Here are the occasional reflections of a joyful traveller along the strange pathways of fantasy and adventure. All my reviews are independent and unsolicited.

I started this blog intending to write only about children's fantasy ('magic fiction') but have since widened my scope to include any work of children's fiction that I have read and enjoyed. Fantasy will still probably predominate, as it remains a favourite genre, but I cannot now resist sharing thoughts on other wonderful books too. (MG and occasionally YA.)

Here you will find only recommendations, never negative reviews. If I read a book which I feel is less than wonderful (which happens far more often than not) then I simply don't write about it. This blog is, rather, a celebration of the most exciting books I stumble across on my meandering reading journey, and of the important, life-affirming experiences they offer. It is but a very small thank you for the wonderful gifts their writers give.

List: Fantasy Recommendations

The great finds in my quest so far:

Wonderful works every bit as good as the very best of the twentieth century; the highest quality in both writing and imagination; deserving to become classics of their genre:

The Real Boy, Anne Ursu [post May '14]
The Lost Girl, Anne Ursu [post March ‘19]
The Black North, Nigel McDowell [post June '14]
The Flaxfield (Dragonborn) Quartet, Toby Forward [post August '14]
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness (Wolf Brother) Sequence, Michelle Paver [post August 14]
Mortal Engines (Predator Cities) Quartet, Philip Reeve [re-post Feb '15]
Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen Foxlee [post March '15]
Half Bad Trilogy, Sally Green (OLDER READERS ONLY) [posts June '15 and April '16]
Clariel, Garth Nix (OLDER READERS) [post Aug '15]
Goldenhand, Garth Nix (OLDER READERS) [post Nov '16]
The Tears of the Salamander, Peter Dickinson [post Jan '16]
Knights of the Borrowed Dark, Dave Rudden [post May '16]
The Forever Court (KOTBD#2), Dave Rudden [post May '17]
The Endless King (KOTBD #3), Dave Rudden [post April '17]
Maresi, Maria Turtschaninoff (OLDER READERS) [post June '16]
The Beginning Woods, Malcolm McNeill [post Oct '16]
Railhead, Philip Reeve [post Oct '15]
Black Light Express (Railhead #2), Philip Reeve [post Nov '16]
Station Zero (Railhead #3), Philip Reeve [post May '18]
Journey Trilogy (Journey, Quest, Return) Aaron Becker [Books of Year '1] 
The Boneshaker, The Broken Lands [post Sept '16] The Left-Handed Fate [post Nov '16] Greenglass House [post Dec '16] Ghosts of Greenglass House [post Nov '17] Bluecrowne [post Nov '18], Kate Milford
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill [post Jan '17]
The Bartimaeus Quartet, Jonathan Stroud [post April '17]
Tiffany Aching series (The Wee Free Men; A Hat Full of Sky; Wintersmith; I Shall Wear Midnight, The Shepherd's Crown), Terry Pratchett [posts June '14, Sept '15]
The Edge Chronicles, Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell [post July '17]
Coraline, Neil Gaiman (illus. Chris Riddell) [post July '17]
The Door Before by N. D. Wilson [post Aug '17]
La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust #1) by Philip Pullman [post Oct '17]
York: The Shadow Cipher, Laura Ruby [post Jan '18]
Whichwood, Tahareh Mafi [post Feb '18]
The Storm Keeper's Island, Catherine Doyle [post July '18]
The Turning, Emily Whitman [post Aug '18]
The Blue Cat, Ursula Dubosarsky [post Sept '18]
Galloglass (Worldquake #3), Scarlett Thomas [post April ‘18]
The Iron Man, Ted Hughes, new edition illustrated by Chris Mould [post July ‘19]

Great reads with a lot to say for themselves:

Fly by Night, Frances Hardinge [post May '14]
A Skinful of Shadows (plus other works), Frances Hardinge [post Oct '17]
The Bell Between Worlds, Ian Johnstone [post June '14]
Circles of Stone, Ian Johnstone [post July '15]
Mort, Terry Pratchett [post June '16]
Bone Jack, Sara Crowe [post June '14]
The Dyerville Tales, M P Kozlowsky [post July '14]
Sun Catcher, Storm Chaser, Sheila Rance [post August '14]
Story Singer, Sheila Rance [posted May '15]
Tall Tales from Pitch End, Nigel McDowell [post Oct '14]
The Ghosts of Heaven, Marcus Sedgwick (OLDER READERS) [post Nov '14]
The Dark Horse, Marcus Sedgwick [post Nov '14]
Septimus Heap sequence (Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, Darke, Fyre), Angie Sage [post Nov '14]
Todhunter Moon sequence (so far PathFinder, SandRider), Angie Sage [post Dec '15]
StarChaser (Todhunter Moon #3), Angie Sage [post Dec '16]
The Glass Sentence, S.E.Grove [post Jan '15]
The Golden Specific, S.E.Grove [post August '15]
The Crimson Skew, S.E. Grove [post July '16]
The Witch's Boy, Kelly Barnhill [post Jan '15]
Half a King, Joe Abercrombie (OLDER READERS) post Jan '15]
Half the World, Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (OLDER READERS) [post Nov '15]
Doll Bones, Holly Black [post Feb '15]
The Box and the Dragonfly, Ted Sanders [post April '15]
Illustrated Harry Potter #1, #2, #3 Jim Kay (Illustrator) [posts Nov '15 and Oct '17]
Beastkeeper, Cat Hellisen [post Dec '15]
The Ropemaker, Angel Isle, Peter Dickinson [post Jan '16]
The Dreamsnatcher, The Shadow Keeper, Abi Elphinstone [post March '16], The Night Spinner [post June '17]
Wing & Claw 1: Forest of Wonders, Linda Sue Park [poat March '16]
The Girl of Ink and Stars, Kiran Millwood Hargrave [post May '16]
A Most Magical Girl, Karen Foxlee [post Aug '16]
There May Be a Castle, Piers Torday [post Dec 16]
The Silverwing Books, Kenneth Oppel [post March '16]
Bitter Sixteen, Stefan Mohamed (OLDER READERS) [post April '17]
The House of Mountfathom, Nigel McDowell [post April '17]
A Cage of Roots. Storm Waever, The Spiral Path (The Ayla Trilogy) Matt Griffin [posts May '16 and April '17]
Dragon's Green, Scarlett Thomas [post April '17]
The Chosen Ones, Scarlett Thomas [post May '18]
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, The Jamie Drake Equation, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day, The Longest Night of Charlie Moon, Christopher Edge [posts  April '17, April '18 and May ‘19]
Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (OLDER READERS) [post June '17]
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (illus. Chris Riddell) [post July '17]
inkheart Trilogy, Cornelia Funke [post Aug '17]
Reckless (MirrorWorld) Trilogy, Cornelia Funke (OLDER READERS ONLY) [post Aug '17]
The Thief Lord, Cornelia Funke [post Aug '17]
100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire, The Chestnut King by N. D. Wilson [post Aug '17]
Shadow Magic, Dream Magic, Burning Magic, Joshua Khan [posts  Aug '17, May '18]
The Wizards of Once, Cressida Cowell [post Sept '17]; Twice Magic [post Sept ‘18 ]; Knock Three Times [post May ‘19]
Snow Cry, Abi Elphinstone [post Jan '18]
Furthermore, Tahareh Mafi [post Feb '18]
Twister, Juliette Forrest [post Feb '18]
The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker, Matilda Woods [post Aug '18]
Bone Talk, Candy Gourlay [post Sept '18]
Dragon Daughter, Liz Flanagan [post Oct '18]
The House with Chicken Legs, Sophie Anderson [post March ‘19]
Fire Girl, Forest Boy, Chloe Daykin [post July ‘19]
The Lost Tide Warriors, Catherine Doyle [post August ‘19]
The Girl Who Speaks Bear, Sophie Anderson [post September ‘19
The Time of Green Magic, Hilary McKay [post September ‘19]

Other very special books:

Wardstone Chronicles (Last Apprentice in US), Joseph Delaney [post May '14]
The Nethergrim, Matthew Jobin [post May '14]
The Skeleth, Matthew Jobin [post June '14]
The Luck Uglies Trilogy, Paul Durham [post July '14]
The New Policeman, The Last of the High Kings, Kate Thompson [post July '14]
Floodland, Marcus Sedgwick [post Nov '14]
Witch Hill, Marcus Sedgwick [post Nov '14]
The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1), Holly Black & Cassandra Clare [post Feb '15]
The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium #2), Holly Black & Cassandra Clare [post Sept '15]
The Boy with the Tiger's Heart, Linda Coggin [post Feb '15]
The Mark of the Dragonfly, The Secrets of Solace, The Quest to The Uncharted Lands, Jaleigh Johnson [post March '15]
The Nowhere Emporium, Ross MacKenzie [post May '15]
The Eighth Day, Dianne K Salerni [post May '15]
Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley [post July '15]
Serafina and the Black Cloak, Robert Beatty [post July '15]
Song for a Scarlet Runner, Julie Hunt [post August '15]
A Curious Tale of the In-Between, Lauren DeStefano [post Sept '15]
The Wild Swans, (East of the Sun,West of the Moon), Jackie Morris [post Nov '15]
The Waking World (The Future King #1) Tom Huddleston [post Dec '15]
Wildwitch Wildfire, Wildwitch Oblivion, Lene Kaaberbøl [post April '16]
The Last Wild trilogy, Piers Torday [post Dec '16]
Lockwood & Co (Sequence), Jonathan Stroud [posts April '17 and Oct '17]
Buried Fire, Jonathan Stroud [post June '17]
The Uncommoners (The Crooked Sixpence, The Smoking Hourglass, The Frozen Telescope) by Jennifer Bell [posts June '17 and July '18]
Shadowsmith, Ross MacKenzie [post June '17]
Cogheart, Moonlocket, Peter Bunzl [post July '17]
Odd and the Frost Giants, The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman (illus. Chris Riddell) [post July '17]
The Polar Bear Explorers' Club, Alex Bell [post Jan '18]
Max and the Millions, Ross Montgomery [post March '18]
The Smoke Thieves, Sally Green [post June '18]
Embassy of the Dead, Will Mabbitt [post June '18]
Mirror Magic, Claire Fayers [post June '18]
Night Flights, Philip Reeve [post July '18]
Estranged (Graphic Novel), Ethan M Aldridge [post Aug '18]
The Lost Magician, Piers Torday [post Aug '18]
The Clockwork Crow, Catherine Fisher [post Oct '18]
The Velvet Fox, Catherine Fisher [post Oct ‘19]
The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods, Samuel J Halpin [post Jan ‘19]
A Pinch of Magic, Michelle Harrison [post Feb ‘19]
The Other Alice, Michelle Harrison [post Feb ‘19]
The Storm Hound, Claire Fayers [post March ‘19]
The Fire Maker, Guy Jones [post April ‘19]
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