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Top 10: 10 Songs For 10 Favourite Books

Today's post is a special one: I've picked my top 10 favourite books or book series, and a symphonic metal (or similar genre) song that reminds me of them.


10. Nation by Terry Pratchett
Song: Forsaken by Within Temptation

Nation is about Mau, a young boy who lives on an island known as the Nation. During Mau's rite of passage on the nearby Boys' Island, the Nation is struck by a tsunami, leaving him as the only survivor of the devastating event. This one of the saddest and most beautiful books I've ever read (with laughs along the way too of course, because it's Terry Pratchett.) The lyrics of Within Temptation's song Forsaken are greatly relevant, as they too tell of a land destroyed by the sea, and its people forsaken by the gods.

As the sea started rising
The land that we'd conquered
Just washed away
Although we all have tried
To turn back the tide
It was all in vain


9. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Songs: Isis and Osiris by Ayreon ft. Sharon Den Adel and Anneke Van Giersbergen

An enormous and incredibly ambitious book, American Gods is a road trip like no other. Shadow Moon travels across America, meeting all the gods people have brought with them to the country - Egyptian, Viking, Native American, and more. Isis and Osiris certainly seems a fitting song, being equally long and ambitious, and with a cast of characters calling on their respective gods.

There's no way out, slaves for eternity
Down in the underworld, the jaws of Orcus
I call on Jupiter, ruler of the gods
Show us the way from damnation to salvation

The fields of Yaaru lie waiting for us all
Rejoice! The judges have ruled
We have been chosen to enter the great hall
Of Isis and Osiris


8. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Song: Labyrinth of London by Swallow The Sun

In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew helps a stranger on the streets of London, only to find his own life beginning to disappear. He falls between the cracks and into the strange world beneath the city that only the forgotten people know. As part of the band's "Horror" series, this Swallow the Sun track speaks of a serial killer and includes a reading of the poem London by William Blake - but the title is certainly reminiscent of Neverwhere, which features its own Labyrinth beneath London.

She was the one, now cold and gone. 
Ten silver bells marking your death,
You will be lost in this Labyrinth of London.


7. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Song: The Divine Conspiracy by Epica

Northern Lights has always been my favourite of this series, but I enjoyed the other books, too. Lyra Belacqua lives in an alternate version of Oxford where everyone has their own daemon - a physical manifestation of their soul in the form of an animal. The books were based on Paradise Lost and focus on deconstructing the ideas of religion and original sin. An epic series deserves an epic song, so who better for the job than Epica, with The Divine Conspiracy?

Reach out, touch infinity
Life is just a memory
Time is not the entity
Like it used to be

The Divine Conspiracy
Opens up reality
Time is not the entity
Like it claims to be


6. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Song: Stardust by Delain

Stardust is a beautifully illustrated novel about a boy named Tristan, who wishes to catch a falling star to give to his heart's desire. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out as planned, because the fallen star has landed in the magical land of Faerie, and taken the form of a young woman named Yvaine. Delain's song captures the magic of the book with its stardust-sprinkled lyrics.

Bring me to life
Bring me the starlight
Bring me the sun and moon
Release this star tonight


5.  A Song of Ice And Fire series by George R.R. Martin
Song: Hand of Sorrow by Within Temptation

Most people are familiar with ASOIAF thanks to HBO's Game of Thrones adapation. The epic saga of the war, politics and dragon births of Westeros spans 5 books so far, with a further 2 still to come. Within Temptation's Hand of Sorrow is actually based on a different fantasy series (Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy) but has always reminded me of the plight of Ned Stark, who becomes Hand of the King in the first book.

He's torn between his honour and the true love of his life
He prayed for both but was denied

So many dreams were broken and so much was sacrificed
Was it worth the ones we loved and had to leave behind?
So many years have passed, who are the noble and the wise?
Will all our sins be justified?


4. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
Song: Revolution by Kamelot

The excellent Night Watch often tops polls for fans' favourite Discworld book. Hardened city watch chief Sam Vimes finds himself reliving The People's Revolution of the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May - where the citizens demand "Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg!" In Pratchett's usual style, the novel is as much comic as it is dark and moving, with a serious undertone that will sweep you off your feet if you're not careful. Kamelot's Revolution is a great soundtrack to the revolution of Treacle Mine Road.

Light a fire in your hands
To forge a future we can call our own

So rise to the sound of revolution


3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Song: Turn Loose The Mermaids by Nightwish

This Gaiman classic is a loose retelling of The Jungle Book. When young Bod's family are killed by the sinister Jack, he crawls away from his home and into the nearby graveyard, where the ghosts agree to raise him as their own. It was the opening lines of Nightwish's deeply moving song about death Turn Loose The Mermaids that most reminded me of the book, depicting a child in a graveyard.

A kite above a graveyard grey
At the end of the line far far away
A child holding on to the magic of birth and awe


2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Song: Hell to the Heavens by Leaves' Eyes

As a book by both of my all-time favourite writers, this was always bound to be on my list of most loved books. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (to give it its full title) is the perfect mix of Pratchett's comic genius and Gaiman's dark fantasy. It tells the story of the days leading up the apocalypse and the war between heaven and hell, as prophesied (remarkably accurately) by medieval witch Agnes Nutter. This song goes well with the book not just because of the title, but because of its story of a witch getting revenge on her captors, just as Agnes does.


1. Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett

I'm lucky with this final choice, in that the song is directly based on one of the books. The Tiffany Aching books are my absolutely favourites of the Discworld series. Tiffany is a young shepherd's daughter, who learns the ways of witchcraft. In the third book, she accidentally enters the dance of the seasons, only to find that the titular Wintersmith has fallen in love with her as he believes her to be the Summer Lady. Can she save the world from eternal winter? In this beautiful song, Sons of Seasons and Simone Simons sing of the Wintersmith and his love for Tiffany.

Winter's alive, splintered his soul
No heartbeat inside
Breathing the cold, uncertain stride
Trying to feel, to be next to her.

BONUS: As you may or may not know, I'm the author of the Scarlet and Ivy series. I couldn't resist picking a song for these books, too.

Scarlet and Ivy series
Song: The Last Dance by Within Temptation

Scarlet and Ivy is the story of Ivy Grey, a young girl forced to take the place of her missing twin sister at the mysterious Rookwood School. While writing the upcoming third book, The Dance in the Dark, I often listened to Within Temptation's The Last Dance, which really captured the mood of the story for me.

She danced with you last night so you will
All you have shared, a lifetime.

Don’t be scared now,
Close your eyes,
She holds guard tonight.
Go forward,
No remorse,
Life will take its course.


What are your favourite books, and what songs do you associate with them? Let me know in the comments!


Have you read the Farseer trilogy, Sophie? And beyond it? It is my favourite series in the world. I was reading Fool's Quest yesterday and after a particularly emotional chapter, I listened to 'Hand of Sorrow' and was overcome with Fitzy emotions!!

Rasputina's 'The Mayor' also reminds me of the Liveship Traders trilogy, specifically a character called Kyle Haven. Also reminds me of my book too, but then lots of songs remind me of my book as they're heavily inspired my music.



I haven't read it yet, I'd quite like to though! And I saw your tweet got retweeted by Robin Hobb and WT, that was awesome. :)


Hello Sophie and merry Christmas !
Here's my (late) answer to your great post about books and songs :
Bram Stoker's Dracula with The Poet and the Pendulum by Nightwish
Devil's Tower by Mark Sumner with Planet Hell by Nightwish


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thanks for your comments, those are great suggestions!


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