Thursday, 12 April 2012

Dragons, ghosts, golems and selkies: A selection of fantasy books for the school holidays
I love fantasy, and I especially love it when authors do interesting things with the subjects and themes we’ve all seen before. Inspired by the school holiday theme, here is a list of some of my favourite fantasy books that feature mythical creatures. It’s somewhat eclectic, but hopefully there’s something here for everyone. In no particular order:

As Napoleon's tenacious infantry rampages across Europe and his armada lies in wait for Nelson's smaller fleet, the war does not rage on land and water alone. Squadrons of aviators swarm the skies - a deadly shield for the cumbersome canon-firing vessels. Raining fire and acid upon their enemies, they engage in a swift, violent combat with flying tooth and claw... for these aviators ride dragons.

A ghost, uncertain of her identity, watches the four Melford sisters hatch a plan to get their parents' attention and slowly becomes aware of the danger from a supernatural power unleashed by the girls and their friends from the boys’ boarding school run by the Melfords.

Sally: Does a ghost count as a mythical creature? I don’t really care about the answer to that question, to be honest, because I will take any opportunity to promote one of my favourite authors. Also, the ghost’s name is Sally. So there.

Elizabeth, a beautiful princess, is all set to marry Ronald, her prince, when a dragon comes along and forces her to rethink her plans.

Rollrock Island is a lonely rock of gulls and waves, blunt fishermen and their homely wives. Life is hard for the families who must wring a poor living from the stormy seas. But Rollrock is also a place of magic - the scary, salty-real sort of magic that changes lives forever. Down on the windswept beach, where the seals lie in herds, the outcast sea witch Misskaella casts her spells - and brings forth girls from the sea - girls with long, pale limbs and faces of haunting innocence and loveliness - the most enchantingly lovely girls the fishermen of Rollrock have ever seen. But magic always has its price. A fisherman may have and hold a sea bride, and tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she is. He will be equally ensnared. And in the end the witch will always have her payment. A tale of unspeakable cruelty - and deep unspoken love.

Sally: I may be cheating a little by putting this on here because I haven’t actually finished it, but even half-way through I can tell it’s going to be one of my favourites.

Fifteen-year-old cousins Laura and Rose are about to find out whether they are part of the prestigious Dreamhunters group. But nothing in their darkest nightmares can prepare them for what they discover. For within the Place lies a horrific secret. A secret kept buried for years, a secret crying out to be heard.

Sally: Two for the price of one here, because you can’t really read one without the other.

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