10 books like To Reign in Hell

By Steven Brust,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like To Reign in Hell. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Norse Myths

By Kevin Crossley-Holland,

Book cover of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings

The way these stories are phrased here makes this my favourite set of retellings. Crossley-Holland’s choice of words evokes the original Norse. He uses alliteration, mainly when describing land and sea, and he is very careful to use words that come from Old English, a sister language to Old Norse, in preference to words from Latin, Greek, and post-Latin languages. There are plenty of other retellings that cover similar ground, but none with quite this joy in the energy of the original.

Norse Myths

By Kevin Crossley-Holland,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Norse Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With colour artwork by Gillian McClure, a collection of Norse myths.


Song of Kali

By Dan Simmons,

Book cover of Song of Kali

A World Fantasy Award winner and the first novel by this genre-crossing author who is probably most famous for his sci-fi epic, Hyperion, Song of Kali is a dark fantasy/horror novel about a cult that worships the Hindu goddess/demon, Kali, who is known as a goddess of death, among other things. Kali doesn’t really make much of an entrance, but Simmons weaves an intriguing tale tinged with the supernatural, centered around a mystical poet who may or may not be dead. Simmons loves integrating poetry and poets into his stories, and the suspense around this particular poet and his connection to the cult of Kali is palpable. It’s not mythology per se, but boy is it dark. It’s also pretty short, and easily could be consumed in a single reading.

Song of Kali

By Dan Simmons,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Calcutta, a monstrous city of immense slums, disease and misery, is clasped in the foetid embrace of an ancient cult. At its decaying core is the Goddess Kali: the dark mother of pain, four-armed and eternal, her song the sound of death and destruction. Robert Luczak has been hired by a New York magazine to find a noted Indian poet who has reappeared, under strange circumstances, years after he was thought dead. But nothing is simple in Calcutta, and before long Luczak's routine assignment turns into a nightmare ... it is rumoured that the poet has been brought back to…


Grendel

By John Gardner,

Book cover of Grendel

“And so begins the twelfth year of my idiotic war.” Gardner packs a lot into this slim beautiful volume about a monster’s quest for the point of it all. Grendel’s consciousness starts evolving the moment he realizes that he is a thing apart from the rollicking Danes and the Geatish hero, Beowulf. But what? He tries to discover a purpose to his otherness. (“My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it,” is the rather unhelpful advice of the all-knowing dragon.) Poignant, funny, brutal, and poetic, this was my first introduction to stories told by a monster and remains the gold standard.

Grendel

By John Gardner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This classic and much lauded retelling of Beowulf follows the monster Grendel as he learns about humans and fights the war at the center of the Anglo Saxon classic epic.

"An extraordinary achievement."—New York Times

The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic Beowulf, tells his own side of the story in this frequently banned book. This is the novel William Gass called "one of the finest of our contemporary fictions."


Towing Jehovah

By James K. Morrow,

Book cover of Towing Jehovah

I confess I'm more attracted to Morrow's themes than his actual writing, but still. Towing Jehovah is premised on God having died and his corpse needs to be towed to the Arctic for preservation. It's part of a trilogy (the second and third books are titled Blameless in Abaddon and The Eternal Footman); to be honest, I don't remember reading the other two, but I must have...  Also worth mentioning is Morrow's Bible Stories for AdultsAll irreverent. All funny in a dark way.

Towing Jehovah

By James K. Morrow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On his 50th birthday, Anthony Van Horne meets the despondent angel Raphael, who tells him that God is dead, his body in the sea; and that Van Horne must captain the supertanker that will now tow the two-mile-long divine corpse northwards through the Atlantic. By the author of "City of Truth".


Heaven

By Randy Alcorn,

Book cover of Heaven: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything the Bible Says About Our Eternal Home

The hope of any believer is found in the end, the beginning of eternal life. Randy Alcorn strips away at mythological views of Heaven by providing sound biblical evidence of what it will really be like. Interestingly, Heaven is predicted to be the newly restored earth according to the Bible, not some mystical realm. No harps, floating on clouds, mansions, or other popular misconceptions inherited through Greek culture.

Heaven comes to earth; we do not go to Heaven as commonly believed. This is the picture found at the end of Revelation with Christ coming to earth with the "place" He is preparing for us. This is described in Revelation 21:1-4 as New Jerusalem to be located on the renewed earth.

Heaven

By Randy Alcorn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over 1 Million Copies Sold!

Have you ever wondered . . . ? What is Heaven really going to be like? What will we look like? What will we do every day? Won’t Heaven get boring after a while?We all have questions about what Heaven will be like, and after twenty-five years of extensive research, Dr. Randy Alcorn has the answers.

In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it—a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ’s presence,…


The Divine Comedy

By Dante Alighieri, C.H. Sisson (translator),

Book cover of The Divine Comedy

This poem is probably the greatest single poem in world literature; sadly, it’s not written by an English poet but an Italian, which means it’s important to get a great translation! To get the feel for the poetry and for accuracy of the Inferno, I recommend J. Simon Harris’s very recent Dante Inferno for book 1 and Dorothy L. Sayers's version for the rest. Truly, this is a hero’s journey – it has everything: hell, purgatory, and heaven; not to mention sexual passion, perversion, deepest treachery, friendship, and such a love as makes the heart stop! The opening line of the poem makes it clear that this is our journey, not just Dante’s. Read this and climb to heaven yourself! As a bonus, it’s full of witty and funny moments.

The Divine Comedy

By Dante Alighieri, C.H. Sisson (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Divine Comedy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Described variously as the greatest poem of the European Middle Ages and, because of the author's evangelical purpose, the `fifth Gospel', the Divine Comedy is central to the culture of the west. The poem is a spiritual autobiography in the form of a journey - the poet travels from the dark circles of the Inferno, up the mountain of Purgatory, where Virgil, his guide leaves him to encounter Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise. Dante conceived the poem as the
new epic of Christendom, and he creates a world in which reason and faith have transformed moral and social chaos into…


Imagine Heaven

By John Burke,

Book cover of Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God's Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You

While this is a non-fiction book, it gives the reader a lot to ponder and consider about what heaven will be like. There are many near-death experiences that are collated. While the experience of each person is not the same, one finds what is overlapping is the wonder, amazement, and awe-inspiring scenes that were experienced.

Imagine Heaven

By John Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's obvious from the bookshelves and the big screen that heaven is on everyone's mind. All of us long to know what life after death will be like. Bestselling author John Burke is no exception. For decades, he has been studying accounts of people who have had near-death experiences (NDEs). While not every detail of individual NDEs correlate with Scripture, Burke shows how the common experiences shared by thousands of survivors clearly point to the God of the Bible and the exhilarating picture of heaven he promises.

Imagine Heaven is an inspirational journey through the Bible's picture of heaven, colored…


Dog Heaven

By Cynthia Rylant,

Book cover of Dog Heaven

I’ve had friends tell me that they don’t want to love another dog because they can’t bear it when the dog dies. It’s hard to lose a pet, no matter whether you are old or young. Dog Heaven allows us to imagine our old friends in an afterlife that’s fashioned just for them. God knows what dogs like—a place to run, dog treats in funny shapes, fluffy clouds as dog beds, and special homes where they are petted and reminded how good they are all day long. This hopeful picture book offers comfort as our Angel dogs “will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.” 

Dog Heaven

By Cynthia Rylant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A comforting and playful exploration of a beloved dog's journey after a happy life on Earth.

In Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant's classic bestseller, the author comforts readers young and old who have lost a dog. Recommended highly by pet lovers around the world, Dog Heaven not only comforts but also brings a tear to anyone who is devoted to a pet. From expansive fields where dogs can run and run to delicious biscuits no dog can resist, Rylant paints a warm and affectionate picture of the ideal place God would, of course, create for man's best friend. The first picture…


The Five People You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom,

Book cover of The Five People You Meet in Heaven

It intrigued me because of the storyline. I also loved the style. The idea of redemption and its religious connotations rang true. Characters were easy to equate to and the plot development was different and extremely clever. Its brevity was also appealing. It inspired me when writing my book.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Five People You Meet in Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A STUNNING 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE MASTER STORYTELLER'S INSPIRATIONAL CLASSIC

To his mind, Eddie has lived an uninspiring life. Now an old man, his job is to fix rides at a seaside amusement park.

On his eighty-third birthday, Eddie's time on earth comes to an end. When a cart falls from the fairground, he rushes to save a little girl's life and tragically dies in the attempt. When Eddie awakens, he learns that the afterlife is not a destination, but a place where your existence is explained to you by five people - some of whom you knew, others…


Proof of Heaven

By Eben Alexander,

Book cover of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey Into the Afterlife

Every once in a great while, something remarkable happens and lets us learn about life in a different dimension than what we are used to. This book is penned by an author who is a neurosurgeon and who had a near-death experience upon falling critically ill with meningitis. I love this book because of the author’s ability to use his profound knowledge gained by his own near-death experience to unravel the deepest and most insightful meaning of life and its secrets. The lessons learned from the author’s own experience of the fusion of the spiritual and scientific self is well explained. The book is also unique from a point of view of the author being vulnerable enough to reveal his personal life and how his past played a role in the experiences during the 7-day coma and recovery from it.

Proof of Heaven

By Eben Alexander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander always considered himself a man of science. His unwavering belief in evidence-based medicine fuelled a career in the top medical institutions of the world. But all this was set to change. One morning in 2008 he fell into a coma after suffering a rare form of bacterial meningitis. Scans of his brain revealed massive damage. Death was deemed the most likely outcome. As his family prepared themselves for the worst, something miraculous happened. Dr Alexander's brain went from near total inactivity to awakening. He made a full recovery but he was never the same.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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