1. I just ordered the first book in the series from paperbackswap.com for my fantasy loving son.  I hope it grabs him the way it has grabbed you!

  2. Oh, yes. Taran is a lovely little pig keeper. 

    I would point people to Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia books.  

    These are adult books, but teens would like them, I’m sure.  There’s wonderful world building and characterization in these, I think.  

  3. Jeff Chapman says:

    Another book to consider is Lloyd Alexander’s The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio. This one has an Arabian Nights feel to it and follows an odd cast of characters on a road trip through a desert and demonstrates that fantasy doesn’t have to be medieval. If you are familiar with Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, it is tempting to see parallels between the characters, such as Carlo to Taran, Shira to Eilonwy, Baksheesh to Gurgi and Doli. The magical elements in this tale appear as stories, dreams, and paintings that suggest the future. Carlo and his followers meet many strange people on their journey. Ultimately, they all find a treasure of sorts but it is not what they were looking for when they began the journey.

  4. For a more adult Celtic series similar to Lloyd Alexander’s, I’d recommend Stephen Lawhead’s THE SONG OF ALBION. It’s a portal fantasy, so Lewis, the main character, is easy to relate to.
    And I heartily second Andrew Peterson’s series … awesomeness with teeth!

    • Kessie says:

      I’d recommend only giving Song of Albion to older teens. The violence is extremely graphic, which is typical of Lawhead. The second book has a scene where they find women from the first book who had been raped to death, and that scene is described in just as much loving detail as the head chopping. Reader discretion is advised.

  5. I LOVE The Prydain Chronicles!  My mother read them to us when we were young, and I’m in the process of slowly gathering the whole set in paperback from thrift stores, secondhand bookstores, etc.  I just have “The High King” left to acquire…

    I would recommend Gail Carson Levine’s “Ella Enchanted” and “The Two Princesses of Bamarre”.  They are lighter fantasy (more fairy tale than epic fantasy, definitely), and more geared toward female readers, having female main characters, but the heroines are spunky and funny and delightful to read about.  I read them as a young teen or preteen, but still enjoy them now as an adult.  Very fun books!

  6. For adults, I would recommend Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

  7. Kessie says:

    If we’re talking juvie fiction, there’s the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C. Wrede. She takes fairy tales and turns them on their head, with a princess who runs away to work for the dragons to escape marrying a prince. The dragons are bemused by this, but take her on as a servant. It’s very light and entertaining.
    There’s also Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones, and its sequel, Castle in the Air. A wicked witch puts a curse on a young woman named Sophie and turns her into an old woman. Sophie seeks out evil Wizard Howl in his moving castle to try to get him to lift the curse, only to find out that Howl’s not as wicked as everyone makes out. Lots of twists and turns. (Pretty much anything by Diana Wynne Jones is awesome, unusual, and fantastic. If you can find Dogsbody, about the star Sirius who is punished for a crime by having to become a dog on Earth … pick it up. It’s amazing.)
    I just finished chewing through all five Fablehaven books, by Brandon Mull. Two kids visit their grandparents, who operate a special preserve for magical creatures–fairies, satyrs, centaurs, you name it, they’ve got it, good and evil. Over the course of the books, the kids get their own semi-magical powers for awesome, and their adventures get crazier and crazier.
    There’s also the Wednesday Tales, by Jon Berkeley. I consider them speculative, since there’s magic and angels, but it’s quite different from the rest. It’s about a boy who escapes an orphanage, rescues a young angel girl from an evil circus, and gets help from a talking tiger to defeat the bad guys and their Palace of Laughter. (That’s the first book.) The other two books are the Tiger’s Egg and the Lightning Key, all just as quirky and loveable as the first.

  8. Love these suggestions, all — especially when you describe a little about the book. That gives me a good idea just what it’s like.


  9. I devoured the Prydain books as a schoolchild. But for some reason never bought my own copies until recently. 
    I also loved Howl’s Moving Castle and found it quite re-readable. Very different from fantasy-as-usual.
    Right now I’ve just completed Live and Let Fly by Karina Fabian— humorous fantasy featuring Vern the Dragon and his associate, Sister Grace, a wielder of holy magic. The book made me laugh so loud I startled the cat.

  10. Sometimes I think we fall in love with books on the re-read. Of course there has to be a reason to do so in the first place. I started reading the Narnia books to my classes when I first became a teacher, and I discovered how much I loved them in the process.

    Second week in a row I’ve heard how funny Karina’s book is. I think writing with humor is a special gift, one not many seem to have. Glad to know she pulls it off.

    I’m going to have to learn more about Howl’s Moving Castle.


  11. Pauline says:

    Loved Prydain – and Howl’s Moving Castle – was disappointed in Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark Series 🙁 

    Highly recommend The Neverending Story and Princess Bride – for you guys who loved the movies in the 80’s (like me), the books leave with a so much better experience~! 

  12. Adam says:

    The Prydain Chronicles were the most influential fantasy story of my childhood – yes, moreso than Narnia and even LOTR (on account that I read Prydain first). If I don’t watch it, my female characters start turning into Ellonwy. Really, anything that Alexander wrote is marvelous. 

  13. Galadriel says:

    I should give Prydain another try. It seemed extremly derivative the first time I read it, but maybe I’d like it now.

  14. Sockpuppet says:

    The Legend of Drizzt by R.A.Salvatore is one of the best fantasy adventures ever written. Lots of action, magic, intrigue, and epic heroism. Plus, it has the most awesome Elf(Even if he is a Dark Elf. Scratch that, ESPECIALLY since he is a Dark Elf) ever as its protagonist; the scimitar dual-wielding Drizzt Do’Urden.

What do you think?