This post comes from the tag Top 5 Tuesdays hosted by Shanah over at Bionic Book Worm. I’ve been reading her Top 5 Tuesday tags for a while and she’s so inspired with her weekly ideas that I had to get in on that action.
This weeks Top 5 Tuesday theme is “Top 5 Fantasy (YA or Adult)”
I love fantasy so I could easily recommend way more than 5 (there are over 100 on my Goodreads alone and that’s not a complete list by any means.) I also find it hard to pick my ‘top 5’ favourite fantasy fiction – so I’m adding further stipulations. This has now become;
~ Top 5 Fantasy (YA) Written By Women With A Female Protagonist ~
Apparently I like a challenge (or making things difficult for myself – it’s up for debate.) I caveat this by mentioning there are a lot of fantasy fiction I could have added which are just YA fantasy and written by women or that are YA fantasy with a female protagonist and written by men – but please see aforementioned ‘likes to make things difficult / challenging’.
And so we begin;
5. The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce (1982)
Genre: Fantasy Horror
“Aeriel is kidnapped by the darkangel, a black-winged vampyre of astounding beauty and youth. In his castle keep, she serves his 13 wives, wraiths whose souls he stole. She must kill him before his next marriage when he comes into full power, but is captivated by his magnificent beauty and inner spark of goodness. Will she choose to save humanity or his soul?”
I read this as a teenager in the 1990’s and was all set for the girl meets boy, power of love, yadda yadda. I got more than I bargained for and it changed my expectations of what great YA fantasy – and great protagonists – can and should be.
4. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (1974)
“Sixteen when a baby is brought to her to raise, Sybel has grown up on Eld Mountain. Her only playmates are the creatures of a fantastic menagerie called there by wizardry. Sybel has cared nothing for humans, until the baby awakens emotions previously unknown to her. And when Coren, the man who brought this child, returns, Sybel’s world is again turned upside down.”
Magical Hermit becomes Single Teen Parent – but this book is so much more. McKillip has an ability to draw a whole world in a few lines of beautiful prose and creating realistic characters who tend to go on a journey of self discovery – even when they don’t physically travel too far. I also mentioned this in my 5 Quick Quality Reads To Help Get You Out of A Reading Slump. See also; Alphabet of Thorn
3. Valiant [Modern Faerie Tales #2] by Holly Black (2002)
Genre: Fairy Tale / Urban Fantasy
“When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she’s trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system.
But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honourable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.”
Faeries live in our world and walk amongst us – just don’t get their attention. Oops! – Too late! Fairy tale tropes brought to the modern day with teenagers having to deal with the usual ordeal of growing up – throwing faeries into the mix takes it to a whole other level. This whole series is great, but this is my favourite and all can be read as stand alone.
2. Wildwood Dancing [Wildwood #1] by Juliet Marillier (2007)
Genre: Portal Fantasy
“High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.
But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives.”
This is the only book on this list that I’ve read recently, as a not at all young adult, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although there is an element of predictability, where readers will probably figure out some of the plot early on, this story is still a magical adventure. There are currently two books in this series, the second being Cybele’s Secret – I hope there will be a third.
This was one of my recommendations in Three Books to read if you enjoyed ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’
1. The Forest Wife Trilogy by Theresa Thomlinson (1993)
Genre: Historical / Mythological Fantasy
“Mary, 15 years old and an orphan, must flee into Sherwood Forest to avoid an arranged marriage. There her life truly begins, for she finds a community of heroic outlaws that includes a woman with seemingly magical healing powers and a young man who is bravely leading the fight against tyranny.”
Hands-down one of my favourites of all time. I would love this to be a TV show and have written about it at length. The whole trilogy can be found in one bind up.
What are you five favourite fantasy books? And thanks for the challenge Shanah!