The Heir to Harry?
Vail, CO, Colorado
Harry Potter will certainly have a shelf life into eternity, but chances are slim to none of any future sequels, prequels or offshoots. Those fans keeping their fingers crossed for author J.K. Rowling to revisit Hogwarts Academy can keep themselves occupied, and distracted, with the following sagas similar in style, tone and action. Who knows, perhaps the next publishing phenomenon is sitting on a lonely shelf at your local bookstore.
” “The Guardians of Ga’Hoole,” by Kathryn Lasky
Soren the Owl is born in the forest kingdom of Tyto until the peaceful land comes under siege by evil forces. Soren and his fine, feathered friends are thrust into the battle with the fate of the forest resting on their wings. Ages: 8 and up.
” “The Ranger’s Apprentice,” by John Flanagan
Will has been tapped to join The Rangers, a mysterious group rumored to be practicing the dark arts. Apprehensive at first, Will soon learns the identity of The Rangers and their allegiance to the kingdom. Ages: 10 and up.
” “The Book of Ember,” by Jeanne DuPrau
The city of Ember is close to perpetual darkness, saved only by a massive generator that is constantly under repair and surveillance. Doon Harrow, though, has other ideas for the generator. Ages: 10 and up.
” “Septimus Heap,” by Angie Sage
Septimus Heap is pronounced dead the night he is born and his body promptly disappears. The grieving family happens across an abandoned baby girl on a snowy evening, and raises her as their own yet the Heaps never stop wondering what happened to their own child. Ages: 12 and up.
” “Pendragon,” by D.J. MacHale
The long-running series may be the closest saga to be proclaimed ‘the next big thing.’ Bobby Pendragon, 14, is a good student and standout athlete who just happens to travel between dimensions, quelling conflicts that could threaten the universe. Ages: 12 and up.
” “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
A series that’s already been a hit with readers of all ages, and is soon to be a major motion picture with a nine-figure budget set for a 2007 holiday release. Lyra Belacqua gets caught in a plot that includes with stolen children, witches and an army of bears. All Lyra has to aid her are her trusty polar bear companion and a mysterious golden compass. Ages: 12 and up.
” “The Dresden Files,” by Jim Butcher
The series was recently optioned by the Sci-Fi network as a serialized show. Harry Dresden is a magic practitioner and de facto private eye, keeping a watchful eye on the seedy, supernatural underbelly of Chicago. Mixing mystery and magic, the Dresden files has already succeeded in print and on the screen. Intended for mature audiences.
” “The Tales of the Otori,” by Lian Hearn
A wondrous series set in a land based on ancient Japan complete with warring clans, assassins, intrigue, corruption and romance. As Tomasu’s village burns, he is rescued by the soft-spoken Lord Shigeru who adopts the boy to raise as his own personal assassin. This international smash is just starting to make its mark in the United States. Intended for mature audiences.