The Glass Castle is a brilliant Christian fantasy book tailored to older children and young adults, set in a mysterious land whose king is close to death and looking for his heir. His wife is eager to inherit the throne or to produce an heir that will but she has one problem – the king already has a 13-year-old son as a result of his first marriage.
So, she hatches a plan to get rid of all the 13-year-olds in the kingdom in order to eliminate the chances of losing her claim to the throne. But Avery, Tuck, Kendrick, and Kate will not disappear easily. Instead, they initiate an underground system for kidnapped children and promote one clear message – your past does not control your future.
They plan to reunite these children with their families but one child’s past will come to haunt them all – as the child of one of their hunters, how will Avery and her friends rehome them without getting caught?
The Glass Castle shares a beautiful message through a gritty and emotive story. If you’re after something fast-paced, complex, and action-packed but without all of the immoral, anti-Christian undertones, this is the perfect book for you.
It sheds light on the Christian theme of forgiveness and repentance and illustrates that no matter what background you’re from, you’re worthy of redemption and enlightenment. This book is heartwarming, jam-packed with fantasy and thrill, and will certainly leave you reaching for scripture.
Trisha Priebe is a brilliant writer who prioritizes Christian themes at the core of her stories. Her Thirteen series is just one of her Christian-based books, so if you enjoyed this one or you’re just looking for some inspiration, take a closer look at her repertoire.
But if you’ve devoured Priebe’s work and you’re looking for more, here are 20 books similar to The Glass Castle for you to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a fantasy book with a strong Christian message or whether you’re just after a clean, non-explicit fantasy, this list will encompass the whole lot.
The Girl Who Looked Beyond the Stars by L.B. Anne
When Sheena was only 4 when an angel appeared in front of her. She was the only one to see it, she is the only one with the gift. But when her father miraculously survives an accident, Sheena witnesses a supernatural being step in and save his life.
The Girl Who Looked Beyond the Stars is an excellent book about godly powers, faith, and religious healing. It brilliantly merges fantasy, science-fiction, comedy, and mystery and follows themes of friendship, love, family, and belief.
Shadowstone Academy by Barbara Hartzler
Urban fantasy, supernatural mystery, and romance are all merged in this epic clean fantasy novel series.
This story follows one girl with supernatural powers, powers she must hide. This process helps her to identify who she can and can’t trust and as relationships get more complex, she’ll find out more about herself and her friendship circle. Shadowstone is not explicitly Christian but will not incorporate harsh themes that many Christians will consider inappropriate, unlike other fantasy stories.
Chords of Green and Gold by Sarah Beran
This fairy tale-esque story follows the Prince Dorian of Anura who begins to transform into a frog. In order to preserve Dorian’s previous appearance, his father does everything he can to stop this curse, including contemplating sending the kingdom into bankruptcy.
Lydian Miller has a reputation for artistic skill and potentially even supernatural talent. The king hears of this and forces her to turn all the straw to gold so that they have enough wealth to fix Dorian’s appearance. Chords of Green and Gold is a story of vanity, material worth, and reputation. Perfect for any Christian teen with an appetite for fantasy romance.
The Goliath Code by Suzanne Leonhard
When Yellowstone erupts and America is enveloped in ash and chaos, Sera’s mother is taken by a beaming light, while Sera and her disabled brother are forced to seek refuge and participate in what has become a huge ‘survival of the fittest’ contest.
The Goliath Code tells of the strength of faith in turmoil and through the original antagonist, Micah Abrams, Leonhard demonstrates the power of redemption. Dystopian, post-apocalyptic, gripping, and moving are just some of the words that have been used to describe this action-packed, emotional, Christian epic.
Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight
The Ilyon Chronicles follows a long and gritty story of faith, reliance, and religious conflict. Through 6 books, Knight illustrates the importance of belief and dependence on God.
Although this novel is based on a fantasy religion, centering around the God Elôm, it is undeniably a metaphor for the Christian God. The protagonists’ belief is tested throughout the novel and they must resist the pressures of society and stay true to their faith.
A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf
This is the perfect fantasy novel to read around Christmas. A Soul as Cold as Frost is the first in a 4-book series called The Winter Souls and concentrates on an alternate history story of St. Nicholas.
This is a darker, tragic story of a 16-year-old who has had a rough childhood. She is approached by a Winter guardian who leads her to a place of purpose and fulfillment. Christian allegory runs throughout as we uncover the beautiful story of Helen’s journey to faith.
Noah Primeval by Brian Godawa
This is the first in Godawa’s Chronicles of the Nephilim series and adapts the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. In an ancient world, evil ensues and fallen angels rule as Gods. Noah is an ordinary man that just wants to lead a simple life but evil follows him and in order to save his family, he must escape the supernatural evil that envelops him.
Noah Primeval is a fantastic, action-packed story of redemption, faith, and strength. Godawa’s series adapts different bible stories, teachings, and figures to create this epic Christian fantasy series.
The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
The Wingfeather Saga has been popular with Christian and non-Christian fans alike. It follows a group of children, all gifted and restricted in different ways, who need to survive the Fangs of Dang, an evil group that now rules with an iron fist.
These characters are all deep, courageous, and loyal. These books are excellent for joint family reads and are jam-packed with hidden meanings.
The Final Remnant by Terry James
Caden has survived the apocalypse and having had everything taken away from him, his faith is wavering. He now lives in an empty world where only monsters crawl and the dead lie.
But when he finds out that his sister may still be alive, Caden is given a glimmer of hope and decides to journey across the world to find what’s left of his family. The Final Remnant is an (oddly) beautiful apocalyptic story that follows one man’s journey as clings on to the last remaining strands of his faith.
Epsilon by Victoria Benty
This story follows the lives of three very different siblings as they must latch onto each other as the last remaining hope and strive to maintain their legacy when everything turns against them.
Epsilon is set in a fantasy world and covers the relationships held within the royal family. It is a clean YA fantasy novel that is a little less known than some of these other books but it’s a brilliant addition to any Christian teen’s reading list.
House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
There are no Christian undertones within this novel but it is a clean read and will be enjoyed by many Christians simply looking for a fantasy story with a dark twist.
House of Dark Shadows centers around an eerie abandoned house and its new residents. Xander and his family move in and quickly the house turns out to be everything but what they expected. It is positioned in the middle of a creepy forest and some of its rooms hold portals to other places. They soon realize that evil lurks within the walls of the house and must discover what or who is responsible.
Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
Summer in Italy. Sounds like bliss, right? Well, not for the Bentarrini sisters who have spent every year in Italy following their famous parents from historical site to historical site as they complete their archaeological work.
Waterfall follows the experiences of Gabi Bentarrini who, when placing her hand on an ancient tomb, is transported to Italy in the 1300s and finds herself in the center of a battle.
The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud by Jenny L. Cote
This one may be enjoyed most by the younger YA audience but should still be enjoyed by any Christian reader!
The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud is the story of Max, an ordinary dog who one day hears a voice, urging him to the ‘Fire Cloud’. Trusting only this voice, Max journeys across Europe to the Middle East meeting a selection of endearing friends along the way. They arrive at the scene of Noah’s ark. This book interestingly tells the famous Noah’s Ark story from the perspective of some of the animals – a fascinating and enjoyable read for anyone!
Unbound by J.B. Simmons
Elijah is an ordinary boy living in Manhattan but he keeps dreaming about the same thing – a dragon destroying St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
When he meets Naomi in the International Security Agency during his application to become a spy, the deeper meaning behind his dreams unravels and he is taken on a journey of mystery and secrecy. Unbound is a futuristic, religiously charged mystery that will have you gripped until the very end.
The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert
The Gifting is the first in a 4-book series that follows Tess Eckhart as she and her family move across the country.
She tries her hardest to integrate but one boy, Luka Williams, won’t stop staring. And then the headaches begin and she experiences super intense vivid dreams. Luka knows something, or Luka’s doing something… is she going mad, or is something spiritual at play?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is the giant on the list. The Lord of the Rings is one of the most famous literary works ever to be written and is an example of epic fantasy. While this series does not explicitly teach Christian morality or express Christian teachings in an obvious way, it maintains strong references to the Christian faith and some have even speculated that Tolkien’s main characters symbolize Christ in different forms.
It follows a group made up of men, dwarves, elves, hobbits, and wizards, as they journey through the fictional land of Middle Earth to destroy the most powerful and potentially destructive ring the world has ever seen.
If you decide to sink your teeth into this series, be sure to read up on the hundreds of Christian theories available online and once you’ve finished, you can decide if any resonate with you.
The Knights of Arrenthtrae by Chuck Black
This series is made up of 6 books and follows a group of knights living in the fictional land of Arrenthtrae. Disappearances, mysteries, and a whole lot of danger are just a few things they have to deal with.
The knights in The Knights of Arrenthtrae are rumored to symbolize the Jews in the Bible – they are God’s chosen people.
Seventh World by Rachel Starr Thomson
This is the first book in the trilogy that follows Maggie as she journeys to a seventh world to deliver an ancient relic.
Seventh World is a beautiful book that toys with the line between good and evil. It is a journey of truth, identity, and faith and is guaranteed to take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
Prophet by R.J. Larson
Prophet is a brilliant blend of Christian and feminist fantasy. It follows the faithful but bad-tempered 17-year-old Ela Roeh of Parne, who can’t understand why her Creator, the Infinite, doesn’t want her as His prophet. Perhaps it has something to do with her gender?
Determined to prove herself and earn her rightful place, Ela will do anything to become her Creator’s prophet, despite all the warnings from elders and the obstacles in the way.
Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
This is the first of a 6-book series that follows Princess Una of Parumvir. Her prince charming has finally arrived but he doesn’t fit the idyllic image she’s dreamt of all these years… he’s boring.
Heartless concentrates on the superficiality that many people have when approaching love. Stengl’s questionable protagonist will make an array of interesting decisions and will illustrate the danger of judging a book by its cover.
Whether you’re looking to embark on adventurous quests, ride into battle, fight dragons, or explore witchcraft, there’s something here for everyone. Rest assured that these books are either written by Christians and therefore do not contain harsh language or themes or they promote a strong Christian message.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Christians read fantasy books?
It depends on your moral code and the type of fantasy book you want to read. Some fantasy books are gritty, hard-hitting, and promote evil and therefore may not be the best fit for you, but others are written with Christian intent and should be enjoyed by everyone.
Does fantasy go against Christian teachings?
Many Christians may argue that consuming literature that is quite literally ‘out of this world’ is ‘defying God’s will’, but many fantasy books can help some Christians relate to teachings more easily. Using thrilling stories and engaging characters can reposition perspective and help young Christians understand biblical teachings. Christians across the world have used different types of art and literature to teach Christianity and glorify God – fantasy is just one of these forms.
What is sinful fantasy?
Fantasy literature that includes ‘sinful’ acts such as sex before marriage, murder, and substance abuse, can be deemed as sinful fantasy, as can any fantasy novel that is written with inappropriate language.
Is Trisha Preibe a Christian?
According to the description of her book Trust, Hope, Pray, both Trisha Priebe and her co-writer are Christians who have relied on Jesus and biblical teachings for strength and guidance.
What is the best Christian fantasy book?
The Lord of the Rings is the highest-rated book series on this list, however, it does not contain explicit Christian messages. Instead, it alludes to Christianity and Christian lifestyles.