Author – Amie Kaufman
Age – 8+
Twins Anders and Rayna live in a world of dragons and wolves – ice wolves to be exact. These wolves that can morph from human to wolf in a matter of seconds protect their city of Vallen from the dangerous dragons who also morph from human.
With Rayna’s savvy street smarts the twins live on the streets, pick pocketing and stealing to survive. But when something goes wrong they are caught up in a sacred ritual in front of hundreds of people. They find themselves on opposite sides of the age-old conflict, and Anders is alone for the first time in his life.
How will he find Rayna, let alone get her back? Anders has to learn to stand on his own two feet among people he’s not sure are friend or enemy.
This is the first in a new fantasy series by acclaimed author Amie Kaufman. It is chocka full of intrigue, action and wonderful world building.
Author – Melissa Albert
Age – 13+
Alice and her mum have always been on the move. Bad luck seems to plague them wherever they try to settle, and it’s only now that Alice is 17 that she realises there is something eerie about their particular bad luck.
Alice’s grandmother was famous for a book she wrote of very dark fairytales. This book is now impossible to find so she never got to read it. She’d hoped her entire childhood that she would meet her grandmother but it never happened. Her mother was adamant about never returning to The Hazel Wood where her mother lived.
Alice’s mum marries and they seem finally settled – until her mum vanishes. Was she kidnapped? Did she run away from an unhappy marriage? The strange things that have happened through her life manifest into even stranger creatures and events and the only person she can turn to is a boy from her school. Finch is ridiculously wealthy and also a huge fan of her grandmother’s tales.
After avoiding fans for years, Alice has no option but to ask for Finch’s help. He knows the tales inside out and she finds she is connected to one in particular. Despite a warning to the contrary, Alice knows she has to find and then search the elusive Hazel Wood if she is ever to see her mother again.
The writing is superb, the intrigue all encompassing, and the place Alice finds herself in – VERY Alice in Wonderland – but even weirder!
Author – Tomi Adeyemi
Age – 13+
Orisha’s lands are made up of Kosidan (nobles and non-magical people) and Maji (those with powers to heal, bring fire, move water or summon spirits.)
But the Maji with their all-telling white hair and sometimes strange eyes have had their magic taken from them by force with much bloodshed and murder.
Zelie lost her mother in ‘The Raid’ that extinguised Maji magic, leaving her with an intense hatred of King Saran and his regime. But one day she comes closer to his regime than ever before and is drawn into a quest to take three magical objects to an island. This island and these objects have the power to bring magic back to their people. With magic comes power, and a way to strike back at those that have repressed them with tyranny.
With her brother Tzain at her side, she is forced to overcome her prejudice of their enemy and she encounters many unexpected things on their journey – including love. Can she get to the island? Will her own new magic be powerful enough to stir the gods or will Saran defeat them once and for all?
An epic 1st part of a trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone is a gripping African Fantasy. Told in the viewpoints of three strong characters, the story has great pace, power and intrigue as to whether they will achieve their quest. Brutal in parts with much blood spilled, this book captured me right to the last page, which left me wondering and wanting more.
(Fantasy, Series, Africa, Quest, Magic, Siblings, Romance, Power, Kingdom)
Author – Jessica Townsend
Age – 9+
Morrigan Crow has always been told that she is cursed and she won’t live past her 12th birthday. She is blamed for everything from the weather, to a school fire, to the gardener’s heart attack. Of course, none of it was true.
Little does Morrigan know that her entire life is about to change, where she will be a treasured member of a household, a valued friend of other children and a gigantic speaking cat!
She is taken to Nevermoor (a secret magical city by a stranger who tells her she can be one of the privileged of the Wundrous Society. All she has to do is pass four trials they will give her. Although thought to be cursed, Morrigan has led a sheltered wealthy life, and she can’t imagine passing any challenges thrown her way. But the alternative is too awful to contemplate.
Full of magic, strange and wunderful characters, this just may be a ‘Harry Potter’ for a new generation of readers. It has its own ‘Voldemort’, ‘Malfoy’ and the world-building is gloriously imaginative.
(Magic, Tasks, Challenges, Friendship, Nemesis, Bully, Curse, Series)
Author – James Russell
Animations – Courtney White
The Pitbull (menacing leader of the gang that raided Paddy and Flynn’s island in book 1), is waiting for his stolen egg to hatch a dragon. When he discovers the truth, he is enraged and out for revenge!
Returning to the island with many men, weapons, and helicopters, he is keen to achieve what he wanted before, but this time, take the dragons themselves. But first he has a score to settle with the two boys that made him look a fool. Revenge has made him even nastier and Paddy and Flynn are in terrible danger. Now, not only are the island’s dragons under threat, so is their entire family!
A fantastic follow-on to this popular series, once again including a link to the App that brings this book to life digitally. Whether using the App or not, The Pitbull Returns has even more action and thrills than the first book and will be sure to please dragon lovers, and adventure seekers. Great Kiwi Fiction!
(Dragons, Series, Brothers, Siblings, Adventure, Action, Revenge, Island)
Author – Anne Kayes
Age – 8+
Jack, Tim, Ella, Harry, Gemma, Louie, Lucy and Terri live on Tui Street. Here are 7 separate tales of their daily lives of school, family and friends, but all with a touch of fantasy, fairytale, or maori legend.
They are all great characters, sometimes dealing with things on their own, pushing their boundaries a little, helping each other, and learning about others in the street without any sign of preachy morals or corny outcomes.
Winner of the NZ Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a debut author, Tui Street Tales would make a great Read a Loud for class or home reading.
(Award winner, New Zealand, NZ, Fairy tale, Fantasy, Maori Legend, Friends, Neighbourhood)
Author – Megan Shepherd
Illustrator – Levi Pinfold
Age – 9+
Emmaline lives in a grand mansion that has been converted to a hospital for sick children. She too is one of the sick, but is still able to explore and go places the other children don’t dare. She is a bit of a loner, as it seems she alone sees the magnificent winged horses in the many mirrors of the hospital. Putting it down to imagination, the nuns that look after them all shrug it off. But the other children aren’t so kind.
One day while exploring places she shouldn’t go, Emmaline finds a real winged horse in the garden behind a wall. It is injured and shy and she is fascinated. But this winged horse is there for a reason. She is hiding from the Dark Horse who is looking for her – a horse with evil intent.
When Emmaline begins finding letters from the Horse Lord about the winged horse (named Foxfire), she learns she is Foxfire’s only hope. She needs to find all the colours of the rainbow to scare the Dark Horse off before he is back at the next full moon.
Whether it be Emmaline’s imagination or something that really happens to her is up to the reader. Emmaline is a feisty, courageous little girl with an inquisitive mind and a sad past. This story is beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated by the exceptional talented Levi Pinfold. Gorgeous!
(WWII, Horses, Animals, Mystery, Quest, Bully, Illness, Hospital)