Best Fantasy Books of 2000-2005

Below you will find a list of the fantasy books published in 2000-2005 that we enjoyed most.

The Spook's Apprentice

by Joseph Delaney

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before him. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the Country, the horror begins…

"You could say that if Ursula Le Guin and The Sixth Sense merged then the outcome may be as good as The Spook’s Apprentice. I would heavily recommend The Spook’s Apprentice to young adults looking for a fantastic series. Chilling, memorable, full of wonderful characters and written in a fluid style that makes the narrative accessible to all ages."

Series: The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 1
Published: 2004

9+
10/10

Midnight Tides

by Steven Erikson

After decades of internecine warfare, the tribes of the Tiste Edur have at last united under the Warlock King. There is peace – but it has been exacted at a terrible price: a pact made with a hidden power whose motives are at best suspect, at worst deadly.

Series: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 5
Published: 2004

15+
10/10

Something Rotten

by Jasper Fforde

There is so much detail to be found in these novels that it is sometimes hard to convey how special these stories are. There are so many layers which keep you reading, that also remind you of parts previously mentioned in the other books and you are never sure where the story will take you next or where the journal will end. There are not many authors out there who can achieve this, especially when they are also taking you not only into their stories but through previously written well known fiction from across the ages.

Series: Thursday Next: Book 4
Published: 2004

12+
10/10

Wolf Brother

by Michelle Paver

Torak is now alone and scared. His father is dead, slain by a demon in the form of a great bear. Torak must keep going; his only friend is another orphan, a small wolf cub. Evil stalks the forest and Torak must face a foe that stalks him silently and cannot be shaken.

"Wolf Brother is a book for all ages; parents will enjoy reading this to their children almost as much as the children themselves enjoy hearing it. It is action packed, very fast moving and an instant connection is made with the reader. You are fully behind Torak from day one and the beautiful illustrations by Geoff Taylor combine to create the perfect package."

Series: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: Book 1
Published: 2004

9+
10/10

Memories of Ice

by Steven Erikson

Memories of Ice is the third book of the series entitled A Tale of the Malazan Book of The Fallen. It follows directly after the events of the first book, Gardens of the Moon, and runs concurrently to the events in the second book, Deadhouse Gates.

Series: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 3
Published: 2001

15+
10/10

Shadowrise

by Tad Williams

This is an epic story which has many twists and turns, which put the characters in peril time and time again and yet is so gripping you have to continue reading just to know if they will survive. We learn more about the treachery that has been so well orchestrated by different sides that it is still affecting the lives of other characters who may not have been directly involved in the first place.

Series: Shadowmarch Quartet: Book 3
Published: 2004

12+
10/10

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

by Susanna Clarke

"An elegant and witty historical fantasy which deserves to be judged on its own (considerable) merit." Sunday Telegraph

"A genuinely original story, beautifully told." Fantasy Book Review

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.


Published: 2004

15+
10/10

Abhorsen

by Garth Nix

Lirael and Sameth have reached the safety of the Abhorsens House after fleeing from Necromancer Hedge and his dead minions. Now trapped by his agent Chlorr and many Dead Hands, Lirael and Sam must find a way to warn the King and Abhorsen of the mounting danger their subjects face in the Old Kingdom and the real threat this new evil 'The Destroyer' will bring to every living thing. Together with Mogget and The Disreputable Dog, Lirael and Sam must find a way to save Sam's friend Nick, now an unwitting puppet of Hedge, and the Southerling refugees from a fate much worse than death. Our heroine must also face her past as well as her future if she is to succeed in her quest to put an end to this very grave foe who's only desire is to end all life and the Charter itself.

Series: The Abhorsen Chronicles: Book 3
Published: 2003

12+
10/10

Night Watch

by Terry Pratchett

Whenever someone new comes to review books, there is always going to be a measure of consternation at their choices for best books. It gets worse when you narrow it down to genre, because then not only have you narrowed down the people, but in a most perplexing mathematic equation their passion for those books increases.

Series: The Discworld Series: Book 28
Published: 2002

12+
10/10

A Hat Full of Sky

by Terry Pratchett

One of the great character templates in literature is the often dim-witted, often humorous sidekick who is allowed a moment of center stage wisdom. If done poorly, it can be nothing short of horrible. But when it is done well, there is seldom anything that can beat it. And in a series of more than 30 books that are all pigeon-holed into the fantasy/comedy genre, Terry Pratchett has made attempting this template into an art form.

Series: The Discworld Series: Book 32
Published: 2004

12+
10/10

The Wee Free Men

by Terry Pratchett

When a new series begins, often you will expect book two to be better than book one, and so on. It makes sense. The writer will get better as they go on. Sadly, life is not always so neat, and there will be writers, like Terry Pratchett, who go out of their way to break the mould. This is what happened when Pratchett wrote The Wee Free Men, the first in a quartet of books but simultaneously the 30th book in his lovingly created Discworld.

Series: The Discworld Series: Book 30
Published: 2003

12+
10/10

Nightchild

by James Barclay

One thing that is always tinged with a measure of trepidation is the treatment of children in a fantasy world. A measure of reality must always be held in one hand while you attempt to watch over them. For as much as you would love to see them always come through unharmed, happy, and well, it is just not how it would have played back in the middle ages and before.

Series: Chronicles of the Raven: Book 3
Published: 2001

15+
10/10

The Amulet of Samarkand

by Jonathan Stroud

Bartimaeus: The Amulet of Samarkand is a novel which successfully bridges the divide between children’s and adult fiction. The story of an ambitious young demonologist and an ancient and exasperated demon, it is a challenging and sophisticated read for young readers of perhaps 12 years and upwards and a witty entertaining and fast-moving adventure story for adults.

Series: The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Book 1
Published: 2003

12+
10/10

Ravenheart

by David Gemmell

The style of the Rigante series need not be introduced again, since all books have the same kind of main character, who starts out as a hateful youth but grows significantly when he matures. The oppressed Rigante and the Varlish façade of justice make for a great setting, and I just can’t get it over my heart to spoil anything. Ravenheart truly is the best novel in the Rigante series, the conclusion one of the best and most touching I have ever read.

Series: The Rigante Novels: Book 3
Published: 2001

15+
10/10

The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of a new crime wave’s Mr Big. Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing. Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn't easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you , and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

"The Eyre Affair shows a great combination of humour thriller, sci-fi, detective and fantasy, in my opinion this book really takes the fantasy fiction genre further. I know I am going to repeat myself but this book is how Thursday would have said it “mad as pants”. It combines some great elements that truly make this book comes to life in more than one dimension. Combining funny and witty dialogues but also numerous literary ideas with the bookworms and names of several of the characters make this a terrific read and should be compulsory for everyone. You won’t regret this."

Series: Thursday Next: Book 1
Published: 2001

12+
10/10

Harshini

by Jennifer Fallon

Medalon has surrendered to foreign invaders and Tarja is once more an outlaw. The Defenders have scattered and their only hope is Damin Wolfblade and his Hythrun army. But Damin has his own problems. The High Prince is dead and he must lift the siege on the Hythrun capital and defeat an usurper before he can come to Medalon's aid. For R'shiel time is running out. She has finally accepted her destiny as the Demon Child, but must search for answers. She must defeat Xaphista soon or the Harshini will be destroyed; she must find a way to bring peace to the divided southern nations, to free Medalon from Karien occupation and to find the strength to finally put an end to Loclon. But how do you defeat a God?

"A sparkling trilogy that has created a world that offers far more stories than we have been served so far. Any fan of the genre must recognise the quality that Fallon has produced and hopefully more will come from her pen."

Series: The Demon Child Trilogy #3
Published: 2001

12+
10/10

Dragons of a Vanished Moon

by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

The flames of war devour Ansalon. The army of dead souls marches toward conquest, led by the mystical warrior Mina, who serves the powerful One God. A small band of heroes, driven to desperate measures, leads the fight against overwhelming odds.Two unlikely protagonists emerge. One is a dragon overlord who will not easily relinquish her rule. The other is an irrepressible kender who has been on a strange and remarkable journey that will end in startling and unforeseen fashion.

"This book, this trilogy, the entire world of Krynn and its heroes that has been created deserves six stars and beyond and any fan of the fantasy genre must have this on their bookshelves."

Series: Dragonlance
Published: 2002

12+
10/10

Fool's Fate

by Robin Hobb

The triumphant conclusion to the tale of the Farseers, in which kingdoms must stand or fall on the beat of a dragon’s wings, or a Fool’s heart. A small and sadly untried coterie – the old assassin Chade, the serving-boy Thick, Prince Dutiful, and his reluctant Skillmaster, Fitz – sail towards the distant island of Aslevjal. There they must fulfil the Narcheska’s challenge: to lay the head of the dragon Icefyre, whom legends tell is buried there deep beneath the ice, upon her hearth. Only then can their marriage proceed, and put an end to war between the two kingdoms. Having abandoned the Fool in Buckkeep, Fitz is guilt-stricken; but determined to keep the fate of his beloved friend at bay, since prophecy foretells the Fool’s death if he ever sets foot on the isle of the black dragon. But as their ship draws in towards Aslevjal a lone figure awaits them…

"It was with both anticipation and regret that I began the final book of The Tawny Man series. This is the ninth book set in Robin Hobb’s immaculately built world of The Six Duchies and it has been a staggering achievement to maintain such a level of literary excellence through so many books. Not one of the nine is weak; each is as lovingly created as the last. This is epic fantasy at its very best; the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of the White Prophet and his Catalyst. The Fool’s Fate hangs over the entire book – will the prophecy come true and see his death or can destiny be changed without risking the future of the world?"

Series: The Tawny Man: Book 3
Published: 2003

12+
9/10

Wolves of the Calla

by Stephen King

And so we come to book number five in what I now class as one of the greatest - certainly one of my favourite - fantasy series of all time. In Wolves of the Calla King pays unashamed homage to The Seventh Samurai and The Magnificent Seven as ka finds the ka-tet honour-bound to prevent the mysterious "wolves" from descending upon Calla Bryn Sturgis and taking the villagers' children.

Series: The Dark Tower series: Book 5
Published: 2003

15+
9/10

Always Forever

by Mark Chadbourn

The Eternal Conflict between the Light and Dark once again blackens the skies and blights the land. On one side stand the Tuatha de Danaan, golden-skinned and beautiful, filled with all the might of angels. On the other are the Fomorii, monstrous devils hell-bent on destroying all human existence. And in the middle are the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, determined to use the strange power that binds them to the land in a last, desperate attempt to save the human race. Church, Ruth, Ryan, Laura and Shavi have joined forces with Tom, a hero from the mists of time, to wage a guerrilla war against the iron rule of the gods.

Series: Age of Misrule: Book 3
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

Treason Keep

by Jennifer Fallon

R'shiel is on the brink of death, her destiny unfulfilled. To save her, the renegade Harshini Brak reluctantly makes a terrible bargain, as survival of the hidden Harshini race hangs in the balance. Political turmoil spreads across Medalon and its neighbouring countries as the gods vie for power, using humans as pawns in a deadly battle for supremacy. On Medalon's northern border, Tarja and the Defenders are far too few to stand against the invaders from Karien. The only thing that can save them is an alliance with Hythria. But can Tarja trust his former enemy, Damin Wolflblade, warlord and heir to the throne of Hytrhia? Meanwhile, King Hablet of Fardohnya weds his eldest daughter, Princess Adrina, to the Karien Heir. hoping to place his grandchild on the Karien throne. But the wayward and rebellious Adrina has her own plans, and the fate of three nations dangle upon her whim. To avert bloodshed on a massive scale, three warring kingdoms must unite to diffuse the threat of Karien, a nation led by possessed priests and fanatics. Only the demon child - half human and half Harshini - has the power to compel obedience, but will she master her new talents in time to stop a divine war...

"So... a well-crafted, utterly gripping second fantasy novel where the quality of writing legitimately declares Fallon to be as good as the likes of Eddings, Feist and co rather than some wishful thinking quotes on the jacket that inevitably disappoint."

Series: The Demon Child Trilogy #2
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

The Gathering Storm

by Kate Elliott

The world of Liath and Alain is breaking apart as King Henry's kingdom is savaged by earthly and supernatural forces, which they alone have the power to understand. The Eika warriors thirst for the King's land and power, their enmity sealed by generations of blood. Bitter in-fighting within King Henry's court and the ceaseless attrition of raiders also weaken his reign. Those who remain true must stay strong as the shadow of the Cursed Ones falls, and the spell holding the exiled from the planet fails. Liath must force her wild sorcery to maturity and Sanglant, her husband and King Henry's heir, must struggle to hold the realm together. The twin destinies of Liath and Alain may yet avert the destruction written in the stars.

"The fifth volume in the ‘Crown of Stars’ saga, The Gathering Storm, has been a long time coming (duly noted by the apologetic author) but the delay has been worth it. We find ourselves trailing two Eagles, Hanna and Hathui, the former riding to join Sanglant and Sapientia who have gone to Jinn trailing Bulkezu as their prisoner, the latter heading towards King Henry who has been possessed, the Skopos and the insidious Hugh. Amongst this the small fervent band of ‘heretics’, numbering Sigfrid, Ivar and the beautiful Baldwin amongst them end up at the monastery where Alain is desperately attempting to forget who he is and seek peaceful obscurity." travelswithadiplomat

Series: Crown of Stars: Book 5
Published: 2003

12+
9/10

House Of Chains

by Steven Erikson

In the aftermath of the Chain of Dogs extraordinary destinies are being played out. Karsa Orlong, a tribal warrior from Northern Genabackis descends into the southern lands as part of a raiding party. Adjunct Tavore faces the legions of the seer Sha’ik with an army of raw recruits. Waiting in the heart of the Holy Desert the Sha’ik’s warlords are at each other’s throats and she herself is haunted by the knowledge the her nemesis is her own flesh and blood. So begins the pivotal chapter of Steven Erikson’s spectacular fantasy series.

Series: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 4
Published: 2002

15+
9/10

Monstrous Regiment

by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett is without doubt the current master of satire across all genres. The subtlety of his humour and his inoffensive parody is coruscating in its effectiveness, poking enjoyable fun at the establishment. By breaking all the usual rules our gallant ladies defy and rampage through the war with devastating effectiveness to show that in a war, there are no rules. Written with Pratchett's usual wit and razor-sharp satire, this would come somewhere high up my list of Discworld recommended novels

Series: The Discworld Series: Book 31
Published: 2003

12+
9/10

Dragons of a Lost Star

by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

The War of Souls continues as the shield over the elven kingdom of Silvanesti falls, Mina and her forces invade that conquered nation, and Goldmoon follows the river of the dead, which now threatens to destroy all.

"It is difficult to praise Weis and Hickman in a manner that they haven't rightly heard before. Over the last twenty years Dragonlance has become a huge phenomenon with lots of spin offs and development of the world of Krynn on a scale that is truly exhilarating. However, one thing that is noticeable is that, amongst all the necessary surrounding dragonlance novels, a book from the pens of the creators stands head and shoulders above the rest and it is perhaps right that it should do so. Dragonlance has defined a generation of fantasy fans and any book produced by this peerless duo deserves six stars and beyond."

Series: Dragonlance
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

The Other Wind

by Ursula Le Guin

This is another wonderful book from Ursula Le Guin. Exploring themes such as fear of death and belief in reincarnation. This is not a fantasy book full of large battles and insurmountable odds but a book about people and how they live life, deal with grief and try to make the right choices when they are presented.

Series: Earthsea Saga: Book 5
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by JK Rowling

The fifth installment in the Harry Potter series sees Harry in his fifth year of Hogwarts; his hardest year yet. It's the end of the summer holidays and after a confrontation with Dudley Dursley and his little gang both Dudley and Harry are attacked by a Dementor, forcing Harry to use a Patronus charm. The Ministry of Magic are quick to charge Harry with the crime of 'underage magic' and it is only with Dumbledore's help and that of the Dursley's neighbour, who is infact a squib (a witch or wizard of pure blood who has no magic ability) and has been looking out for Harry all these years that sees the Ministry clearing Harry of all charges as his hearing.

Series: Harry Potter: Book 5
Published: 2003

9+
9/10

Lirael

by Garth Nix

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr, a powerful group of clairvoyant oracles responsible for assisting the Abhorsen and the Royal Family in keeping the Old Kingdom safe from the threat of the Dead. Not only does she look completely different to everyone else, she is long past the age that she should have received the Sight. She feels alone, abandoned, and utterly unsure of who she really is. Meanwhile, across the Wall in Ancelstierre, Prince Sameth is equally lonely. He knows he has a great role to fulfil - he must one day take over as Abhorsen from his mother, Sabriel - but the prospect horrifies him. He fears the Dead, and after a terrifying incident with a rogue Necromancer, he is mortally afraid of his own destiny. But unbeknownst to Lirael and Sameth, they are part of an even greater future plan. The forces of evil are growing once more in the Old Kingdom, and Lirael and Sameth will find themselves at the heart of a desperate mission to stop them.

"This is the sequel to Sabriel, the award winning book from Garth Nix. I have to say that I enjoyed this book far more than it's predecessor, although, without Sabriel doing most of the ground work, this book wouldn't be as free to thunder along at such a roaring pace."

Series: The Abhorsen Chronicles: Book 2
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

Tales From Earthsea

by Ursula Le Guin

Tales from Earthsea comprises of five magical stories of Earthsea, the realm created by master storyteller Ursula Le Guin. The stories help explain the mythology of Earthsea and fill in the gaps between the four prior stories, most notably between Tehanu and The Other Wind.

Series: Earthsea Saga: Book 6
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

The Curse of the Gloamglozer

by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Quint, son of sky pirate captain, and new apprentice to Linius Pallitax, the Most High Academe, has been set some highly important tasks. Just how important, Quint is about to find out as he and Linius’s only daughter, Maris, are plunged into a terrifying adventure that takes them deep within the rock upon which Sanctaphrax is built. Here, they unwittingly invoke an ancient curse – the curse of the gloamglozer…

"The Curse of the Gloamglozer is the perfect place to begin your journey within The Edge Chronicles. It also marks the beginning of the Quint trilogy, promising – and indeed succeeding – in taking your imagination to The Edge. The story, narration, settings, characters and illustrations are uniformly excellent and provide the complete fantasy experience."

Series: The Quint Sequence: Book 1
Published: 2001

9+
9/10

Fool's Errand

by Robin Hobb

Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-partner, Nighteyes, finally settling in a tiny cottage as remote from Buckkeep and the Farseers as possible. But lately the world has come crashing in again, The Witted are being persecuted because of their magical bonds with animals; and young Prince Dutiful has gone missing just before his crucial diplomatic wedding to an Outislander princess. Fitz’s assignment to fetch Dutiful back in time for the ceremony seems very much like a fool’s errand, but the dangers ahead could signal the end of the Farseer reign.

Series: The Tawny Man: Book 1
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

The Golden Fool

by Robin Hobb

Fitz has succeeded in rescuing Prince Dutiful from the clutches of the Piebald rebels, and has returned with him to Buckkeep castle. With Dutiful safe again, Queen Kettricken can proceed with plans to marry him to the Outislander princess, Elliania, but with tensions building among the peoples of the Six Duchies over Kettricken’s tolerance of the Wittted, even Buckkeep is no longer safe. A reluctant Fitz is assigned to protect the young prince, and also train him in the Skill, and in doing so he finally makes contact not only with his estranged daughter, Nettle, but with someone in Buckkeep who may possess a greater Skill talent than Fitz. And who may represent a terrible threat to the Farseers. Meanwhile, Elliania arrives, and before she will accept Prince Dutiful’s betrothal challenges him to undertake an impossible quest. He must kill a legendary Outislander dragon.

"The Golden Fool is the second book in Robin Hobb’s The Tawny Man series. First published in Great Britain by Voyager in 2002. Fitz has succeeded in rescuing Prince Dutiful from the clutches of the Piebald rebels. But once again the cost of protecting the Farseer line has been dear: Nighteyes is dead."

Series: The Tawny Man: Book 2
Published: 2002

12+
9/10

Flight of the Nighthawks

by Raymond E Feist

Feist is one the finest fantasy authors produced in the late twentieth century and his works on the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan remain at the peak of the genre. Characterisation is well drawn, we have an excellent mix of old, familiar and lovable characters with new youthful, impetuous ones that engender empathy. Old traditions hover in the background where needed without overshadowing the new bloods making their literary mark. The plot is crisp, the dialogue exciting and the old thrill of looking forward to reading this great Feist series rears its head.

Series: The Darkwar Saga #1
Published: 2004

12+
9/10

The Spook's Curse

by Joseph Delaney

The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, have travelled to Priestown to defeat the Bane, a powerful, evil creature that lurks in the catacombs of the cathedral and is corrupting the County. As Thomas and his master prepare to battle with the Bane, they soon realize it isn’t their only enemy in Priestown. The Quisitor has arrived, searching the County for those who meddle in the dark – witches, warlocks and spooks! Can Thomas and his master survive the horror that follows…?

"The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, have travelled to Priestown to defeat the Bane, a powerful, evil creature that lurks in the catacombs of the cathedral and is corrupting the County. As Thomas and his master prepare to battle with the Bane, they soon realize it isn’t their only enemy in Priestown. The Quisitor has arrived, searching the County for those who meddle in the dark – witches, warlocks and spooks! Can Thomas and his master survive the horror that follows…?"

Series: The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 2
Published: 2004

9+
9/10

Elfsorrow

by James Barclay

One of the greatest and most often committed faults of English literature, specifically of the fantasy genre, is the emotional attachment to characters by their authors. Though budding and experienced authors alike may start out with all intention to realistically treat their characters as they should, more often than not, by the end of the story, everyone has miraculously survived.

Series: Legends of the Raven: Book 1
Published: 2002

15+
9/10

Shadowheart

by James Barclay

One of the underlying threads that have raced through James Barclay’s The Raven series has been the ever building conflict between the four colleges of magic on Balaia. Shadowheart sees the climax of this collision. Not surprisingly, the “dark” college is the one to strike, but thankfully the reader is not necessarily forced into taking the “good guys” side.

Series: Legends of the Raven: Book 2
Published: 2003

15+
9/10

Demonstorm

by James Barclay

When I first started reading Demonstorm, I was under every impression that it was Barclay’s final say in the world of the mercenary band known as The Raven. The ending of the book definitely gives that opinion as well, continuing Barclay’s well worn killing off of his characters. But before the end comes, Barclay manages to pull off one of the greatest escapades I have ever read. It is exciting, thrilling, and – as much as any fantasy book can be – entirely believable.

Series: Legends of the Raven: Book 3
Published: 2004

15+
9/10

The Dark Mirror

by Juliet Marillier

When Bridei arrives at Pitnochie as a four-year-old, Juliet Marillier lets the reader see the unsure thoughts of the druid Broichan who will mentor and educate him. We get to wonder if this little child will be able to handle all that Broichan has planned for him. The mystery piles on from there.

"For fantasy enthusiasts looking for a clever, multi-layered, well-written story that lets you fall in love with the characters, lets you respect the characters, and gives you time to enjoy the characters and root for their successes, I can recommend The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier."

Series: Bridei Chronicles: Book 1
Published: 2004

12+
9/10

Dead Until Dark

by Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pretty - she's a very cute bubbly blonde - or not interested in a social life. She really is . . . but Sookie's got a bit of a disability. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he's tall, he's dark and he's handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting all her life for. But Bill has a disability of his own: he's fussy about his food, he doesn't like suntans and he's never around during the day . . . Yep, Bill's a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind. And then one of Sookie's colleagues at the bar is killed, and it's beginning to look like Sookie might be the next victim...

Series: Southern Vampire Series: Book 1
Published: 2001

15+
9/10

Living Dead In Dallas

by Charlaine Harris

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is having a streak of bad luck. First her co-worker is killed, and no one seems to care. Then she comes face-to-face with a beastly creature which gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it). The point is: they saved her life. So when one of the bloodsuckers asks for a favour, she obliges - and soon Sookie's in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved, but she makes one condition: the vampires must promise to behave, and let the humans go unharmed. But that's easier said than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly . . . The Sookie Stackhouse books are delightful Southern Gothic supernatural mysteries, starring Sookie, the telepathic cocktail waitress, and a cast of increasingly colourful characters, including vampires, werewolves and things that really do go bump in the night.

Series: Southern Vampire Series: Book 2
Published: 2002

15+
9/10

Club Dead

by Charlaine Harris

There's only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with - at least voluntarily - and that's Bill. But recently he's been a little distant - in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss Eric has an idea where to find him, and next thing Sookie knows she's off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead. It's a dangerous little haunt where the elusive vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some Type O - but when Sookie finally finds Bill caught in an act of serious betrayal she's not sure whether to save him, or to sharpen some stakes. The Sookie Stackhouse books are delightful Southern Gothic supernatural mysteries, starring Sookie, the telepathic cocktail waitress, and a cast of increasingly colourful characters, including vampires, werewolves and things that really do go bump in the night.

Series: Southern Vampire Series: Book 3
Published: 2003

15+
9/10

Dead To The World

by Charlaine Harris

Sookie comes to the rescue of a naked, amnesiac vampire - and ends up in the middle of a war between witches, werewolves and vampires! Sookie Stackhouse is a small-town cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's pretty. She does her job well. She keeps to herself - she has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie's gift: she can read minds. That's not exactly every man's idea of date bait - unless they're undead - vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that's just the kind of guy Sookie's been looking for. Maybe that's why, when she comes across a naked vampire on the way home from work, she doesn't just drive on by. He hasn't got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy - and dead - as the day she met him. But now he has amnesia, he's sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie's help - because whoever took his memory now wants his life. Sookie's investigation into what's going on leads her straight into a dangerous battle between witches, vampires and werewolves. But there could be even greater danger - to Sookie's heart, because the kinder, gentler Eric is very hard to resist. The Sookie Stackhouse books are delightful Southern Gothic supernatural mysteries, starring Sookie, the telepathic cocktail waitress, and a cast of increasingly colourful characters, including vampires, werewolves and things that really do go bump in the night.

Series: Southern Vampire Series: Book 4
Published: 2004

15+
9/10

The Field Guide

by Holly Black

Book 1 of The Spiderwick Chronicles in which Mallory, Simon and Jared get acquainted with their new home but find many unexpected things. It all starts when Jared Grace find their great uncle's book, "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You." and realises that are not alone in their new house. Now the Grace kids want to tell their story but the faeries will do everything to stop them...Its up to you to spread the word about their discovery. But heed their warnings, wear some red, turn your clothes inside out - all anti-faerie devices - and get ready to enter a world that you never knew existed... It's closer than you think!

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 1
Published: 2003

9+
9/10

The Seeing Stone

by Holly Black

We are very proud (and a bit wary) to announce the publication of The Spiderwick Chronicles. But beware, the faeries will use all their power to stop you from reading these books. Book 2 of The Spiderwick Chronicles in which Mallory, Simon and Jared ask many questions and discover the fate of the missing cat. With the aid of a seeing stone the true nature of the secret world around them is now revealed. Its important the Grace kids tell their story but the faeries will do everything to stop them...Its up to you to spread the word about their discovery. But heed their warnings, wear some red, turn your clothes inside out - all anti-faerie devices - and get ready to enter a world that you never knew existed...Its closer than you think!

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 2
Published: 2003

9+
9/10

Lucinda's Secret

by Holly Black

Things at the Grace residence are getting completely out of hand. As if being attacked by goblins and almost eaten by a bridge troll wasn't enough, now the house boggart, Thimbletack, is out to get Jared. Simon has a very hungry griffon recuperating in the carriage house, and Mallory is convinced that the only way to stop the madness is to get rid of the Guide. But fortunately for Jared, it seems that is not an option. With all kinds of creatures after them, the Guide is the only protection the Grace kids have. If only they could work out why the faeries are stalking them? Could it be the Guide that they want? There's only one person who might know the answer - their crazy old Aunt Lucinda.

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 3
Published: 2003

9+
9/10

The Ironwood Tree

by Holly Black

First a pack of vile, smelly goblins snatch Simon. Then a band of elves try to entrap Jared. Why is the entire faerie world so eager to get their hands on Spiderwick's Guide? And will the Grace children be left alone, now that the Guide has mysteriously disappeared? Don't count on it! At school, someone is running around pretending to be Jared, and it's not Simon. To make matters even worse, now Mallory has disappeared and something foul in the water is killing off all the plants and animals for miles around. Clues point to the old abandoned quarry, just outside of town. Dwarves have taken over an abandoned mine there. And the faerie world's abuzz with the news that a creature with plans to rule the world has offered them a gift to join with him - he's given them a queen...

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 4
Published: 2004

9+
9/10

The Curse of Chalion

by Lois McMaster Bujold

Battered ex-soldier Lupe dy Cazaril returns home only to be swept up in court and theological intrigue as tutor to the Royesse Iselle of Chalion. Cazaril's honor and courage in the face of not only his former adversaries but the demands of Chalion's five gods shine through in this spellbinding tale of hard-won triumph.

"This is a masterful slow burner of a book, who’s intricate and subtle plotting and engaging characters and thought-provoking insights into faith kept me intrigued, surprised and delighted all through its not inconsiderable length. The characters are real and three dimensional, and a real sympathy for Cazaril is at the heart of the book. The prose understated yet evocative and the description just enough to show you everything without showing you the kitchen sink too."

Series: Chalion Series: Book 1
Published: 2001

12+
9/10

Kushiel's Chosen

by Jacqueline Carey

Pleasure and pain are Phedre’s weakness, but she will never surrender her home and the ones she loves dearly for the price of Melisande’s diamond, or would she?

Series: Kushiel�s Legacy: Book 2
Published: 2002

12+
9/10

Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code

by Eoin Colfer

I don't have much else to say about the rest of the book. Colfer's writing is much better, we get to see the characters slightly grow and evolve, the story is well crafted and entertaining from start to finish, and the ending makes me want to pick up the next book almost immediately. I think if you are this far into the series you already know what to expect, so just pick up this book and have some fun. I know I did.

Series: Artemis Fowl Series: Book 3
Published: 2003

12+
9/10

Kushiel's Avatar

by Jacqueline Carey

With the help from old and new friends, Phedre’s final quest tests her scarlet mote beyond measure. Once at the Queens mercy, now the Queens right hand in defeating the evil that threatens Terre d’Ange, Phedre’s skills as a courtesan and Kushiel’s Chosen prove to be a formidable force. Kushiel’s Avatar is sure to pull some heartstrings along the deadly journey. With the darkness, there is always light.

Series: Kushiel�s Legacy: Book 3
Published: 2003

12+
9/10

The Last of the Sky Pirates

by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

The Edge Chronicles are quite an achievement: to have written so many novels and to have kept the standard so high is an accomplishment that both authors deserve great both credit and admiration for. The Last of the Sky Pirates is amongst the best in this excellent series, right up there with Stormchaser and Midnight over Sanctaphrax. As we follow Rook through the sewers of Undertown and beyond the Deepwoods we find the author’s right on top of their game. The new story and characters and the now familiar locations combine to powerful effect and those who have previously read and enjoyed The Twig Trilogy will be delighted to learn that there is closure to his tale within.

Series: The Rook Sequence: Book 1
Published: 2002

9+
9/10

Stark's Crusade

by John G Hemry

I found myself eagerly racing to the stories (and series) conclusion and I can state with confidence that this entry is the final pay off that fans of Stark were hoping for. Once again Hemry shows just why he is such a revered writer of military science fiction.

Series: Ethan Stark: Book 3
Published: 2002

15+
9/10

A Just Determination

by John G Hemry

It all builds nicely to a gripping finale in the courtroom where the outcome is uncertain and the stakes are high. For my money Hemry has managed again to provide the reader with an absorbing and intelligent science fiction drama in an all too plausible future. I for one will be keeping a look out for his next novel.

Series: JAG In Space: Book 1
Published: 2003

15+
9/10

The Spook's Blood

by Joseph Delaney

It was a joy to once again experience the same reading enjoyment found in the first five books. The book was full of twists and turns, both addictive and thrilling and with as many questions answered as raised it left me greatly looking forward to reading the next instalments and reaching the end of this excellent series. Highly recommended - Delaney back to his best.

Series: The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 10
Published: 2004

9+
9/10

Lost in a Good Book

by Jasper Fforde

The world of Thursday Next is imaginative and set in a very different world of 1985 with Gravitubes, Mammoths, Dodos and Neanderthals along with some of the best names you will read in many a book. This is a zany, fast paced book where you can’t help but need to know what happens. Thursday Next has gone from strength to strength in her first two adventures. This is a world that has many contradictions, but if you have the imagination to follow you will not be disappointed.

Series: Thursday Next: Book 2
Published: 2002

12+
9/10

The Well of Lost Plots

by Jasper Fforde

As always the story itself takes you on a journey of wonder, with many questions such as: Are there no original stories left to write? If that is so then is the book you are hopefully going to read original or a pastiche of what has come before? I will leave these questions up to you, but as I cannot wait to read book 4 in the series. I hope that these questions leave you with many questions of your own! Again Jasper Fforde has given us more intriguing characters, a lot of happiness and some sadness of his own making. You cannot help falling for these characters, however unlikely that maybe, and wondering where and what craziness is yet to follow.

Series: Thursday Next: Book 3
Published: 2003

12+
9/10

The Language of Stones

by Robert Carter

The Realm is poised for war. Its weak king – Hal, grandson of a usurper – is dominated by his beautiful wife and her lover. Against them stands Duke Richard of Ebor and his allies. The two sides are set on a bloody collision course... Gwydion is watching over the Realm. He has walked the land since before the time of the druids, since before the Slavers came to subdue the people. Gwydion was here when Arthur rode to war: then they called him 'Merlyn'. But for his young apprentice, Willand, a fearsome lesson in the ways of men and power lies ahead. The Realm is an England that is still-magical. Legendary beasts still populate its by-ways. It is a land criss-crossed by lines of power upon which standing stones have been set as a secret protection against invasion. But the power of the array was broken by the Slavers who laid straight roads across the land and built walled cities of shattered stone. A thousand years have passed since then, and those roads and walls have fallen into decay. The dangerous stones are awakening, and their unruly influence is calling men to battle. Unless Gwydion and Will can unearth them, the Realm will be plunged into a disastrous civil war. But there are many enemies ranged against them: men, monsters and a sorcerer who is as powerful as Gwydion himself.

"What is sparkling about Carter is that here is clearly an author well versed in English and Celtic myth as he transcribes many names, places and myths into his own versions that are immediately recognisable to the knowledgeable reader. His finest effort is Gwydion's reference to Iuliu the Seer (or Julius Caesar to the historian) but the novel is littered with altered names and Celtic mythology that seeks to demonstrate how easy it is to twist the facts by word of mouth. The lengthy author's note at the end goes into some detail about the parallels he draws with British geography and the times that preclude the Wars of the Roses. Carter is a fine author and the sequel to this opener is one novel I'll definitely be shelling out the extra for the hardback version."

Series: The Language of Stones Trilogy #1
Published: 2004

15+
9/10