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Ranking Author Jo Walton’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Jo Walton Bibliography Ranking

“What are Jo Walton’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Walton’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Jo Walton and looked at her Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Jo Walton’s is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s By Jo Walton



13 ) The King’s Peace

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 13

“Sulien ap Gwien was seventeen when the Jarnish raiders came. Had she been armed when they found her, she could have taken them all. As it was, it took six of them to subdue her. She will never forgive them.

Thus begins her story–a story that takes her back to her family, with its ancient ties to the Vincan empire that once ruled in Tir Tanagiri, and forward to Caer Tanaga, where the greatest man of his time, King Urdo, struggles to bind together the squabbling nobles and petty princes into a unified force that will drive out the barbarian invader and restore the King’s Peace.”

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12 ) The Prize in the Game

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 12

“The Prize in the Game is the tale of the intertwined fates of four friends, destined for kingship but riven by rivalry and war. Gods stalk the island of Tir Isarnagiri, laying subtle and inescapable dooms upon the feuding kingdoms there. And to those gods, the cares of men and women are less than nothing–but still men and women strive to defy their fates and build destinies of their own.

When a friendly competition leads to the death of a beloved horse and incurs the wrath of the Horse Goddess, the stage is set for a deadly game of politics, love, and betrayal. And as the goddess’s curse chases them down the years, Conal, Emer, Darag, and Ferdia will find that ties of friendship, and even love, may not be enough to prevent their respective countries from attacking each other in a war that will devastate the island.”

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11 ) Among Others

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 3

“As a child growing up in Wales, Morwenna played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. When her half-mad mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled—and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to a father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England—a place all but devoid of true magic. There, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off….”

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10 ) Farthing

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 9

“Eight years after they overthrew Churchill and led Britain into a separate peace with Hitler, the upper-crust families of the “”Farthing set”” are gathered for a weekend retreat. Among them is estranged Farthing scion Lucy Kahn, who can’t understand why her and her husband David’s presence was so forcefully requested. Then the country-house idyll is interrupted when the eminent Sir James Thirkie is found murdered―with a yellow Star of David pinned to his chest.

Lucy begins to realize that her Jewish husband is about to be framed for the crime―an outcome that would be convenient for altogether too many of the various political machinations underway in Parliament in the coming week. But whoever’s behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn’t reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts and underdogs―and prone to look beyond the obvious as a result.”

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9 ) The King’s Name

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 8

“The warrior Sulien ap Gwien and her lord King Urdo have finally united the land of Tir Tanagiri into a kingdom ruled by justice under a single code of law. But where many see a hopeful future for the land, others believe they sense the seeds of a new tyranny. Soon Tir Tanagiri faces the blight of civil war, and Sulien ap Gwien must take up arms against former comrades and loved ones, fighting harder and harder to hold on to Urdo’s shining dream.

Continuing the epic begun in The King’s Peace, this new novel brings the story of Sulien ap Gwien to a rousing and moving conclusion.”

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7 ) The Just City

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 4

“Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future―all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer’s daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome―and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.”

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7 ) My Real Children

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 5

“It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “”Confused today,”” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War-those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?”

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6 ) Tooth and Claw

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 7

Here is a world of politics and train stations, of churchmen and family retainers, of courtship and country houses…in which, on the death of an elder, family members gather to eat the body of the deceased. In which society’s high-and-mighty members avail themselves of the privilege of killing and eating the weaker children, which they do with ceremony and relish, growing stronger thereby.

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5 ) Half a Crown

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 11

“In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain’s upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried “”undesirables”” across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east.

Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain’s distinctly British secret police. It’s his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.

Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long-exiled Duke of Windsor―and the rising gangs of “”British Power”” streetfighters, who consider the Government “”soft,”” may be the former king’s bid to stage a coup d’etat.”

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4 ) Ha’penny

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 10

“The brilliant but compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists-of staunch King-and-Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen-to murder the Prime Minister and his ally, Adolf Hitler.

Against a background of domestic espionage and suppression, a band of idealists blackmails an actress who holds the key to the Fuhrer’s death. From the ha’penny seats in the theatre to the ha’pennys that cover dead men’s eyes, the conspiracy and the investigation swirl inexorably to a stunning conclusion.”

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3 ) Lifelode

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 1

Lifelode is what one might call domestic fantasy, set in a quiet farming community but it’s also about politics, God and religion, sexual mores, the make-up of a family, and how people change over time. There is magic, humor, and lots of good food.

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2 ) Necessity

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 6

“More than sixty-five years ago, Pallas Athena founded the Just City on an island in the eastern Mediterranean, placing it centuries before the Trojan War, populating it with teachers and children from throughout human history, and committing it to building a society based on the principles of Plato’s Republic. Among the City’s children was Pytheas, secretly the god Apollo in human form.

Sixty years ago, the Just City schismed into five cities, each devoted to a different version of the original vision.

Forty years ago, the five cities managed to bring their squabbles to a close. But in consequence of their struggle, their existence finally came to the attention of Zeus, who can’t allow them to remain in deep antiquity, changing the course of human history. Convinced by Apollo to spare the Cities, Zeus instead moved everything on the island to the planet Plato, circling its own distant sun.

Now, more than a generation has passed. The Cities are flourishing on Plato, and even trading with multiple alien species. Then, on the same day, two things happen. Pytheas dies as a human, returning immediately as Apollo in his full glory. And there’s suddenly a human ship in orbit around Plato–a ship from Earth.”

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1 ) The Philosopher Kings

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 2

“The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as “”Pythias”” in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it’s evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.

Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers–including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence–Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find―possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves “”Greek.”” What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.”

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Jo Walton’s Best Books



Jo Walton Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
The Philosopher Kings 232 1
Necessity 116 2
Lifelode 541 3
Ha’penny 4210 4
Half a Crown 2411 5
Tooth and Claw 677 6
The Just City 994 7
My Real Children 1075 7
The King’s Name 798 9
Farthing 899 10
Among Others 12123 11
The Prize in the Game 11612 12
The King’s Peace 131313 13

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