85 books like Tress of the Emerald Sea

By Brandon Sanderson,

Here are 85 books that Tress of the Emerald Sea fans have personally recommended if you like Tress of the Emerald Sea. 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 Magic Marks the Spot

Callie C. Miller Author Of The Hunt for the Hollower

From my list on whimsical fantasy romps for middle grade and YA.

Why am I passionate about this?

After a lifetime of reading fantasy, I have a career professionally writing fantasy! Whether it’s for animation, video games, or children’s books, crafting adventures in worlds of whimsy and wonder is a treat. Writing has sharpened my senses to recognize and appreciate well-crafted stories in all their forms, and the books on this list are some of the very finest romps.

Callie's book list on whimsical fantasy romps for middle grade and YA

Callie C. Miller Why did Callie love this book?

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate, but the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates doesn’t allow girls to join them.

I know a thing or two about being the only girl in the room, so Hilary’s refusal to accept this is both relatable and aspirational. She takes rollicking adventure into her own hands as she sets sail on a journey with magic, pirates, and an endearing talking gargoyle.

By Caroline Carlson, Dave Phillips (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magic Marks the Spot 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?

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. But the Very Nearly Honourable League of Pirates rejects Hilary's application because she's a girl, and her father ships her off to Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies instead.

Expected to wear woollen dresses (petticoats not provided) and enthusiastically throw herself into activities such as Viennese Waltzing for the Eager Novice, Miss Pimm's is every bit as horrid as Hilary feared. However, a true pirate never lets dire circumstances stand in her way, and after a mostly dreadful first week, Hilary escapes and applies for a job with a freelance…


Book cover of All the Stars and Teeth

K.J. Cloutier Author Of Beyond The Horizon

From my list on young adult fantasy with pirates and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved magic and pirates. As I kid, I made up games incorporating the two. As a teenager, I wanted to read about them. But at the time, I couldn’t find anything that had both pirates and magic, so I decided to write one myself. As the years blurred past and the young adult book scene exploded, more and more books with pirates and magic have been published and of course, I try to read them all! I read them not only to study books similar to my own, but because I love them and I can’t get enough. 

K.J.'s book list on young adult fantasy with pirates and magic

K.J. Cloutier Why did K.J. love this book?

All The Stars & Teeth is everything I want in a seafaring adventure, with pirates, mermaids, sea monsters, and a world with seven unique types of magic – including blood magic.

Plus, a feisty and flawed female main character who will stop at nothing to save her kingdom. The world is lush and vibrant, the found family vibes give you all the feels, and the slow burn enemies to lovers is full of banter and tension.

Plus, it’s a duology so when you’re sad the book has ended, have no fear because the next one will be waiting for you! 

By Adalyn Grace,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked All the Stars and Teeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

“Fierce and unrelenting…Do yourself a favor and get lost in this beautiful book!” — Tomi Adeyemi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest…


Book cover of The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

J.D. Blackrose Author Of Demon Kissed

From my list on Great romantasy books that aren’t by Sarah J. Maas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about this because I write romantasy too, and so do many other wonderful authors. Sarah J. Maas is a legend in the Romantasy genre, and she’s prolific, so there’s a lot to read with her various series. But, if you’ve finished with her books and are looking for more, there are plenty of authors out there doing amazing, spine-tingling, dare I say loin-tingling work, and we should celebrate them. Besides, no matter how prolific Ms. Maas is, readers will always finish books faster than even she can write them.

J.D.'s book list on Great romantasy books that aren’t by Sarah J. Maas

J.D. Blackrose Why did J.D. love this book?

What? You didn’t know there was a book? There is! Now, the movie is, in my humble opinion, the most perfect movie ever made, but the book came first.

I read the book ages ago and fell in love with it. More in-depth than the movie and a little different in places, it is worth the read, and if you want to follow up with a small, equally as fun read, try The Silent Gondoliers, also by Goldman.

By William Goldman,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Princess Bride 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?

William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers.

This tale of true love, high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts was unforgettably depicted in the 1987 film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Fred Savage, Robin Wright, and others. But, rich in character and satire, the novel boasts even more layers of ingenious storytelling. Set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin, home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest…


Book cover of Meet The Pirates

Gwyn McNamee Author Of Squall Line

From my list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a criminal defense attorney, mom, and wife who grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and lived there for 35 years, staring out at the vast water of the “Inland Seas” aka The Great Lakes. Intrigued by pirates, the criminals of the water, and the stories of pirates roaming the lakes, when I began writing fiction, I absolutely had to write a modern pirate series set in the area where I grew up. I’ve read dozens and dozens of historical non-fiction books about pirates, watched all the classic films and shows about them, and have read pirate romances my entire life, so writing my own was the next logical step.

Gwyn's book list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies

Gwyn McNamee Why did Gwyn love this book?

This one is for all the parents out there. My five-year-old daughter absolutely adores all things pirate and we love James Davies’ book, Meet the Pirates. It gives historical information and background in a really bright and fun way that keeps kids interested in learning. My daughter was riveted when I was reading to her from this book, all about the background of the pirates, where they roamed the seas, where they settled, and about pirate ships. Even I learned a lot of interesting tidbits of information that I didn’t know. This is part of a series by James Davies that introduces kids to the Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, too. 

By James Davies,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There's so much to digest when it comes to History - how do you know where to begin? These incredible short introductions are just the thing for readers aged 6+ who are beginning to explore ancient history. Get to know the basics on Pirates from famous looters to scurvy and hygiene, with easy-to-digest, humorous text that is reminiscent of the bestselling Horrible Histories series. James Davies' stunning artwork and infographics provide a fresh nonfiction approach that is sure to captivate young readers.


Book cover of The Pirate Wars

Len Travers Author Of The Notorious Edward Low: Pursuing the Last Great Villain of Piracy's Golden Age

From my list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome).

Why am I passionate about this?

Let's face it: pirates of the Golden Age are just cool. No one would actually want to encounter them, but they have been the stuff of escapist dreams since childhood. Adventure, fellowship, treasure–the “romantic” aspects of piracy are what make these otherwise nasty individuals anti-heroes par excellence. As an adult and academic and as an occasional crewman on square riggers, I adopted pirates as a favorite sub-set of maritime history. As with other aspects of the past, I view the history of pirates and piracy as really two narratives: what the records tell us happened and why and what our persistent fascination with them reveals about us.

Len's book list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome)

Len Travers Why did Len love this book?

I taught courses on Atlantic piracy in the early-modern era and always included this lively, authoritative survey of piracy (and anti-piracy). It is a go-to volume for the newcomer to pirate history as well as for the specialist, and my students consistently praised it.

Peter Earle brings his mastery of maritime history to each page and is never boring! 

By Peter Earle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Investigating the fascination pirates hold over the popular imagination, Peter Earle takes the fable of ocean-going Robin Hoods sailing under the "banner of King Death" and contrasts it with the murderous reality of robbery, torture and death and the freedom of a short, violent life on the high seas. The book charts 250 years of piracy, from Cornwall to the Caribbean, from the 16th century to the hanging of the last pirate cptain in Boston in 1835. Along the way, we meet characters like Captain Thomas Cocklyn, chosen as commander of his ship "on account of his brutality and ignorance,"…


Book cover of Pirate Queens

Laura Sook Duncombe Author Of Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas

From my list on discover the truth about women pirates.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved pirates since my first viewing of Mary Martin’s Peter Pan at age 5. My passion for learning about these outlaws led me to discover the hidden stories of women pirates—who have always sailed alongside their male counterparts yet never get the same glory. When I learned about Cheng I Sao, the greatest pirate who ever lived (who was a woman), I was so angry that her story wasn’t more well-known that I wrote a book about it! It has been a joy and an honor to share the stories of pirate women with the world and I have fully embraced my title of “crazy pirate lady.”

Laura's book list on discover the truth about women pirates

Laura Sook Duncombe Why did Laura love this book?

This new book is a great example of how women pirates continue to captivate and inspire us. Leigh Lewis has created a truly unique hybrid of a poetry collection and historical text which is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s suitable for middle grade readers but enjoyable for all readers. I hope to see more from Leigh!

By Leigh Lewis, Sara Woolley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pirate Queens 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?

Move over Blackbeard and Captain Kidd! Did you know that the most powerful pirate who ever lived was a woman? Read all about her and more formidable females in this edgy, one-of-a-kind collection that combines poetry, fascinating facts, and pictures.

This wow-worthy book proves that women have been making their mark in all aspects of history even the high seas! Meet Ching Shih, a Chinese pirate who presided over a fleet of 80,000 men (by contrast, Blackbeard had some 300). Get the scoop on Anne Bonny who famously ran away from an arranged marriage to don trousers and brandish a…


Book cover of Tough Boris

E.B. Bartels Author Of Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter

From my list on teaching kids about pet death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m someone who has had a lot of pets in my life––dogs, fish, birds, turtles, tortoises––which means I’m also someone who has had a lot of pets in my life die, because the worst thing about pets is they don’t live as long as we do. I spent ten years writing Good Grief, but really, I’ve been researching Good Grief my whole life, ever since my first pet died. This list includes some classics I loved when I was a kid, and some newer titles that I learned about while researching Good Grief. All are wonderful and will be a balm during a hard time.  

E.B.'s book list on teaching kids about pet death

E.B. Bartels Why did E.B. love this book?

This is another great picture book about the death of a non-dog/cat pet––in this Mem Fox classic, the pirate Tough Boris loses his dear pet parrot.

This book is especially wonderful though because it shows how even the toughest of tough guys––and Tough Boris is a tough pirate––can absolutely fall to pieces when a pet dies. It’s okay to cry about an animal dying––even if you are a pirate!

The really beautiful thing about this story though is seeing how Tough Boris copes with the loss through making friends with a stowaway boy on his ship, because if I’ve learned one thing from my pets dying, it’s that you need the support and love of other people to help you through the loss.

By Mem Fox, Kathryn Brown (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tough Boris 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?

Boris von der Broch is a mean, greedy old pirate - tough as nails, through and through, like all pirates. Or is he? For when Boris'' parrot dies, the tough pirate is reduced to tears'


Book cover of Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

Wendy K. Perriman Author Of Fire on Dark Water

From my list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with pirates began as a student in Bristol (UK) – the legendary hometown of Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard. Later, I visited the Pirates of Nassau Museum in the Bahamas and was amazed to learn there had been women buccaneers too. I wanted to discover more about these daring females and find out what might have enticed them to brave a tenuous life on the account. As fate would have it, I now live in North Carolina near the Outer Banks where Blackbeard met his fate. These experiences inspired me to write a different kind of adventure story about the real pirates of the Caribbean featuring a strong, resilient, swashbuckling female.

Wendy's book list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean

Wendy K. Perriman Why did Wendy love this book?

David Cordingly’s book is useful for its accurate and lively attempt to separate pirate facts from public fiction. He sifts through childhood tales of wooden legs and parrots to highlight the harsh realities experienced by most of these violent rogues. The tortures he describes serve to remind the reader that these were desperate times full of volatile career criminals. And the women were often as dangerous as their male counterparts! While considering Anne Bonny and Mary Read, he questions “Were there other women pirates?” and “How was it possible for a woman to pass herself off as a man in the cramped and primitive conditions on board an eighteenth-century ship?” These prompts helped me to focus on the issues my own female protagonist would have to overcome during her nautical adventures. I recommend this book because it is informative, thought-provoking, and entertaining.

By David Cordingly,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Under the Black Flag as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book sets out to discover the truth behind the stereotypical image of the pirate. Examining the rich literary and cultural legacy of piratical icons from Blackbeard to Captain Hook, the author compares the legends with their historical counterparts and comes up with some surprising conclusions. In a wider overview of the piracy myth, he explores its enduring and extraordinary appeal and assesses the reality behind the romance, answering in the process questions such as: why did men become pirates; were there any women pirates; how much money did they make from their plundering and looting; what effect did their…


Book cover of A General History of the Pyrates

Len Travers Author Of The Notorious Edward Low: Pursuing the Last Great Villain of Piracy's Golden Age

From my list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome).

Why am I passionate about this?

Let's face it: pirates of the Golden Age are just cool. No one would actually want to encounter them, but they have been the stuff of escapist dreams since childhood. Adventure, fellowship, treasure–the “romantic” aspects of piracy are what make these otherwise nasty individuals anti-heroes par excellence. As an adult and academic and as an occasional crewman on square riggers, I adopted pirates as a favorite sub-set of maritime history. As with other aspects of the past, I view the history of pirates and piracy as really two narratives: what the records tell us happened and why and what our persistent fascination with them reveals about us.

Len's book list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome)

Len Travers Why did Len love this book?

So where does our modern (mis-)understanding of pirates and piracy come from? 

I learned quickly that no one serious about studying piracy can avoid engaging with this famous work (supposedly written by Daniel Defoe, but I have my doubts), first published in 1724 when his subjects were still marauding. It’s a combination of recent reports, reliable letters, dubious rumors, and outright fantasy concerning the pirate scourge.

The author, whoever he (she?) was, chronicles the careers of the age’s most famous pirates (and many from the B-list)–while adding a lot of gratuitous sex and violence. The problem is that too many writers have relied upon this book uncritically since then. Still, I find the author’s flashes of wit, sharp analysis, satire, and political commentary fun as well as useful.

By Daniel Defoe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A General History of the Pyrates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Famed for his enduring fictional masterpieces Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe also possessed considerable expertise in maritime affairs. As a commission merchant, importer, shipowner, and an active journalist who reported "ship news" and interviewed surviving pirates, Defoe achieved a high degree of authority on the subject of buccaneers. His knowledge was such that his book, A General History of the Pyrates, remains the major source of information about piracy in the first quarter of the 18th century.
Reprinted here in its entirety, this fascinating history abounds in tales of flamboyant outlaws and their bloody deeds: Captain Edward Teach,…


Book cover of Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader

Len Travers Author Of The Notorious Edward Low: Pursuing the Last Great Villain of Piracy's Golden Age

From my list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome).

Why am I passionate about this?

Let's face it: pirates of the Golden Age are just cool. No one would actually want to encounter them, but they have been the stuff of escapist dreams since childhood. Adventure, fellowship, treasure–the “romantic” aspects of piracy are what make these otherwise nasty individuals anti-heroes par excellence. As an adult and academic and as an occasional crewman on square riggers, I adopted pirates as a favorite sub-set of maritime history. As with other aspects of the past, I view the history of pirates and piracy as really two narratives: what the records tell us happened and why and what our persistent fascination with them reveals about us.

Len's book list on curing you of DPS (Disney Pirate Syndrome)

Len Travers Why did Len love this book?

I like books that challenge longstanding but doubtful dogma and expose historical fallacies. This collection of essays does just that, and it quickly brought me up to speed on some of the best and latest studies about pirates and piracy.

More than a dozen essays by as many noted historians helped dispel my misconceptions concerning Blacks as pirates, the practices of piracy and privateering, the roles of women at the business end of piracy (booty is only good if you can sell it), and more. 

By C.R. Pennell (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dispelling the romanticized myths surrounding pirates, Pennell's edited collection provides a corrective history of bandits at sea
The romantic fiction of pirates as swashbuckling marauders terrorizing the high seas has long eclipsed historical fact. Bandits at Sea offers a long-overdue corrective to the mythology and the mystique which has plagued the study of pirates and served to deny them their rightful legitimacy as subjects of investigation.
With essays by the foremost scholars on these countercultural "social bandits," as Lingua Franca recently dubbed them, this collection examines various aspects of the phenomenon in the three main areas where it occurred: the…


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