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'Dragonriders of Pern'
by Anne McCaffrey (1968)


McCaffrey launched her illustrious career as a fantasy writer with the 'Dragonriders of Pern' trilogy - that eventually expanded into a series of books set in the same world. When the mythical 'threadfalls' from a sister planet return and threaten all life on Pern, the services of the dragon riders are again in demand. The first book, Dragonflight, can be read as a standalone.





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Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach (1972)


Being a seagull is supposed to be all about basic survival and finding food. For Jonathan Livingston Seagull it was about the joy of flight and self-discovery. This aberrant behaviour gets our beloved hero exiled from the flock, but the reward is a soaring ascendency to the heights of love and tenderness. A very special novel that is holding its age well.





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'The Dark is Rising'
by Susan Cooper (1973)


The popularity of Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' series of children's books surged when the second in the series won Newbery honours. When he turns eleven Midwinter child Will Stanton discovers he is the last of the immortal Old Ones and charged with the responsibility of staving off the forces of evil. Great stuff and should rekindle memories for some.





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'Damar Series'
by Robin McKinley (1982)


A teenage girl leading a dull and sheltered life heads off to the frontier in search of adventure and the legendary Free Hillfolk of Damar. She is kidnapped by the magical Hill-king and helps out in the struggle against the demonkind Northerners. The fabulous first instalment is well liked by younger readers... followed by further adventures set in Damar.





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'Song of the Lioness'
by Tamora Pierce (1983)


A young noble-born girl, Alanna of Trebond, swaps places with her twin brother. Disguised as a boy she trains to become a knight, while her brother studies to become sorcerer. With its female protagonist Pierce's Song of the Lioness series has broad appeal to older girls and young women. Like others by Pierce, it is set in her Tortall Universe, a somewhat typical sword & sorcery world.





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Batman - The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller (1986)


A graphic novel that has been favourably compared with Alan Moore's classic 'Watchmen'. Here a somewhat bitter and twisted Batman tries to shake off old age and fight some crime. The book's human approach to what being a superhero is all about won it a legion of young fans who helped elevate it to cult status. Interesting fantasy curio.





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Watchmen
by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (1987)


Graphic comic book novel that turned the superhero world on its head. A group of seemingly normal people decide to dress up in costumes and go into the vigilante business. Far from a typical superhero romp, this is a complex story that demands the full attention of the reader. Groundbreaking stuff for those who like this kind of thing.





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'His Dark Materials' Trilogy
by Philip Pullman (1995)


Highly acclaimed children's book series that is much loved by scores of adults. An intricately plotted fantasy trilogy in which a girl sets out in the company of her daemon to the Far North in pursuit of kidnappers. Set in a superbly developed alternative universe full of shadowy corners, the first book in the trilogy is alternately titled either The Golden Compass or The Northern Lights.


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