Thanks for all your fantastic suggestions for books to read. Trilogies and series score highly yet again on your lists of must-reads.
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Eragon by Christopher Paolini has been a popular choice. The first book in the Inheritance trilogy, it is a thrilling story full of adventure, sword fighting, Elves and Dragons, nasty villains and of course a beautiful maiden who could easily fight her way around the world. When Eragon, a poor farm boy, finds a blue stone in the forest, he finds himself in a desperate race against time to save the empire… Astonishingly, Christopher Paolini was only 15 when he started to write this masterpiece. Eldest, the second book in the trilogy, came out in August 2005.
Many of you enjoyed Mary Hoffman’s Stravaganza Trilogy, which is set in an alternate Italy called Talia. In City of Masks, Lucien, who has cancer in our world, is given a marbled notebook which miraculously transports him to exciting, dangerous, 16th century Bellezza (our Venice), a city full of murky political intrigue... In City of Stars, Georgia buys a little dusty winged horse from a local antique shop, which transports her to Remora (our Siena) - right into the rivalries and high-octane excitement of the hugely competitive Stellata horse race… City of Flowers brings together plots and characters from the first two books, as well as introducing some exciting new developments, in the elegant and deadly city of Giglia (our Florence).
Several of you recommended Magyk by Angie Sage, the first book in the Septimus Heap Trilogy. A baby girl is rescued from a snowy path in the woods; a baby boy is stillborn; a young Queen is taken ill; an ExtraOrdinary Wizard mysteriously resigns from his post… and all on the same night! When the Heap family receives a knock at the door ten years later, this string of seemingly unconnected events comes together and life as they know it will change beyond recognition…
DJ McHale’s Pendragon series is another rollicking adventure of epic proportions. An ordinary teenager, Bobby’s life is turned upside down when he is swept into a daring quest that will decide the fate of humanity. He and his Uncle Press travel from territory to territory to save the world — and all other worlds — from Saint Dane, the ultimate evil. On his way Bobby discovers strange lands, stranger people, and searches for his long-lost family. Will he succeed in saving the world?
Another popular suggestion is Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy, starting with Sabriel. Sabriel's father is the Abhorsen, a unique type of necromancer, both feared and respected — he can see and defend against the undead. On the brink of death, he sends her a cryptic message meaning she must follow in his footsteps and journey across the border from Ancelstierre to the Old Kingdom, to calm an evil storm that is brewing there — a storm which will surely intensify when he dies…
Speaking of passing between worlds, another suggestion is The Secret of Platform 13 by Iva Ibottson: under Platform 13 at King's Cross Station is a gump, a door that leads to another world. A hag, an ogre, a wizard, and other creatures have been sent through the gump to rescue their young Prince — but he has become a horrible brat called Raymond Throttle, who is determined not to be rescued.
The Doomspell Trilogy by Cliff McNish has been highly recommended. In the first book, The Doomspell, Rachel and Eric are snatched through a wall into another world by Dragwena the evil witch. Dragwena has kidnapped thousands of children before, but in Rachel and Eric she has met her match; they discover that they have magical powers, powers that Dragwena will use for her own evil ends unless they can use them to thwart her and save the human race…
Other favourites include Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, which follows a brave young dragon called Firedrake, his loyal brownie friend Sorrel and a lonely boy called Ben as they embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace forever; The Stone and the Flute by Hans Bemmann, in which Listener sets out on with a rare and magical stone to search for the legendary Gentle Fluter, and for the woman whose eyes match the colours of the stone; The Saga of Darren Shan series by Darren Shan, about the adventures and misadventures of a young boy called Darren who strikes a deal with a vampire to save his friend’s life; Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton; the Night World and Vampire Diaries series by Lisa J Smith; and the Young Wizard series by Diane Duane.