by Frances Hardinge
Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard… and now there’s a spirit inside her.
The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defense when she is sent to live with her father’s rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.
But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.
In Other Lands
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Elliot is thirteen years old. He’s smart and a bit obnoxious. When his class goes on a field trip and he sees a wall that no one else can see, he is given the chance to go to school in the Borderlands.
It turns out that in the Borderlands, classes involve a lot more weaponry and fitness training and fewer mermaids than he expected. There’s also Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-battle, an elven warrior who is more beautiful than anyone Elliot has ever seen, and her human friend Luke: sunny, blond, and likable. There’s even the chance Elliot might be able to change the world.
Six of Crows (Book #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court – a military stronghold that has never been breached. Retrieve a hostage – who could unleash magical havoc on the world. Survive long enough to collect his reward – and spend it.
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
Finish the duology with Crooked Kingdom (Book #2)!
For more tales in the same universe, check out the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo!
Last Star Burning
by Caitlin Sangster
Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal — a star burned into her hand. That’s the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation.
Now her mother’s body is displayed above Traitor’s Arch, kept in a paralyzed half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world. And as further punishment, Sev is forced to do hard labor to prove that she’s more valuable alive than dead.
When the government blames Sev for a bombing, she must escape the city or face the execution. Dangers lurk outside the city, and Sev’s only hope of survival lies with an unlikely person — Howl, the chairman’s son. Though he promises to lead her to safety, Howl has secrets, and Sev can’t help but wonder if he knows more about her past than he lets on.
The Girl with the Red Balloon
by Katherine Locke
When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall — but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything — including her only way home — to stop the process.
The Rattled Bones
by S. M. Parker
Independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep seas. But when she experiences the death of her father, the veil between the living and dead blurs and she is haunted by a girl on a nearby island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying.
Then Rilla meets Sam, an archaeology student excavating the haunted island. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of people who were forcibly evicted by the state a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about due to the shame the events brought to the community.
As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow until they discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has to do with Rilla’s past.
by Chelsea Bobulski
When Winter’s dad goes missing during his patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told. She soon meets a young man in the wood named Henry who believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad. The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister — torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.
The Last Magician
by Lisa Maxwell
In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic — the Mageus — live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power — and often their lives.
Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order — and the Brink — before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
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