[DWJ] short complete quest fantasies

emily whitrod wuffles at live.com.au
Sat Jun 20 20:42:43 EDT 2009

I don't know if the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson fits the bill...there is a plot overview here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_on_Fire . The books weren't too long from what I can remember. In this case it's a brother and sister who triumph over a bad guy.

> Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 22:25:17 +0000
> From: el.buchanan at btinternet.com
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] short complete quest fantasies
> Hi... longtime luker delurking to suggest The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Its a pretty complete quest fantasy in a single book with a dragon, riddles, an empress and a very scary big bad.
> --- On Sat, 20/6/09, deborah.dwj at suberic.net <deborah.dwj at suberic.net> wrote:
> From: deborah.dwj at suberic.net <deborah.dwj at suberic.net>
> Subject: [DWJ] short complete quest fantasies
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Date: Saturday, 20 June, 2009, 2:50 PM
> I'm calling on the brilliant list hive mind for help with my
> fantasy syllabus. I'd really like to assign my students one
> entire epic quest fantasy from beginning to end, in which a Boy
> (who is potentially a girl) leaves his humble beginnings, gathers
> together a troop of Companions, hits every place on the Map, and
> defeats the Dark Lord. I'd like to assign that entire thing in
> one week, and realistically I can't ask them to read more than
> three books in one week unless they are very brief (i.e.
> picturebooks, easy readers, or early chapter books). But I'm
> finding that most of the complete quest fantasy series I can
> think of are pretty long. Can you folks come up with any decent
> quests that are three books or less? One book would be even
> better. :-)
> Here's what I've come up with and rejected so far:
> * Prydain: five books
> * Pellinor: four very long books
> * Eragon: actually, this is perfect, but it's bad, and I don't
>   want to make them read it
> * Dark Lord of Derkholm: I do assign this one, but one of the
>   reasons I would like them to read an entire quest fantasy is so
>   they understand what Dark Lord is parodying
> * The Hobbit: I assign this one as well, but it's not really the
>   same thing. It's a precursor, really.
> There are lots of fantasy trilogies that aren't high fantasy
> quests (e.g. Abhorsen, His Dark Materials, Borribles, any Tamora
> Pierce). And there are some single books which come close to
> getting across some of the ideas. I've thought of Wizard of
> Earthsea, but that book is already a response to the classic
> quest fantasy, so it doesn't work as an introduction. The Hero
> and the Crown kind of works, I suppose, but it's too much a solo
> adventure.
> *sigh* I know what I want them to have read before they ever come
> into the class: the Belgariad or at any rate the Lord of the
> Rings. It's surprising how little decent straightforward quest
> fantasy there is in children's lit.
> Any ideas?
> -deborah
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