When I was a child in the 80s, there was an old picture book at the public library. It had no text, but it took place in a kind of fairy tale castle on some other planet. If I remember correctly, each scene followed two children as they explored the castle. They may have been following a piece of yarn that eventually led them to where their mother sat knitting in one of the castle rooms or towers. There may have been a sort of robotic-looking cat playing with the yarn at some point. I remember the artwork as being full color paintings like you find with 1960s scifi book covers or movie posters.
All I know at this moment: I know it was fantasy. There were characters named something similar to Demonicus (evil dragon sorcerer, quite powerful) and Heregio (evil fire sorcerer). In addition, I know the main character, a boy, lives in the modern world and works in a library or bookstore, or his parents own it, but he then travels to a fantasy world (I am not sure about the detail) and lives a life there? Eventually, falling in love with the daughter of the evil dragon sorcerer. I also remember that at one point in the book, that daughter comes with the main character to the real world, where he’s in an awkward position as his real girlfriend is also there.
I know that the tone was likely relatively dark? and the story itself quite intense, but I am not quite certain.
I also remember that somewhere in the middle, there was a clash between Heregio and the protagonist, but the protagonist survived, and Demonicus actually beat Heregio for betrayal.
It’s a book I read about 8 years ago in print from my local library in Dutch (likely a translation from another language)… I was still in primary school, but I read anything fantasy. I have been searching for this book for years, and it’s frustrating me I can’t find it.
The book was a large full-color graphic novel. It probably would’ve been published between 1990 and 2010. It was about this girl who lived in a huge palace with a very strict and secretive ‘mom’. This parental figure is rarely around and the girl is often taken care of by random people the lady employs. She gives the girl run of the place but tells her never to venture over the wall outside the palace. One day she gets mad and does it anyway. To her horror, she sees a desolate almost apocalyptic world and hundreds of slaves her ‘mom’ keeps. At first one of them was going to take her back to the palace but she persisted and found out her ‘mother’ is a very powerful sorceress who keeps the whole world under her control. A woman shows up and sees the girl standing by a man from the palace. She asks him point blank if this girl is her daughter that the sorceress took away from her. He basically says he can’t tell her then says something that strongly implies the answer is yes. The sorceress comes and finds out and drags her to the forest. She encases the girl in a small pod-like home grown into a tree where she lives trapped for years until her late teens when she escapes. She gets help from a boy about her age and goes back to the palace and defeats the sorceress. There was some part where they got help from a man a few years older than her who the sorceress had raised under similar circumstances and kept in the palace. He’d tried to defy her but it hadn’t worked. I don’t remember much else but it was long and had big pages.
I read this library book as a teenager in the mid-1970’s, and it’s one of the last books from my childhood that I haven’t managed to track down, so it’s always lingered in the back of my mind. In fact, I may have sent a Stumper before, and it might even have been solved, but I can’t remember!
The plot involves a teenage girl -a young woman – on the cusp of adulthood anyway, who I believe is sent to live for a summer with an older woman in a rural wooded area, possibly in England, possibly in the US. She might be an orphan, this might be her aunt or some kind of guardian. Or maybe she is the maid?
I think a traveling caravan full of circus performers and a fortune teller comes to town and she falls for a young man, the leader, who is exciting with an unpredictable whiff of danger about him and this is where the novel becomes a fantasy as I think he may be a fairy prince. I seem to remember the caravan exists in two worlds – the everyday, and then a dark/dream world, which maybe the girl can only access by drinking a tea or some such. She develops a relationship with the fortune teller also. It might be that her lover becomes ill and she nurses him and earns the gratitude of the others, maybe a disapproving mother?
The older woman warns her to be careful, but eventually the caravan moves on and the girls turns up pregnant, but I think this is only hinted at. She pines for her dark (fairy?) prince. I think he eventually returns, to find she has a child, and maybe there is a happy ending? She doesn’t regret what’s happened and still loves him.
I think there is a ballad that provides a theme for the book, and something about corn. Summer of the corn? I think the legend of the “Green Man” might be an underlying theme. The book is written in the first person. Maybe called “Corn Summer”?
It’s very possible I’m confusing the plot of two books here. Fantasy romance was right in my wheelhouse back then (still is.) But I’ve never forgotten the hold this book had on me and would be happy to rediscover it.
Thank you so much.
I’m looking for a book about a man who hears other people’s thoughts. He can’t control it and he fears for his sanity. He tries to move away from crowded areas, ends up at ranch where the female owner turns out to be a serial killer. Probably read it in the late 1980s or 1990s.
I saw an ebook that had a woman in pigtails at a bar on the cover. She looked alternative and edgy. The book was a paranormal romance or urban fantasy. The woman is a mutt. A mix of different shifters with no special powers. The back cover blurb called her a mutt. She works in a bar. The setting was mentioned on the back cover. A dragon comes in and becomes obsessed with her. She can’t figure out why she’s nothing special in their world. I can’t remember the author or title. But the tone had a bit of humor and I went to click on it later and couldn’t find the ad and link. I really want to read this book. It sounded fun.
I read a book sometime in the late 70s/early 80s that was purchased from my school through a flyer or book fair. It was a chapter book that may have had an illustration or two. Best I can remember, a girl is spending her summer break maybe in a new home or at a relative’s home. It seems like the summer may have been rainy and she was exploring the house. She found something in a basement or cellar that was either magical or had to do with witchcraft. She experimented with the magic but it seemed to turn out badly and there was an explosion or climactic event in the basement. In the end, all was resolved with a pleasant ending. I don’t remember the book centering on any other characters so only one main female child. I don’t remember the title or the cover but I have a vague recollection of orange and purple on it. Here’s hoping someone remembers.
It starts with a woman who has hallucinations, and runs into an alleyway where she finds a body that looks just like hers that has been murdered. Later on, she finds a beautiful man who says he’s from another parallel universe and seems to think he’s connected with Arthurian legends, i.e. he talks about Merlin, wizards, and so on.
It starts off looking very magical and predictable, with the woman and the handsome man trying to hunt down the murderer. Then it goes somewhere else entirely.
There were seven murders in total at various points around London — they thought that it might be Jack the Ripper based, but it turns out the murders occurred at ritually significant distances around the city, and that Jack the Ripper was actually the last time they tried this, to open a portal between the worlds.
They think that the slimy enemies from another dimension are responsible, and the handsome man calls to Merlyn, his boss, to help out and ensure the slimy enemies don’t get a foothold.
They succeed, but then the woman finds that the slimy enemies are not responsible for the murders. The handsome stranger turns out to have murdered her clone himself as part of the ritual that would allow his reality to enter hers — she is actually the clone, and the original was murdered. Her confused memories and hallucinations are because she ran off before the stranger could finish creating a convincing replacement and so she still retains some memories of the original.
The handsome stranger is actually a useful idiot that is handsome and dumb precisely because he’s a facade that covers what the traders actually look like (they’re distinctly non-human and not nearly as affable). He’s a construct.
And there’s the Handsome Stranger’s manager… who appears as a kindly wizard based on Merlin? Again, he turns out to have been orchestrating the entire thing, and the whole “help us save your reality against evil slimy things” turns out to have been a dispute over trading rights to Earth between two equally slimy organizations.
The book ends with humanity establishing trade and goods with the unbound reality and becoming less and less human — strange buildings, humans with gecko like arms and legs living on walls, etc. Very creepy, and very hard to forget.
I’ve been looking for a book, but have been unable to find it – I believe it’s because I can’t remember any sufficiently specific keywords, but it’s also possible that I made the whole thing up.
Context : it’s an early chapter book (see: Secrets of Droon, Fairy Realm) I would have read this somewhere between 2003-2010, but probably 2005-2006. This is part of a series of books, and I believe it’s the last one – probably the third or fourth book in the series.
Physical description: I think it’s about 200-300 pages long, and I had it probably in a paperback, which I almost certainly got from the library. I think the cover was light (maybe a white background?) with some bright colors, and I distinctly remember both the cover art and the illustrations having a sparse, low-fi, doodle-y style. One of the things I remember best is that all the books had maps in the front, which I think were in black and white – this particular map shows the mythical islands where most of the story takes place, and I learned the word “archipelago” while reading it. It’s possible that the author was from the U.K., based on the vibes of the place names.
Plot description: It’s a fantasy series (all the characters come from a fairly generic, medieval-y world, definitely none come from our world through a portal or anything). It features a young, plucky heroine, who is now a seasoned adventurer (despite her humble origins in the beginning of the series). She might have some kind of professional title (possibly “Royal Adventurer” or something of that ilk) – I’m pretty sure the first book in the series involves her being sent (or sending herself) to slay a dragon, but instead befriending it. I think at some point, she’s illustrated with curly, light-colored hair, wearing a horned helmet and an oversized chainmail shirt (possibly found in the dragon’s hoard?). In this book, she is caught in a storm (while flying on the dragon? Or perhaps in a boat? Did she sail into it on purpose?) and becomes stranded on an island that seemed to be part of myth (diegetically- she had found a partially destroyed map with some clues on it, while searching for some MacGuffin, which involved some kind of powerful object or noble person who had disappeared under unusual circumstances). On this island, there are people who might be mages of some sort, who heal her injuries, fix up her mode of transportation, and give her soft robes to wear – kind of a Calypso/ spa kind of thing. I think these people are also tall and unusually beautiful in some way. They have some kind of communal ritual involving music/singing, which maybe also controls the weather (possibly maintaining the storm that the heroine was caught in initially). It’s clear that the island is way better than the place that the heroine comes from (delicious food, clear crystalline water, warm weather, birds singing, what-have-you) and the people want to protect it or something. The heroine is then able to explore the archipelago and finds a resolution to her initial quest/MacGuffin. The people on the island offer the heroine a permanent place in their luxurious hidden society (are they trying to hide something suspicious, or rewarding her valor? Maybe they’re just like that) but she feels an obligation to the people who sent her on her initial quest, and so returns home. After this, she feels that her adventuring days have come to an end, and retires in a hilly place with sheep and apples. If she has a dragon, it might live in her barn or otherwise nearby. The place might have a whimsical, Irish-sounding name, like “Winsey”.
I’m trying to recover an illustrated children’s book from before 2005 or so. It was hardback, with a green cover, I believe. The illustration style was quite unique and lovely, almost Celtic? Lots of green. The main crux of the book was an alchemist/witch and her apprentice who she sends into the woods to gather needed ingredients for a potion or spell. It took place primarily in the forest, and one of the ingredients I remember was a specific type of mushroom. Other tasks involved something in a marsh/swamp, and maybe something about flying creatures? But what I remember most was the alchemist/witch. She had long dark hair.