10 Australian YA High Fantasy Novels Not To Be Missed


In singling out High Fantasy, I’m really genre splitting here and trying to show that Fantasy is a vast and varied offering, with all sorts of subtleties, approaches and flavours that non-genre readers are perhaps unaware of. By High Fantasy, I mean the full on Tolkienesque epic, complete with fully imagined secondary world, lots of magic and rampant adventure. Australia has a great tradition of writing YA High Fantasy. Here are some recommendations that range over the years right up until today, some obvious choices, some less well known. Some of that is, naturally, are the first books of series. For more on each title, follow the links.

  1. The Starthorn Tree – Kate Forsyth. Foretellings and escapes.
  2. Sabriel – Garth Nix. The bells and the dead.
  3. A Dark Winter – Dave Luckett. Battles and empires.
  4. The Green Prince – Sophie Masson. Prophecies and the sea.
  5. Foundling – David Cornish. Costumes and grotesquerie.
  6. The Singer of All Songs –Kate Constable. Journeys and enchantments.
  7. The Ruins of Gorlan – John Flanagan. Exile and treachery
  8. Eon – Alison Goodman. Dragons and gender fluidity.
  9. The Book of Lies – James Moloney. Truth and magic.
  10. Finnikin of the Rock – Melina Marchetta. Curses and friendships