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If You Love ‘Shadow and Bone,’ Then Check Out These 10 Books With Similar Vibes

A close up of Alina from 'Shadow and Bone'

Shadow and Bone Season 2 just came out and everyone is already clamoring for Season 3. But, as this moment, we don’t know when our beloved fantasy TV show will return. So, in the meantime, here are some books that can satisfy your magical itch. These books have vibrant settings, unforgettable gray characters, and a secret society that lurks in the shadows.

There are five books in the adult genre and five for young adults—a list that fits everyone’s preferences. 

The Adult Books

10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

(TOR Books)

In A Darker Shade of Magic, multiple Londons are stacked onto on each other. There’s Red, Grey, White, and, a long time ago, Black. Kell is one of the remaining magicians who can jump between these different Londons, acting as an ambassador for Red London. Well, at least that’s his day gig. He also makes money smuggling goods between worlds. He had a routine until he met Delilah Bard—an unlikely spunky reluctant sidekick with a taste for adventure who ends up aiding him as magic goes awry. 

9. Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis Baldree

(TOR Books)

This is a light and fun fantasy novel featuring an orc wanting to retire and live an easy life as a coffee shop owner. Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes is the coziest fantasy novel with a unique cast of characters that you’ll fall in love with. Of course, Viv, the aforementioned orc, is sucked back into chaos when some of her old rivals reappear.

8. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

(Bloomsbury Publishing)

The Priory of the Orange Tree is hefty at 848 pages, but it isn’t part of a series. So, if you’re fantasy series averse, like me, this might be an excellent fit. The queendom is at risk because there’s no heir to the throne, which is what protects the throne from the Nameless One, according to legend. That means the queen needs to find a husband, but threats to her life are increasing. The unique magic system and the unraveling of beliefs make for a great fantasy setting.

7. Babel by R. F. Kuang

(Harper Voyager)

Looking for a ragtag group fighting, stealing from, and fighting against a gigantic institution? Then Babel is the book for you! A dark academic story with a twist, Robin Swift is pulled from Canton by a mysterious stranger who offers him the chance to use language as magic. So, he gets the best tutors and a special spot in Oxford to be a magical translator. That is until it’s revealed that the institution that gave him everything isn’t what it seems. 

6. The Water Outlaws by S. L. Huang

The Water Outlaws by S. L. Huang
(TOR Books)

This an epic queer fantasy that borrows from Chinese literature. Water Outlaws promises to be an action-packed, gender-bent retelling of the classic Water Margin. Think of it as a Robin Hood story with a wacky band of robbers fighting against a corrupt empire. 

The Young Adult Books

5. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi
(Wednesday Books)

When it came out, The Gilded Wolves was compared to Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. The comparison isn’t surprising as this novel has a lot of similar elements to Shadow and Bone: a mysterious order that has control over everything, ancient secrets, and a group of unlikely adventurers with shady pasts and unique skills needed to complete a heist to take down the order.

4. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
(Henry Holt & Company)

Children of Blood and Bone is a Nigerian-inspired fantasy where magic has all but disappeared. That is until the protagonist, Zélie, has a chance to bring magic back. This is a world where princesses are missing and spirits lurk around every corner waiting for revenge. It’s action-packed with plenty of battles, and the setting of this book is so unique and needs to be experienced by all readers.

3. Six Of Crows By Leigh Bardugo

Six Of Crows By Leigh Bardugo
(Square Fish)

From the same mind that gave us Shadow and Bone, comes its companion book Six of Crows. In this novel, six different experts work together to pull off the heist of the century. Even though this started out in jest, the fate of the world is in the hands of six misfits who are known for making messes.

2. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
(Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Legendborn follows Bree as she stumbles into a secret magical society when she accidentally witnesses an attack from a magical creature. Afterwards, Bree makes it her mission to join this society no matter what. But, once she joins, she learns of a war brewing that’s brewing underneath the surface that she will play a part in it. 

1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
(Penguin Books)

Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn features a young king who marries a new wife each night. And each night, the wife is then murdered. Shahrzad is determined to be Khalid’s next wife to avenge the death of her best friend—who was one of his murdered wives. When she gets to the palace, all isn’t as it seems. This book is atmospheric with its pan-South and West Asian setting. 

(featured image: Netflix)

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Nava was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, they edit economic textbooks by day and write geeky articles for the internet in the evenings. They currently exist on unceded Lenape land aka Brooklyn. (Filipine/a Mexican American)