magic

Jun 4, 2021

10-year-old Alanna of Trebond wants to be a knight. Unfortunately, in the land of Tortall, girls of noble birth are sent to the convent to learn the skills they will need as the wives of knights and lords. Her twin brother, Thom, wants to learn to use the powerful magic that they were both born with, but as the only son of the fief of Trebond, Thom must become a knight of the realm. Alanna and Thom trade places, so that Alanna, disguised as a boy, can travel to Corus to become a great knight and Thom can travel to the City of the Gods to study magic. Assisted by her servant and former soldier

Jun 3, 2021

You-Know-Who is back. Harry did not think he would return, but he did. Harry has to go back to Hogwarts, thankfully, and has protection from his professors. Until he doesn’t. A new professor has joined the Defense Against the Dark Arts class, where Harry learns all about new spells and new techniques to defend himself from Voldemort. But, this professor is not a good one. She teaches in the “safety” of her classroom. The pink might look like she is friendly, but trust me, she is not. Harry goes through a lot in this book, and if you want to find out what happens to Harry and Voldemort, read Ha

Jun 2, 2021

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is about two main characters, Malik and Karina. This book is fantasy fiction with a little bit of West African culture as inspiration for key parts of the book. The point of view shifts from Malik and Karina throughout the book to show two very different perspectives, one a poor refugee, and the other a princess. Unfortunately, both Malik and Karina need the other to die in order to save someone they love. Throughout the entire book, the reader can see Malik and Karina grow together, while simultaneously trying to work up the nerve to kill the other.


I thought

May 31, 2021

Alianne of Pirate’s Swoop wants nothing more than to have fun and be a spy like her father, the spymaster of the kingdom of Tortall. After an argument with her mother, the famed Lioness and King’s Champion, Aly decides to leave home for a brief taste of independence. When she is captured by slavers and taken to the Copper Isles, she finds that her knowledge in the art of spying is about to be put to the ultimate test. Navigating a confusing world of colonialism and magic, Aly makes a deal with the god of tricksters: keep two girls alive for the summer, and he will return her home to her family

May 30, 2021

Zahra, a Jinni, has been imprisoned in her lamp ever since her last master and best friend, Queen Roshana, was killed by a Jinn. She has just resigned herself to an eternity alone when a boy, Aladdin, stumbles across her lamp—and picks it up. Now Aladdin, the son of long-dead revolutionaries, has the power to finally create the change he had believed impossible—and to get revenge on the monarchy that killed his parents. However, in this Aladdin retelling, Jinn and their magic are outlawed, and Zahra’s existence, and Aladdin’s association with her, could get them into trouble both with the

Apr 15, 2021

The School for Good and Evil​ is the first book in a series of the same name by Soman Chainani. This is a middle-grade fantasy novel that follows two girls in their early teens as they are taken from their hometown and thrust into a school to learn to become either good or evil. Although this is a middle-grade book, it has some more mature themes and insinuating moments in the dialogue.


Agatha is a great role model for young girls; she's loyal, brave, smart, dedicated, and good, but Sophie's character is worrisome. The overarching theme is to not judge a book by its cover, but Sophie isn't

Jan 13, 2021

There is a breakout from Azkaban! Sirius Black is on the loose, and he is trying to find Harry Potter, for Black was a supporter of the Dark Lord. Sirius Black is also known for killing thirteen people with a single curse. Because of Harry Potter’s defeat against the Dark Lord, there was a downfall for all the dark wizards, including Sirius Black. Azkaban guards heard Sirius Black saying “He’s at Hogwarts...He’s at Hogwarts,” which happens to be the place Harry studies at. Even though Harry is protected by spells and Professor Dumbledore, he is not safe. Read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of

Dec 23, 2020

A Wizard of Earthsea​ by Ursula K Le. Guin is the classic tale of how Ged, a young wizard, comes into his powers and repairs the mistakes of his youth, restoring balance to the land of Earthsea. Along the way he attends a school of magic, battles a dragon, and faces true evil. I really wanted to love this book. It’s high fantasy with a cult following and I wanted it to capture my heart the way that it has for so many people over the years. But ​A Wizard of Earthsea ​is unlike any other fantasy that I have ever read in that it isn’t very heavily plotted and there isn’t a ton of detail. All of

Dec 18, 2020

Beatrice Clayborn is a young, powerful sorceress secretly practicing magic in a patriarchal world that doesn’t allow women the freedom of sorcery. Beatrice’s greatest dream is to become a Mage, but her family is relying on her to secure an advantageous marriage in order to avoid financial ruin. There’s only one problem with this — once married, she will be locked into a collar that will cut off her magical powers to protect the children she will inevitably bear. While scouring the bookshops of Bendelton, Beatrice discovers a grimoire that could help her become a Mage, but she is swindled out

Dec 14, 2020

After her mother dies in a car accident, 16-year-old Bree Matthews enters an Early College program at UNC-Chapel Hill. During her first night on campus, she witnesses a demon attack — one that she shouldn’t be able to see. When a mage’s attempt to erase her memory backfires, her own magical powers are awakened and she uncovers an erased memory from the night of her mother’s death. With the help of her peer mentor, Nick, Bree infiltrates the Order of the Round Table, a secret organization consisting of descendants of King Arthur and his knights, as she believes they may have something to do

Nov 9, 2020

Harry Potter thinks he is just a normal ten-year old boy living at his uncle and aunt’s house. Harry thinks that his life is terrible, but what he does not know is that his life is about to get a whole lot more interesting. Harry finds out he is a wizard! When he goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he becomes friends with Ron and Hermione. The Sorcerer’s Stone is moved, which gives the wizard immortality. The Dark Lord is trying to steal the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter is trying to protect it. Will Harry defeat Voldemort, and save the Wizarding World, or will he fail?

Akata Witch

By Nnedi Okorafor
5
Rated by Anne G
Jun 9, 2020

“Lesson one,” Anatov said. “And this is for all of you. Learn how to learn. Read between the lines. Know what to take and what to discard.”
― Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch


This young-adult culturally diverse fantasy, set within the modern times, centers on Sunny Nwazue, an adolescent born to Nigerian parents in the United States. A couple of years before our story begins, Sunny's family moved back to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where our primary woman of steel currently lives with them just outside a tiny town. Sunny “confuse[s] people,” she explains in her own voice, not only thanks to

Three Hands for Scorpio

By Andre Norton
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     Three Hands for Scorpio is the last adult book for young adults of Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton, who passed away on March 17, 2005 after a long and extremely fruitful career.  Her magically detailed world-building skills, upright, against-all-odds characters, and fast pace will be sorely missed.  Tor rushed a copy of this book of women-of-steel into print, so that the 93-year-old author could see it before she died.  It is the last manuscript she penned alone, and has an action-packed storyline.  I have read most of Ms. Norton's books, and especially enjoyed her women

Deerskin

By Robin McKinley
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     You know, sometimes you just need some escapist fantasy about self-discovery in women.  McKinley's seventeen-year-old girl Lissar was just the ticket for me last night. Deesrkin is a beautiful, haunting, and sometimes painful coming-of-age story that ends with a message of hope.  The first half of the fantasy fiction is really about the traumatic aftermath of a violent assault and rape by the heroine's own father.  These dark themes are handled appropriately, realistically, and with great compassion but they do make for some hard reading in the gateway fantasy.   


     If you have any

Trickster's Choice

By Tamora Pierce
5
Rated by Anne G
Dec 11, 2019

     I previously read Trickster's Choice with courageous teenage girls a little over a decade ago, and I wanted to revisit it.  I had forgotten just how easy it is to get drawn into Aly’s adventures which cause her to become a slave as a girl, and I am so glad to have revisited because it was similar to visiting with an old friend.  This is the story of Alianne Cooper, who wants to be a girl spy, and is the daughter of Spymaster Cooper and the famous Lioness of Tortall and champion of the throne.  Certainly Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite writers in this genre, and Alianne (Aly) stands

Jun 20, 2019

The Legend of Zelda, the Wind Waker HD is an outstanding, unique entry in the already well-loved Legend of Zelda video game series. This time, our courageous hero, Link, lives with his sister, Aryll, and kindly grandmother on peaceful and remote Outset Island. Great floods have submerged the once mighty kingdom of Hyrule and left only small, scattered islands in an endless ocean. One day, as Link and his sister are out exploring, Aryll is snatched and carried off by an enormous, malevolent bird. Link must brave the vast ocean with the help of his talking boat, a crew of dastardly pirates, and

Jul 31, 2018

After surviving one curse, Samantha Mather never imagined having to combat another. She keeps having vivid dreams of being a first-class passenger aboard the Titanic. Meanwhile, strange artifacts have been appearing around town, as well as visions of spirits who went down with the ship. Even stranger, her close friends have begun acting strangely, and the spring ball has been suspiciously themed after the Titanic. She will have to team up yet again with the Descendants and the ghost Elijah to figure who is causing the mysterious spell that is drawing her dangerously closer into the serene

Piper

3
Rated by
May 17, 2018

Everyone knows the story of the pied piper right? How a mysterious man came into town and lured away all the rats by playing his pipe. But the townspeople refused to pay him, so he stole away all the children that night and they were never seen again. Right? But this book tells a different story. One you never expected.


This graphic novel had such beautiful artwork! I thought this was such a creative idea for a book. It was executed very well, and the story was so original. It was an incredibly quick read. Only took me about an hour to read, but I still enjoyed this short and sweet story.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found

By Moira Fowley-Doyle
5
Rated by Chris K.
May 15, 2018

If you don't close your mouth, a fly will fly in, and then you'll have to swallow a spider to catch the fly, and then a cat to catch the spider, and then a dog to catch the cat, and then a goat to catch the dog, and then a cow to catch the goat, and then a horse to catch the cow, and then a lost soul to catch the horse.


Enchanting. Atmospheric. Mysterious. (a lost soul to catch the horse) Lush. Gritty. Suspenseful. There are so many good words I can think of to describe the beguiling collection of words that is this book. Dark. Mature. Sensual.


Wait for a sign.
If the lights

Echo

By Pam Muñoz Ryan
5
Rated by Emily D.
Nov 29, 2017

Echo follows the stories of Otto, Friedrich, Mike, Ivy, and the mysterious harmonica that ties them together! The magical thread of music carries you through this wonderful tale. Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California are all dealing with the wrath of a war that tore countries and families apart. Friedrich is living with a birthmark that Hitler deems unsuitable, Mike will do anything to keep him and his brother together, and Ivy is learning that prejudice in America affects even the innocent. But they all find solace in music. With the help of the harmonica, someone

May 25, 2017

When a dangerous beast begins to terrorize the kingdom, fear panics the citizens. But soon a proclamation is sent out: kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of the king’s hand in marriage. Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom, but she can not bear to marry a complete stranger, until a mysterious young hunter catches her eye. She can’t deny her attraction to him, or his strange resentment against her. As they both continue to surprise each other, Paxton’s perilous secrets he has so meticulously buried begin to surface.


Fast paced with beautiful writing and

May 23, 2017

Nineteen years after the end of the Harry Potter series, Harry is still struggling to put the past behind him and be a good father to his 3 children as well as work at the ministry of magic. His youngest son, Albus, is struggling too, with the burden of a family legacy he never asked for. But as darkness lurks still in the wake of Lord Voldemort’s destruction, father and son must learn to accept their differences and disappointments to defeat it.


This was a new twist on the ending of Harry Potter. I loved it. All your favorite characters come back to help Scorpius and Albus in different

May 18, 2017

Samantha Mather has just moved to Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the infamous witch trials. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, the man responsible for the trials. So she almost immediately becomes the target of a group of girls called the descendants, a new generation of the witches persecuted during the trials. She soon discovers she is at the center of an ancient curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. She must find a way to work with the descendants and an angry ghost to stop a deadly cycle and history from repeating itself.


This book is absolute thrilling, spooky fun.You

Apr 10, 2017

Petra’s father has been summoned to Prague by the prince to build the world’s finest astronomical clock. But when he returns home blind with the prince having stolen his eyes, she knows she must steal them back. Along the way, she discovers hidden talents and finds that many people in the castle are not what they seem.


I love books with strong, spunky heroines. And The Cabinet of Wonders has one of the spunkiest heroines out there.There is a charm to her that draws you into her world and keeps you there right beside her as she has adventures through life.
The book is a glorious read. The

Mar 13, 2017

Johanna lives in a world where nobles plot their way to the throne, willing to do anything to become ruler. They are fighting over the throne of the princess who is supposed to be dead. Nevertheless, there is a quest to find her by a race of people with magical abilities, and they are not the only ones looking for her. Bodies of dead girls are turning up at every corner, and they all look exactly like Johanna.


This was a very long book, and most of it was pretty unexciting. But the last part of the book was thrilling, it got so interesting I could not put it down. The romance in this story

Mar 6, 2017

Princess Marie is sickly, quiet, and shy. She has never lived up to the standards of Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. She lives in the most powerful empire the world has ever seen, due to the help of the Head Merlin and his control over the only supply of magic in the world. Marie must marry and produce an heir to keep the empire strong against their greatest enemy: Prussia. The two kingdoms need to unite to stop the never ending war, and the only way is for Marie to marry the heir to the Prussian throne. But she has always loved Gill, one of her personal

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

By Peter Winther
4
Rated by Amanda C.
Dec 21, 2016

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear is the story of a professional student who gets pushed out into the real world (finally, at the age of 30) to find that not everything is as it seems and magic is real. He is hired by "the library," an age-old institution that traps magical artifacts and prevents them from falling into the wrong hands. This particular mission is to find a magical biblical spear, whose parts are scattered around the globe, and which is also hunted by a mysterious nefarious group, the Serpent Brotherhood. Flynn is aided by his guardian, a woman skilled in martial arts but who

Aug 31, 2016

This isn’t Hogwarts or Narnia, exactly. It’s more like a dark reflection of those popular magical fantasy novels. In the first season of The Magicians, based on Lev Grossman’s novel of the same name, Quentin Coldwater discovers magic is not only real, but potentially fatal. While studying at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, Quentin and his classmates are attacked by a magical being that is linked to their favorite childhood fantasy series about the land of Fillory that the author never completed. 


Can they use magic to enter this other world and finish the story? The real

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern
4
Rated by Katie S.
Aug 11, 2016

When Le Cirque des Reves appears out of thin air, in the middle of the night, you can't help but be curious about what is inside. And once you step inside, you will not be disappointed. Intricately organized as an elaborate stage for two magicians - Marco and Celia - to compete on, the various tents and stages amaze the nightly visitors. However, the magicians don't know the full details of their competition, nor who they are competing against, and the story that unfolds is one of romance, magic and heartbreak. 


Erin Morgenstern has written a mesmerizing tale of forbidden love. The Night

Aug 5, 2016

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.


At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.


Until one day, he does…


As the world turns upside down