The best Dungeons & Dragons books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about Dungeons & Dragons and why they recommend each book.

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Saga of Old City (Greyhawk Adventures)

By Gary Gygax,

Book cover of Saga of Old City (Greyhawk Adventures)

The founder of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax also wrote novels, and my favorite book was Saga of Old City. I read this book growing up and let me tell you it was engaging, action-packed, and fun. The character development was fantastic as it follows the journey of Gord; a scrawny street kid that grew into a formidable thief and eventually becomes a powerful warrior who can overcome incredible challenges. 


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.


I wrote...

A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

By Charles Carfagno Jr.,

Book cover of A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

What is my book about?

Across the land, peace has reigned for generations. But now, demons have found a way to breach the world and cloaked themselves as humans. They are deceitful, clever, and often manipulative as they position themselves within the Martial Orders of mankind to lie in wait like a ticking time bomb and conquer the world of humanity. But another crucial journey is being undertaken. Wronged by a close friend, Gilex is on a road of revenge as he leads his devoted band of followers on a treacherous journey to find the fabled Circle of Demise. However, finding the circle will prove harder than expected and the rewards might not be what he was seeking.

Thus begins the enthralling Demon’s Quest epic, a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth . . .

Pilgrim of the Storm

By Russ Linton,

Book cover of Pilgrim of the Storm

Everybody loves a good underdog tale, but by my lights, the best underdogs are the ones who aren't even human. So I really connected to Linton's insectoid hero, Sidge. Born a slave but valiantly trying to make a better life among his human "betters," Sidge rises above their constant abuse, confidant that if he can just prove himself, they will finally accept him. But to do that, he'll have to survive a perilous journey. And unfortunately, it's being led by the very people who hate him most. Good luck, Sidge. You're going to need it.

Who am I?

As host of ImmerseOrDie, I've tested over 600 indie novels so far, searching for books that can hold me in their spell for at least 40 minutes. Unfortunately, self-publishing is rife with the quirks and gaffs that burst such glamours: bad spelling, bad formatting, ludicrous dialogue... Even allowing three failures before bailing, only 9% survived. And reading those to completion whittled the herd still further. So here then are the surviving 1%. A glittering few, plucked from the muck so that you don't have to. I don't promise you'll love them, but I do make one guarantee: they do not suck. And in the Swamps of Indie, that is high praise indeed.


I wrote...

Strange Places

By Jefferson Smith,

Book cover of Strange Places

What is my book about?

Unlovable. That's what they call her. According to the nuns who run the orphanage, girls like Tayna, with minds of their own, are too unruly to ever be loved. So they're put to work in the kitchens and never shown to the wanna-dads and mommy-bes who might offer them a loving home.

But that all changes when Tayna learns that her entire life has been built on a lie. Her parents are still alive! Only they're trapped in a world of magic and now it's up to her to rescue them. All she has to do is escape her nunnish prison, find her way into that secret world, and lead a rescue mission. But compared to being a slave? This oughta be a piece of cake.

The Sword of Shannara

By Terry Brooks,

Book cover of The Sword of Shannara

I’m going to be honest with you... I am a cover junkie, and that is how I came to purchase The Sword of Shannara. I found the book in a used bin of a bookstore, and I remember looking at the worn and cracked cover of a human, elf, and dwarf staring at the mystical blade thinking; what I story this must be. The story is about a half-elfin lad named, Shea Ohmsford. Shea is the last of the Shannara bloodline and the only one capable of wielding the sword of Shannara against the Power of Darkness known as the Warlock Lord. To say there is action is an understatement. 


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.


I wrote...

A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

By Charles Carfagno Jr.,

Book cover of A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

What is my book about?

Across the land, peace has reigned for generations. But now, demons have found a way to breach the world and cloaked themselves as humans. They are deceitful, clever, and often manipulative as they position themselves within the Martial Orders of mankind to lie in wait like a ticking time bomb and conquer the world of humanity. But another crucial journey is being undertaken. Wronged by a close friend, Gilex is on a road of revenge as he leads his devoted band of followers on a treacherous journey to find the fabled Circle of Demise. However, finding the circle will prove harder than expected and the rewards might not be what he was seeking.

Thus begins the enthralling Demon’s Quest epic, a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth . . .

Kaz the Minotaur

By Richard A. Knaak,

Book cover of Kaz the Minotaur: Heroes, Volume Four

When you’re in the mood for pure adventure-driven fantasy with a noble, troubled hero beleaguered on all sides, this is the one to pick up. Going back to when I first read about Theseus in grammar school and all the way through my Dungeons & Dragons years, I have always thought that minotaurs were cool and full of untapped potential. Herein lies the tale that proves I was right. It will evolve your feeling about minotaurs from mindless beasts in the labyrinth to courageous knights of quality and mettle. Don’t worry about the massive scope of the Dragon Lance Chronicles, this one can be read on its own.


Who am I?

I’ve been reading/gaming and writing fantasy for over 40 years. My interest in the genre began with mythology, then spread into the now countless branches of the Tolkien tree. Along with the great quests and magic items, I was always enchanted by the non-human characters populating these magical worlds. Not just the elves, dwarves, and dragons, but the intelligent animals and mythological creatures like pegasi, minotaurs, treants, big cats, snakes, apes, eagles, gargoyles – the list is endless. Some were good, some misunderstood, and some were evil incarnate, but almost always, I found their stories the most intriguing. As a result, their stories will be a big part of my new series, The Tamm Chronicles.


I wrote...

Thunder Peak

By Trae Stratton,

Book cover of Thunder Peak

What is my book about?

Fourteen-year-old Casey Tamm lives under Thunder Peak with her adoptive father Jonas. Jonas has kept the mysteries of the mountain to himself, but when Casey discovers unicorns are real, he knows it's time to reveal those secrets. Secrets that will rattle Casey’s world and fill it with mythical creatures; hidden truths about her heritage that set the burden of getting the stranded unicorn back home upon her shoulders. Unbeknownst to the Tamms and their magical allies, the task also resurrects the merciless Nightblade. An ancient saber-toothed predator who arrived long ago with one dire purpose: to eliminate Casey. But who sent the diabolical creature? How was it defeated and what does it all have to do with her long, lost mother? There are some secrets even Jonas doesn’t know…

How to Date a Nerd

By Cassie Mae,

Book cover of How to Date a Nerd

Nerds are the new sexy in this adorable young adult rom-com. This story has an excellent character focus. Both Zoe and Zak have true character traits that don’t leave anything as fill-in-the-blank. It’s like reading about your two best friends getting together and giggling through the whole thing. Cassie Mae is a pro at comedy. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. Even if the characters aren’t Korean—they are true nerds—so the fangirl-like pop-culture references of the characters make it amazing. There’s nothing to dislike about this book, it’s an all-around good time.


Who am I?

Ever since I watched my first K-drama, Heartstrings, on Netflix in 2011 I’ve become fascinated with Korean Pop Culture. I created one of the largest K-drama discussion groups on Facebook (KDA: Kdrama Anonymous) and published seven K-pop and K-drama-related Novellas. I traveled to Korea with my family in 2017 and was a panelist at Kcon in 2018. My passion for Korean Pop Culture has ventured into Webtoons and I often spend my time there catching up on all my favorite stories. I truly love Korean Culture and I’m happy to have participated in even a small part of it.


I wrote...

#fangirlproblems: A KPop Romance Book

By Jennie Bennett,

Book cover of #fangirlproblems: A KPop Romance Book

What is my book about?

When a fangirl meets her celebrity crush, a series of events turns her dreams into reality.

Tabitha is a typical nineteen-year-old trying to make it on her own. Although she has a good job at a catering company, she doesn’t have the resources to attend the concert for her favorite Kpop group XO. She’s disappointed until she comes face to face with Chansol—her ultimate celebrity crush—at a private catering event. When paparazzi crash the party, she ends up bringing Chansol to the safety of her apartment where she finds herself closer to Chansol than ever. But a K-pop star must please their fans and Talitha needs to either face the media or stay a happy memory in Chansol’s life forever.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

By N.K. Jemisin,

Book cover of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The world-building in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms explores how the powering of societies can come at a human cost—though in this case, the humans have outsourced that cost to the gods. Enslaved by the Arameri aristocratic family that rules over the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, gods and godlings power the Arameri’s control of the city of Sky, allowing the city to flourish but at the expense of the common people’s or the gods’ agency. Compared to the other books listed here, this tale is more concerned with the structures of class and authority (and less so utility) that help turn the gears of society, but its examinations of these aspects of civics are still insightful and, ultimately, optimistic.


Who am I?

Having previously worked in the Urban Affairs side of academia and drawing heavily on my own experience living in the city of Portland, OR while writing my book, Moonshine, I’ve become very interested in how fantasy authors find creative ways to incorporate the supernatural elements of the genre with the extremely mundane aspects of urban planning and civics. I find that the most immersive fantasy worlds are the ones that concern themselves with the gritty details of how their societies operate on a basic logistical level, and I think a well-written fantasy city can very much shine as a character in its own right.


I wrote...

Moonshine

By Jasmine Gower,

Book cover of Moonshine

What is my book about?

In the flourishing metropolis of Soot City, progressive ideals reign, and the old ways of magic and liquid mana are forbidden. Daisy Dell is a Modern Girl – stylish, educated, and independent – keen to establish herself in the city but reluctant to give up the taboo magic inherited from her grandmother.

Her new job takes her to unexpected places, and she gets more attention than she had hoped for. When bounty hunters start combing the city for magicians, Daisy must decide whether to stay with her new employer – even if it means revealing the grim source of her dazzling powers.

Steelheart

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Steelheart

What’s that you say, Steelheart isn’t urban fantasy? Even when it’s written by the emperor of fantasy himself, Mr. Brandon “I’ve written over fifty bestselling novels in twenty years” Sanderson. Well to that I say: Sparks! You’re like a rabbit doing maths equations instead of looking for foxes. And if you love ridiculous metaphors like that, then Steelheart is like a banana farm for guns. What’s not to love about this book? It’s a world filled with superpowered humans and every single one of them becomes an Epic villain. If that’s not dark enough humour for you, then David’s attempts at analogies will keep you entertained for days. I mean, who hasn’t looked at motorcycles racing towards you and thought “They looked dangerous, like alligators. Really fast alligators wearing black. Ninja alligators!” 

I absolutely love this book and all of the Reckoners books that follow.


Who am I?

I’m a writer by day and martial arts instructor by night, so when not spending time with my wife and kids, I love nothing more than to read, write, and fight. My favourite books are the ones filled with irreverent characters, who can smirk and joke at any grim situation, laughing the light of entertainment through the darkest of ordeals. These are the type of books I’m always drawn to, both in writing and in reading, where I can imagine taking any standout character and dropping them into a completely different book, then sitting back to watch the chaos they could make.


I wrote...

The Memory of Blades

By James Dwyer,

Book cover of The Memory of Blades

What is my book about?

“They say to hold a Memory Blade is to live forever, both as a life trapped within the blade and as a ruling Memory Lord carved into history. I say to hold a Memory Blade is to become an utter bastard, with three dozen pricks inside your head, all encouraging you to do depraved and despicable things. Immense fun, yes, but bloody dangerous when you have the four other Memory Lords coming to your city to celebrate your father’s funeral, doing their best to politely kill you and pilfer your family’s sword. So all I have to do is get through the next twenty-four hours without being spectacularly murdered and I should be fine. Right?“

– Lord Seff Thurat, beleaguered dilettante and all-around scoundrel

Dragons of Autumn Twilight

By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman,

Book cover of Dragons of Autumn Twilight

What a classic! I have read the trilogy several times, and many other books in the Dragon Lance series. The story feels like a roleplaying quest right from the beginning, but it is very accessible for those that are unfamiliar with the concept. The traditional good vs. evil (or colored vs metallic) dragons sets the tone throughout the novel. However, in this story the leaders of the dragons, Tiamat and Bahamut, play vital roles in setting the stage for what is driving each of the dragon armies.


Who am I?

My fascination with dragons began at a young age and has intensified over the years. I think I’ve watched every movie with a dragon in it and read many of the books. I've tried to incorporate as much as I can, plus my own little twists, into each species of dragon in my world. The most excited I've been about dragons was while watching a special documentary on Discovery Channel. They explained how dragons could fly, the mechanics behind them breathing fire, and what their diet consisted of. It was a great speculative show but had enough science to make you wonder! I hope you enjoy the books on my list!


I wrote...

DragonSin

By C.M. Surowiec Jr.,

Book cover of DragonSin

What is my book about?

Cymm Reich possesses a rare, magical aura that hasn’t been seen in a millennium. He doesn't realize he has this power until many years later, but the gods already know. The first god, Terazhan, sends a dwarven cleric to train the young man to become a holy warrior in his name.

At sixteen years old, Cymm’s family is massacred and village razed. While Cymm struggles to discover himself and his place in the world, the benevolent Terazhan offers him a glimmer of hope to defeat the dragons responsible for murdering his loved ones. However, a dark secret entwines this gift of power, and the chain of events set in motion could change the history of the world forever.

The Lurker at the Threshold

By H.P. Lovecraft,

Book cover of The Lurker at the Threshold

This list would not be complete if I did not include one of Lovecraft’s books, as he is a true icon of the macabre, having created his own pantheon of Gods. He inspired Anne Rice, Clive Barker, and Stephen King to name a few. His stories are unique, entrenching, groundbreaking, and stay embedded within you long after you’ve read them. Horror fans know him well, but to most people who aren’t familiar with his name, they actually inadvertently know about his work. John Carpenter’s The Thing is based on Lovecraft’s In the Mountains of Madness. The character Pennywise from It is based on Lovecraft’s ideas of “outer gods” and evil beings that exist in dimensions outside of normal human experience. 

The Lurker at the Threshold remains my favorite story because it encompasses everything Lovecraft wrote about – unspeakable revelations, fractured characters, and boundaries of space and time. To me,…


Who am I?

I’m an American horror and fantasy writer, addicted to reading dark fiction and Gothic literature. I’ve always loved the spookier things in life and wrote my first horror story when I was nine. When not writing books, I love breaking a sweat in Jiu-Jitsu class, baking desserts, and traveling. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have.


I wrote...

Summoner of Sleep

By A.I. Winters,

Book cover of Summoner of Sleep

What is my book about?

Ryder Ashling’s world is turning upside down. He’s lost his job, wife, home, and now he’s doubting his sanity. Behind his descent are horrific nightmares of clocks so vivid that they follow him into the waking world. When he discovers his neighbor has been documenting his nightmares with scientific precision and leaving him vials of a drug called Summoner of Sleep, things get weirder.

His neighbor disappears and Ryder follows his trail to Marble Woods, a town erased from all maps. Now it’s whispered to be the home of marble-skinned demons, as well as the birthplace of Summoner of Sleep. It's here in Marble Woods that Ryder will come face-to-face with the darkest of family secrets and be forced to make a decision that will change the fate of the world.

Assassin's Apprentice

By Robin Hobb,

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1

A wonderfully written Fantasy that is filled with sorcery, betrayal, war, and love. I read this book so often I had to replace it several times!  In a medieval-type world, a six-year-old boy is dragged from home to live with the animals in the stables of the royal castle. Against great odds, he discovers his powers which are forbidden and have to be hidden. Royal rivalries and attacks on the country from outside lead to the boy, now named Fitz being put in a group of students being trained to use their powers (sound familiar??) to help save the kingdom.


Who am I?

I think I was in my twenties before, with great sadness, I had to accept I was never going to be granted three wishes or activate my flying prowess. Any book that shows me maybe I was wrong or I just didn’t look hard enough fills me with hope. I love to be pulled into worlds that are so real and yet the magic is right there, in front of us, unseen, or where a parallel world is just a side-ways step or the opening of a door away. I read and write to reinforce my belief that it is all still possible.


I wrote...

Shared Skies: Complete

By Josephine O'Brien,

Book cover of Shared Skies: Complete

What is my book about?

What if you could make people do what you wanted simply by thinking about it? What if your grandparents disappeared so completely that even their house was gone? What if they turn up after eleven years, want you to live with them, and you're the only person in the world who remembers they were ever gone?

What if the first time you fall in love you're not sure if they're even human?

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