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Ryan G
Ryan G's picture
Novels to Inspire
novels, fiction, books

Hey guys, so in the KS comments a while ago, people were posting great lists of movies and books that could inspire some ideas/themes for 7th Sea. Thankfully someone had already posted the Films link but I thought I would add the list of novels people suggested so here it is!

1. On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

2. The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, & The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

3. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

4. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy

5. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

6. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

7. Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

8. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimoore Cooper

9. Captain Alatriste (SP: El capitán Alatriste) by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

10. The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

11. Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell

12. The Lies of Locke Lamorra & Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

These are all of the novels I managed to get from that list. If you think of others, feel free to add them in the comments below. :)

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Colin Wise
Colin Wise's picture

There are additional Dumas stories concerning the Musketeers:  Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, and Louise de la Valliere.

I've spent the last week reading Richard Sanders' biography of the pirate Bartholomew Roberts, If a Pirate I Must Be, which I'm enjoying immensely.

There are also some very good histories of America's war with the Barbary pirates that might provide inspiration.  James Toll's Six Frigates and Richard Zack's The Pirate Coast both come to mind.

If you like your adventure fiction on the pulpy side, Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane stories and Talbot Mundy's Jimgrim stories would probably fit the bill, although it's been a couple of decades since I've read them.  Mundy's stuff is set later in time (early 20th century India and the Middle East), but it still has the same feel.

CrazyOldWizard's picture

The old 7th Sea fiction page

Skycast's picture

The Devil's Fire trilogy by Matt Tomerlin...pirate adventures in the Caribbean...one of the best series I've read in awhile.


Richard Corneli...
Richard Corneliszoon van Deursen's picture

Captain Blood by Raphael Sabatini is my go to book, Also the sequels, the Chronicles of Captain Blood and the Fortunes of Captain Blood.

Short stories that fill in some of the blanks in the main novel.

Set a bit later than the 1660's timeframe for the alternate not-Earth setting but who cares really?

I recommend them whole-heartedly.



BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

The Greatcoat series by Sebastian de Castell.  Traitor's Blade and Knight's Shadow, with a third book due out this summer.  These books are pure swashbuckling fun.

I just finished The Promise of Blood, the first book in Brian McClellan's Powder Mage series.  And while it's not a perfect match, there is a lot there to inspire 7th Sea campaigns.  For instance, the Arch-discese who is well regarded as one of the best swordsmen alive and runs a brothel for the rich and famous inside his villa.  You bet he's going into the mix when I start up my 7th Sea v2 campaign.

And an old favorite, the Liveship Traders books by Robin Hobb.  Great seafaring fantasy.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Well, there's The Princess Bride, and its sequel Buttercup's Daughter.


I'd suggest that Arabian Nights is actually quite a good idea, particularly if you plan to go anywhere near the Crescent Empire.


I recommend Gail Carriger at the drop of an overly fancy hat.  It's later than the setting, but does have an interesting line in how different nations deal with the supernatural and has some potential for inspiring Invisible College stuff, being somewhat steampunky.

True Iskander
True Iskander's picture

It's not 100% relevant, but the Horatio Hornblower novels are great fun. They detail a British naval captain during the Napoleonic Wars and are considered to have very strong nautical-themed writing.

Mark Mekkes
Mark Mekkes's picture

I've just run across James Nelson's Bretheren of the Coast series.  It's more historial than fantasy, but some good adventure.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

I've just finished reading Iron and Blood by Gail and Larry Martin.  It's a bit too modern in detail, but the underlying plot seems very 7th Sea to me.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

How could we have gone for so long without me remembering the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson?  Incredibly weighty, but it covers nearly all the areas that 7th Sea does.

Ben Woerner
Ben Woerner's picture
Guys! You've missed the best one ever! Scaramouche by Sabatini ala Captain Blood fame. It's where Lucas stole all his characters from and just pure swashbuckling fun. :-) :-) :-) Also Patrick O'Brien's Master and Commander series is just brilliant. The guy was inducted into the Order of Bath for it, and he's the only non British Navy person ever to be so inducted. Love the list, I hadn't heard of the greatcoat series, something new to read!
Peasant's picture

I'd add The Scorpion, by Stephen Desberg and Enrico Martini. It's a french comic book series about an 18th century relic hunter who becomes embroiled in an ancient conspiracy to take to take control of the Vatican. Great fun and very 7th sea.

Edit I'd also add Irish Fairy Tales and Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry both by W.B Yeats as reference books for the Sidhe. Both are over a century old, and are freely avalible on Project Gutenberg

Bradley's picture
Make sure you find the right one. The Steven King novel, co written by someone, is very different. I did not like the Steven King book. Maybe I am just not a Steven King fan, or that one was one of his weaker offerings. Haven't read many of his works.
Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

Abercrombie's Best Served Cold reminded me a great deal to Vodacce. It's much more dark and gritty that 7thSea is supossed to be, but a great reading none the less. 

There're certain elements from A Darker Shade of Magic, from V.e. Schwab that made me think of 7th Sea too. Its about a mage that can travel between the 4 different worlds, each one of them having a different degree of connection to magic. The Grey world is supposed to be our modern world, but the ones with magic, specially the Red World, have a lot of vibes of 7th Sea... There're even pirates!

BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

Hey everyone!

This should hit the shelves next Tuesday.  That gives you all weekend to read the first two.  Really!  Go do it!

Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

Ok, I'm on it. So far it's good and...


"Five of his men drew swords on me, and I spotted another behind the lead carriage with a pistol. Damn, that was going to require some fast work on my part. Once you get hit with the ball from a pistol, you really only have a few seconds to get the pointy bit into someone's mouth before you fall down and die."

... yeah, quite 7thsea-like...


But I've to say, his Bio in goodreads almost convinced me to not read anything by the author... I kinda felt that he was a little bit of an... ass... But so far the book it's making me forget that first impression on the author, so that's good...

NeoTanuki's picture

If you're looking for inspiration for a Monster Hunting campaign in Eisen, I highly recommend the first Witcher short story collection by Andrezj Sapkowski, "The Last Wish." Very well-written, some extremely clever Easter Egg references to classic fairy tales, and some good inspiration for grittier, darker-toned supernatural campaigns and encounters. One of the stories, "The Lesser Evil" has become one of my all-time favorite fantasy short fiction pieces.

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture
The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Byan, despite taking part during the 19th century, are a great source of inspiration and everyday life (and spionage and battles) on board an English Navy vessel.
NeoTanuki's picture
"The Alchemist's Apprentice" series by Dave Duncan is a good source of inspiration for Vodacce. It's set in Venice and has magic, swordsmen, courtesans, and a lot of entertaining detail about Venetian culture and politics.
NeoTanuki's picture
For inspiration about the Duelist's Guild and high society/dueling with intrigue, I suggest "Swordspoint" and "The Privilege of the Sword" by Ellen Kushner. IIRC, these books were the original basis for the Swordsman's Guild in 1e.
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