Witch Hat Atelier

“Witches are born, not taught.” But is this really true? In this fast-paced adventure, Coco, a young girl with an obsession with magic, will stop at nothing to find out! 

When Coco spies on a real witch casting a spell, she learns spells are not told or written – They are drawn. Trying some for herself has disastrous consequences though, setting Coco off on a journey to learn magic that she always dreamed of, but for reasons she could have never imagined.  Seen as an outsider by others, Coco tries her hardest to make things right, but seems to find trouble at every turn.

Will Coco ever master the art of magic? Will she win the acceptance and friendship of other witches? Will she ever see her family again?

You’ll have to see for yourself!

The Bone Houses

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn, “Ryn,” has the unique problem of being young for a gravedigger — and that the dead won’t stay dead. After her parents’ passing, Ryn supports herself and her siblings by managing the recently deceased of the village of Colbren, as her father did before her. Colbren sits at the edge of a forest full of old magic, which stretches beyond the memory of anyone alive now to see it — that is until Ellis, a young apprentice mapmaker from the Prince’s court, arrives to survey it for himself.

As long as anyone has known, the occasional risen corpse, known as a “bone house,” has kept to the forested lands, never venturing into Colbren. Bone houses had become such rare sightings that many doubted their existence, though Ryn knows them all too well. Upon the mysterious new arrival of Ellis to Colbren, the bone houses begin attacking with a new ferocity, venturing farther past the limits of the forest and into town than ever before. 

To stop the onslaught of bone houses, Ryn and Ellis know the journey must take them on a path more treacherous than either of them bargained for, deep into the heart of the forest, into the dark secrets of the past.

Return of the Thief

Terrific denouement (#6 in the series) to the Queen’s Thief series! Megan Whalen Turner is one of the strongest writers in Youth fiction today and this one is a masterpiece, ending the series with power and joy. Pheris is an disabled child used as a pawn in the politics of Attolia, but the High King, Eugenides, takes a liking to him.  The small countries of Attolia, Eddis and Sounis face being conquered by the Mede empire.  And only a Thief can steal the Medes’ victory out from under them!  This book does not stand alone; you need to read the series from the beginning, starting with The Thief. Lucky, lucky you.


Woven in Moonlight Isabel Ibañez

A rich fantasy tale, Woven in Moonlight wraps the reader in the suspense full of intrigue, magic and revolution. Ximena is a young girl who can weave moonlight into magic thread and tapestries. She is also a decoy for the royal condesa of a people who have been pushed to the margins of their kingdom by a rival people group. Ximena as condesa enters the rival kingdom as a spy in order to help overthrow the rivals from within. Her prejudices about her enemies are challenged the more time she spends inside the castle by a variety of characters–a kind medicine man, the intelligent princesa, and a masked bandit. In a story about revolution, loyalty, power as well as love and friendship, we learn through Ximena how we ourselves can change as our prejudices shift and fall away in the face of learning people’s true character and history.


The Wolf by Leo Carew (Under the Northern Sky, Book One)

Intensely engaging fantasy about two species of humans at war. The Wolf is the young heir to the throne in the invaded northern country; he faces Bellamus, a canny Suthdal general on the make, as well as powerful internal enemies who don’t think he can lead the Black Kingdom against the Suthdal invasion. Dark, imaginative and propulsive. Can’t wait for the sequel. Kirkus calls it “an action-packed and blood-splattered tour de force.” The author says, “Our current age is unusual, in that we are the only species of human on earth.”

The Wizard of Once by Cressida Cowell

The Wizards of Once is a terrific new fantasy by Cressida Cowell, the creator of How to Train Your Dragon.  This is the first in a new series,  introducing the 2 main characters,  a Wizard boy named Xar and a Warrior girl named Wish. The book has the best illustrations: spell books,  snow cats, giants, sprites, magic spoons, thrones, king of the Wizards, queen of the Warriors, rooms in trees, witch blood and even flying doors! There are plenty of mysteries, many of which are not solved by the doozy of an ending — who is the narrator? What does the title mean? Will Xar ever learn?  Funny and easy enough for a 3rd grader to apprehend while also pulling from a deep well of wisdom and humor to satisfy adults and young adults, this book is a winner. Get this one for your 9 year old and then read it aloud to the whole family!

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

In another world where there are witches of all kinds; Tea finds that she is a rare bone witch, a witch that can raise creatures good and bad from the dead.  Tea is confronted with what she is, when she accidentally raises her brother from the dead.  Now her and her brother must head to an unfamiliar city, so Tea can train with another bone witch.  As Tea trains her skills grow quickly and the whole city become curious about her and her powers.  Tea realizes there’s a fine line between good and evil that her powers allow her to tread, but there forces out there wanting to pull her into the darkness.

The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany

This is one of the early classics of fantasy literature, with a huge influence on writers of the genre as a whole.  The story is familiar – a mortal man marries a fairy princess – but it continues well past the “happily ever after,” and the writing and language are lyrical and haunting.  A truly beautiful and timeless book!

The Silence of Medair/Voice Of The Lost, by Andrea K. Host

What if you were the hero promised by legend – and then failed?  Medair an Rynstar was supposed to be that hero, but a critical error at what should have been her moment of triumph means that she has awoken 500 years after the invasion she was meant to stop.  Now, the country she loves is run by the descendants of the invaders she hated – and is threatened once again by yet another group of invaders.  The resulting story is a lovely exploration of so many things – betrayal, loss, survivor’s guilt, revenge, forgiveness, love – all wrapped into a compelling plot in a beautifully imagined world.

Read these two books together – they are really two halves of the same work   (Also one of my favorite works of fantasy of the past decade, but no pressure…)



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