Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The great crossover genre of fabulousness.  

Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen (these are a trilogy, in the correct order) all by Garth Nix- loved.  The third in the trilogy came out during midterm week- bye tests!

Secret Sacrament and The Raging Quiet both by Sherryl Jordan- I found these through chinaberry and cried over the first one.  They are both glorious.  The first is fantasy and the second a sort of historical fantasy.   

Abarat* by Clive Barker- the writing wasn’t as nice as I had hoped, but the illustrations, glossy pages, and plot are fun- at least look at the pictures.

Jackaroo and On Fortune’s Wheel both by Cynthia Voigt- both are a part of the Kingdom series that I enjoyed, even though I never got into her other books that much.  Possesses fantasy elements.  Recommended for upper middle and high school. 

Stardust by Neil Gaiman- A new fairytale that my mom and I both enjoyed.  It is relatively short and sweet.  Also a movie very different from the book.  The audio book, read by Neil Gaiman, is very good.  For upper middle school plus. 

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier- A retelling of the Celtic six swans myth.  My friend Julie put off papers for a week trying to finish it.  She told me that it sucked her in, which I assumed was meant in the normal sort of sense, where you really could put it down, if you tried.  Not so!  This sorrowful, painful book casts a spell around you, so don’t read it unless you have a long weekend, break, or don’t mind putting off work!  It will make you cry multiple times.  The second book, Son of the Shadows, is even better (if that’s at all possible).  The third book of the Sevenwaters trilogy, Child of the prophecy, was not nearly as good, but worth a read to see what happens.  Her Bredi Chronicles are decent.  Heir to Sevenwaters, the most recent addition, takes some time to get into, as the previous three books must first be established.  This book was obviously written after Wildwood Dancing and I believe it is appropriate for the Young Adult audience.  The story is based on myths and folk tales of changelings and the journey into fairie.  I would recommend reading it after the Sevenwaters trilogy, and if so, I promise some squealing moments.

The Blue Sword by – After reading this, I had to look up the publication dates for both it and the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce.  The two are very similar if you know them very well.  If you love Alanna, it’s worth reading this just for the comparison.  Found courtesy of Julie Diewald.  The prequel to this novel is The Hero and the Crown.  Most everyone I’ve discussed these books with prefers The Blue Sword.

The Princess Bride abridged by William Goldman- It is very rare that I would even think of suggesting an abridged book.  However, this one is totally worth it.  Don’t miss the introduction and watch the movie afterward.  {Please note that only the abridged copy of this book exists; there is no other version.  William Goldman wrote the abridged copy, which is also the unabridged copy.} 

Winter Rose; Od Magic; The Forgotten Beasts of Eld; The Bell at Sealy Head by Patricia A. McKillip-  fantasy fairy tales with an ethereal, transparent quality that makes them seem to be faerie.  Not rambling adventure stories, they have more of the quality of a finely spun dream. McKillip’s books tend to be for older readers (High School at the earliest). 

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner- A famed master of the sword and his dealings with the upper class.  Instead of the common fighter-female relationship, the protagonist is gay and both he and his partner work to rescue the other. I just wish the library had more by this author.  For older readers (late high school and beyond). 

Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner- Like many Kushners, a wonderful romantic novel filled with the dark secrets and frightening fear of faerie.  A twist on the classic Thomas story.  Recommended for those who enjoy Patricia McKillip. 

The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll- A romantic fantasy (trilogy).  Each book follows one of three sisters, each of whom has her own special traits, in their grappling with the dark queen.  Low-key magic involved (but nicely integrated to keep with the period).  More of a fluffy romance than what I normally recommend.  Not for those looking for serious story and writing. 

Patricia C. Wrede: (Her Enchanted Forest Chronicles are in the section for younger readers).  Try her Lyra books, short stories, and Sorcery and Cecilia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot and sequels- a sort of fantasy meets Jane Austen.  Good for advanced elementary plus. 

The Mists of Avalon* by Marian Zimmer-Bradley- I read this the summer I was going into 8th grade (as it’s long, I would suggest reading it over a summer).  A book that should be discussed with a mother or older female if read (especially before high school). A classic.  I have not seen the film version, so I cannot yet say how it compares. 

Tamora Pierce’s series: The Song of the Lioness Quartet, The Immortals Quartet, Protector of the Small (also a quartet), Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen (only two)- series should be read in the order listed and I’ve reread them more times than her editor.  Amazing, loved, and owned.  When I saw her newest book in a bookstore, I started crying.  Wonderful coming of age stories for middle school plus.  

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