Fantasy : imaginative fiction featuring especially strange settings and grotesque characters -called also fantasy fiction

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare 

      All Clary wanted was a normal life but after witnessing a murder in a club that no one else could see because the teenage killers weren’t visible to the human eye, she knew her life would never be the same. Clary in a short time has managed to see and do things that normal people may never get to experience.  Suddenly she can see werewolves, vampires and fairies.  How many mundanes, normal folk can say the same thing? How in the world can Clary see them if she in fact is a mundane?  Interesting question that everyone wants an answer to.  

    It turns out that her mother was a shadow hunter as well but she has spent life on the lamb since the infamous Uprising.  She had a warlock erase Clary’s memories in order to keep her out of danger. To say that this causes mild confusion for Clary is an understatement. It ‘s not easy when everything you think you know about you life is actually a lie.  The story continues on its fast pace with her apartment getting ransacked and her mother missing.  And the hits just keep on coming…move over Buffy, another teenage demon fighting heroine is in town.        I loved Buffy and went post Buffy funk when it went off the air.  Cassandra Clare has created a character that even the Buffy hardest core fan would appreciate. She combines the traditional fantasy elements with an urban twist.  Basically she created a fun fantasy read with non-stop action and a bit of romance too.  City of Bones is the first book in a trilogy titled, The Moral Instruments.  The second book is Called City of Ashes and that book slated to come out sometime in 2009 will be called City of Glass. 

Inkheart and Dragon Rider – Cornelia Funke                                                                                                                       

Sometimes when I read a book I wish that I can join the characters on their escapades. It is easy to bury yourself in these wonderful books by Cornelia Funke. She puts in all the elements needed for a good fantastical book including an evil ruler. I was so looking forward to Dragon rider, the next book and I am happy to report that once again she did not let me down. Sure the book looks like it will take forever to read being that it is about 800 pages but that is soon forgotten as you go one of the many adventures of Firedrake and the rest of his crew.

The Onion Girl – Charles De Lint                                                                                                                                                       His books prove that he is a gifted storyteller. The Onion Girl is about an artist named Jilly who compares herself to an onion – she has many layers like an onion but at the core a secret and a past she is trying to hide. This was one of the first fantasy books I ever read and I can thank a former student for turning me onto his books. If you like Onion Girl, check out The Blue Girl, another book in the Newford series.

Christopher Paolini’s Eragon and Eldest and the hopefully to be published soon, waiting with baited breath, book III of the Inheritance Trilogy
 I got sucked into this story line at the beginning when Eragon found the blue beautiful stone which turns out to be an egg and it hatches a dragon, a race thought to be extinct. What Eragon does next, the choices he makes could destroy or save an empire. – who doesn’t like a good dragon story? ***news update – Book III titles Brsinger is coming out on Sept 20th, 2008 ***

JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring series
If you are a fantasy fan, there is no way you can miss the this novel about life in Middle Earth

Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy (Sabriel, Lireal and Abhorsen)
 A little on the dark side – this is not your run of the mill fantasy series about a young women’s battle with the hideous Dead.

The Sight and Fire Bringer -David Clement-Davies
There is a mysterious and terrifying power known as the sight and it sets off a battle that involves all of nature. If you like the Sight then don’t miss Fire bringer, another great animal fantasy that is about tells the story of a prophecy of a young deer who will be more with an oak leaf on his forward that will have the ability to communicate with everyone including humans thus preventing the destruction of the herd.

Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
You are not a true fantasy fan if you haven’t read a Robin McKinley book. Harry may seem like the typical heroine but as you read this book you will discover that she is anything but…..

Amelia Atwater Rhodes books
Take your pick of any one of her books – Hawksong, In the Forests of the night, Demon in my View, Shattered Mirror, Snakecharmer – you won’t be disappointed. This young lady, and when I say young, I mean young – she wrote the first one, In the Forests in the Night when she was just 13. Anne Rice who is the undisputable queen of Goth may just have to move over and give up her title.

Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Ms. Mac’s favorite book – if I don’t recommend the book she will. I was never a fan of Arthurian legends until I read this book. The retelling of the legend from the point of view of the women behind the throne totally rocked.

A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels – Libba Bray
Chick fantasy. Girls – you will totally love Gemma Doyle, the heroine of these books. The book’s storyline takes place in the Victorian times, at a mysterious boarding school – Spence Academy. Throw in some unique plot twists, a touch of romance, some elements of fantasy and a little mystery, you have the recipe for a great book I can’t wait for the third book, The Sweet Far Thing, in this series to be published in December.

Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
2006 Florida Teen Reads winner. The story of Bella, a human, in love with Edward, a vampire, can fall under so many categories – fantasy, horror, romance – it doesn’t matter where you put it because it is still a great read. Their attraction to each other is wrought with danger. She arouses a sensation in him that he works very hard to control – intense blood lust. The closer they get, the more precarious of a situation Bella finds herself in. Their struggle to make it work also becomes a struggle for survival. Truly, a love story with a bite (sorry for the pun).

***news update – Book IV -Breaking Dawn is coming out on Aug 2nd, 2008 ***

The Uglies – Scott Westerfield
Our image, what we look like to ourselves as well as others is important in our society today – not many people would turn down the opportunity to be attractive but what if it comes with certain strings and consequences? This book made me think society we live in or could live in the future – leaves you on a cliffhanger note – great start to this trilogy. A 2007 Florida Teen Reads selection.

Goose Chase – Patricia Kindl
This book is considered to be a fractured fairy tale, which means that it is loosely based on fairy tales we know and love. Very funny…well written with original characters

Harry Potter books 1-7 – J.K. Rowling
There is no way I can leave these book off the list. Harry potter turned non readers into readers. It was impossible not to become enchanted with this boy wizard and his friends as they combated the evil Lord Voldemort and dealt with the trials of growing up. Long live Harry Potter.

Dark Materials Trilogy beginning with The Golden Compass – Phillip Pullman
Soon to be a movie, hopefully they won’t bomb it. The series follows a young girl, Lyra, from her home at Oxford University to the frozen wastes of the North, on a quest to save kidnapped children from the corrupt ‘Gobblers,’ who are using them as part of a evil experiment. Original plot, and well written – destined to be listed among the classic fantasy books in the years to come.