The best fantasy books about friendship and bravery

Who am I?

I’m a writer from England and have always been fascinated by history and mythology, nature and wildlife. These interests were instilled in me from earlier than I can remember. As a child we would visit historic sites like castles or standing stones, or nature watch while walking the beautiful British countryside. I’ve continued to share my enthusiasm for history by helping lead a Young Archaeology Club and still take long walks in the countryside with family or friends. As a fantasy writer I’ve been able to bring those themes together in a whole different and magical way, to make them fun and exciting for readers to learn and enjoy.

I wrote...

The Harp of Elvyth

By Debbie Daley,

Book cover of The Harp of Elvyth

What is my book about?

In Earth's parallel Mystic world, trouble is brewing in Elvedom. Evil Duke Eldorth has stolen four sacred relics from elven King Elfred. In the Human world, Lizzie Longton lives with her grandmother. Lizzie’s always known that she's unlike other kids, but, apart from her strangely shaped ears, she doesn't understand why.

On her 11th birthday, Lizzie’s surprised to learn she’s won a holiday to a mystery hotel. Upon arrival, she and her grandmother find the holiday isn’t what it claims. Instead, they have arrived in a place they believed only existed in fairy stories. Lizzie finally discovers the truth about her heritage and why she's so different. Together with her newly made friends, her adventures challenge her to fight her demons in both her worlds.

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The books I picked & why

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Why did I love this book?

I first read this book when I was about 13 years old and it started me on my journey through the various wonderful fantasy worlds that so many fantastic fantasy writers have created. JRR Tolkien’s descriptions of Middle Earth and the multitude of characters that inhabited it were so vividly brought to life with his wonderful writing. What really came through for me was the underlying story of how, with the help of good and trustworthy friends, you can achieve the seemingly impossible.

That premise stayed with me and grew into the nugget of an idea that underlies my own storytelling. The Lord of the Rings is really worth reading by anyone who loves fantasy books. Don’t be put off by it looking daunting as it’s really three separate books and not one big long book as it might appear.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

52 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Why did I love this book?

I read each Harry Potter book, as it was published, to my (then) two young children and this was the first book in the series. It captured our imaginations then and still does today. Although they are now adults, my children still love the books and have read them for themselves and even have audio versions.

Harry, despite having no love at home, finds love in the shape of his two best friends. Their friendship enables him to overcome real adversity and eventually win the day. The great thing is that although the books are fantasy they bring two very different worlds together and make both very real. The books are a great source of escapism when real life is a bit tough.

By J.K. Rowling,

Why should I read it?

36 authors picked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Galloping gargoyles ... 2022 is the silver anniversary of J.K. Rowling's magical classic Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!

The boy wizard Harry Potter has been casting a spell over young readers and their families ever since 1997. Now the first book in this unmissable series celebrates 25 years in print! The paperback edition of the tale that introduced us to Harry, Ron and Hermione has been updated and dressed in silver to mark the occasion. It's time to take the magical journey of a lifetime ...

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping…

How to Train Your Dragon

By Cressida Cowell,

Book cover of How to Train Your Dragon

Why did I love this book?

I just love dragons and this book is the first in a whole series about different dragons. I’m also a big fan of the Vikings and these books bring those two favourite things together.

The book’s hero is a young Viking boy called Hiccup and this book tells the story of how he goes about catching and training a dragon. It is such a fun, and funny, book and the illustrations are brilliant because even you or I could probably have a go at drawing them too. You will find yourself laughing out loud.

The writer Cressida Cowell has created some brilliant characters that I’m sure you will enjoy reading about as much as I did. If you enjoyed the film, you’ll love the book.

By Cressida Cowell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Train Your Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Read the HILARIOUS books that inspired the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON films!

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is a smallish Viking with a longish name. Hiccup's father is chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe which means Hiccup is the Hope and the Heir to the Hairy Hooligan throne - but most of the time Hiccup feels like a very ordinary boy, finding it hard to be a Hero.

In the first How to Train Your Dragon book Hiccup must lead ten novices in their initiation into the Hairy Hooligan Tribe. They have to train their dragons or be BANISHED…

By Rowan and Yew

By Melissa Harrison,

Book cover of By Rowan and Yew

Why did I love this book?

This book is a new find for me and I loved it.

It’s about a group of ‘Hidden People’ who are trying to find their way back home. Hidden People are tiny folk who most humans can’t see but who can be seen by some children – children aware of the world of nature around them. Hidden People are guardians of the Wild World, the world of nature and animals and birds and the like.

This delightful and informative book has a strong message about protecting the world around us. I was enchanted by the story of the, sometimes scary, adventures that these tiny people experienced on their journey back home and I’m sure you will be too.

By Melissa Harrison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By Rowan and Yew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The breathtaking sequel to the stunning By Ash, Oak
and Thorn from acclaimed nature writer and Costa Award-shortlisted
novelist Melissa Harrison.

'Timely and magical, it will open the young
reader's eyes to the wonders of the natural world.'

'Each page brims with
the wonder of our natural world, so much to learn but all a sheer
delight.' PIERS TORDAY

As autumn arrives, Moss, Sorrel, Burnet and Dormer decide to return
home to Ash Row to unravel a riddle that might explain why…

The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan,

Book cover of The Lightning Thief

Why did I love this book?

This book is a firm favourite of mine, as are the others in the series.

The way that Rick Riordan brings Greek mythology into the modern era and into the human world is inspiring. Once again the thread of strong friendships runs throughout the story, as Percy deals with discovering his heritage and the powers that come with it. It helps, of course, that these friends are, in some cases, like him with godlike powers or come from the world of mythology. But this book, like all those I’ve chosen, shows that good friends will always be there to help you to achieve your aims – you just have to be a bit brave.

By Rick Riordan,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Lightning Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Lightning Thief: the First book in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

The first bestselling book in Rick Riordan's phenomenally successful Percy Jackson series.

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God. I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. That's when things started really going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends, and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky,…

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