Monsters and Magic: A Reading List

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

shadow and boneThis round of the Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.


We asked our riot readers to share their favorite books about monster and magic – two things that often go hand in hand.  Take a look at the titles that made the list –

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott,

Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

American Gods, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Assassini Trilogy by Jon Courtney Grimwood

Grendel by John Gardner

The Prydain Chonicles by Lloyd Alexander

The Heroes Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

The Girl Who… series by Catherine M. Valente

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Among Others by Jo Walton

The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson

Half Magic by Edward Eager

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Thursday Next, Nursery Crime, Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Sweep series by Cate Tiernan

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


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