags. I cannot get enough of books which read like fanfiction, and I’ll recommend my favorites every chance I get. I also do my part to put more queer found family books into the world—my debut adult fantasy The Sins On Their Bones is being published by Random House Canada in May 2024. When I’m not writing, I’m a full-time servant to my two enormous cats. 

Laura's book list on queer family fantasy give you the feels

Laura R. Samotin Why did Laura love this book?

No list of queer-found family fantasies would be complete without mentioning the Dregs. Leigh Bardugo’s book, set in a gritty city called Ketterdam, is the first book that made me fall in love with a found family.

If I could join any fantasy-found family, it would be this one. If you’ve ever wanted to join the ultimate heist crew, you’ve got to read Six of Crows.

By Leigh Bardugo,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Six of Crows 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?

*See the Grishaverse come to life on screen with Shadow and Bone, now a Netflix original series.*

Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017, this fantasy epic from the No. 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Grisha trilogy is gripping, sweeping and memorable - perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore.

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams - but he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk…


Book cover of She Who Rides the Storm

Gillian Grant Author Of Where the Shadows Beckon

From my list on fantasy with worlds to get lost in.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always sought to escape this world for another; one more exciting. Whether it was reading, or playing D&D, I constantly looked for new places to explore. Building my own has become one of my favorite things about writing. What starts as a simple ‘What if...’ turns into a place I find myself in daily. I’m no longer just an explorer, but a builder, and my craving for unique worlds hasn’t gone away. I’m still learning, still creating new worlds beyond my first, and always still walking new ones. I hope you love escapism as much as I do, because these books will transport you.

Gillian's book list on fantasy with worlds to get lost in

Gillian Grant Why did Gillian love this book?

This book promised me high fantasy with tomb raiding and boy, did it deliver! Sangster’s world is simply named the Commonwealth, but it is anything but simple. Twin moons, ancient lore circling around monstrous shapeshifters, a forbidden magic opposing a heavily religious relegated one, carnivorous unicorns, deadly tombs, and swords carrying the souls of those it killed, She Who Rides the Storm is chock full of detailed worldbuilding. With a beautiful cast of four amazingly well-written characters you actually grow to care about, their individual heists to get into the tomb of the shapeshifter king are loaded with high stakes and dangers. Even better? The plot twists that connect them are glorious and had my jaw on the floor. Conclusion: a humble epic waiting to be discovered.

By Caitlin Sangster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked She Who Rides the Storm 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?

In this atmospheric YA fantasy that is Wicked Saints meets There Will Come a Darkness, four teens are drawn into a high-stakes heist in the perilous tomb of an ancient shapeshifter king.

Long ago, shapeshifting monsters ruled the Commonwealth using blasphemous magic that fed on the souls of their subjects. Now, hundreds of years later, a new tomb has been uncovered, and despite the legends that disturbing a shapeshifter's final resting place will wake them once again, the Warlord is determined to dig it up.

But it isn't just the Warlord who means to brave the traps and pitfalls guarding…


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