The best fantasy journeys of self discovery

Who am I?

From reading by torchlight when I should have been asleep, through to adulthood, books have always been special to me. From making up stories to get the kids through tough situations to becoming an author, my deep-seated love of fantasy has been apparent. Fantasy can be so much more than elves, shapeshifters, and every other creature imaginable (although they are always exciting). It’s nearly always about a journey, a growth in character, good over evil, but whatever else you may take from the story, it’s always about losing yourself in the pages and having a really good read.


I wrote...

Janalya

By Marie Godley,

Book cover of Janalya

What is my book about?

Janalya has been alone and searching for other elementals for decades. The only constant in her life is Katsuo, an enemy shapeshifter. Can they defy history, or is it merely going to be repeated?

Janalya is a book about enemies, friendship, and discovering your true identity, all enjoyed in the presence of a strong and caring woman, and a panther who, although guarded, is curious enough to want to discover the truth about things for himself.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Marie Godley Why did I love this book?

Not only is this story a different take on the angels versus demons saga, but it shows each race in a different light. I also love the characters and world-building. The characters are intense and believable, with the quirks of the human characters being just as well written as the fantastical ones, especially some of the minor ones. The worlds are so descriptive that you’re instantly transported there.

By Laini Taylor,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Daughter of Smoke & Bone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The 10th anniversary edition of the first in Laini Taylor's breathtaking fantasy trilogy

'Remarkable and beautifully written . . . The opening volume of a truly original trilogy.' GUARDIAN

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a…


Book cover of The Sword of Summer

Marie Godley Why did I love this book?

The main thing that draws me to this book, and what sets it apart from his other series, are the diverse characters. Different ethnic backgrounds, religions, LGBTQ, and disabilities are all portrayed, but they are just part of the character's story, not the main plot focus. The Norse mythology runs through the book with humour and lots of deadly action, and an interesting take on some of the gods. With an array of creatures and characters that stand either with or against the Vikings, this is a fun adventure, and it even has a cameo from the Percy Jackson series, so look out for that.

By Rick Riordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sword of Summer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The first book in the incredible new series from the author of Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus.

My name is Magnus Chase. I'm orphaned and living rough on the streets of Boston. And things are about to get much worse.

My day started out normally enough. I was sleeping under a bridge when some guy kicked me awake and said, 'They're after you.' Next thing I know, I'm reunited with my obnoxious uncle, who casually informs me that my long-lost father is a Norse god.

Nothing normal about that. And it turns out the gods of…


Book cover of Black Diamond

Marie Godley Why did I love this book?

Black Diamond is definitely the darkest and scariest choice out of my five picks. There’s magic, demons, ghosts, and rituals, but it stops short of horror and stays in the fantasy category. The characters are so well written, portraying the more annoying aspects of the youngsters, that you might find yourself getting cross or frustrated with them. But the mystery and magic will have you rooting for them to succeed, and you will get caught up in their journey, trying to uncover the truth of the English mansion and its occupants.

By Jennifer Loiske,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Diamond as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After her mom’s sudden death twelve-year old Shannon McLean has to move from the US to the England’s countryside to live with her mysterious father, Connor, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a baby. Weird things start to happen and the whole place scares the crap out of Shannon. Her dad can control her just by looking at her. The walls are full of secret passages and apparently Shannon has the talent to awaken the ghosts in there. Everyday is worse than the day before and she wants badly to run away but finds out it’s impossible. If she…


Book cover of Graceling

Marie Godley Why did I love this book?

I first read this book years ago and what I really like about this story is that the main character, Katsa, is already strong and sassy. That doesn’t mean there’s no personal discovery, but that would lead to spoilers so you’ll have to find that out for yourselves. The premise of a person being born with a ‘grace’ is original, but the power struggle, bias, and individual challenges are familiar making the characters relatable and interesting. The supporting cast is equally engaging, bringing a smile and some relief to the adrenaline and stress.

By Kristin Cashore,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Graceling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Discover the Graceling Realm in this unforgettable, award-winning novel from bestselling author Kristin Cashore.

A New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature Winner
Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal,Booklist, and BCCB Best Book of the Year

"Rageful, exhilarating, wistful in turns" (The New York Times Book Review) with "a knee weakening romance" (LA Times). Graceling is a thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure that will resonate deeply with anyone trying to find their way in the world.

Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the…


Book cover of Seraphina

Marie Godley Why did I love this book?

Out of all my book picks, Seraphina may have the least to discover personally, but most of the characters in the story have something to hide or discover and it’s great to see which is which as they disclose their true natures. What makes this book really great though, is the different way that dragons are portrayed. It is a unique slant on what are always strong, iconic beings.

By Rachel Hartman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Seraphina as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and by dragons who fold themselves into a human form. Though they live alongside each other, the peace between them is uneasy.

But when a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace and treaty between both worlds is seriously threatened . . .

Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot…


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Poetic Justice

By Fiona Forsyth,

Book cover of Poetic Justice

Fiona Forsyth Author Of Blood and Shadows

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Rome nerd Teacher Notebook hoarder Thwarted thespian

Fiona's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In the first century, Rome’s celebrated love poet Ovid finds himself in exile, courtesy of an irate Emperor, in the far-flung town of Tomis. Appalled at being banished to a barbarous region at the very edge of the Empire, Ovid soon discovers that he has a far more urgent - and potentially perilous - issue to address. A killer is at large in Tomis.

Somebody is slaughtering animals in a parody of ritual, and the Governor’s advisor Marcus Avitius is under pressure to apprehend the perpetrator. When the killer progresses from animal to human victims, Avitius reluctantly allies himself to the mercurial, tipsy Ovid.

Poetic Justice

By Fiona Forsyth,

What is this book about?

‘Poetic and haunting: Forsyth provides a captivating glimpse into the life of one of Ancient Rome's greatest writers.’ Steven Veerapen, author of the Simon Danforth Mysteries

9 CE.

Rome’s celebrated love poet Ovid finds himself in exile, courtesy of an irate Emperor, in the far-flung town of Tomis.

Appalled at being banished to a barbarous region at the very edge of the Empire, Ovid soon discovers that he has a far more urgent - and potentially perilous - issue to address. A killer is at large in Tomis.

Somebody is slaughtering animals in a parody of ritual, and the Governor’s…


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