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Grace Nye

The Bird's Child by Sandra Leigh Price

August 2015, no. 373

This début novel brings 1920s Sydney to life through a fairy-tale lens, highlighting the city’s romance, its magic and its mystery. In alternating point-of-view chapters, the stories of three misfits unfold. Ari is a European Jewish refugee, raised in Sydney by his devout uncle, who wants him to become a rabbi. But Ari has other plans: an admirer of Houdini, he d ...

Garth Nix’s Sabriel (1995) remains a high water mark for Young Adult fantasy. With its strong-willed heroine and distinctive setting, which mingled wizardry and necromancy with industrial-era technology, the novel found a devoted following and influenced a generation of fantasy authors.


After several picture books and novels for early readers, Tasmanian author Julie Hunt moves into fiction for older readers with this lyrical fantasy adventure. Set in an imaginary world, but drawing on Gaelic and Anglo-Saxon folk-tale motifs, Song for a Scarlet Runner is a charming introduction to fantasy for young readers.

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With this decadent Young Adult novel, described as a ‘bubble-gum-gothic fairytale’, Allyse Near pulls off a surprising magic trick, combining the darker moments of the Brothers Grimm with the modern daydream-realism of Francesca Lia Block.

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A young man wakes up in an unfamiliar world, with almost no knowledge of his previous life. He remembers committing suicide, but doesn’t remember why. This isn’t heaven or hell, though: as Aden explores his new surroundings, he soon realises that he has ended up in the fictional world created by his grandfather, an aspiring but unpublished author of epic fantasy.

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