Young adult fantasy

A friend wrote me and said:

“Do you have any gift ideas for a thirteen year old girl who’s into reading?
Specifically, I know she likes stories with a strong female protagonist,
and I believe along the fantasy/swordplay genre. Are there any books
along those lines come to mind…age-appropriate in terms of subject
matter, but obscure enough she might not have read them?”

Well, friend, you came to the right place!. I limited myself to 10 not-too-obscure series but could have gone on. Made me want to go and reread all my favorite young adult fantasy books, which are some of my favorite books ever. The list included, in no particular order,

The Abhorsen trilogy, by Garth Nix
The Song of the Lioness series, by Tamora Pierce
His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
A Wrinkle in Time quartet, by Madeleine L’Engle
The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper
The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
The Earthsea quartet, by Ursula Le Guin
Harper Hall Trilogy, by Anne McCaffrey
Ender’s Game (and sequels), by Orson Scott Card
The Black Magic trilogy, by Trudy Canavan

What’d I miss

Comments 9

  1. faerieloch wrote:

    By the Sword, by Mercedes Lackey. It’s one of her earlier, and I think better, ones.

    Posted 20 Dec 2007 at 21:33
  2. aliceae wrote:

    Dealing with Dragons (and sequels) by Patricia C. Wrede. And Crown Duel and Court Duel (which may have been edited into one volume) both by Sherwood Smith.

    Um I do love me my young adult fantasy.

    Posted 20 Dec 2007 at 23:02
  3. zaldreon wrote:

    Since you’ve included Ender’s Game, which bends the female protagonist rule, I’ll add The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen. I remember enjoying it immensely when I read it, which probably was around age 13.

    Posted 21 Dec 2007 at 02:17
  4. semer wrote:

    The others by Tamora Pierce, of course. :D

    Also, Madeleine L’Engle has some other great, less-famous stuff. It’s less fantasy to not fantasy… there’s a whole spectrum in her stuff.

    Posted 21 Dec 2007 at 04:10
  5. semer wrote:

    Oh, and the Diane Duane “So You Want to Be a Wizard” books are good. Not quite sword fantasy, but…

    Posted 21 Dec 2007 at 04:12
  6. zaldreon wrote:

    I read the first in that series (“So You Want to Be a Wizard”) at least twice when I was younger. I second the recommendation.

    Posted 21 Dec 2007 at 04:17
  7. gwaldon wrote:

    How about some Jane Yolen? E.g. the “Sister Light, Sister Dark” books sound like a good match:
    http://www.amazon.com/Books-Great-Alta-Comprising-Sister/dp/031286258X/

    I also remember enjoying the Dragon’s Blood series.

    Posted 21 Dec 2007 at 13:11
  8. prismakaos wrote:

    +1 to: Wrede, Pit Dragon tril, Tamora Pierce (I still reread all these)
    +2million to: Duane’s Young Wizard series. So addicting…

    Also, Lindholm’s Luck of the Wheels quartet, Meredith Ann Pierce’s Firebringer and Darkangel trilogies, RiddleMaster or Cygnet trilogy by Mckillip, Black/Red/Gold Unicorn trilogy by Tanith Lee, Dragondrums, dragonsong, dragonsinger trilogy by Anne McCaffrey, even maybe Jacques’ Redwall series

    I do love my fantasy books….

    Posted 21 Dec 2007 at 13:45
  9. craobhruadh wrote:

    Also, depending on the person I don’t know if she’s necessarily limited to “young adult” books. I recall first reading Lord of the Rings around this age.

    Posted 22 Dec 2007 at 09:22

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