Happy Star Wars Day everyone! May the Fourth be with you! I hope all of you are loving The Mandalorian just like I am.
First, let me preface this article by saying that I love Star Wars. Also, here is your official spoiler warning. Don’t read if you haven’t watched The Mandalorian or don’t want key themes and plot points spoiled. Leading up to The Mandalorian’s launch on Disney+, I wasn’t too excited about it. I thought it might be cool but I wasn’t going to sign up for Disney’s new streaming service just because of this series. To be honest, it just didn’t sound that great to me, but I was so wrong!
Over Christmas of 2019, I was able to watch all eight episodes. I couldn’t stop watching. The action-packed adventure draws you in as you are fed little bits about Mando and Baby Yoda. I think The Child, aka Baby Yoda, was definitely my favorite part. Plus, I enjoyed seeing Mando go against his typical bounty-hunter cold heart attitude to protect something so precious.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate so if you click on a link and decide to buy something I will get pennies for referring you. This in no way changes the price for you. It just helps me make a bit for doing what I love.
Baby Yoda Take Over
No one can get enough of Baby Yoda or The Mandalorian. Just look at how the merchandise flew off the shelves for Christmas. Plus people became creative and made Baby Yoda sugar cookies, Baby Yoda hats, and stuffed animals. I really loved all of the memes.
Today Disney is launching a behind the scenes look at the making of the first season of the Mandalorian called Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. So check it out for more amazing Star Wars knowledge and fun. It will be released on a weekly schedule every Friday similar to how The Mandalorian was released. Meaning we can’t binge watch it or skip to the end to see how everything turns out.
Sorry for the massive side tangents! Here is a list of Non-Star Wars books with elements similar to The Mandalorian and you are sure to love if you enjoyed seeing Mando and Baby Yoda battle the bad guys.
1 & 2 & 3: The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
I know it is kind of not fair to put the entire Mistborn: Wax and Wayne series down, but these books are the original Sci-Fi western story. Note: these three are books 4-6 of the Mistborn Series, however, you can read them as a stand-alone series. This series follows two friends Lord Waxillian and Wayne his sidekick. Wax is a lawman keeping the peace in the roughs when he is called back into high society. He may be physically out of the roughs, but the chance to solve a good mystery sucks him back into danger on a regular basis. Wax may not be a bounty hunter but he deals with similar people. Plus, he has special skills to get him out of sticky situations.
4: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
I promise this is the last Brandon Sanderson book on the list. This is book one of the Mistborn series. It follows the story of Vin a girl who starts as part of a gang scamming the government. Eventually, she turns into the figurehead of a revolution. Kelsier, an escaped convict, mentors the young girl in how to use her powers and how to move in high society. Together they plot a revolution against a leader who has stayed in power for way too long. The protective fatherly relationship of Mando to The Child is similar to the relationship that Kelsier and Vin form.
For more about The Final Empire check out the Parent Guide.
5: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
One defining moment of The Mandalorian Series is when Din Djarin, affectionately called Mando, goes against what he has always done and rescues The Child instead of letting it stay in the hands of the empire. This same theme of rejecting outside expectations is in Graceling. Katsa, a smart and beautiful girl, is from a world where select individuals are given a Grace or special skill at something. Some have a Grace of dancing well or being able to hold their breath underwater for hours at a time. Katsa’s Grace is killing. She is the niece to the most powerful king in the five lands and is his thug. At sixteen she decides to take on secret missions to thwart the five power-hungry kings. Her adventures protecting others help her to discover her true Grace.
6: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Ismae has a similar backstory to Din Djarin. Both escape terrible fates and are taken in by secret societies where they learn dark skills. Din Djarin uses his skills as a bounty hunter. Ismae uses her skills as a spy and an assassin. Being immune to poison and a great shot with a crossbow are the perfect skills to infiltrate a medieval court and take out her target. When her training and her heart end up on different sides, Ismae sides with her heart and must face the consequences.
For more about Grave Mercy check out my Review for a deeper look.
7: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
One of the most thrilling and suspenseful scenes, that just happens to end in a cliffhanger, is at the end of episode seven. Din Djarin and his gang are trapped inside the cantina by Gideon. The only way for them to escape is to change the rules of engagement when their droid friend comes to their rescue. This same idea of escaping an impossible situation by changing the game is also in Ender’s Game. Ender Wiggins is a twelve-year-old boy born to be a soldier to fight against an alien race bent on wiping out the human race. The book follows Ender’s progression as he fights off bullies and uses strategy and cunning instead of force. In every conflict, Ender changes the rules of engagement so they are in his favor allowing him to take the upper hand.
For more about Ender’s Game check out the Parent Guide.
8: I Am Number 4 by Pittacus Lore
Din Djarin is made a pariah and bounty-hunters are sent after the package he failed to deliver. Hunted he travels from place to place, never staying in the same spot for too long. In I Am Number 4, John Smith is also on the run from enemies. His enemies are trying to slaughter the last of his race. John is one of nine refugees from the planet Lorien. The nine children and their nine guards are the last of their race. They are on the run from an evil group called the Mogadorians until their legacies develop. Legacies are special powers that develop as they mature. Before leaving Lorien a charm was placed on them so they can only be killed in a particular order and it notifies the others when one of them has died. Three are dead. John Smith is number four. They are coming for him.
9: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
A book about Egyptian mythology may seem the complete opposite of Star Wars but I did it for the sidekicks. I added this book to the list after thinking about Baby Yoda. He is so cute and loveable but he kicks butt in a fight. Plus, who couldn’t love a frog-eating child who is 50? The Red Pyramid has a couple of pretty rocking sidekicks too. They have a cat that is actually Bast the cat goddess. Another sidekick is Khufu a baboon who only eats things ending in -o like flamingos and Cheerios. He is also a huge fan of jello. This book is full of funny one-liners and jokes while the Kane siblings try to save the world. Also, it is available as a graphic novel, which I highly recommend.
10: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Bounty hunters are tasked with finding and bringing back individuals others can’t find. This is similar to Eugenides’ job as the queen’s thief. He boasts about being able to steal anything. Gen’s boasting lands him in prison where the only way out is to help a rival country steal a priceless artifact from the Gods. He doesn’t believe in the Gods or knows how to actually steal the treasure from them. This is a unique book where you actually dislike and hate the protagonist for the majority of the book. At least I did because he was constantly whining, but then when everything comes together in the end, it is so beautiful. You can’t help loving the thief with a brilliant master plan.
For more about The Thief check out the Parent Guide.
To sum up, the list read The Wax and Wayne series by Brandon Sanderson for more amazing Sci-fi western fun. The Final Empire also by Brandon Sanderson is a great depiction of an adopted father-child relationship. Graceling and Grave Mercy are both about assassins changing their fate and using their skills to protect others. Similar to when Mando goes against the Guild to protect The Child.
Ender’s Game is a great sci-fi book about changing the game to defeat the odds. Mando and the gang do something similar to escape at the end of season 1. I Am Number 4 shows life on the run while being one of the last of a civilization. Mando and Baby Yoda are also refugee outcasts on the run from bounty-hunters. The Red Pyramid has cute sidekicks similar to Baby Yoda. Lastly, The Thief is a twist on the typical bounty-hunter who instead steals from the Gods.
There you have it 10 Non-Star Wars books to read similar to The Mandalorian series on Disney+. I hope that you enjoy these books as much as I did. Check out the parent guides for each book to get a closer look at your book. Let me know in the comments if there are other books that a Mandalorian enthusiast should read!