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10 Translated Fantasy Series

Lene Kaaberbøl is a popular award-winning Danish writer of children’s fantasy series, two of which have been published in English.


The Shamer’s Daughter
The Shamer’s Signet
The Serpent Gift
The Shamer’s War
Lene Kaaberbøl
Translated from Danish by the author
Hodder Children’s Books
(All published in 2005)

Dina has inherited the Shamer’s gift from her mother – one look into her eyes and no one can mask their guilt or hide their shame. Shamers are seen as social outcasts and this makes the gift seem like a curse to eleven-year old Dina. These four novels follow the lives of the Tonerre family as they are constantly pitched into danger and adventure.

Lene Kaaberbøl is an excellent storyteller and translator and these Shamer novels have created an exciting world, on the edge of civilisation, magic and mystery. The harsh life of the Highlands with its rival clans and villains shows a world where those that manipulate the truth are afraid of the gifted few that can see the truth and are able to expose them.

Wildwitch 1: Wildfire
Wildwitch 2: Oblivion
Wildwitch 3: Life Stealer
Wildwitch 4: Bloodling
Lene Kaaberbøl
Translated from Danish by Charlotte Barslund Pushkin Children’s Books
(All published 2016)

The ‘Wildwitch’ series is a magical adventure that weaves an engaging story combining fantasy with the natural world.

Twelve-year-old Clara has a normal life, or so she thinks.  But everything changes after an encounter with an enormous scary black cat whose deep scratches leave her wracked with fever. Her distraught mother knows there is only one solution: to take Clara to visit her Aunt Isa who lives in the wild woods. Clara is introduced to her true nature – a Wildwitch who can communicate with animals, and harness the magical powers of the natural world around her. Before Clara can even absorb the enormity of her wildwitch powers, she is confronted by a powerful enemy. She knows she will have to learn how to use her skills well in order to combat this evil force.

Award-winning and best-selling German author Cornelia Funke has had many titles translated into English including the two trilogies about the ‘Inkworld’ and the ‘Mirrorworld’.



Inkheart (2004)
Inkspell (2005)
Inkdeath (2008)
Cornelia Funke
Translated from German by Anthea Bell
The Chicken House

This trilogy is a powerful lengthy fantasy, which addresses the very essence of the reading experience. Meggie’s life revolves around books, and she reads endlessly. Her only sorrow is that her father, Mo, a bookbinder, will never read aloud, fearful of his power to draw characters from their books into his own time. This he does in the case of a violent modern Italian novel, ‘Inkheart’, unwittingly summoning up its vicious hero, Capricorn, while at the same time losing his own wife into that novel. Meggie also discovers she has the same ability as her father and together they find themselves living in the parallel world of the ‘Inkworld’.

Funke does provide a recap in book 2 and 3, but as with most trilogies or sequels it is necessary to have read the earlier novels first in order to keep up with the myriad of characters and the complexes of the story.



Reckless: The Petrified Flesh
Reckless: Living Shadows
Reckless: The Golden Yarn
Cornelia Funke
Translated from German by Oliver Latsch
Pushkin Children’s Books
(All published 2016)

After his father mysteriously disappeared several years earlier, Jacob Reckless discovered that when he pressed his hand against the glass mirror in his father’s study he was transported into a different universe. Jacob has visited this mirrored world on numerous occasions and made both friends and enemies becoming familiar with its many dangers.

The ‘Reckless’ series contains all the ingredients of fairy and folk stories with references to some specific tales.  Combines with this is political intrigue as well as a human story of love, desire, loyalty and betrayal that binds everyone together.  A suspenseful and thrilling fantasy that is sure to engage all those fantasy fans.

Kai Meyer is one of Germany’s most successful authors and has had a number of fantasy books translated into English.



The Flowing Queen (2005)
The Stone Light (2006)
The Glass Word
Kai Meyer
Translated from Germany by Anthea Bell

The people of Venice and the lagoons have always been protected by the power of the Flowing Queen – until now! Captured Mermaids pull gondolas on the lagoon while flying stone lions patrol the skies overhead and the armies of the Egyptian Empire are camped across the water where they have laid siege to the city for over 30 years. Despite being beautifully crafted novels with their poetic prose, captured perfectly by translator Anthea Bell, they require a level of sophistication by the reader in order to follow their many threads. It is a distinct advantage to read one after the other otherwise it’s often difficult to remember some of the complexity. 

The Flowing Queen won the Marsh Award for Children’s Books in Translation in 2007.


Arcadia Awakens (2012)
Arcadia Burns (2013)
Arcadia Falls (2014)
Kai Meyer
Translated from German by Anthea Bell

Seventeen-year-old Rosa Alcantara has come to Sicily to find peace and quiet and to get away from her troubled past.  Sicily is where her ancestral home is and where her sister, Zoe already lives with their aunt Florinda, who is head of the Alcantara clan. Rosa’s one mistake is to make friends with the handsome Alessandro Carnevare, son of the capo of a Mafia family, who just happens to be sworn enemies of the Alcantaras. Little does she know what is in store for her as she discovers family secrets and becomes embroiled in the world of the Sicilian Mafia.  Meyer, weaves a dark, thrilling and suspenseful tale of many complexities. Anthea Bell’s excellent translation brings this cleverly combined fantasy of ancient myths and realistic detail of the ruthlessness of the Costa Nostra together seamlessly.

A fantasy series of six titles by French authors Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf, four of which have been translated into English to date.




Oksa Pollock 1: The Last Hope (2013)
Oksa Pollock 2: The Forest of Lost Souls (2014)
Oksa Pollock 3: The Heart of the Two Worlds (2014)

Oksa Pollock 4: Tainted Bonds (2016)
Translated from French by Sue Rose
Pushkin Children’s Books

Oksa is a normal thirteen-year-old girl starting a new life in London or so she thinks. But from day one at her new school strange things start to happen.  Luckily, she has her best friend Gus, who has also moved to London with his parents, to confide in. Oksa discovers that she has amazing powers; she can produce fire from her hands, move objects with her mind and even fly but she has no idea how or why until her grandmother Dragomira tells her the truth – how her family, who have become known as ‘The Runaways’, fled from the magical world of Edefia many years before unable to return.  It is Oksa who now represents their last hope of ever returning.

There is a lot to take in; the novels are full of eccentric detail and translator Sue Rose has done an excellent job in capturing the complexities within the story.

Guillaume Prevost is an acclaimed writer of historical thrillers. ‘The Book of Time’ series were his first novels for children.


The Book of Time (2007)
The Book of Time 2: The Gate of Days
(2008) Guillaume Prévost
Translated from French by William Rodarmor Scholastic Children’s Books

The Book of Time trilogy by Guillaume Prévost is a time-travel adventure. Fourteen-year-old Sam's father has been missing for ten days.  It isn't the first time that he has disappeared but he’s never been missing for so long before so Sam decides to do some investigating into his father’s disappearance.  Searching his father’s dusty Antiquarian book shop for clues Sam discovers a hidden room containing an old book, a strange coin, and an oddly carved stone. When he slips the coin into the statue, he travels back in time experiencing medieval Iona, Scotland in 800 A.D,  France during the First World War, ancient Egypt and Greece, Vlad Tepes’s castle in 15th century Wallachia, Pompeii at the time Vesuvius erupts and meets gangsters in 1930s Chicago, all while trying to solve the mystery of his missing father.

The final title The Book of Time: 3: Circle of Gold has not been published in the UK, however, for keen readers wanting to find out what happens in the last book they can read the US edition published by Arthur A. Levine Books in 2009.

Timothée de Fombelle is a French author and playwright whose first two-part series about Toby Lolness was published in English.


Toby Alone (2008)
Toby and the Secret of the Trees
Timothée de Fombelle, illustrated by François Place Translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone
Walker Books

A refreshingly innovative two-part series by Timothée de Fombelle’s that can be read on many different levels from fantasy to an environmental message.

Toby Lolness is a mere 1.5 millimetres tall, and his entire world is contained within the branches of the great oak Tree. Toby’s father Sim, a scientist makes a ground-breaking discovery about the source of the Tree's energy and how it could be systematically destroyed if exploited.  As a result, he and his family are persecuted, banished to exile in the Low Branches and eventually captured, imprisoned and sentenced to death.  Only Toby manages to escape and finds himself alone and on the run, hunted by his own people.


Tonke Dragt is considered one of the greatest Dutch female writer for children. Her two-part series about Tiuri the young knight have been published in English.


The Letter for the King (2013)
The Secrets of the Wild Wood (2016)
Tonke Dragt
Translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson
Pushkin Children’s Books

This two-part series from follows Sixteen-year-old Tiuri who is entrusted with delivering an important letter to the Black Knight with the White Shield. However, on discovering the Black Knight dying after being attacked, Tiuri is asked to undertake the very important mission himself. Leaving his home city of Dagonaut, Tiuri must deliver the secret letter to the King of Unauwen across the Great Mountains – a letter upon which the fate of an entire kingdom depends.

Dragt’s story is set in a fantasy medieval era of chivalry that is reminiscent of an Arthurian legend or a Knights Templar tale. The evocative descriptions turn into a cinema screen as they create an extraordinary vista and together with the array of characters, it will take the reader into a different world where a battle between good and evil is being fought.

Fantasy Series List Apr17



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