Fantasy for High Schoolers
Recommended Fantasy for High Schoolers
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce, Y Fiction Bunce (grade 8 and up) Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte struggles to keep the family's woolen mill running in the face of an overwhelming mortgage and what the local villagers believe is a curse, but when a man capable of spinning straw into gold appears on the scene she must decide if his help is worth the price.
East by Edith Pattou, Y Fiction Pattou (Grade 6-12) A young woman journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear who is the victim of a cruel enchantment.
Fetch by Laura Whitcomb, Y Fiction Whitcomb (Ages 13 and up) Calder is a Fetch, a death escort, the first of his kind to step from Heaven back to Earth.The first to fall in love with a mortal girl. But when he climbs backwards out of that Death Scene, into the chaos of the Russian Revolution, he tears a wound in the ghost realm, where the spirits begin a revolution of their own.
Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo) by D. M. Cornish, Y Fiction Cornish (Grade 8-12) Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl's name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Y Fiction Pullman, Y Books on CD Pullman (Grade 6-12) Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Y Fiction Cashore (Grade 8 and up) In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, Y Fiction McKinley, Y Books on Tape McKinley (Grade 7-12) Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the Blue Sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North. But Aerin's destiny is greater than her father's people know, for it leads her to battle with Maur, the Black Dragon, and into the wilder Damarian Hills, where she meets the wizard Luthe.
The Last Knight: A Knight and Rogue Novel(Knight and Rogue series) by Hilari Bell, Y Fiction Bell(Grade 8-10) Need a Hero? You've got one in Sir Michael Sevenson. Although there hasn't been a knight errant in over two hundred years, this young noble has decided to revive the trade. He's found himself a reluctant partner in Fisk, a clever rogue who has been given the choice of serving as Michael's squire or going to jail for a very long time. Now Michael and Fisk are on a quest to right wrongs, protect the innocent, and make the world a happier place. It's not going to be easy. On their first attempt at rescuing a damsel in distress, they break a lady out of a tower, only to discover she was there for good reason: awaiting trial for poisoning her husband. Now the would-be heroes must find Lady Ceciel and return her to justice or be condemned themselves.
The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars series) by Frank Beddor, Y Fiction Beddor (Grade 9 and up)When she is cast out of Wonderland by her evil aunt Redd, young Alyss Heart finds herself living in Victorian Oxford as Alice Liddell and struggles to keep memories of her kingdom intact until she can return and claim her rightful throne.
Magic or Madness (Magic or Madness Trilogy) by Justine Larbalestier, Y Fiction Larbalestier (Grade 7-10) From the Sydney, Australia home of a grandmother she believes is a witch, fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino is magically transported to New York City, where she discovers that friends and foes can be hard to distinguish.
Magic's Pawn(Last Herald Mage trilogy) by Mercedes Lackey, Y Fiction Lackey, (High school) Chronicles the story of the most powerful Herald-Mage ever born, tracing his growth from youthful arrogance to a position of power and maturity in the kingdom of Valdemar.
The Mists of Avalonby Marion Zimmer Bradley, Y Fiction Bradley (Grade 8-12) The magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne.
Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison, Y Fiction Harrison (Grade 7-10) Long after the disappearance of Snow White's stepmother, the witch trapped in her mirror manipulates a desperate peasant and a merchant's daughter to seek the magic she needs to gain her freedom.
The Naming (Books of Pellinor) by Alison Croggin, Y Fiction Croggin (Grade 7-10) A manuscript from the lost civilization of Edil-Amarandah chronicles the experiences of sixteen-year-old Maerad, an orphan gifted in the magic and power of the Bards, as she escapes from slavery and begins to learn how to use her Gift to stave off the evil Darkness that threatens to consume her world.
The Ropemakerby Peter Dickinson, Y Fiction Dickinson (Grade 7-10) When the magic that protects their Valley starts to fail, Tilja and her companions journey into the evil Empire to find the ancient magician Faheel, who originally cast those spells.
Sea of Shadow(Twelve Kingdoms) by Fuyumi Ono, Y Graphic Ono (Grade 9-11) Yoko is an ordinary high school girl with nightmares when a golden-haired young man tells her she's in dream-foreshadowed danger. Soon the teen is flying on the back of a huge bird to a kingdom in another world, where she'll eventually learn that she is destined for a throne. The prominence of a jewel and a sword (as well as purification by water) connects this tale to Japanese tradition. Chinese tradition contributes cosmography and the Mandate of Heaven. Anime tradition guarantees lots of bloody monster-killing by the reluctant (and imperfect) Yoko. This otherworld seems thinly realized, with confusing politics; however, violent action and odd creatures abound. The real-world frame plays a small role, though the fantasy of not really belonging to one's parents is key. Yoko leaves behind her conservative, sexist upbringing, putting on men's clothes and developing muscles, acknowledging the demonic within, and learning to assert herself. Yet, she fears trusting anyone and judges the absence of religion as the reason for people's selfishness. A cynical blue monkey, the heroine's amoral self, regularly suggests suicide.
Shadowmancerby G. P. Taylor, Y Fiction Taylor (Grade 7-12) When Obadiah Demurral, the power-hungry Vicar of Thorpe, attempts to become a god by dabbling in magic, Raphah (who has come from Africa to get back the artifact stolen from his Temple and sold to Demurral) joins forces with Kate and Thomas to stop him.
Sign of the Qin by L. G. Bass, Y Fiction Bass (Grade 6-10) In long-ago China, Prince Zong, the mortal young Starlord chosen to save humankind from destruction, joins the twin outlaws, White Streak and Black Whirlwind, to fight the Lord of the Dead and his demon hordes.
Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, Y Fiction Wrede (Grade 7-10) In 1817 in England, two young cousins, Cecilia living in the country and Kate in London, write letters to keep each other informed of their exploits, which take a sinister turn when they find themselves confronted by evil wizards.
Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott, Y Fiction Marriot (Grade 6-10) Shadows fall across the beautiful, lush kingdom after the queen is attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger, a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land. But Alexandra has more gifts than she realizes as she confronts magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces, and is unflinchingly brave as she struggles to reclaim what is rightfully hers.
Zel by Donna Jo Napoli, Y Fiction Napoli, Y Books on Tape (Grade 9-12) Based on the fairy tale Rapunzel, the story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of Zel, her mother, and the nobleman who pursues her, and delves into the psychological motivations of each of the characters.
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