Book/series with a female "Harry Potter"-type protagonist

I remember reading several reviews within the past few years for a young-adult novel. The consensus was that it was a Harry Potter-type book (magic, etc) but the protagonist was a teenaged girl.

Does this ring any bells? I would like to find it and give it a whirl.

There are probably a lot of possiblities, unfortunately. Three that spring immediately to mind are the Tricker’s books (Choice & Queen) by Tamora Pierce, Tithe by Holly Black, and the Young Wizards’ series by Diane Duane.

It could be the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman which I’ve not actually read, but I understand features a protagonist named Lyra.

There is also A School for Magic by Caroline Stevermer (okay) and Sorcery and Cecilia by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede (excellent). Both have sequels. These have girl protagonists, magic, and that British feel, though the later lacks a school.

Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men has magic and a girl protagonist, but lacks a school setting, as do all of Robin McKinnley’s books (the latest, Sunshine is post-apocalypic. The rest are traditional fantasy. Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones has a school, magic, and is British, but there are several protagonists, some of which are female. I think the original “Song of the Lioness” books by Tamora Pierce are superior to the later books (Alana: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man and something else).

I will probably think of some more.

There are also the Lioness (Alanna, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman who Rides Like a Man and Lioness Rampant) and Immortals (Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage and In the Realms of the Gods ) series’ by Pierce as well. I’d go for one of those two series before the Trickster’s series.

There’s also Mercedes Lackey’s Arrows of the Queen series - the last one may go to a little more adult, especially for a young teen, but the first one particularly reads like a YA fantasy book.

I’ve heard people say that Harry Potter lifted a lot of its ideas from The Worst Witch series of children’s books. I’ve not read either series, so I don’t know how accurate that claim is.

Maybe it’s The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix. The magic takes a back seat to the strength and inventiveness of the characters, so I wouldn’t compare it to Potter. Good stuff.

I knew I’d forget some - Tamora Pierce also has the Circle of Magic and Circle Opens series’.

Also, Diana Wynne Jones - her Chrestomanci books are very good, and include Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad’s Fate and The Magicians of Caprona.

Possibly the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix. I’ve also heard good things about the Claidi series by Tanith Lee, but I haven’t read them so can’t personally recommend them.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle?

Hmmm … thanks all … I will have to make a list from this thread and check out Chapters!

(I love books in a series, and since my attention span is now shorter as a new mom, I think older-young-adult books might keep me entertained until my mind is my own again.) :slight_smile:

bienville - funny you should mention that book, as I just started re-reading it (hadn’t read it since I was probably 12) and it is SO much different than I remembered. Not necessarily in a good way. I was actually going to start a thread on it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I remember hearing A Great And Terrible Beauty described as “Harry Potter’s dark, sexy older sister”, if that helps.

Stainz, I suspect that it’s going to be impossible to identify the series that you’ve heard mentioned. Even when someone has actually read a book that they want identified, we sometimes can’t pin down which book it is because it’s been a long time since they read it and they can’t give us enough details for us to be sure which book it is. In your case, you haven’t read the series itself, just reviews, right? It appears that there are perhaps a dozen series that could be described as recent which are vaguely similar to the Harry Potter books which feature a female protagonist. Unless you can somehow find those reviews you remember hearing, it won’t even help for you to read all dozen or so series. The series all fit the description, so reading them won’t give you any additional information.

Funny, that’s what I’m reading right now, which is what inspired the thread.

Oh I’m not overly worried about it - I thought I might recognize it if someone named a title or author. But I am happy with the responses I’ve received, and plan to take a list to the bookstore to see what grabs me.