The most recommended Dungeons & Dragons books

Who picked these books? Meet our 48 experts.

48 authors created a book list connected to Dungeons & Dragons, and here are their favorite Dungeons & Dragons books.
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Book cover of The Sleeping Dragon

Travis I. Sivart Author Of Beliefs & Black Magics

From my list on ripping people from this world and into another.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every new book I picked up in my teens was about going from this world to another. I didn’t seek them out, they found me. And then I began exploring the possibility of portals in the real world, studying the history and mythology of such things. As I grew, so did the science of quantum physics, which added to my interest on top of the mystery of magic doorways. This has been a passion of mine since I was a child, and I love reading about it and writing about it.

Travis' book list on ripping people from this world and into another

Travis I. Sivart Why did Travis love this book?

Straight up, Dungeons and Dragons players pulled into the fantasy world they were playing the game in! Considering I was playing D&D multiple times a week when I found these books (and this book includes the first three of the series, The Sleeping Dragon, The Sword and Chain, and The Silver Crown), I was entranced! Then the author did a few things I’d never thought of. He brought in a guy in a wheelchair who entered a body of his character who could walk. He also later introduced gunpowder, and guns that used magic to fire bullets. The ideas were new and fresh to my teenage mind, and I was fascinated!

By Joel Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Seven college students meet for another night of role-playing games, where they will be cast as wizard, warrior, cleric, or thief. However, their conniving gamemaster has something entirely new planned for them. The seven gamers are cast into an alternate world of magic, fire-breathing dragons – and a quasi-medieval culture with slavery. The only way back to Earth is through a dragon-guarded Gate Between Worlds, about which little is known.

The five men and two women face tough challenges – simple survival in a harsh environment as well as finding the mysterious Gate to bring them home. Publishers Weekly praised…


Book cover of An Alien Heat

Timothy Moriarty Author Of Drowntown Girl

From my list on mind-blowing sci-fi-fantasy-alternate-world trilogies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the summer of 1999, the second book in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series (The Chamber of Secrets) was published. It seemed that everyone was reading it–kids, young adults and grownups. More than that though, kids were getting excited about reading, maybe for the first time. Parents were reading it with their kids. The excitement they shared was inspiring. I thought Rowling had achieved something remarkable–something worthwhile–for a writer of fiction. It compelled me to change the story I was working ona rather violent, edgy taleinto a book for young adults. 

Timothy's book list on mind-blowing sci-fi-fantasy-alternate-world trilogies

Timothy Moriarty Why did Timothy love this book?

I love a book that makes me laugh. But if I immediately feel guilty or disturbed for laughing, if the story makes me re-examine my values page after page, that is a home run.

This – the first of the Dancers at the End of Time series of books and short stories – had me pondering the boundaries of scientific reality as well as right versus wrong while also being galactically entertained.

The (objectively awful) main characters are time- and space-hopping immortals. Virtually all-powerful, they can change their own appearance and environment at will. When one of them decides to experiment with the concept of Love…everything, and nothing, starts to change.

A vicious, delicious satire of unchecked indulgence that tests the bounds of good taste.

Book cover of Night Of The Hunter

Brae Wyckoff Author Of The Embalmer

From Brae's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Storyteller Thrift shopper Book collector Traveler

Brae's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Brae Wyckoff Why did Brae love this book?

I’m a massive fan of R.A. Salvatore. Growing up playing Dungeons and Dragons, I have always been a sucker for this genre.

Salvatore, however, captures the essence of his characters so well that I now believe them to be family. In this adventure, we are taken to a lost dwarven city called Gauntlgrym.

It was here the dwarven king lost an amazing friend to a vampire, and they were there to rescue him. The characters are flawed, loyal, powerful, and complicated. This is book one of a new series, and I highly recommend it.

By R. A. Salvatore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

R.A. Salvatore’s New York Times best-selling saga continues as dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden returns to Gauntlgrym with old friends by his side once again, as they seek to rescue Bruenor’s loyal shield dwarf-turned-vampire. But not only do Drizzt and his allies face a perilous journey through the Underdark and the dangers of the undead that lie within, but they must cross through a colony of drow, who would like nothing better than to see Drizzt Do’Urden dead.


Book cover of Kaz the Minotaur

Trae Stratton Author Of Thunder Peak

From my list on with talking animals and mythological creatures.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Trae's book list on with talking animals and mythological creatures

Trae Stratton Why did Trae love this book?

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.

By Richard A. Knaak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fourth in a series of recovers of classic Dragonlance novel tales.

This attractive new re-release of Kaz the Minotaur showcases a new look for the Heroes series. The title character was introduced by the author in The Legend of Huma, the first novel in this series. Each title in the series will reflect the new series design and feature entirely new cover art.


Book cover of Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Brae Wyckoff Author Of The Embalmer

From Brae's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Storyteller Thrift shopper Book collector Traveler

Brae's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Brae Wyckoff Why did Brae love this book?

I read this as a child and picked it back for a re-read. I think I loved it even more as an adult.

I fell in love with the characters and remember crying as a teenager through one of the scenes (I won’t give it away). There are wonderful monsters, epic creatures, dragons, and an adventure that changed and influenced my life.

The characters have a history but were separated for years until the rumors of war approached. This brought them together, and none of them were prepared for what was to come, including me. So good.

By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Dragons of Autumn Twilight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Dungeons & Dragons-inspired fantasy adventure is the first installment in the beloved Dragonlance Chronicles, set in the magical world of Krynn

Once merely creatures of legend, the dragons have returned to Krynn. But with their arrival comes the departure of the old gods—and all healing magic. As war threatens to engulf the land, lifelong friends reunite for an adventure that will change their lives and shape their world forever . . . 
 
When Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Flint, and Tasslehoff see a woman use a blue crystal staff to heal a villager, they wonder if it's a sign the…


Book cover of Dragons of Spring Dawning

Kevin Herbst Author Of The End of Heroes

From my list on SF&F for spring.

Why am I passionate about this?

Starting with Tolkien’s novels as a child, I’ve devoured countless SF&F stories. My love of the genre, particularly high fantasy, combined with the irritatingly fashionable trend of so many fantasy authors to stop writing their stories partway through and leave we readers high and dry, motivated me to start writing, to see if I could create something that I was missing as I hunted for new material to read. As an intense hater of winter, spring always signified to me a time of hope, of new growth, of opportunity, of the ending of difficulty, and the start of a time when all things were possible. 

Kevin's book list on SF&F for spring

Kevin Herbst Why did Kevin love this book?

The 3rd and final book in the Dragonlance Chronicles installment, Weis & Hickman finished an incredible tale inspired by their Dungeons & Dragons role playing group.

Elves, humans, dwarves, and kender must work together to beat back the rise of an evil goddess seeking its way into the world to ensave its inhabitants. Having been a Dungeon Master for many years, I devoured these books, and remain appreciative to this day that role playing geeks love to read novels as well.

By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The third title published in the Dragonlance line is now being released in a trade hardcover edition for the first time ever. Featuring the stunning art and design that graced the cover of the paperback edition, this new version is the final edition in the hardcover release of the entire Chronicles trilogy. This release also continues the planned release of all the core Dragonlance titles from Weis & Hickman in trade hardcover, allowing fans and collectors alike the first-ever chance to obtain the entire set in hardcover.


Book cover of Xuxub Must Die: The Lost Histories of a Murder on the Yucatan

Colby Ristow Author Of A Revolution Unfinished: The Chegomista Rebellion and the Limits of Revolutionary Democracy in Juchitán, Oaxaca

From my list on “little” stories to tell the big story of Mexico.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always believed in the extraordinary capacity of ordinary people to illuminate the contours of any particular place at any particular time. While the time periods have varied, for me the particular place has always been Mexico. Mexico is my aleph – the daybreak and nightfall of my own personal intellectual and emotional development, consisting of seemingly interminable fits of research and writing and huevoneando, each in equal measures and of equal import. Mexico and its history have become my life’s work. I am a professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York, and these are my favorite “little” stories to use in teaching, representing five distinct periods in Mexico’s history.

Colby's book list on “little” stories to tell the big story of Mexico

Colby Ristow Why did Colby love this book?

In this masterpiece of historical narrative, Paul Sullivan investigates the 1875 sacking of a sugar plantation (called Xuxub) and the murder of its American manager by Maya rebels. Located on the geographical frontier between “Ladino” and Maya society, Xuxub became a microcosm of all of the conflicts that haunted Mexico as it entered its “Guilded Age”: inter-elite rivalries, international competition in the wake of the U.S.-Mexico War, and the overwhelming fear that the nation’s Indigenous population would rise up against encroaching liberal capitalism. It all comes together in a murder mystery, written more like true crime than an academic text, right down to the final poetic twist. This is an immensely enjoyable read, so much so that I have read it no fewer than fifteen times. 

By Paul Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today, foreigners travel to the Yucatan for ruins, temples, and pyramids, white sand beaches and clear blue water. One hundred years ago, they went for cheap labor, an abundance of land, and the opportunity to make a fortune exporting cattle, henequen fiber, sugarcane, or rum. Sometimes they found death.

In 1875 an American plantation manager named Robert Stephens and a number of his workers were murdered by a band of Maya rebels. To this day, no one knows why. Was it the result of feuding between aristocratic families for greater power and wealth? Was it the foreseeable consequence of years…


Book cover of Leviathan Wakes

Morgan Biscup Author Of In Spite of the Inevitable

From my list on sci-fi books moral and perspective dilemmas.

Why am I passionate about this?

In writing character-driven space fantasy, heavily influenced by my training as an electromechanical engineer, I’ve realized a love for stories with a heavy emphasis on moral dilemmas and shifts in thinking. How does a character change direction after realizing much of what they always believed was a lie? When well-trained instincts pull them backward instead of propelling them forward? I love these stories, mirroring my own messy self-discovery journey through life. The settings and stakes are more fantastical, but that makes them more appealing. A way to confront my own trials without becoming burdened by them. If the characters can do it, so can I.

Morgan's book list on sci-fi books moral and perspective dilemmas

Morgan Biscup Why did Morgan love this book?

This book's storyline unfolds from the POV of two characters with similar but incompatible morals: a jaded, alcoholic Belter cop and an excessively honest Earther from Montana now serving as executive officer of a water hauler from Saturn's rings.

Their stories converge in unexpected ways as they chase down their own mysteries. They each have strengths the other lacks and weaknesses that put them at odds with each other, heightening the weight of their interactions as they strive to save the solar system, each in their own way.

I loved so much else about this book, from the full cast of characters to the unfolding mystery behind the growing war. The ending hit me hard in the best of ways, as opposing philosophies fought and converged to yield unexpected compromises.

By James S. A. Corey,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Leviathan Wakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond. Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the…


Book cover of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Jasmine Gower Author Of Moonshine

From my list on fantastical civic design.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Jasmine's book list on fantastical civic design

Jasmine Gower Why did Jasmine love this book?

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.

By N. K. Jemisin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After her mother's mysterious death, a young woman is summoned to the floating city of Sky in order to claim a royal inheritance she never knew existed in the first book in this award-winning fantasy trilogy from the NYT bestselling author of The Fifth Season.

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into…


Book cover of Monster Manual: A Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook

Matt Weber Author Of Brimstone Slipstream

From Matt's 10-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Data scientist Dad Comics reader Gamer

Matt's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Matt's 7, 10, and 12-year-old's favorite books.

Matt Weber Why did Matt's 10-year-old love this book?

Imagine you’re 10 and you’ve already memorized the attacks, evolutions, and imperial and metric weights of Pokemon from every region. You’ve watched the D&D movie and realized there’s a whole world of owlbears, displacer beasts, and gelatinous cubes out there… and you don’t have the vital statistics for any of them.

Thankfully, Wizards of the Coast has got you covered. (Parent warning: Be prepared to do things like “explain how to calculate the area of a cone of fire,” “argue over whether a lich or a demilich should really have a higher challenge rating,” and “run a D&D campaign.”)

By Wizards of the Coast,

Why should I read it?

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