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Ladies of Lallybroch

Reading Recommendations

Fantasy & SciFi

 

Elizabeth Kingsbury - The Invisible Woman
"What a lovely way to be miserable!" muses Josie Everett, a secretary at the University of Michigan in October of 1961. Her smile, which noboby can see, is radiant. Just a month ago, Josie lost her visibility.

Congratulations to Lady LizLiz for her new book! Read the book synopsis at her home page.
 
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Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, David Frampton (Illustrator) - Good Omens
The world is going to end next Saturday night. Just before dinner. Unfortunately, the Antichrist has been misplaced. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles. And the representatives from Heaven and Hell have decided they actually like the human race.
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Terry Goodkind - Sword of Truth series

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Wizard's First Rule
Truly epic in scope and filled with burning intensity, it is the story of Richard Cypher, a modest woodsman in a world achingly beautiful, alive with the joys of nature: a world the reader comes to love as fiercely as do Richard and those around him. Though a mere woodsman, he is the one destined to battle the ultimate adversary -- Darken Rahl, an evil mage who bids to destroy all that Richard holds good and beautiful, dooming him and the rest of the people of Westland to a living Hell of subjugation and degradation.
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Stone of Tears
In Wizard's First Rule, Richard Cypher's world was turned upside down. Once a simple woods guide, Richard was forced to become the Seeker of Truth, to save the world from the vile dominion of Darken Rahl, the most viciously savage and powerful wizard the world had ever seen. He was joined on this epic quest by his beloved Kahlan, the only survivor among the Confessors, who brought a powerful but benevolent justice to the land before Rahl's evil scourge. Richard and Kahlan must face Rahl and the Keeper's terrible minions. But first, Richard must endure the ministrations of the Sisters of Light, or die from the pain of magic that is his birthright and his curse. While Richard undertakes the arduous journey to the forbidden city of the Sisters, Kahlan must embark upon a long and dangerous mission to Aydindril, citadel of the old wizards, where she hopes to find Zedd and the help only he can lend to their desperate cause. War, suffering, torture, and deceit lie in their paths, and nothing will save them from a destiny of violent death, unless their courage and faith are joined with luck and they find the elusive Stone of Tears.
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Blood of the Fold
When Richard Cypher's odyssey began nobody could have imagined where his adventure would lead. Overcoming personal tragedy and becoming the Seeker, wielder of the magical Sword of Truth, Richard defeated the megalomaniacal wizard Darken Rahl and fell in love with Kahlan Amnell, who, as the Mother Confessor, wields considerable magic in her own right and presides over the Midlands, dealing justice in disputes both large and small throughout her land. The Blood of the Fold, a group of fanatical anti-magic zealots, have joined the forces thwarted by Richard and Kahlan. They are the unwitting pawns of a sorcerous evil from the Old World, a realm that has been magically sealed for thousands of years. Richard, Kahlan, and their allies now face the combined might of two worlds -- the old and the new. This stunning confrontation threatens an armageddon of unimaginable proportions unless Richard and Kahlan can believe in the power of their love and their faith in the Truth.
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Temple of the Winds
Return to the world of Richard Cypher, whose adventures have stirred the blood and filled the hearts of legions of satisfied readers. When Richard was a simple woods guide, he never dreamed he would get caught up in magic, war, and dangers so extraordinary that the fate of his entire world would hang on his actions and decisions. Over the course of his journeys Richard learned to accept his true role, first as the Seeker and the wielder of the Sword of Truth, and then, in Stone of Tears, as the new Lord Rahl and the war wizard who led the fight against the Keeper and his dark minions. Everything Richard has learned thus far, all the wisdom, the magic, and the conviction he holds, will be for naught as the power-mad Emperor Jagang returns with his multitude of demonic underlings. For Richard must now challenge the impossible: the magic that thwarts magic, the three-thousand-years-sealed-away fortress of evil that has begun to infect the world with a terrible, sorcerous plague. He must find the Temple of the Winds. But once the shadow of betrayal falls across that mission, Richard must accept the Truth and find a way to undo the damage...or his world will perish.
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Soul of the Fire
Richard Cypher, a simple woods guide, never dreamed he would get caught up in magic, war, and dangers so extraordinary that the fate of the entire world would hang on his actions and decisions. Richard slowly learned to accept his true role, first as the Seeker and the wielder of the Sword of Truth and then as the new Lord Rahl and the war wizard who led the fight against the Keeper and his dark minions. Richard was faced with an evil even he couldn't stand against -- a dread plague loosed by the mad Emperor Jagang. Only by journeying to the Temple of the Winds was Richard able to thwart the plans of Jagang and save his world and the life of his beloved Kahlan. But when Kahlan summoned the dominion of the chimes to save Richard, unwittingly she loosed arcane powers that now not only threaten those she loves, but are bent on reshaping the world itself into forbidding visions that will forever alter the very nature of life itself. Richard and Kahlan must now hunt down the chimes, those most mysterious of hunters -- the unseen stalkers of souls, the thieves of order -- and in so doing plunge headfirst into danger perilous. For there is no place so dangerous as a world without magic.
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Diana Wynne Jones - A Tale of Time City
The story begins during World War II when Vivian Smith, a young girl going to stay with her cousin because of the bombings in London, is snatched from a railway station by two boys from Time City (a patch of space-time outside of the normal course of history, designed to make sure that history runs properly and paradoxes are avoided) who believe that she can avert the city's impending destruction. Unfortunately for Vivian, Jonathan, and Sam (and fortunately for the reader, who gets to enjoy their adventure) it's not quite that simple. Time City's well-being seems to have been bound up in four mysterious "polarities" created by Faber John, the almost mythical founder of the city, each of which has been hidden in a different age. Not to mention the fact that somebody, whom Jonathan and Sam suspect is the Time Lady, Faber John's vengeful wife, seems to be trying to destroy Time City.
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Guy Gavriel Kay - Fionavar Tapestry

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The Summer Tree
It all began with a lecture that introduced five university students to a man who would change their lives, a wizard who could take them from Earth to the heart of the first of all worlds -- Fionavar. And take them Loren Silvercloak did, for his need -- the need of Fionavar and all the worlds ---was great indeed. And in a marvelous land of men and dwarves, of wizards and gods -- and of the Unraveller and his minions of Darkness -- Kimberly, Dave, Jennifer, Kevin, and Paul discovered who they were truly meant to be. For the five were a long-awaited part of the pattern known as the Fionavar Tapestry, and only if they accepted their destiny would the armies of the light stand any chance of surviving when the Unraveller unleashed his wrath upon the world...
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The Wandering Fire
The ice of eternal winter enshrouds Fionavar and frees the Unraveller, whose terrible vengeance takes its toll on mortals and immortals, mages and warriors, dwarves and the Children of Light. Only five people who were brought by a mage's power to Fionavar can hope to wake the allies they so desperately need.
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The Darkest Road
As the Unraveller's armies march to battle and a plague-filled rain devastates the planet, the warriors of Light call upon one of the most ancient powers of evil to aid them in their struggle.
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Ellen Kushner - Thomas the RhymerScotland
Ellen Kushner has taken the old Scots ballad "Thomas the Rhymer" along with several other traditional ballads and woven them into a sensual tale about love, truth, illusion, and the nature of inspiration. Abducted by the Queen of Elfland, True Thomas, the brilliant Rhymer, lives unaging with her in Faerie's inhuman splendor. Finally, Thomas is returned to the world of work and passing time, with only his harp and the Queen's parting gift: the inability to speak anything but the truth.
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Erik Larsen - The Savage Dragon (Comic)
"The best action pacted super-hero origin ever. The Savage Ddragon is an amazing story of a freak cop trying to make a living in Chicago. And he has a lot of freak villians to deal with."
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C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia
The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Last Battle
The Chronicles of Narnia is a true masterpiece of the world's literature, and I have never met anyone who has read it and feels otherwise. This is one of the very few sets of books that should be read three times: in childhood, early adulthood, and late in life. In brief, four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, with continual threading of the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope.
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George R. R. Martin - Song of Ice and Fire Series

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Game of Thrones
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective wall. To the south, the King's powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens.
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A Clash of Kings
The Seven Kingdoms have come apart. Joffrey, Queen Cersei's sadistic son, ascends the Iron Throne following the death of Robert Baratheon, the Usurper, who won it in battle. Queen Cersei's family, the Lannisters, fight to hold it for him. Both the dour Stannis and the charismatic Renly Baratheon, Robert's brothers, also seek the throne. Robb Stark, declared King in the North, battles to avenge his father's execution and retrieve his sister from Joffrey's court. Daenerys, the exiled last heir of the former ruling family, nurtures three dragons and seeks a way home. Meanwhile the Night's Watch, sworn to protect the realm from dangers north of the Wall, dwindle in numbers, even as barbarian forces gather and beings out of legend stalk the Haunted Forest.
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Anne McCaffrey - Dragonriders of Pern Series
There are 18 books (I think!) in these series and in the related spin-offs, but these are the first three)

cover DragonflightScotland
At a time when the number of Dragonriders has fallen too low for safety and only one Weyr trains the creatures and their riders, the Red Star approaches Pern, threatening it with disaster. After ten Turns, Lessa is ready to come out of hiding, ready to reclaim her birthright, ready to impress the young dragon queen and to become Weyrwoman of Benden.
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cover DragonquestScotland
On Pern, humans breed and train great fire-breathing dragons to help them fight the deadly silver Threads that fall from the sky, destroying all life forms, whenever the Red Star passes by the planet. F'nor's brown dragon needs an image of a place in order to teleport there, but the images F'nor picks up from an unexpected source are terrifying.
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cover The White DragonScotland
Too young to be allowed to fight the dreaded Thread, Lord Jaxom and his dragon Ruth train themselves in secret, but their illicit flight puts them in a position where they might prevent the biggest battle of all.
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Robin McKinley - The Blue Sword Series

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The Blue Sword
Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnapped by a native king with mysterious powers.
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The Hero and the Crown (Prequel)
The dazzling prequel to The Blue Sword follows the adventures of the Damarian king's daughter, Aerin, haunted since childhood by the legend of her mother -- a "witchwoman" who enspelled the king and then died of disappointment after giving birth to a daughter, rather than the heroic son the kingdom needed. But little did the young princess know the long-dormant powers of her mother would wield their own destiny. For though she was a woman, Aerin was destined to be the true hero who would one day wield the power of the Blue Sword...
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Elizabeth Moon - Deed of Paksenarrion Trilogy
All three novels in the epic trilogy, Deed of Parksenarrion, appear in an omnibus edition that includes Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold.
Sheepfarmer's Daughter: Paksenarrion -- Paks, for short -- refuses her father's orders to marry the pig farmer down the road and is off to join the army. And so her adventure begins -- the adventure that transforms her into a hero remembered in songs, chosen by the gods to restore a lost ruler to his throne.
Divided Allegiance: Paksenarrion, once a sheepfarmer's daughter, now a veteran warrior, meets new challenges as she breaks up a robber gang, dispells an ancient evil possessing an elvish shrine and is accepted for training at an academy for knights. Clearly, a high destiny awaits her.
Oath of Gold: Two realms face an unstable change of rule: in Tsaia, a long Regency is nearly over, and in Lyonya, a dying king has no legitimate heir. The sword which could declare the rightful heir of Lyonya is lost, and Paksenarrion -- now a paladin -- swears an oath of gold to find it and restore peace to her land.
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Jennifer Roberson - The Chronicles of the Cheysuli
(More books by Jennifer Roberson in the Historical Fiction page)

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The Shapechangers
They were the Cheysuli, a race of magical warriors gifted with the ability to assume animal shape at will. For centuries they had been allies to the King of Homana, treasured champions of the realm. Until a king's daughter ran away with a Cheysuli liege man and caused a war of annihilation against the Cheyuli race. Twenty-five years later the Cheysuli were hunted exiles in their own land, feared for their sorcery, their shapechanging. This is the story of Alix, the daughter of that ill-fated union between Homanan princess and Cheysuli warrior, and her struggle to master the call of magic in her blood, and accept her place in an ancient prophecy she cannot deny.
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The Song of Homana
Book two of this magical series find Homana strangling in the grasp of a usurper king. The time has come for Prince Carillon, Homana's rightful ruler, to free his land and restore the Cheysuli to their proper position. must overcome the fear and prejudice of an ignorant population... and answer the call of a prophecy he never chose to serve.
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Legacy of the Sword
In the aftermath of the revolution, Prince Donal is being trained as the first Cheysuli in generations to assume the throne. But will he be able to overcome the prejudice of a populace afraid of his special magic and succeed in uniting the realm in its life-and-death battle against the enemy armies and evil magicians?
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Track of the White Wolf
Niall, the heir to the crown, has been forced to flee the kingdom of Homana. But in exile, the prince finds his true power -- a power which may prove Homana's only hope for salvation from a deadly menace.
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A Pride of Princes
The prophecy of the Firstborn has shaped the lives of the Cheysuli nobility since the beginning of their kind. Now the time has come for the three Cheysuli sons of Homana's current ruler to fulfill their destinies. The price if even one of them fails will be the total destruction of their kingdom.
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Daughter of the Lion
She is Keely, twin sister to Corin, and daughter of Niall, the ruler of Homana. She alone has the power to shapechange into any form, a power akin to that of the Firstborn. And like her brothers, Keely has been chosen to play a crucial part in the Firstborn's prophecy.
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Flight of the Raven
Aidan, heir to the Lion Throne of Homana and inheritor of a prophecy carried down through generations, is commanded by the Hunter to undertake a quest to claim a series of "god-given" golden links. He soon finds himself challenged by the Cheysuli's most deadly foe, Lochiel, who uses every trick of sorcery to stop Aidan and destroy the prophecy forever.
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A Tapestry of Lions
After generations of striving toward the genetic quest of recreating the magical race that had once held sway in the lands ruled by Homana, Kellin, heir to Homana's throne, has only to sire an offspring to complete this goal. But Kellin wants nothing to do with his magical destiny.
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Mary Doria Russell - The Sparrow
In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.
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