If your kids are just gobbling books, and have already worked their way through Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and Lewis’s Narnia, then what’s next? Here’s a Top 10 list of Christian fantasy novels – some more obviously Christian than others – that they can check out next. Click on the article titles for longer reviews.
10. The Winter King
by Christine Cohen
15-year-old Cora is resourceful, but boy are the odds stacked against her! Her dad is dead, her neighbors all avoid her, thinking she’s cursed, and the village god, the tyrannical Winter King seems to hate her. This beautifully written book is best suited for 15 and up because it has echoes of the Reformation – the “official” church is foe, not friend – that might confuse a younger reader.
9. Wings of Dawn
by Sigmund Brouwer
Thomas is a young boy seeking to win back his castle by using the technologies that might seem like magic in feudal England, but which were in use at that time elsewhere in the world (like gunpowder, or kites).
8. In the Hall of the Dragon King
by Stephen Lawhead
This is a well-written sword-and-knights story set in another world. Lawhead had some clear Christian undertones to his earlier stories that get lost in his later books, so stick with early Lawhead series like this one.
7. Urchin of the Riding Stars
by M.I. McAllister
Squirrels with swords. Need I say more?
6. The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic
by Jennifer Trafton
A fun romp, with all sorts of inventive ingredients including:
- Piles of poison-tongued jumping turtles
- A castle built on top of a mountain that rises and falls once each day
- A tyrant twelve-year-old pepper-hoarding king
5. Brave Ollie Possum
by Ethan Nicolle
The author was one of the guys behind Babylon Bee. A kid who is scared of everything can’t get his parents to believe him that there is something on the roof outside his window. But he’s right. Kind of a terrifying premise, but the comic hijinks soon take over, with the scared boy getting turned into a possum, a creature that faints whenever it is scared.
4. Dawn of Wonder
by Jonathan Renshaw
A nephew made me and most of our church read it and no one has regretted doing so. The only downside is that book 2 has been more than 8 years in the waiting. But book 1 is really, really good.
3. The Green Ember
by S.D. Smith
Rabbits with swords! ’Nuff said.
2. Bark of the Bog Owl
by Jonathon Rogers
Loosely and hilariously riffing off the story of David and Saul. But in the American South, if it had castles. It’s been described as a Mark Twain crossed with C.S. Lewis.
1. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
by Andrew Peterson
This sat on my bookshelf for more than a year because the author is a well-known and talented musician, so I figured, how can a person so good at music be any good at writing too? I mean, what are the odds? But this is fantastic, rating right up there with Lewis and Tolkien. Three children contending with the Fangs of Dang, lizard creatures that have conquered the land of Skree, and their ruler Gnag the nameless.