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Fantasy Novels I've Loved Over the Years

   Today is something a bit different. It's more like a list and a mini-description of fantasy novels that I've loved over the years and what I loved about them. Looking for new fantasy books to read? Well, these are all parts of series - all of them pretty long series that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Let's get started!

- The Secrets of Droon, Book One: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet -

Author: Tony Abbott
Back Cover Description: Underneath the steps leading down the Eric's basement is a hidden storage space. It's dusty and old - nothing special at all. But when Eric, Julie and Neal all huddle inside the gray room together, something unbelievable happens. A rainbow-colored staircase appears. And as the kids take their very first step down into the mysterious land of Droon, they know that only magic and adventure awaits them!
   Flying cities, hidden palaces, and magical ocean storms - Droon is full of secrets. And for Eric, Julie and Neal, this is just the beginning . . . .
   This book is a middle-grade fantasy novel that I read when I was around ten or eleven, and loved every page of it. It's been a while since I read it, I'll be honest, but I bought every single book and still have them on my own personal book shelf. As far as I know, there are seven books in the series, and I loved every one of them.

- Gregor the Overlander Series, Book One -

   Author: Suzanne Collins
   Back Cover Description: When Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their apartment building, he hurtles into the darkUnderland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches and rats - but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.
   Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life.
   Gregor the Overlander is a middle grade epic fantasy novel that I was introduced to by an amazing friend. I read them through my local library and got the whole series for my birthday that year. There are five novels in the series, and I loved them all. I've read the series three or four times, and my favorite character is Gregor's little sister, Boots.

- Leven Thumps Series, Book One: Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo -

   Author: Obert Skye
   Back Cover Description: Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (aka "Lev") lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But everything is about to change as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds - the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time that makes it possible for humans to dream and hope, aspire and imagine. But Foo is in chaos, and three transplants from that dreamworld have been sent to retrieve Lev, who alone has the power to save Foo.
   Enter Clover, a wisecracking, foot-high sidekick; Winter, a girl with a special power of her own; and Geth, the rightful heir to Foo. Their mission: to convince Lev that he has the power to save Foo. Can this unique band of travelers help Lev overcome his doubt? Will Lev find the gateway in time? Or will Sabine and his dark shadows find the gateway first and destroy humanity?
   I would classify Leven Thumps as a teenage/young adult fantasy novel - otherwise known as thirty-one chapters of epic hilarity and fun. At first, I didn't even want to read the series, but I'm sure glad my older sister introduced me to them! I've read the series twice, and all five books are absolutely amazing (although I will admit that book #4 Leven Thumps and The Wrath of Ezra was my favorite). Clover's my favorite character, because he makes me laugh!

- The Aedyn Chronicles, Book One: Chosen Ones -

   Author: Alister McGrath
   Back Cover Description: Peter and Julia never suspected that a trip to their grandparents' home in Oxford would contain anything out of the ordinary ... That was before Julia stumbled upon a mysterious garden that shone on moonless nights. It was no accident that she fell into the pool, pulling her brother along with her, but now they're lost in a strange new world and they don't know whom they can trust. Should they believe the mysterious, hooded lords? The ancient monk who appears only when least expected? Or the silent slaves who have a dark secret of their own?
   In a world inhabited by strange beasts and peculiar whisperings, two children called from another world will have to discover who they truly are, fighting desperate battles within themselves before they cane lead the great revolution.
   I can't recall where I was introduced to this middle-grade fantasy novel, but I do remember that I picked it up and started reading it only because there was a character named Julia. I own all three books, and have read each one, loving all of them in their own way. I loved the characters, their brother/sister relationship written very well, and I love the idea of the land of Aedyn. 

- 100 Cupboards, Book One -

   Author: N.D. Wilson
   Back Cover Description: Twelve-year-old Henry York is going to sleep one night when he hears a bump on the attic wall above his head. It's an unfamiliar house—Henry is staying with his aunt, uncle, and three cousins—so he tries to ignore it. But the next night he wakes up with bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall, and one of them is slowly turning...
   Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers doors—ninety-nine cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room—with a man strolling back and forth! Henry and his cousin Henrietta soon understand that these are not just cupboards. They are, in fact, portals to other worlds.
   This was actually a fairly recent read for me, and I haven't read all three books yet, nor do I own them. However, I got this one from the library, and I loved this book. Loved it. They had great characters and a really good plot, keeping me curious throughout the whole novel.

- The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book One: The Amulet of Samarkand -

   Author: Jonathan Stroud
   Back Cover Description: Nathaniel is eleven years olf and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional arts of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells way beyond his years. With revenge in mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.
   This YA fantasy novel includes things like demons and wizards, and also has some language and passing comments that simply weren't necessary, but overall I really enjoyed the book. I found it at a second-hand bookstore here in Thailand and bought it with my own money, so I haven't read the other two yet and can't give you much of an input on the other ones.
   I'll admit, reading the four-hundred sixty-page book took me a while, and I slothed through some of it, but it sped up my reading skills and overall I loved the story and characters. Nathaniel is a very likable character, and Bartimaeus is really funny! 

- Angeluscustos, Book One: From the Dungeon to the Throne -

   Author: Jane Witmer
   Back Cover Description: With the prince imprisoned, an usurper on the throne, and enemies on the border, the country of Serenia calls for help. Suddenly four young siblings find themselves traveling to a new world and facing situations they could never have imagined. Fortunately, they also discover that they possess supernatural powers, gifted to them by the God who has sent them to free the prince and bring peace to the land.
   My family and I read this middle-grade book together, and I loved it. Exciting adventures and it's about a pretty awesome family, so . . .(no bias at all - even if it was written by my wonderful grandmother and my siblings and I are the stars).
   Not to mention the beautiful cover! This is the new-and-improved cover, and I love it so much!!

   Well, that's all for now! I'm hoping to do more posts like this soon, as I loved writing them. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I'll see you next time!

   Have you read any of these novels? If so, what about them did you enjoy? Was there anything you didn't enjoy? 

   If you haven't read them, which ones sound most interesting to you? Tell me in the comments section below or on my Facebook page Julia Witmer, Author!


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