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'The Abhorsen Trilogy'
by Garth Nix (1995)


Australian writer Nix rose to prominence on the fantasy scene with a stunning standalone that has since spawned sequels. Sabriel is a necromancer who, like her father, assists the dead to remain lifeless. Although only 18, she journeys through the Old Kingdom in a grim struggle with evil that has seen her father trapped in Death. For ages 12 and up, but not for the squeamish.





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'Tales of the Otori'
by Lian Hearn (2002)


Having established herself as a popular Australian children's author, Gillian Rubenstein adopted the pen-name Lian Hearn for the wonderful Tales of the Otori series. In a setting based on feudal Japan, a young man of 16 who is a religious outcast returns home to find his village in flames. He becomes Lord Otori's ward. Plenty of invisibility, supernatural abilities and magical powers.





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'Inheritance Trilogy'
by Christopher Paolini (2003)


Paolini began writing Eragon (Inheritance Trilogy) when only 15 years old while waiting until he was old enough to attend university. A 15 year old boy finds a blue stone which hatches into a dazzling dragon previously thought to be extinct. When his uncle is murdered Eragon, with vengeance in mind, and the dragon Saphira set out to take on the evil king Galbatorix. For younger readers.





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'Pendragon'
by D J MacHale (2002)


Bobby Pendragon was a junior high standout… good at just about everything and easy on the eye. Then he learned he is an inter-dimensional Traveler who can ride "flumes" through time and space. He ends up in a medieval world where he learns to be a hero while helping the goodies fight the baddies. Standard male-oriented fantasy for young readers.





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'The Bartimaeus Trilogy'
by Jonathan Stroud (2003)


Fabulously funny young adult series about a magician in training who is sold to the State at age five and placed in the care of a cold-hearted bureaucrat with fairly pedestrian powers. Humiliation leads to a vengeful vendetta, with the boy summoning up the ancient djinni Bartimaeus to help out. Jonathan Stroud is an inventively intelligent writer that will leave most wanting more.





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'The Last Apprentice' (aka 'Wardstone Chronicles')
by Joseph Delaney (2004)


For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. Twenty-nine apprentices have tried to take over for him - some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope, the last apprentice. Retired Lancashire English teacher put his experience to good use.





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'Study'
by Maria V Snyder (2004)


In the first book of the best-selling 'Study' series, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve from execution for murder and agrees to become a food taster for the Commander of Ixia. The chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust - and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.





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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke (2004)


In 1808 England's only two 'practical magicians' set out to thwart pesky Corsican usurper Napoleon. The stubbornly conservative Mr Norrell and his colourful apprentice Jonathan Strange eventually take the course of magic in different directions, all the while with a conniving faerie looking on. Full of energy and verve comparable to Rowling's Harry Potter novels.


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