3 Enchanting Reads for Fantasy Fans
Look beyond The Wall of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series.
Fans of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, rejoice! With the release of Clariel, readers can finally cross The Wall and return to the Old Kingdom. But, for those looking to expand their horizons beyond the Charter-imbued lands of Nix’s imaginings, check out these other fantasy titles, sure to enchant and entrance.
The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
Aerin is an outcast in her own father’s court, daughter of the foreign woman who supposedly enchanted the king to marry her. Befriending Talat, her father’s lame warhorse, Aerin discovers an old, overlooked, and dangerously imprecise recipe for dragon-fire-proof salve. Two years later, Aerin is present when someone comes from an outlying village to report a marauding dragon to the king. Aerin slips off alone to prepare for battle . . .
But modern dragons, while formidable opponents fully capable of killing a human being, are small and accounted vermin. There is no honor in killing dragons. The great dragons are a tale out of ancient history. That is, until a weary traveler brings news that “the Black Dragon has come . . . the last of the great dragons, great as a mountain. Maur has awakened.”
The Alchemist’s Apprentice, by Kate Thompson
The year is 1720, and Jack, a London blacksmith’s apprentice, is fleeing from his master’s punishment. Now a runaway, Jack’s wanderings take him by the Thames River, where he plucks a curious little pot out of the water. Hoping that his find is valuable, Jack discovers that the pot belongs to a practitioner of the forbidden art of alchemy. The alchemist agrees to take Jack on as an apprentice and teach him his secret art. But what the alchemist offers will not lead to shelter or security—instead, it’s something far more wonderful and perilous. Jack’s quest will take him to some unexpected places, where he’ll learn that there’s more to alchemy than he bargained for. Will learning the secrets of making gold come at an even greater cost?
Thorn Ogres of Hagwood, by Robin Jarvis
The werlings of Hagwood live peacefully in the trees of the forest—overlooked and unbothered while they leisurely perfect the art of wergling (shape-changing). But unlike his fellow werlings, the bumbling Gamaliel Tumpin can’t manage to wergle into even the simplest of forms—a mouse—like his peers. But wergling will soon be the least of Gamaliel’s troubles. The evil elf queen Rhiannon, the High Lady of the Hollow Hill, is desperately seeking a precious possession that was stolen long ago. Her evil knows no bounds, and with her army of monstrous thorn ogres, she will not stop until it’s found. The werlings’ peaceful existence is threatened by death and danger—and clumsy, awkward Gamaliel will need to call on the strength within him to fight for his family and his home.