Each week our friendly library staff and special guests review their latest YA reads. Head over to our Instagram account @librariesinwyndham to see all of our recommendations.

📚 YA Book of the Week – ‘Obernewtyn’ by Isobelle Carmody 📚

Reviewed by Emily, Children’s Librarian 🤓

YABOTW Obernewtyn

My fellow librarians were shocked when they heard that I had never read the fantasy classic, Obernewtyn. I had seen the series on the library shelf many times (most notably, the enormous seventh book, The Red Queen!) but never read it myself... until now!

Obernewytn is the first book in the seven-part Obernewtyn Chronicles. It follows the story of Elspeth Gordie, an orphan who was born with enhanced mental abilities which allow her to read and influence the minds of others. She must keep these abilities a secret if she is to avoid the attention of the dreaded Council, but one day, Elspeth is exposed. Labelled a Misfit, she is sent to the mysterious mountain institution known as Obernewtyn, a feared place where other Misfits are taken and never heard from again.

I was blown away by the setup of this novel and the precise, confident language. I got chills while reading the prologue about the apocalyptic event, the Great White. Published in 1987, Obernewtyn was way ahead of the post-apocalyptic trend, and handles these themes elegantly. The story features high stakes, suspense, and emotion (I am still recovering from the loyal act of bravery from a certain animal friend!). This book proves why Isobelle Carmody is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers 🥰 This is a must read for YA Fantasy readers aged 12+.

To borrow a copy today, click here!

📖 YA Book of the Week – Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes 📖

Librarian Katy Anne holds a phone with Echoes and Empires audiobook playing

Echoes and Empires is the first book in a fantasy duology by @morganrhodesya. Josslyn Drake is a 17-year-old socialite and daughter of the late prime minister who was allegedly murdered a year ago by an evil warlock. She's grown up in privilege, naively believing everything she’s been told, particularly about magic - it's rare, evil and should be avoided at all costs. Josslyn is therefore horrified when she's caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and is infected by memory magic, allowing her to view memories of the infamous Lord Banyon - the very same warlock responsible for her father’s death.

In Ironport, the penalty for using magic is death. In a panic to save her life, Josslyn will do anything to extract the magic within her. This includes teaming up with Jericho Nox, the cunning, obnoxious and annoyingly handsome young criminal, assigned to steal the magic in the first place. Together they must figure out a way to rid her of this unwanted magic.

But things are not what they seem. The more she gets to know Jericho and the more she views of the past, through the randomly revealed memories of Lord Banyon, Josslyn opens up to the world outside her pampered existence and begins to question everything she once knew.

It took me a few chapters to warm to this book but I'm glad I stuck with it. While I found Josslyn's ignorance and snarky attitude to be rather annoying at first, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her mature as she shed her old, superficial beliefs and grew into a more confident and independent young woman.

The love-hate relationship between Joss and Jericho is witty, unconventional and heart-warming. Truths are cleverly revealed throughout - some more predictable than others, but they all kept me hooked till the end. A fun, easy read for lovers of YA fantasy. Despite my uncertainty at the start, I'm officially hooked and can't wait for book two!

Click here to borrow your copy as an audiobook Echoes and Empires

Reviewed by Education & Youth Librarian, KatyAnne.

📚 YA Book of the Week - Six Crimson Cranes - Elizabeth Lim

Carrie holds a copy of Six Crimson Cranes

Reviewed by Education and Youth Librarian Carrie

If you like:

✅ Fairytale vibes

✅ Family and siblings who would do anything for each other

You need to read Six Crimson Cranes!

 “Fear is just a game, Shiori,” I reminded myself. “You win by playing.”

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. She can wield magic. It's not until the morning of her betrothal ceremony that she makes a mistake, which ends up forestalling the wedding she never wanted.

From this point on, a lot of things happen, involving a very moody paper crane, a dragon or two, dragon pearls, and a suspicious stepmother, Raikama (who has secrets of her own).

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She curses Shiori with a bowl on her head (yes, you read that right!) warning her that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers. On her journey, she uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne.

 I loved this book from beginning to end.

The characters and their relationships really strengthen this story. Shiori’s character grows a lot in this book. I loved how determined she is, her relationship with her brothers, a certain dragon, oh, and how humorous Kiki is.

The world-building of Kiata was so intricate from the way the fairytale was structured to how smoothly integrating the Eastern fairytale and culture this book is based on. I’m really excited to read the sequel, ‘The Dragon's Promise’!

Follow this link to start reading Six Crimson Cranes!

📚 YA Book of the Week - ‘Daughter of the Moon Goddess’ by Sue Lynn Tan 

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

If, like me, you’re a mythology tragic, then Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel will not disappoint 😍😍 Inspired by the Chinese legend of Chang’e, ‘Daughter of the Moon Goddess’ is a sweeping tale of family, love and adventure that features a cast of legendary creatures and immortals✨

We are introduced to Xingyin, a young woman raised on the moon by her mother Chang’e (the goddess of the moon) 🌕 Unbeknownst to Xingyin, since her birth she has been hidden from the Celestial Emperor (the most powerful immortal) who exiled her mother for stealing the elixir of immortality. As she comes of age, Xingyin’s magic flares, sending a ripple through the Celestial Kingdom that brings danger to her home 🎎

Xingyin is forced to flee, however, her escape doesn’t go quite to plan and she finds herself alone and friendless in the heart of her enemy’s territory. After a short period of (justified) misery, Xingyin pulls herself together and embarks on an epic quest to free herself and her mother 🏹

One of the things I like most about this book is how the relationships (familial, romantic & platonic) are crafted 💘 Sue Lynn Tan takes the time to build things up without making it feel drawn out. The world building is wonderful, and the descriptions of food gave me serious cravings. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Follow this link to start reading ‘Daughter of the Moon Goddess’ 🔗

Reviewed by Sophie, Education and Youth Services Librarian 🤓

 

 

 

 

Back to top