Top Ten Tuesday (15) – Top Ten “Older” Books That Shouldn’t Be Forgotten

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

All blurbs are taken from and any/all publication dates are taken from

This weeks Top Ten topic is:

Top Ten “Older” Books You Don’t Want People To Forget About

By “older” I am referring to books which have been published before 2011.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday – almost a month – but I saw the topic and I couldn’t resist. All ten books on the list are favourites I go back to again and again. None of the books are aimed at adult readers.

Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce [Goodreads]

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins — one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.

– Blurb from Alanna: The First Adventure the first book in the quartet.

The Song of The Lioness quartet has been one of my favourite series for a while now. My copies of the quartet are all battered and starting to fall apart. There’s just something about the series that draws me in again and again. If you’re looking for a young adult swords and sorcery fantasy with a female hero then you should give this series a try.

The Book of Pellinor Quartet by Alison Croggon [Goodreads]

Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful gift, a gift that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfolds. Now she and her teacher, Cadvan, must survive a punishing and uncertain journey through a time and place where the dark forces they battle with stem from the deepest recesses of other-worldly terror.

– Blurb from The Gift/The Naming the first book in the quartet.

There’s something really beautiful and almost poetic about this series. Another swords and sorcery fantasy favourite of mine with a female hero, but it’s very different from the Song of the Lioness quartet. There are some elements to the series that are similar to The Lord of the Rings (but then you could say the same about a lot of the fantasy books written post LotR). If you’re a fantasy fan you might want to consider having a look at this.

Daughter of Storms trilogy by Louise Cooper [Goodreads]

Born in a supernatural storm, under a crimson sun, Shar is destined for the Sisterhood.

Innocent of the power she controls, Shar is of great value to others – who patiently lie waiting for such a soul.

But as Shar begins to realise her gift the terror beings . . .

In a land where the gods of Order and Chaos rule – a deadly power is rising. Can Shar summon the elements to become the Dark Caller?

– Blurb from Daughter of Storms the first book in the trilogy.

The blurb makes my spine tingle every time I read it. This was the sort of fantasy I fell in love with, long before I ever read – or even heard – about the Lord of the Rings. It’s the fantasy I grew up with, so it holds a special place for me.

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede [Goodreads]

Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart. . . .
And bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon . . . and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.

– Blurb from Dealing with Dragons the first book in the series.

This series is awesome. I actually only own book two, but I read most of the rest of the series through my local library. The Enchanted Forest and its characters are just brilliant, and I’m hoping to track all the books down so I can own them and re-read them 🙂

The Otter Who Wanted to Know by Jill Tomlinson [Goodreads]

Pat is a little sea otter. She likes floating in the sea and asking lots and lots of questions. One day, Pat’s quiet life is turned upside down when she gets caught in a scary adventure. Suddenly, she doesn’t have time to ask questions. This time, Pat has to find out things for herself.

I also adored the other book, The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark. This is a series I very much enjoyed reading as a child, and I still really enjoy it. It’s a really simple and neat read, but it tells a great story. I know unlike the rest of the books on the list that this is aimed at pre-school children, but it is still a delight to read. It makes me smile 🙂

Logans series by Mildred D. Taylor [Goodreads]

Ever since it won the 1977 Newbery Medal, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry has engaged and affected millions of readers everywhere. This special 25th anniversary edition celebrates the timelessness of this beloved classic — and introduces it to a new audience. Set in a small town in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this powerful, moving novel deals with issues of prejudice, courage, and self-respect. It is the story of one family’s struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. It is also the story of Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to her family. The racial tension and harrowing events experienced by young Cassie, her family, and her neighbors cause Cassie to grow up and discover the reality of her environment

– Blurb from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry the fourth book in the series.

I discovered this series in secondary school. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was part of my required reading. I enjoyed the book so much I hunted down other books in the series in the school library. I read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and To Kill A Mockingbird at about the same time because of this and I really enjoy both books – though the Logans series is my favourite.

Carr Family by Susan M. Coolidge [Goodreads]

Katy Carr was a tomboy. She hated sewing and darning, her hair was forever in a tangle and her clothes would go and “tear themselves”.

But secretly Katy longed to be beautiful and patient, to be as kinda and gentle as her beloved Cousin Helen.

The story of the dreadful accident that gave Katy the chance to achieve her aim, and how it affected her family – Clover, Elsie, Dorry, Johnnie, Phil and Papa – is an enchanting classic which has delighted millions of readers.

– Blurb from What Katy Did the first book in the series.

My Gran decided I should read this book, and I have been trying to finish reading this series ever since. I have read the first three books in the series, but I’ve never had the chance to read Clover or In The High Valley. The series captures a very different time and world from my own, and I really enjoyed looking into it. It might be a little twee now and very much of its time, but I still enjoy reading it.

Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick [Goodreads]

It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out – the Russian Revolution has just begun…

Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales.

Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.

I saw this book in a bookstore and just fell in love with the cover and the blurb. Once I got home and read the story I was in love. I don’t actually read this book a lot, maybe once every couple of years. It’s a beautiful story, and I love the way that fairy tales and “reality” are mixed. I think the way that Sedgwick has taken a real event and fictionalised it is brilliantly done, as the account seems so real.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman [Goodreads]

When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, (pronounced ‘demon’) Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.

Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights…

– Blurb taken from Northern Lights/The Golden Compass the first book in the series.

This is a series that I both love and hate. When Pullman is good in this series he is phenomenal. When Pullman is bad, I find myself skipping pages because it sucks. Still, as a whole I really enjoy the series and the symbolism in it. I also personally think it attacks the Church rather than the Bible – but I’m not going to say any more than that. Lyra is a really interesting character and I enjoyed watching her grow and mature through the series. The ending kinda kills me though.

Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death — and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. With “Sabriel,” the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear — and sometimes disappears altogether.

– Blurb from Sabriel the first book in the series.

Seeing as I started with a young adult sword and sorcery with a female hero, I thought I better end with one too. This book isn’t quite like anything I read before or since. Nix takes ideas and twists them into something new and interesting. This isn’t a trilogy I read a lot, but when I do it sucks me straight in. If you want a fantasy that’s a little different, then you should try this one.

So those were my Top Ten “Older” Books I Don’t Want People To Forget About. As always please leave a comment and I will visit your blog, have a look at your list and leave a comment.

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