The next few weeks in the lead-up to Christmas are always busy, so it’s important to take some time out. What better way to escape and wind down than venturing into the world of fantasy where just about anything is possible? Below is a list of great fantasy books for young readers that we’ve enjoyed this year. Stock up, grab some healthy snacks and a few pillows and you’ll have them sorted.
The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini
What it’s about: This is a standalone book full of stories set in the world of Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle. Set a year after Eragon has left Alagaesia, his latest quest is to find a place to train a new cohort of Dragon Riders. Saphira (his dragon) joins him in selecting Mount Argnor as the site of their new endeavour.
Along with working and negotiating with dwarves, eldunari, humans, urgals and elves, Eragon must also keep the peace and handle the logistics of construction.
Why we love it: The multi layered worlds that Paolini creates are for 10+ readers who enjoy Garth Nix, Phillip Pullman, Rick Riordan, Lord of the Rings and Fantastic Beasts, although many older readers are indulging too.
Scorch Dragons by Amie Kaufman
What it’s about: In this second book in the series, Anders and his Wolf friend Lisabet have found themselves in Drekhelm, the mountain home of the Dragons after the battle. At the end of the last book Anders was forced to fight against his own Wolf family to stop irreparable damage between the two sides. But now his own people feel betrayed by him and the Dragons are highly suspicious. No one it seems, can really understand why Anders and Lisabet put the greater good before their own personal allegiances…
Why we love it: New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman is a master at creating large scale drama and balancing this with the minute and intricate detail of the alternate worlds that fantasy readers demand.
The Wizards of Once: Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell
What it’s about: In the third book in the series we find Wizard Xar and Warrior Wish, along with all manner of friends flying through the Wildwoods on an enchanted door. Their mission is to find the ingredients for a spell that will finally rid them of witches and also out run their parents who are onto them and following close behind.
Why we love it: Filled with stunningly intricate drawings that also come from the imagination of talented Cowell, this series will captivate little imaginations (and big we have to admit). The rich worlds filled with magical details, the wide variety of creatures and a plot that will have you equally excited and terrified is bound to hook the little reader in your life.
A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer
What it’s about: Brystal Evergreen lives in the oppressive Southern Kingdom where she is forbidden to read books. When she discovers a banned book that reveals her hidden magical powers she finds herself in extreme danger. That is until Madame Weatherberry whisks her away to the Academy of Magic but will she be safe anywhere in a world that despises magic?
Why we love it: This is a beautifully written and fast paced story that also challenges young minds. It’s easy to see why Colfer’s books are bestsellers and we think this one is destined to be a big hit too!
The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer
What it’s about: The Fowl Twins is a rollicking fun tale of Fairy People, friends, a pair of twins and the occasional getting shot at, kidnapping, threatening, and maybe just possibly being temporarily killed. All in a day’s work of being in a family of criminal masterminds.
Why we love it: Eoin Colfer writes wonderfully engaging stories, captivating readers from the very first page and inserting humour, heart and wit into his stories. The start of this brand new series will enchant older readers.
Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
What it’s about: This is the second book in the series with the third, Hollowpox to hit shelves in 2020. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow was the biggest-selling Australian children’s debut since records began. This incredible piece of storytelling which gripped the hearts and minds of children everywhere, introduced 12-year-old Morrigan who had been cursed from birth, blamed for everything that went wrong, and was destined to die on Eventide.
In the sequel, Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, Jupiter North is now Morrigan’s patron and she has successfully gained a place in the prestigious Wunderous Society where members learn to use their knack or special power.
Why we love it: Wundersmith will keep 8 +readers on the edge of their seat – our advice is to just let them keep reading until they finish as their heads will be off on the brolly rail, hanging out with the Magnificats or wondering how it feels to ride a dragon.