The most recommended books about gods and goddesses

Who picked these books? Meet our 71 experts.

71 authors created a book list connected to gods and goddesses, and here are their favorite god and goddess books.
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What type of god and goddess book?


Book cover of The Stormcaller: Book One of the Twilight Reign

K.V. Johansen Author Of Blackdog

From my list on with gods as characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Canadian writer with a degree in Mediaeval Studies. Even as a child, I wrote stories about characters who weren’t entirely human; they were also always people lurking on the edges of things—families, cultures, places, ways of being, even people existing only on the edges of becoming themselves. Those have always been where I found my stories and as an adult I haven’t lost this fascination and the need to tell such tales. Gods, assassins, devils, demons, shapeshifters, immortal wanderers, and ordinary people caught up in their history, vast, deep worlds, and complex charactersthat’s what I do. 

K.V.'s book list on with gods as characters

K.V. Johansen Why did K.V. love this book?

The first book in The Twilight Reign starts off an epic fantasy series of war, loyalty, sacrifice, prophecy, and Gods with their own agendas, to whom their chosen champions are game-pieces to be used in a conflict in which mortals have only a partial understanding. The hero, Isak, is a young man born to be a violent warrior, a tool of prophesy and the Gods, but he never stops struggling to be more than what he was made, and to make himself master of his own fate. This is a satisfyingly rich fantasy world to plunge yourself into.

By Tom Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a land ruled by prophecy and the whims of gods, a young man finds himself at the heart of a war he barely understands, wielding powers he may never be able to control. Isak is a white-eye, born bigger, more charismatic, and more powerful than normal men. But with that power comes an unpredictable temper and an inner rage he cannot always hide. Brought up as a wagon-brat, feared and despised by those around him, he dreams of a place in the army and a chance to live his own life. But when the call comes, it isn't to…

Book cover of Age of Myth

David Estes Author Of Kingfall

From my list on epic fantasies to deprive you of sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up and still today, I read a lot of fantasy, including reading the covers right off my copy of The Lord of the Rings boxed set. I’ve also written two major epic fantasy series each more than a million words in length. So I know a thing or two about what makes compelling epic fantasy stories. And these five books (and the series that follow) go above and beyond any measure. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed, but your REM cycle might suffer!

David's book list on epic fantasies to deprive you of sleep

David Estes Why did David love this book?

Melatonin alert! If you start reading this book, you’re going to require a sleep aid to get some shuteye. Sullivan has a way of constructing characters and plotlines that, on their surface, are simple. And yet the more you read, the more complex and three-dimensional they become, until you realize that the characters and their motivations are never what they seem to be until the moment they are revealed, leaving you breathless and satisfied. Losing a little (or a lot) of sleep to read Age of Myth is well worth it!

By Michael J. Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.

Michael J. Sullivan’s trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership and comparisons to fantasy masters Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Now Age of Myth inaugurates an original five-book series.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans…

Book cover of Kushiel's Scion

Deb E. Howell Author Of Healer's Touch

From my list on fantasy series with powerful worldbuilding.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading The Brothers Grimm, Enid Blyton, and any number of stories that would come under the Fantasy umbrella. Later on, I fell in love with Garion and his friends in The Belgariad and The Malloreon. Later, I delved into the literature and Science Fiction of Iain (M.) Banks, and latched onto Terry Pratchett’s Death to navigate the vast Discworld series. I find I always return to Fantasy, and seek to come away from a book feeling as though I’ve made friends within the pages. This, too, was my goal when I took up writing.

Deb's book list on fantasy series with powerful worldbuilding

Deb E. Howell Why did Deb love this book?

I read this before I read the preceding trilogy: Phèdre’s Trilogy, and was well drawn in without the background knowledge that may have come from reading the two series in order. I later did read Phèdre’s Trilogy and enjoyed it, but it was Imriel’s Trilogy that really captured me. I love that while most Fantasy series will focus on aggressive politics and war, these series are more about the arts and diplomacy and humans being very human in all their facets. Imriel was a captivating character who I was eager to follow along with as I discovered the world he lived in.

By Jacqueline Carey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kushiel's Scion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imriel de la Courcel's birth parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phedre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions.

Stolen, tortured and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood; third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies---and there are many who would see the young prince dead. Some despise him out of hatred for his mother, Melisande, who nearly destroyed the entire realm in her quest for power. Others…

Book cover of The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion

Donovan Cook Author Of Odin's Betrayal

From my list on learn about the Vikings and their gods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved history, especially European history, and fell in love with the Vikings and their mythology after reading the first book of the Last Kingdom Series by Bernard Cornwell. One of the reasons I wanted to write Viking fiction is because I was keen to learn more about these amazing people who had such a large influence on European history, but had been stigmatized by the Christian religion. I really wanted to learn about who they were as a people and how they saw their world through their religion and their interactions with Christian nations around them.

Donovan's book list on learn about the Vikings and their gods

Donovan Cook Why did Donovan love this book?

This was another one of my favourites for learning about the Norse gods and the Norse religion. I found the information about the different gods, where their names came from, and how they were worshipped invaluable, as well as the detailed information about the different worlds the Vikings believed in and those who lived on those worlds.

This book was great for learning about how the Scandinavian people viewed their religion and how it affected their lives and their views on magic and the cosmos. I found it useful to learn about their afterlife and how the Vikings viewed it. It’s another book I regularly revisit when writing my novels.

Book cover of Wicked Beauty

Harlowe Savage Author Of Alexander

From my list on spicy, queer romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that the gap between the amount of LGBTQIA+ and heterosexual erotica is far too large in the mainstream. Queer people deserve to have quality, well-written, spicy romance just as much as the mom in Utah reading her Danielle Steel novels does. This includes, gay, bisexual, lesbian, queer, panromantic, polyamourous, and non-binary people just to list a few. People who don’t adhere to cis, heteronormativity deserve to know that they can love, have steamy sex, maintain healthy relationships, and do whatever it is they want to do. Through my books and queer activism, I intend to rectify this by normalizing queer romance novels and increasing accessibility of the genre. 

Harlowe's book list on spicy, queer romance

Harlowe Savage Why did Harlowe love this book?

Two words. Bisexual representation. The queer community may tend to forget about us bisexuals out here, but Katee Robert certainly did not.

It’s not very often that you see books that focus on an MMF relationship in which the woman is the most recent addition. The loving relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is incredible to begin with. However, when you add the extra dimension of Helen of Troy, the relationship grows and changes into something much more.

Dealing with serious relationship dynamic conflicts, like jealousy, Wicked Beauty shows us that sometimes working through our learned emotional reactions can create something truly beautiful.

By Katee Robert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She was the face that launched a thousand ships, the fierce beauty at the heart of Olympus...and she was never ours to claim.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus that's as sinful as it is sweet.*

In Olympus, you either have the power to rule...or you are ruled. Achilles Kallis may have been born with nothing, but as a child he vowed he would claw his way into the poisonous city's inner circle. Now that a coveted role has opened to anyone with the strength to claim it, he and his partner, Patroclus Fotos,…

Book cover of Paladin's Grace

Karen A. Wyle Author Of Twin-Bred

From my list on SFF with emotionally scarred characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read (and write) in various genres, but the common thread is that I crave compassionately written character-driven stories. I generally prefer novels, as they allow more time for the reader to get to know the characters and more room for those characters to grow. That said, I have limited patience with literary fiction that could be fairly, if unkindly, be called navel-gazing. I want the characters to confront problems provided by an actual plot. And if both characters and plot exist within a richly imagined world with at least some unique elements, so much the better.

Karen's book list on SFF with emotionally scarred characters

Karen A. Wyle Why did Karen love this book?

What does Stephen, paladin sworn to the Saint of Steel, do when the god dies?

The berserker rage can still rise and overwhelm him, but with no holy purpose behind it. Co-protagonist Grace is a perfumer, well nigh indomitable but struggling to overcome her own traumatic past. Throw them together and add... comedy and romance?

Well, yes, and Kingfisher pulls it off in her own inimitable fashion, with terrific worldbuilding and a suspenseful, engrossing plot. This is an entertaining and ultimately hopeful read.

By T Kingfisher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paladin's Grace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen’s god died on the longest day of the year…

Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…

From the Hugo and Nebula Award winning author of Swordheart and The Twisted Ones comes a saga of murder, magic, and love on the far…

Book cover of The Darkest Kiss

Catherine Edward Author Of Lycan's Blood Queen

From my list on fantasy/shifter romance to make your heart flutter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a paranormal romance and fantasy author who fell in love with fantasy as a young girl. My journey as a reader started when I was four, but what changed me entirely was Russian Tales woven with magic. I’m passionate about Lycans, Werewolves, Witches, Vampires, and everything that’s magical. I like to write sizzling tales of love and betrayal.

Catherine's book list on fantasy/shifter romance to make your heart flutter

Catherine Edward Why did Catherine love this book?

This entire series has my heart and soul. Paranormal world fused with Greek mythology? Hell, yes! I’d read this any day and every day. My top pick in this series is The Darkest Kiss because I love the female lead Anya. She’s just amazing. Anya is introduced as a fun loving, trouble maker but as the novel evolves we learn Anya has more layers to her character and with each layer coming off, you can’t help but fall deeply in love with her just like Death. I mean, I totally understand him. This book is such an entertaining read.

By Gena Showalter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She has tempted many men…but never found her equal.
Until now.

Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death—a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him. But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond…

Book cover of The Untuning of the Sky: Ideas of Music in English Poetry 1500-1700

Lawrence Lipking Author Of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England

From my list on the arts as crucial elements of human life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a chameleon scholar. Though my first love is poetry, I have written about all the arts, about 18th-century authors (especially Samuel Johnson), about theories of literature and literary vocations, about Sappho and other abandoned women, about ancients and moderns and chess and marginal glosses and the meaning of life and, most recently, the Scientific Revolution. But I am a teacher too, and The Ordering of the Arts grew out of my fascination with those writers who first taught readers what to look for in painting, music and poetrywhat works were best, what works could change their lives. That project has inspired my own life and all my writing.

Lawrence's book list on the arts as crucial elements of human life

Lawrence Lipking Why did Lawrence love this book?

Hollander's wonderful book is a tribute to the power of music, which can transform ideas and myths into rhythms and feelings that immediately touch the heart. 

A fine poet himself, he relishes the quests of poets and musicians to turn mere words and notes into something divine, as if we could hearken to the gods (whether Christian or pagan). The analysis of particular works of art is always scholarly and penetrating; but more than that, it conveys a poet's love of what great artists have done.

By John Hollander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Book cover of Doom of the Gods

Alice Mills Author Of The World Treasury of Myths & Legends

From my list on Norse myths and legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alice has had a passion for myths ever since reading Greek myths as a small child. Alice's most recent book is a retelling of myths and legends worldwide. As well as editing several anthologies for children, she has published a book on mythology and another on the fantasy writer Mervyn Peake, and she has many scholarly publications on fantasy and children's literature.

Alice's book list on Norse myths and legends

Alice Mills Why did Alice love this book?

This is a vigorous retelling of the last battle of the Norse gods and their enemies, how the gods tried to avert their doom, how they first met those who would kill almost all of them, and what happened after all the slaughter and destruction. The book has the size and format of a typical picture storybook but its powerful illustrations of threat and attack make it more suitable for an older audience.

By Michael Harrison, Tudor Humphries,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Retells the main stories from the Norse legends, in a new larger format for this series.

Book cover of Gods and Heroes: Mythology Around the World

Gabrielle K. Byrne Author Of The Edge of Strange Hollow

From my list on mythology-inspired middle grade fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a lot of troubles as a kid, and my favorite escape was getting lost in fairy tales and mythology. For me, those stories were a window into ancient worlds full of strange rules and powers, where magic was real and nothing was outside the bounds of possibility. As an author, I get to build my own stories and worlds inspired by the tales I loved so much as a kid, and I’ve loved reading about new heroes and heroines whose tales are rooted in the powerful traditions of peoples from all over the globe. I’m happy to be sharing some of my recent favorite mythology-inspired books!

Gabrielle's book list on mythology-inspired middle grade fantasy

Gabrielle K. Byrne Why did Gabrielle love this book?

Sometimes the best book for readers who love mythology-inspired stories is a book of mythology! There are lots of these compendiums out there, but it can be hard to find collections that don’t feel distant or dull. This one is recent (if not “new”), and is really well done. Illustrated like a graphic novel, Gods and Heroes highlights funny and quirky aspects of engaging characters, while also sharing in-depth stories that will entrance middle grade readers.

I loved the humor and connection Briggs brought to characters from twenty-three different cultures. These are personalities that are entertaining and powerful enough to have their stories handed down through thousands of years of human history, and who will continue to inspire stories in the years to come.

By Korwin Briggs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gods and Heroes 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?

It's the perfect way to introduce kids to legendary lands, powerful gods, brave heroes, wild creatures, and more! Skillfully told and illustrated by Korwin Briggs, it's the who's who and what's what of ancient culture, organised alphabetically.