Fantasy

Hero

By by Mike Lupica

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Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

When you play the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die.  In George R.R. Martin’s rich fantasy, King Robert of the House of Baratheon wins the game by defeating the Old Dynasty, the House of Tagaryen, but as his best friend, Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell’s family motto states, Winter is Coming, and things are changing.  Robert was a better soldier than king so the House of Lannister threatens his power, and a civil war breaks out. Jaime Lannister fights with his brawn, and his brother, the dwarf Tyrion Lannister, with his wit.

Martin’s characters are not black and white; he goes back to Sir Thomas Malory, where even Lancelot, the role model for chivalry, has deep, fatal flaws. Stark is an honest man, yet he does not know whom to trust and endangers himself and his family.  If you love fantasy combined with the Arthurian legend of knights and chivalry and an added twist of Machiavellian political intrigue, this book is for you. The magical elements of the godswoods, the dragon eggs, and the evil beings lurking the wilds of the north add an air of mystery and the supernatural to the novel.

Haunting Rachel

By Kay Hooper

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Marrying Thomas Sheridan was all Rachel Grant ever wanted. Days before the wedding, he left to fly cargo to South America, and that night she had a premonition that something terrible was about to happen. The following morning she learned he had disappeared. His plane never reached its destination, and no trace of it was ever found. Now, ten years later, Rachel returns to Richmond, Virginia, to settle her family estate. The homecoming is fraught with painful memories, and every time she turns a corner or looks out a window, she is startled by a terrifying sight--a man who eerily resembles Thomas.

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The Tears of the Salamander by Peter Dickinson

The Tears of the Salamander, by Peter Dickinson

Peter Dickinson’s The Tears of the Salamander begins with a simple gift and ends with a magical legacy. When his seldom-seen, rich Uncle Giorgio gives young Alfredo a strange present on his name day, his parents aren’t sure they want him to have it. The golden chain doesn’t have the expected cross on it—from it dangles the golden image of a strange animal—a little lizard with splayed feet and other peculiar features. Alfredo’s older brother is very jealous. He sees nothing special in Alfredo. Sure, he can sing like an angel, but that’s not much use to a baker’s boy, is it?

The local priests see Alfredo’s gift differently. They want him in their boys’ choir, and he is happy to be there for he loves to sing—but he also loves baking and hopes to follow his father into the trade. When catastrophe strikes leaving Alfredo alone and friendless, the priests urge him to join the choir permanently, and he would have done so even though it would have meant giving up a normal life. But just at the crucial moment, his Uncle Giorgio comes to take him away to reclaim his birthright—the birthright his father refused by choosing instead to become a simple village baker.

Stardust

By Neil Gaiman

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What happens when you make a promise to bring back a fallen star? Teenager Tristran Thorn is about to find out, as he ventures beyond the wall of his English countryside town. After falling in love with the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester, he sets out on a quest to fulfill his promise to his beloved-and stumbles into the magical realm that lies beyond. (Catalog summary)
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She: A History of Adventure

By H. Rider Haggard

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"A runaway bestseller on its publication in 1887, H. Rider Haggard’s She is a Victorian thrill ride of a novel, featuring a lost African kingdom ruled by a mysterious, implacable queen; ferocious wildlife and yawning abysses; and an eerie love story that spans two thousand years. She has bewitched readers from Freud and Jung to C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien... ."
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Waiting for Gertrude: A Graveyard Gothic

By Bill Richardson

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"In Paris's Pere-Lachaise cemetery lie the bones of many renowned departed. It is also home to a large number of stray cats. Now, what if by some strange twist of fate, the souls of the famous were reborn in the cats with their personalities intact? There's Maria Callas, a wilful and imperious diva, wailing late into the night. Earthy, bawdy chanteuse Edith Piaf is a foul-mouthed washerwoman.

"Oscar Wilde is hopelessly in love with Jim Morrison who sadly does not return his affections. Frederic Chopin is as melancholic and deeply contemplative as ever, and in honor of the tradition of leaving love letters at his tomb, he is now the cemetery's postmaster general. Last but not least, Marcel Proust is trying to solve the mystery behind some unusual thefts - someone has stolen Rossini's glass eye and Sarah Bernhardt's leg. Told in a series of amusing set pieces and intercepted letters, this is a delicious tale of intrigue, unrequited love, longstanding quarrels, character assassinations, petty spats, and sorcery that builds to a steady climax at the cats' annual Christmas pageant."

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Perlman's Ordeal

By Brooks Hansen

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Dr. Perlman -- classical music lover and scrupulously scientific hypnotist -- is about to leave for the symphony when a hysterical teenage girl is brought into his office. Soon, in a time just before the reign of Freud, a charismatic imposter and the pioneering doctor will fight a heated battle over the teenager's soul.

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Cloud Atlas

By David Mitchell

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"A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation -- the narrators of Cloud Atlashear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small."

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Stranger Things Happen

By Kelly Link

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"The eleven stories in Kelly Link's debut collection are funny, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. They were all especially written for you. A Best of the Year pick from Salon.com, Locus, The Village Voice, and San Francisco Chronicle. Includes Nebula, World Fantasy, and Tiptree award-winning stories."

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