Best YA epic fantasy

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Best YA epic fantasy

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abr. 4, 2013, 10:41am

Hello, everyone--

What are some of your favorite YA fantasy books that are neither contemporary nor dystopian? Not crossover books, but books that are set in a purely fantasy world, either classic or historical/steampunk?

I love well-written YA fantasy because the psychology of coming of age -- defining yourself, developing your own moral code -- never ceases to be interesting even when you are long past the age of the characters. But so much YA fantasy these days seems to take place at either a contemporary high school or a futuristic dystopia. Even though I'll own I enjoyed The Hunger Games, I find these settings less engrossing than pure fantasy worlds.

I'm looking for more like these:

Allison Croggon's Books of Pellinor (The Naming, et. seq.)
Midori Snyder's Oran Trilogy (New Moon, Sadar's Keep, Beldan's Fire)
Melina Marchetta's Lumatere Chronicles (Finnikin of the Rock, et. seq.)
Zoe Marriott's The Swan Kingdom

Seraphina, which is also of this type and which I hear almost universally praised, is very high on my To-Read list. What are some others among the best books of this kind?

Editat: abr. 4, 2013, 11:09am

Diana Wynne Jones' Dalemark Quartet, comprising
Cart and cwidder, Drowned Ammet, The spellcoats and The crown of Dalemark.

John Dickinson's The cup of the world and sequels The widow and the king and The fatal child.

Kate Constable's Chanters of Tremaris trilogy: The singer of all songs, The waterless sea and The tenth power. A bit weaker than the above but still worth reading.

Works by Victoria Hanley: The seer and the sword, The healer's keep, The light of the oracle. I though the latter was the strongest.

A journey to distant mountains by Jill Dobson. Australian and hard to find, but this blew me away when I read it a few years ago. A heroine who really grows through the book.

These are more alternate history than epic fantasy, but are terrific reads with interesting amoral, strong heroines who have tough choices to make:
Joan Aiken's James III series which officially starts with The wolves of Willoughby Chase, but Black hearts in Battersea might be a better entry point as you meet the wonderful Dido Twite.

Fly by night and Twilight robbery by Frances Hardinge - another awesome heroine (and her psychotic pet goose) in a highly literate, well-written novel that is really too good to be restricted to children.

Editat: abr. 4, 2013, 12:15pm

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley is one of my very favorite fantasy books.

Grave Mercy and its sequel Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers are both fantastic historical fantasy set in 15th century Brittany. Perhaps not quite what you were looking for, but worth giving a try. How can you resist the pull of assassin nuns?

Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series is a favorite as well : The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings.

ETA: Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone was quite good as well. I think the sequel is being released within the next couple of months.

Editat: abr. 4, 2013, 6:40pm

Seconds for The Blue Sword and other McKinley titles, as well as The Thief and sequels. Oh, and Shadow and Bone, which I read in one sitting on a flight a few weeks ago and just adored.

Other suggestions:

Sabriel and sequels, by Garth Nix
Graceling and sequels/prequels, by Kristin Cashore
Poison Study and sequels by Maria Snyder

abr. 4, 2013, 7:52pm

Leviathan and The Wee Free Men are the suggestions that jump to mind, but I know you've already read those.

Dark Lord of Derkholm is a favorite of mine. It's a play on various fantasy tropes. Some of her other books would fit into this topic to - Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air spring to mind.
Reckless is almost entirely set in a fairy tale land undergoing an industrial revolution. The main character is from this world, and the prologue is here. Is this what you mean by cross over book?
Thirteenth Child takes place on a fantasy version of the American frontier.
You may like Heroes of the Valley, though I found it a let down after his previous series.
Ella Enchanted is a re-telling of Cinderella that takes place in an entirely fantasy world.
The Goose Girl is a re-telling by the fairy tale of the same name and takes place in it's own world.
Dragon Slippers would fit here, but I don't remember much about it.
Any of Tamora Pierce's Tortall books would qualify.

abr. 5, 2013, 8:42am

I forgot to mention Cynthia Voigt's Kingdom books - Jackaroo, On fortune's wheel, Wings of a falcon and Elske.

Also Sherwood Smith's Crown duel, one of my all-time favourites, with a heroine who is initially heedless but must grow up fast to deal with the consequences of the situation she has plunged into.

Can't believe I forgot The blue sword and Hero and the crown!

abr. 5, 2013, 10:06pm

How could I forget Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy? The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers have already been released and The Bitter Kingdom is being released in August, I think.

des. 30, 2013, 6:39pm

The Rae Carson books have a handful of short stories connected to the world as well. I found a few free as ebooks on Amazon. They're worth a quick read if you really liked the characters.

oct. 5, 2015, 4:18pm

Aquest missatge ha estat marcat com abús per més d'un usuari i ja no es pot veure (mostra)
I would recommend Light & Dark: The Black Bonded, it just came out, but I would suggest reading the first book, Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight. I'm pretty sure it just became free as an ebook.

Editat: oct. 14, 2015, 12:46pm

Bit late to the discussion, but Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass is great, as are the rest in the series.
I also liked Christopher Paolini's The Inheritance Cycle, starting with Eragon.

Editat: oct. 21, 2015, 7:23pm

Some of these are older but terrific and not to be overlooked!

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish, 1st in Troll Trilogy
Gom on Windy Mountain by Grace Chetwin, 1st in The Tales of Gom in the Legends of Ulm
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1st in The Earthsea Cycle
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander, 1st in The Chronicles of Prydain
The Various by Steve Augarde, 1st in Touchstone Trilogy
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, 1st in the Underland Chronicles
Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson, 1st in the Dragonkeeper series.
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, 1st in the Harper Hall Trilogy

oct. 21, 2015, 8:00pm

Also good - at least the first one was. Good enough that I want to read the next one.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, 1st in the Winner's Trilogy

oct. 22, 2015, 9:01am

12: The second book, The Winner's Crime, does not disappoint. Had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, which isn't always very comfortable, but made for an exciting read.

juny 20, 2016, 11:28pm

I know this is very old, but I re-read The Jungle Book this summer. Mowgli is probably one of the first "coming of age" characters ever written in a surprisingly fantasy-based realm in a very real world.