Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Here’s a list to check out —

Over at Kirkus, The Book Smugglers’ have a great post about fabulous fantasy titles for introducing younger readers to the genre.

Naturally I thoroughly approve of this list, since THE CITY IN THE LAKE is included. Yay!

But in fact, I REALLY REALLY love many of these books. Naturally you should click over and read Thea and Ana’s comments, but here’s a quick list of the titles they included:

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. OMG! I don’t mean to sound like a fangirl, but did I ever love these books when I was a kid! I still love them. I really need to re-read these one day soon.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede. Repeat the above comment here. Hah! I laugh every time I think of cherries jubilee. Wonderful books.

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. I didn’t read these till I was older, and I think they’re best read when you’re younger, so I didn’t fall so hard for them as a lot of readers. But I did definitely enjoy this series. The girl-disguising-herself-as-a-boy plot is one that usually does appeal to me. I did prefer The Protector of the Small series, though.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. I’m so pleased I have this duology on my Kindle. I’ve never read it, but if it’s on this list, I’m pretty sure I’ll love it!


Wildwood Dancing & Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier.
Okay, this one I’m not super keen on. Don’t throw things, please! I love OTHER books by Marillier, especially Daughter of the Forest. I can’t comment on Cybele’s Secret — haven’t read it — but I honestly found the protagonist in Wildwood Dancing almost unbearably ineffectual. Sorry! It’s true! She kept seeing stuff going wrong and being unable to do anything to turn things around. I thought it was her job as the protagonist to come up with something brilliant to DO, rather than just hover around the edges of disaster wringing her hands.

Of course your take on this one may be completely different!


Deerskin by Robin McKinley.
As you might imagine, the inclusion of this title sparked some discussion in the comments. I did like this book very much (Ash! Yay for beautiful dogs!). But for me, when you mention McKinley, it’s The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown all the way.

The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale: The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets and Forest Born. I haven’t read these! I’ve only read The Princess Academy by Hale, and while I enjoyed it, it didn’t blow me away. I have heard very good things about The Goose Girl, though, so I think I really should try that one.

The City in the Lake
— as I said, yay!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I’ve put this one off mostly because I’m enjoying the anticipation. From most of what I’ve heard about this one, I really expect to love it.

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry.

Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey. I haven’t read either of these, but their inclusion on this list makes me pretty sure I’m missing out. I’m definitely adding them both to my wishlist now.

The Princess Curse & Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell. And I owe Merrie, because I don’t have time to keep up with internet stuff very well right now, and she’s the one who sent me a link to this post. So glad for her that The Book Smugglers loved Handbook. I’m avoiding reading reviews of it because I don’t want any spoilers; I have this one sitting on my coffee table right now. But I definitely loved The Princess Curse and I’m happy that her second book is finally out and getting good reviews.

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