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A Green and Ancient Light

Frederic S. Durbin

A gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Pan's Labyrinth and John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things.

Set in a world similar to our own, during a war that parallels World War II, A Green and Ancient Light is the stunning story of a boy who is sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer in a serene fishing village. Their tranquility is shattered by the crash of a bullet-riddled enemy plane, the arrival of grandmother's friend Mr. Girandole--a man who knows the true story of Cinderella's slipper--and the discovery of a riddle in the sacred grove of ruins behind grandmother's house. In a sumptuous idyllic setting and overshadowed by the threat of war, four unlikely allies learn the values of courage and sacrifice.

A Game of Thrones

A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 1

George R. R. Martin

The cold is returning to Winterfell, where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime. A time of conflict has arisen in the Stark family, as they are pulled from the safety of their home into a whirlpool of tragedy, betrayal, assassination, plots and counterplots. Each decision and action carries with it the potential for conflict as several prominent families, comprised of lords, ladies, soldiers, sorcerers, assassins and bastards, are pulled together in the most deadly game of all--the game of thrones.

River of Stars

Under Heaven: Book 2

Guy Gavriel Kay

In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China's Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world -- a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.

Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life-in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later-and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.

Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor-and alienates women at the court. But when her father's life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.

In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.

Tigana

Guy Gavriel Kay

One by one, the divided provinces of The Peninsula of the Palm had fallen, conquered by the armies and the sorcery of the two Tyrants.

Now, Alberico of Barbadior holds the provinces of the Eastern Palm while Brandin of Ygrath rules the West, and normality, of a sort, has returned to the peninsula. But for one province there can be no peace. For there is one land that dared to spill the blood of Brandin's beloved son. A land that has been broken and burned, its towers razed and its people crushed, and through the dark magics of the Tyrant of Ygrath, had its very name erased from the world.

It falls to a small band of exiles from this shattered land to attempt to achieve what nine provinces could not, and bring down not one, but two, tyrants. Driven by fierce pride, love, and the memory of what was, this brave handful of men and women will risk all that they have to return freedom to the Palm, and to hear once more the music of a forgotten name: Tigana.

The Princess Bride

William Goldman

William Goldman's beloved novel has sold over one million copies. A movie, released twenty years ago, perfectly captured the spirit of the book and has introduced new fans to its pages ever since. In 1941 a young boy lies bedridden from pneumonia. His perpetually disheveled and unattractive father, an immigrant from Florin with terribly broken English, shuffles into his bedroom carrying a book. The boy wants to know if it has any sports. His father says, "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles." And the little boy, though he doesn't know it, is about to change forever. As Goldman says, "What happened was just this. I got hooked on the story." And coming generations of readers will, too.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter: Book 7

J. K. Rowling

Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.

In this final, seventh installment of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling unveils in spectactular fashion the answers to the many questions that have been so eagerly awaited. The spellbinding, richly woven narrative, which plunges, twists and turns at a breathtaking pace, confirms the author as a mistress of storytelling, whose books will be read, reread and read again.

The Black Cauldron

The Prydain Chronicles: Book 2

Lloyd Alexander

Peace reigns in Caer Dallben, where Taran works as Assistant Pig-Keeper, but evil threatens the rest of Prydain. The diabolical Arawn's army grows every day, and his terrible warriors never die. They are born in the Black Cauldron from the stolen bodies of slain soldiers. If evil is to be defeated, the cauldron must be destroyed. Taran volunteers to travel to Arawn's stronghold and assist in the destruction of the dreaded cauldron. With his faithful friends reassembled, Taran marches off to face great danger with a courageous heart.

The Curse of Chalion

The World of the Five Gods: Chalion: Book 1

Lois McMaster Bujold

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge -- an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous... and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.

To Green Angel Tower, Part 1: Seige

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: Book 3

Tad Williams

Simon Snowlock and Prince Josua's band of allies gather at the Stone of Farewell. King Elias is drawn ever deeper into the dark sorceries of Ineluki, the Storm King. The badly depleted League of the Scroll searches for age-old knowledge with which to aid Josua's much-outnumbered army. Across the face of Osten Ard lines are drawn as the final battle approaches, and the struggle between Light and Dark reaches a climax.

SIEGE is the first half of TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER - an international hardback bestseller - the final volume of Tad Williams' highly acclaimed trilogy Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

Crooked Kingdom

The Grisha Universe: Six of Crows: Book 2

Leigh Bardugo

The highly anticipated sequel to the thrilling #1 New York Times-bestselling Six of Crows.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets?a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

A Skinful of Shadows

Frances Hardinge

A Skinful of Shadows is a dark YA historical fantasy set in the early part of the English Civil War. Kate is an illegitimate daughter of the aristocratic Fellmotte family, and as such, she shares their unique hereditary gift: the capacity to be possessed by ghosts. Reluctant to accept her appointed destiny as vessel for a coterie of her ancestors, she escapes. As she flees the pursuing Fellmottes across war-torn England, she accumulates a motley crew of her own allies, including outcasts, misfits, criminals, and one extremely angry dead bear. From Costa Book of the Year winner Frances Hardinge comes a new dark historical fantasy that's sure to satisfy her leagues of fans who are eager for more.

To Green Angel Tower, Part 2: Storm

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: Book 4

Tad Williams

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: The three swords which seem inextricably linked to the fate of both Simon, the ex-kitchen boy and now Knight, and the land of Osten Ard itself. As their enigma unfolds, new horrors of war and dark sorcery draw the land and its people to an unimaginably powerful climax, in this final volume of Tad Williams' landmark series.

Part 2 of To Green Angel Tower, the 3rd book of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

A Wizard of Earthsea

The Earthsea Cycle: Book 1

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter: Book 6

J. K. Rowling

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. And yet... As with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability.

The High King

The Prydain Chronicles: Book 5

Lloyd Alexander

The Sword of Dyrnwyn, the most powerful weapon in the kingdom of Prydain, has fallen into the hands of Arawn-Death-Lord. Now Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and Prince Gwydion lead an army against the powerful lord. After a winter expedition filled with danger, Taran's forces arrive at Mount Dragon, evil's stronghold. There Taran is forced to make the most crucial decisions of his life as he confronts the evil enchantress Achren and the diabolical Arawn.

Redwall

Redwall: Book 1

Brian Jacques

When Redwall was published in 1986 it catipulted author Brian Jacques to international stardom. And small wonder! This enthralling tale is jam-packed with the things we long for in a great adventure: danger, laughter, hairbreath excapes, tragedy, mystery, a touch of wonder, a truly despicable villain, and a hero we can take to heart.

That hero is Matthias, a young mouse who must rise above his fears and failures to save his friends at Redwall Abbey. The villain is Cluny the Scourage, one of the most deliciously despicable rats of all time. The unforgettable cast of supporting characters includes the stalwart badger Constance, an irrepressible hare named Basil Stag Hare, and the elderly wisemouse Brother Methuselah.

But most of all there is Matthias, seeking his true destiny in a journey that will lead through danger and despair to true wisdom.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter: Book 3

J. K. Rowling

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

The Golden Compass

His Dark Materials: Book 1

Philip Pullman

In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall.

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her.

In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing -- victims of so-called "Gobblers" -- and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

Published as Northern Lights in the UK.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter: Book 5

J. K. Rowling

I say to you all, once again--in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust.

So spoke Albus Dumbledore at the end of Harry Potter's fourth year at Hogwarts. But as Harry enters his fifth year at wizard school, it seems those bonds have never been more sorely tested. Lord Voldemort's rise has opened a rift in the wizarding world between those who believe the truth about his return, and those who prefer to believe it's all madness and lies--just more trouble from Harry Potter.

Add to this a host of other worries for Harry...

  • A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey
  • A venomous, disgruntled house-elf
  • Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
  • And of course, what every student dreads: end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams

...and you'd know what Harry faces during the day. But at night it's even worse, because then he dreams of a single door in a silent corridor. And this door is somehow more terrifying than every other nightmare combined.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter: Book 4

J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

Soldier of Sidon

Latro: Book 3

Gene Wolfe

Latro forgets everything when he sleeps. Writing down his experiences every day and reading his journal anew each morning gives him a poignantly tenuous hold on himself, but his story's hold on readers is powerful indeed. The two previous novels, combined in Latro in the Mist (Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete) are generally considered classics of contemporary fantasy. Latro now finds himself in Egypt, a land of singing girls, of spiteful and conniving deities. Without his memory, he is unsure of everything, except for his desire to be free of the curse that causes him to forget.

The Last Light of the Sun

Guy Gavriel Kay

In his eagerly awaited new novel, Guy Gavriel Kay turns his gaze to the northlands, brilliantly evoking the Viking, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic cultures of a turbulent age.

There is nothing soft or silken about the north. The lives of men and women are as challenging as the climate and lands in which they dwell. For generations, the Erlings of Vinmark have taken their dragon-prowed ships across the seas, raiding the lands of the Cyngael and Anglcyn peoples, leaving fire and death behind. But times change, even in the north, and in a tale woven with consummate artistry, people of all three cultures find the threads of their lives unexpectedly brought together...

Bern Thorkellson, punished for his father's sins, commits an act of vengeance and desperation that brings him face-to-face, across the sea, with a past he's been trying to leave behind.

In the Anglcyn lands of King Aeldred, the shrewd king, battling inner demons all the while, shores up his defenses with alliances and diplomacy-and with swords and arrows-while his exceptional, unpredictable sons and daughters pursue their own desires when battle comes and darkness falls in the woods.

And in the valleys and shrouded hills of the Cyngael, whose voices carry music even as they feud and raid amongst each other, violence and love become deeply interwoven when the dragon ships come and Alun ab Owyn, chasing an enemy in the night, glimpses strange lights gleaming above forest pools.

Making brilliant use of saga, song and chronicle, Kay brings to life an unforgettable world balanced on the knife-edge of change in The Last Light of the Sun.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years, and the magical events described in C. S. Lewis's immortal prose have left many a lasting memory. For here is a world where a witch decrees eternal winter; where there are more talking animals than people; and where battles are fought by Centaurs, Giants, and Fauns.

The Castle of Llyr

The Prydain Chronicles: Book 3

Lloyd Alexander

In the imaginary kingdom of Prydain, Princess Eilonwy must leave her friends to go to the Isle of Mona for training as a proper princess. Because Eilonwy has magical powers, she is sought by Achren, the most evil enchantress in the land. Shortly after her arrival on the Isle of Mona, something sinister and secret befalls her. Eilonwy's loyal friends, Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper; Flewddur, the bard; and Prince Rhun, her intended husband, realize her peril and set out on an exciting and terrifying mission to rescue her. They encounter great forces of evil as well as private, sometimes painful, revelations in the course of their journey.

Castle in the Air

Howl's Castle: Book 2

Diana Wynne Jones

Having long indulged himself in daydreams more exciting than his mundane life as a carpet merchant, Abdullah unexpectedly purchases a magic carpet and his life changes dramatically as his daydreams come true and dangerous adventures become daily fare.

Soldier of Arete

Latro: Book 2

Gene Wolfe

Of all mortals Latro was the least favoured - or the most. The wound that had destroyed his memory had given him the ability to see the unseen: the world of the gods, the demi-gods and the fabulous.

Sabriel

The Old Kingdom: Book 1

Garth Nix

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death-and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear-and sometimes disappears altogether.

Lirael

The Old Kingdom: Book 2

Garth Nix

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission against the growing shadow of an ancient evil.

In this sequel to Sabriel, winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times bestselling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Alix E. Harrow

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

The Subtle Knife

His Dark Materials: Book 2

Philip Pullman

Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted underworld—Cittàgazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: 12-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another’s, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will discover an object of devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat—and the shattering truth of their own destiny.

A Wizard's Guide To Defensive Baking

T. Kingfisher

Fourteen-year-old Mona isn't like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can't control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt's bakery making gingerbread men dance.

But Mona's life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona's city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona's worries...

Half a War

Shattered Sea: Book 3

Joe Abercrombie

Words are weapons.

Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. If she is to reclaim her birthright, she must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge.

Only half a war is fought with swords.

The deeply cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king's minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head--a man who worships only Death.

Sometimes one must fight evil with evil.

Some--like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith--are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others--like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver--would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her irons wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.

The Children of Llyr

Mabinogi: Book 2

Evangeline Walton

In stark, gaunt prose, it chronicles the years of Bran the Blessed - he who was so vast a man that no house could hold him nor ship bear his bulk - and of the tale of his beloved sister Branwen, his brother Manawyddan, and of his half-brothers Nissyen and the ghastly Evnissten. It is a tale of change and storm, of love beyond death, of high courage, of the end of an era - and the beginning of another. It is epic fantasy in its purest form - marvellous in its compass and power.

The City of Brass

Daevabad Trilogy: Book 1

S. A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she's a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by--palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing--are all tricks, both the means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire and rivers where the mythical marid sleep, past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises and mountains where the circling birds of prey are more than what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

Spurning Dara's warning of the treachery surrounding her, she embarks on a hesitant friendship with Alizayd, an idealistic prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father's corrupt regime. All too soon, Nahri learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for...

Unnatural Creatures

Neil Gaiman
Maria Dahvana Headley

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds--collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.

Sales of Unnatural Creatures benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students in their creative and expository writing, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Neil Gaiman
  • * - (1972) - short story by Gahan Wilson
  • The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees - (2011) - short story by E. Lily Yu
  • The Griffin and the Minor Canon - (1885) - short story by Frank R. Stockton
  • Ozioma the Wicked (2013) - short fiction by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Sunbird - (2005) - novelette by Neil Gaiman
  • The Sage of Theare - (1982) - novelette by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Gabriel-Ernest - (1909) - short story by Saki
  • The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby - (1900) - short story by E. Nesbit
  • Moveable Beast (2013) - short fiction by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • The Flight of the Horse - (1969) - short story by Larry Niven
  • Prismatica - (1977) - novelette by Samuel R. Delany
  • The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me (2013) - short fiction by Megan Kurashige
  • The Compleat Werewolf - (1942) - novella by Anthony Boucher
  • The Smile on the Face - (2004) - short story by Nalo Hopkinson
  • Or All the Seas with Oysters - (1958) - short story by Avram Davidson
  • Come Lady Death - (1963) - short story by Peter S. Beagle

The Ice Dragon

George R. R. Martin

The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara's home. And only a winter child--and the ice dragon who loved her--could save her world from utter destruction.

The Ice Dragon marks the highly anticipated children's book debut of George R.R. Martin, the award-winning author of the New York Times best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire and is set in the same world. Illustrated with lush, exquisitely detailed pencil drawings by acclaimed artist Yvonne Gilbert, The Ice Dragon is an unforgettable tale of courage, love, and sacrifice by one of the most honored fantasists of all time.

The story originally appeared in the anthology Dragons of Light (1980), edited by Orson Scott Card. The 2006 edition is a slightly rewritten version to make it suitable for a younger audience.

The Sword in the Stone

The Once and Future King: Book 1

T. H. White

Growing up in a colorful world peopled by knights in armor and fair damsels, foul monsters and evil witches, young Arthur slowly learns the code of being a gentleman. Under the wise guidance of Merlin, the all-powerful magician for whom life progresses backwards, the king-to-be is trained in the gusty pursuits of falconry, jousting, hunting and sword play. He is even transformed by his remarkable old tutor into various animals, so that he may experience life from all points of view. In every conceivable and exciting way he is readied for the day when he, and he alone of all Englishmen, is destined to draw forth the marvelous sword from the magic stone and become the rightful King of England.

Railsea

China Miéville

From China Miéville, New York Times bestselling author of Un Lun Dun, a thrilling new young adult novel that re imagines Moby-Dick in an unforgettable and fascinatingly imagined setting.

Sham Yes ap Soorap, young doctor's assistant, is in search of life's purpose aboard a diesel locomotive on the hunt for the great elusive moldywarpe, Mocker-Jack. But on an old train wreck at the outskirts of the world, Sham discovers an astonishing secret that changes everything: evidence of an impossible journey. A journey left unfinished...which Sham takes it on himself to complete. It's a decision that might cost him his life.

A Great and Terrible Beauty

Gemma Doyle: Book 1

Libba Bray

It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Abhorsen

The Old Kingdom: Book 3

Garth Nix

The Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone are missing, leaving only Lirael-newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting-to stop the Destroyer. If Orannis's unspeakable powers are unleashed, it will mean the end of all Life. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her and the help of her companions, Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the evil destructor-before it is too late. . . .

The apocalyptic conclusion to the series of events that began with Sabriel and continued in Lirael, the New York Times bestselling Abhorsen is an electrifying reading experience not to be missed.

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather's house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather's room. She opens it--and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea's demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City--and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Ysabel

Guy Gavriel Kay

Saint-Sauveur Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence is an ancient structure of many secrets-a perfect monument to fill the lens of a celebrated photographer, and a perfect place for the photographer's son, Ned Marriner, to lose himself while his father works.

But the cathedral isn't the empty edifice it appears to be. Its history is very much alive in the present day-and it's calling out to Ned...

Hrolf Kraki's Saga

Poul Anderson

Born of a treacherous love union, Hrolf Kraki rose to wild Norseland power in a storm of sorcery, blood... and glory!

Hrolf Kraki's magnificent saga is the story of an age of runes and ravishments, of blades and omens... and of a man who ruled and was ruled by an inescapable destiny.

Victory of Eagles

Temeraire: Book 5

Naomi Novik

For Britain, conditions are grim: Napoleon's resurgent forces have breached the Channel and successfully invaded English soil. Napoleon's prime objective is the occupation of London. Unfortunately, the dragon Temeraire has been removed from military service–and his captain, Will Laurence, has been condemned to death for treason. Separated by their own government and threatened at every turn by Napoleon's forces, Laurence and Temeraire must struggle to find each other amid the turmoil of war. If only they can be reunited, master and dragon might rally Britain's scattered resistance forces and take the fight to the enemy as never before–for king and country, and for their own liberty.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

Zen Cho

A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.

The Book of Three

The Prydain Chronicles: Book 1

Lloyd Alexander

Taran dreams of adventure, but nothing exciting ever happens to an Assistant Pig-Keeper, until his pig runs away. A chase through the woods leads Taran far from home and into great danger, for evil prowls the land of Prydain. With a collection of strange and wonderful friends whom he meets on his journey, Taran finds himself fighting so that good may triumph over evil, and so that his beloved home will not fall to a diabolical fiend.

The Eyes of the Dragon

Stephen King

"Once, in a kingdom called Delain, there was a king with two sons...."

Thus begins one of the most unique tales that master storyteller Stephen King has ever written--a sprawling fantasy of dark magic and the struggle for absolute power that utterly transforms the destinies of two brothers born into royalty. Through this enthralling masterpiece of mythical adventure, intrigue, and terror, you will thrill to this unforgettable narrative filled with relentless, wicked enchantment, and the most terrible of secrets....

Red Moon and Black Mountain

House of Kendreth: Book 1

Joy Chant

The Starlit Land of Kendrinh fell to Fendarl, the banished Lord of Black Mountain. He was the evil Enchanter of Star Magic. Nowhere in the stricken land was there a champion who could stand against him, who could fend off the black sorcery that became a horrifying reality with each rising of the Red Moon. But unbeknownst to Fendarl, a child was being raised by the Hurnei. A child who would grow to become their greatest warrior. A child who would become a man and learn the paradox of conquest and victory--and the dangers of a prophecy preordained to triumph!

The Poppy War

The Poppy War: Book 1

R. F. Kuang

When Rin aced the Keju--the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies--it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn't believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin's guardians, who believed they'd finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard--the most elite military school in Nikan--was even more surprising.

But surprises aren't always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power--an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive--and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away.

Rin's shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity ... and that it may already be too late.

Over Sea, Under Stone

The Dark is Rising: Book 1

Susan Cooper

"I DID NOT KNOW THAT YOU CHILDREN WOULD BE THE ONES TO FIND IT. OR WHAT DANGER YOU WOULD BE PUTTING YOURSELVES IN."

Throughout time, the forces of good and evil have battled continuously, maintaining the balance. Whenever evil forces grow too powerful, a champion of good is called to drive them back. Now, with evil's power rising and a champion yet to be found, three siblings find themselves at the center of a mystical war.

Jane, Simon, and Barney Drew have discovered an ancient text that reads of a legendary grail lost centuries ago. The grail is an object of great power, buried with a vital secret. As the Drews race against the forces of evil, they must piece together the text's clues to find the grail -- and keep its secret safe until a new champion rises.

Dragonflight

The Dragonriders of Pern Trilogy: Book 1

Anne McCaffrey

HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise - and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa's world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world....

The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library: Book 1

Genevieve Cogman

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission -- to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested -- the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option -- the nature of reality itself is at stake.

The Song of Rhiannon

Mabinogi: Book 3

Evangeline Walton

A retelling of "The Mabinogion" in novel form. Manawydon finally unites with Rhiannon - an aspect of the Goddess - but his happiness is shaken by the appearance of the Gray Man, who seeks vengeance against the living and especially against one who would claim the Goddess.

The Paladin

C. J. Cherryh

The Lord Saukendar, Imperial sword master and stalwart supporter of the Emperor is betrayed, falsely accused of an affair with his childhood sweetheart Lady Meiya, now the Emperor's wife. Meiya is dead, and hostile forces have command of the Emperor's regency. Wounded, desperate and cut off from his supporters, Saukendar runs for the border.

In a homemade cabin high in the hills Saukendar survives crippled and alone, his warhorse Jiro and his regrets his only company, while the empire is bled by the rapacious warlords that are regent to the Emperor. Only occasional assassins dispatched by the Regent disturb his morose existence.

Taizu, a country girl from Hua locates him, demands he teach her sufficient swordsmanship to extract her revenge for her people's suffering. Despite his better judgment and strenuous efforts to discourage her, she forces him to take her on as apprentice swordswoman. Shoka, as he prefers to be known to his friends, becomes fond of the girl.

In the process of teaching her and supporting her cause, they become embroiled in the affairs of empire, becoming the spearhead of a revolt that rescues the Emperor from his Regent and his people from the clutches of the warlords.

Prentice Alvin

The Tales of Alvin Maker: Book 3

Orson Scott Card

The Tales of Alvin Maker series continues in volume three, Prentice Alvin. Young Alvin returns to the town of his birth, and begins his apprenticeship with Makepeace Smith, committing seven years of his life in exchange for the skills and knowledge of a blacksmith. But Alvin must also learn to control and use his own talent, that of a Maker, else his destiny will be unfulfilled.

The Lie Tree

Frances Hardinge

Read this thought-provoking, critically acclaimed novel from Frances Hardinge, winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Costa Children's Book Awards.

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy--a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father's possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father's murder--or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself. Frances Hardinge is the a

The Penelopiad

Canongate Myth: Book 2

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, "I've chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn't hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I've always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself." One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Sir Thursday

The Keys to the Kingdom: Book 4

Garth Nix

On the fourth day there was war...

Following their adventures in the Border Sea, Arthur and Leaf head for home. But only Leaf gets through the Front Door. Arthur is blocked because someone . . . or something . . . has assumed his identity and is taking over his life.

Before Arthur can take action, he is drafted by Sir Thursday and forced to join the Glorious Army of the Architect. While Leaf tries to banish Arthur's doppleganger on earth, Arthur must survive his basic training, avoid getting posted to the Front and work out how he can free Part Four of the Will....

Taran Wanderer

The Prydain Chronicles: Book 4

Lloyd Alexander

Taran, the assistant pig-keeper who wants to be a hero, goes questing for knowledge of his parentage, hoping that his journey will ennoble him in the eyes of Eilonwy, the princess with the red-gold hair. Accompanied by several loyal friends, Taran begins his search when three wily enchantresses of the Marshes of Morva send him to consult the Mirror of Llunet for the answers he is seeking, cryptically promising that "the finding takes no more than the looking". During his adventures he meets Craddoc, the shepherd, and the common people of Prydain, whom he comes to respect and admire. With their help, he continues his mission to learn the secret of the Mirror and the truth about himself.

Fire

Seven Kingdoms: Book 2

Kristin Cashore

She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.

Brisingr

The Inheritance Cycle: Book 3

Christopher Paolini

Oaths sworn... loyalties tested... forces collide.

It's been only months since Eragon first uttered "brisingr," the ancient language term for fire. Since then, he's not only learned to create magic with words-he's been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon's oath to his cousin, Roran: to help rescue Roran's beloved from King Galbatorix's clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength-as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices-choices that will take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

Children of Blood and Bone

Legacy of Orisha: Book 1

Tomi Adeyemi

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers... and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Inheritance

The Inheritance Cycle: Book 4

Christopher Paolini

Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

Eldest

The Inheritance Cycle: Book 2

Christopher Paolini

Darkness falls... despair abounds... evil reigns...

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life....

Eragon

The Inheritance Cycle: Book 1

Christopher Paolini

Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.

Truthwitch

Witchlands: Book 1

Susan Dennard

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble--as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It's a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her--but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safiya's hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safiya and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and privateer) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.