Young Adult Fantasy Novels

I am doing a annotated bibliography of YA Fantasy Adventure/Epic/Quest Novels and I am in severe need of help in some popular Fantasy novel titles and authors adolescents like to read. So far I have

A Hobbits Tale - Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring - Tolkien
Sabriel - Garth Nix
Watership down - Richard Adams
The Once and Future King - T.H. White
The Earthsea Quartet - Ursula LeGuin (??)
Harry Potter and the Socerers Stone - J.K. Rolling (??)
The Iron Ring - Lloyd Alexander
Dinotopia: The World Beneath - James Gurney
Outcast of Redwall - Brian Jacques

All recommedations are appreciated :slight_smile:


There’s Diane Duane’s “Young Wizards” series, that starts with So You Want To Be a Wizard . There are currently 6 books in all + 3 or 4 “Cat Wizard” books.

Terry Pratchett is adapting the Discworld into some YA books, starting with The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents . This May, they’re releasing Wee Free Men, which promises to be interesting…

I remember Sabriel! There was another by him that was good too, about a kid with gold eyes, aliens taking over, psi powers, that kinda stuff, I forget the title. Hmm, what else…

Christopher- Richard M. Koff
the various Madeleine L’Engle books (Wrinkle in Time, etc.

I’d add:
Susan Cooper’s “the Dark is Rising” series
Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy
C.S. Lewis, Narnia
Madeline L’Engle, Wrinkle in Time series
Terry Brooks, Shannara Series

and of course, The Princess Bride

I remember So You want to be a Wizard! That might have been my first real fantasy novel ever!

Garth Nix just got a 6 figure advance. Very serious money for an Australian children’s writer.

Diana Wynne Jones, particularly the Dalemark series.

Isobelle Carmody. Joan Aiken. Jan Mark.

I’d Anne McCaffrey’s Chronicles of Pern series, especially the Dragonsinger trilogy and the Dragon Flight trilogy, and Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar trilogy. These three follow what I think of as a standard pattern: a young woman finds herself outcast and out of place among her own people and dreams of something more. Events conspire to take her away from home where she has various problems, including some related to being too low class, but eventually she fits in, finds self esteem, gains respect for the very abilities which made her an outcast back home, falls in love, and generally lives happily ever after, which includes continuing to have adventures.

Since I was outcast and out of place as a teenager, I took a lot of comfort in those stories.


Although you listed the Iron Ring series, you’re leaving out Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series. Honorary mention also goes to Ursula Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea series and the loose historical fantasy series by Joan Aiken beginning with ‘Wolves of Willoughby Chase’.

The Belgariad and The Malloreon by David Eddings
She and King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard
The Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer - indeed Classical mythology in general. Any of Michael Moorcock’s Elric books.

Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer. Solid anti-hero who winds up saving the day. Cool technology, semienviromental message. All good.

Tamora Pierce (esp Wild Magic & Song of the Lioness Quartets) Standard fantasy fiction - in the Wild Magic series and orphaned girl with a couple of secrets + new and unpredictable magic, befrended by powerful people who are just thrilled when she saves the day. Much better than my summary sugests. Likewise for the Song of the Lioness - feisty young girl wants to be knight. Pretends to be a boy. Saves the day. Again, much better than I have suggested, but they’re easy to be scathing about once one is no longer a thirteen year old girl.

Oooh…YA fantasy…some of my favorites.

Anything by Tamora Pierce - these have become much more popular in the last few years. Several quartets, including Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens.

H. M. Hoover - This Time of Darkness, Orvis and others. These are being re-released.

I second the Diana Wynne Jones and the Diane Duane nominations. DW Jones has a number of stand alone books (I’ve never gotten into the Dalemark Quartet). The Crestomanci Chronicles are excellent, however. Of Diane Duane’s work, I’ve only read So you want to be a wizard? - it was rather dark, compared to other YA fantasy, but it was still a good read.

Just a question–why FOTR and not the rest of the series?

or only one Harry Potter?

You might include all Brian Jacques’ Redwall Abbey books, there are lots.

Terry Pratchett - The Last Hero; The Bromeliad trilogy (Truckers, Diggers and Wings); The Incredible Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

Another vote here for Diana Wynne Jones, as well.

Lloyd Alexander has written a large number of fantasy books for children; not only the Prydain series (which is rather like a LOTR lite) but also the Westmark books.

I recently started reading Tanith Lee’s “Wolf” books. So far she has written “Wolf Tower” and “Wolf Star.” Rather strange, but good, books.

Kara Dalkey wrote two wonderful fantasy books set in Japan for YA – “Little Sister” and “The Heavenward Path.” She also wrote another series, not as wonderful, about mermaids.

“A Plague of Sorcerers” and “Journeyman Sorcerer” by Mary Frances Zambreno.

“Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine is a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella fairytale.

“The Perilous Gard” by Elizabeth Marie Pope is a truly classic story which treats faeries in much the same way as Tam Lin.

The various books about Bordertown by Will Shetterly (and Emma Bull?)–Nevernever, Elsewhere, Finder.

Patricia Wrede’s books–all of them, but particularly the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, starting with “Talking to Dragons” and the Mairelon books, starting with “Mairelon the Magician.”

The Wren books by Sherwood Smith, starting with “Wren to the Rescue.”

Some classics for younger readers: anything by Edward Eager or E. Nesbit.

The Mennyms series by Sylvia Waugh, starting with “The Mennyms,” about a family of life-like dolls an old woman created and how they survive after she dies.

“The Thief” and its sequal “The Queen of Attolia” by Megan Whalen Turner. I especially recommend “The Thief,” which was a Newberry Honor book.

There was an entertaining YA book about a young girl who goes up this mountain for some reason and various obstacles present themselves. There’s a field of jagged rocks, which her tears melt, and rather disturbing colored snow with various unpleasant properties, all made by this evil witch. All ends happily, of course. Can anyone remember the title/author? It’s bugging me now. If anyone can, it was a good book so add that too.

Everyone has seconded DWJ already–but let me add another vote. Simply the best YA fantasy writer out there, in my opinion.

K. A. Applegate wrote a series of books called the Everworld series that are pretty good. Basically, four (really five) teenagers get sucked into the world the gods created when they decided to leave earth.

Garth Nix’s book about children in a postapocalyptic future (Shade’s Children) is not very good. However, Sabriel and Lirael are really good. I havn’t read Abhorsen yet.

The reason I am just picking a few novels from series and triologies (i.e. Harry Potter and LOTR) is because I have to keep this annonated bibliography under 2 pages, which in my opinion sucks because there are way to many good books I will be leaving out.

I would also like to thank everyone for helping me out with finding some titles. I have a huge stack of print offs of Fantasy novels (YA) titles and summaries that I have been going through that was given to me by my professor. With all your suggestions I have been able to pick some good ones :). If you all have some more titles send them my way (just means more work for me to research them and then add them to my bibliography but hey its worth it :slight_smile: )

Also by Garth Nix: SHADE’S CHILDREN. Too creepy for words.

Anyone out there like Donna Jo Napoli? She takes familiar fairy tales and fleshes them out into young-adult novels, telling them from a different point of view. Highly recommended: ZEL, the “complete” version of RAPUNZEL, and THE MAGIC CIRCLE, a retelling of HANSEL AND GRETEL from the Witch’s point of view. The latter is, I think. one of the best novels of ANY sort that I have ever read. IF you thought HANSEL AND GRETEL was already disturbing, you don’t know the half of it. And the Witch is a very different person from anything you or I ever imagined.

You’ll want to check out the David Sullivan books by Tom Deitz.

Teenagers mixing with the Celtic Faerie realm in North Georgia.

Raymond Feist’s Riftwar books are great, and so is Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorntrilogy (which begins with The Dragonbone Chair. Both series are relatively complex, but not overly violent (within the context of sword and sorcery, at least) or sexual–the two concerns most parents mentioned to me when I was a bookseller. Mercedes Lackey is uneven, and her books are all quite accepting of homesexual relationships, so some people may find them objectionable. Don’t forget The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, or The Forgotten Beast of Eld(the most romantic book ever written) by Patricia McKillip–she also has some titles that are specifically YA. Judith Tarr writes fantasies set within a slightly different medieval history–Alamut, set in the Crudades, is excellent, and Kathryn Kurtz’s Dernyr series has a medieval feel as well. Finally, Mary Stewart’s Merlin series (Crystal Caves, Hollow Hills plus two or three others) are an excellent companion to The Once and Furture King.

Oh, and there are now 5 books in the Earthsea series, and a book a short stories set in the same world.

I read a novel called “Dealing with Dragons” that was really good, but I don’t know the author. I think it’s part of a series. I also go for the Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter books, along with anything by Tamora Pierce.