Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Guide to Young Adult Fiction Part Two: Fantasy

Welcome to the second post in my guide to young adult fiction. The first post focused on contemporary realism, and this post will focus on fantasy.

Fantasy can be a tricky genre to read, especially if you've never read it before. I've never been a huge fan of the genre, as I have a hard time getting into books that take place in worlds that don't really exist, especially if those worlds include made up languages and names that are hard to pronounce. Fortunately, I have been able to find some fantasy novels that I've loved, so I'll be sharing some of those today, as well as other popular fantasy novels that I haven't read but that are highly recommended by my colleagues.

First, let's talk about the types of fantasy novels.There are many, but the two types I want to focus on are high fantasy and low fantasy. According to Wikipedia, high fantasy is "defined either by its setting in an imaginary world or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot." Low fantasy, however, is "a subgenre of fantasy fiction involving 'nonrational happenings that are without causality or rationality because they occur in the rational world where such things are not supposed to occur'," according to Wikipedia.

If you love fantasy but haven't read any YA fantasy, here are some popular titles you can try.

Shadow and Bone and its sequels, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo
The Girl of Fire and Thorns and its sequels, The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson
Graceling and its companions novels, Fire and Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore
Seraphina and its sequel Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Throne of Glass and its sequels, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, and Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas
Finnikin of the Rock and its sequels, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn, by Melina Marchetta

If you haven't read much fantasy, or if you're like me and you prefer to read stories that are grounded in the real world, the following options might appeal to you.

City of Bones and its sequels, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, and City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare
Bewitching Season and its sequels, Betraying Season, and Courtship and Curses, by Marissa Doyle
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Iron King and its sequels, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, and The Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa
The Lost Prince and its sequels, The Iron Traitor and The Iron Warrior, also by Julie Kagawa
Daughter of Smoke and Bone and its sequels, Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor

I'm taking a break from this series in a couple of weeks for a 2015 wrap-up post, but stay tuned--the last post in this series will focus on retellings.

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