From L-Space to E-Space, Part one--YA Books for fans of Terry Pratchett

This post is a written summary of the session that Tanita Davis, novelist and blogger (Finding Wonderland and tanitasdavis.com), Sheila Ruth, independent publisher and blogger (Wands and Worlds), Anne Hoppe (Terry Pratchett's YA editor in the US) and I presented at the North American Discworld Convention this Sunday (July 7, 2013). The presentation had two parts-the first was a quick run through of YA books we wanted to recommend to Pratchett fans that they might not have read, and the second offered links and advice on how to use the Internet to find more books!  I've split my recap posts into two-this first is about the books, the second post  has the links to more places to find books.

We couldn't, of course, find books that contained every single aspect of Pratchett's wonderfulness, but every book we suggest is well-written, with great characters and world building.  Some are funny, some are serious, but all are Good Reads.  Some are true Young Adult books, some were published for grown-ups, but have much YA appeal, and some were written for kids aged 9-12, but have much broader appeal (promise).

Tanita suggests:

The M.Y.T.H. Inc series, begun by Robert Asprin 1978, who was joined by Jodi Lynn Nye, who is now continuing the series, with Myth Quoted, published this year.

John Connolly is an Irish writer best known for his adult crime series, but his books for younger readers (The Book of Lost Things, The Gates, and The Infernals)  have much Pratchetty appeal!

Diana Wynne Jones demands mention; her more satirical books are our pick for best cross-over (Dark Lord of Derkholm, The Year of the Griffin, and Tough Guide To Fantasyland)

Sarah A. Hoyt--urban shape-shifting fun, published for the adult market, but good for YA.  (Start with Draw One in the Dark)

Another adult author whose books read like YA is Lawrence Watt-Evans--there are 12 Legends of Ethshar novels, and Tanita says they are all good (The Misenchanted Sword is the first)

The 500 Kingdoms Series, by Mercedes Lackey--stories within stories.

Jasper Fford's Nursery Crimes series--The Big Over Easy, and The Fourth Bear.

Sheila suggests:

The Bartimaeus Trilogy, and the Ring of Solomon, by Jonathan Stroud.  The smart-aleck demon Bartimaeus would be right at home in Discworld!

Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman--a lovely one for those interested in the multi-species coexisting aspect of Discworld.  The UK cover is on the left, the original US cover is in the center, and the current US cover is on the right.

Lonely Werewolf Girl and Curse of the Wolf Girl, by Martin Millar-- a friend for Angua.   Not the best covers in the world, but good books!

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey--rich and twisty and thought-provoking alien invasion.

Northlander, and The King Commands, by Meg Burden--intelligent,character-rich fantasy ftw!

Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Series--this is dark, and emotional wrenching, but intelligent, powerful stuff.

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex.  Funny sci fi for the younger reader.

The Keys of the Kingdom Series, by Garth Nix.  Inventive and fun!

Charlotte suggests:

The Magic Thief series, by Sarah Prineas.   Not only is this series about a young thief and his journey into magic a good gateway  into Pratchett, but it's a good read for anyone.

I'm including Enchanted, and Hero (coming this fall) by Alethea Kontis because I wanted pretty dresses fun examples of fairy tale retellings--I love that aspect of Pratchett.

Vivian Vande Velde's virtual reality series--fun, geeky, and clever!

Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant series.  The adventures of charismatic, crime-solving skeleton and the human girl who is his protegee.  Witty banter, much fun.

Tanita already mentioned Jasper Fforde, but I wanted to add The Last Dragon Slayer, and its forthcoming (in the US, already out in the UK) sequel, Song of the Quarkbeast.   They have a very English sort of insanity to them.

Seven Sorcerers and Shadow Spell, by Caro King--I love this fantasy series--it is creepy, funny, magical, etc.etc. and deserves more readers.

Soul Enchilada, by David Macinnis Gill.   I thought a book whose premise was the demon Beelzebub coming to reposes a teenage girl's Cadillac might appeal to Pratchett fans looking for magical insanity set in our world. 

Anne suggests:

Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan--you can read it just for fun, or to appreciate its thoughtful depths.  Another good different species living together--in this case, vampires in Maine....

Garth Nix's Abhorsen series.  Classic YA fantasy

Frances Hardinge--Fly by Night and Fly Trap  (Twilight Robbery in the UK).   Tremendously intelligent writing, great characters and world building.

Here's what audience members added to the list:

•Diana Peterfreund
•Artemis Fow, by Eoin Colfer
•Sarah Beth Durst – Into the Wild, Out of the Wild
•Neil Gaiman
•His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
•Patricia C. Wrede – Enchanted Forest Chronicles
•Girl Genius – Kaya & Phil Foglio (online, free)
•China Mieville – Railsea, Un Lun Dun
•Tom Holt – The Flying Dutch
•Douglas Adams
•Cornelia Funke – Reckless & Inkheart
•Catherynne M. Valente
•Diane Duane – Young Wizards (she’s writing more!)
•Lloyd Alexander
•Kat, Incorrigable, by Stephanie Burgis
•Libba Bray’s Going Bovine
•Piers Anthony – Xanth (with the caveat from Tanita, Sheila and me that these have huge sexism issues, and we wouldn't recommend them)
•Jim C. Hines – Jig the Dragonslayer
•Morgan Keyes-- Darkbeast
•Tanita S. Davis. (because her books are very good)

Thank you Anne and Sheila and Tanita (and David, Tanita's husband, who was our Powerpoint mastermind, adding to the slides as we spoke)!


  1. Such good choices! Soul Enchilada sounds fun.

  2. Awesome recommendations! I placed nearly half of them on my Amazon wishlist.

  3. So happy that I found your post! I attended the session but my note taking (on my cell phone, complete with dying battery) was frenzied and incomplete because I was too busy listening to the panel to take good notes. Thanks for the work you put into the lists and thanks for the great session at NADWCon!!

    Tina R.
    (a librarian who appreciates a great list of books)

    1. I'm so glad you found it, and I hope you find something good to read!


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