Nine Horses by Billy Collins
Published in 2002, Nine Horses features the poems written with wit, fervor, and intelligence by America’s Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003 Billy Collins. Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, his poems welcomed back many lovers of literature and introduced the art form to people who have remained aloof from it.
Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix
In Sabriel, Garth Nix introduced us to the Old Kingdom, a world plagued by the Dead and haunted by magic gone bad. Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr happens fourteen years later, with Sabriel settling for a secondary role and Lirael, the title character, taking the lead.
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
Take Aladdin's genie, forget the lamp, and give him a shape-shifting ability and loads of biting wit, and you get Bartimaeus, the five-thousand-year-old djinni whose presence in The Amulet of Samarkand adds a light mood to an otherwise dark story.
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
To escape to a magical world doesn't seem so special anymore, especially these days when fantasy is the stuff of gaming, literature, film, and almost every other form of entertainment. But Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider manages to be very literal about the escapism idea and still be one of a kind. Perhaps it's her unabashed passion for all things fantastical, evident in the way this book is brimming with magical creatures: fairies, elves, dwarves, brownies, and of course the fact that she chose for her main character the most magical creature of all, the dragon. One cannot help but sense that Dragon Rider is the work of Funke's inner child - a highly imaginative, brave, and affectionate child, a child who believes in magic enough to confess a desire to fly the world on a dragon's back.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Good fantasy books are hard to come by these days, what with mediocre works popping up and leaving no stone unturned in the fantasy market. The challenge for the fantasy writer is to think of something that hasn't been thought of before – a difficult task in such a congested genre.
Do you have a feature you want to write about? Please CONTRIBUTE. If it passes our editorial standards we will add it in and put your name and/or link your website as a contributor.