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Step into a new world: the top ten portal fantasies for Narnia fans


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Yesterday would have CS Lewis' 119th birthday, and since his most famous works (The Chronicles of Narnia) are some of the most well known portal fantasies in the world (books which involve a doorway into a magical realm), we thought that we'd share our favourite portal fantasies for you to read when you're done exploring the world of Narnia.

1. The Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

My personal favourite example of a portal fantasy, VE Schwab's creative and multilayered world contains various portals into different iterations of London, with varying degrees of magic. Beautifully written, with colourful and three dimensional characters, I would definitely recommend this fantasy to anyone who loves Harry Potter.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone-Laini Taylor

For a creative twist on angel and Demon mythology, Laini Taylor's wonderful and whimsical sotry of Karou, a girl who travels through portals between wintry Prague and the mysterious Elsewhere in order to run errands collecting teeth for her guardian Brimstone is definitely worth a read.

3. Outlander-Diana Gabaldon

Not so much fantasy as historical fiction with a fantastical twist, portals are a central feature of Jamie and Claire's epic love story, since it was a portal which brought Claire into Jamie's time in the first place.

4. Inkheart-Cornelia Funke

The perfect story for bookworms -- I mean who hasn't at one point imagined being able to conjure their favourite book characters from the pages of a book? Well in this portal fantasy, that's their reality! Cool, no?

5. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland-Lewis Carroll

Another classic portal fantasy; even if you haven't read the book, you will know about Lewis Carroll's story of a girl who trips down a rabbit hole into Wonderland. If you like your fantasies a litte whimsical, then this story would definitely be perfect for you.

6. The Marked Girl-Lindsey Klingele

Like the Disney movie Enchanted, but as a YA book, this story finds a royal prince and his entourage stranded from their home after they are transported through a magical portal from their fairytale home to modern day LA.

7. The Magicians-Lev Grossman

Described as Harry Potter for adults, this books follows Quentin Coldwater, a college student obsessed with a series of books about a magical land called Fillory, who is admitted to an exclusive college of magic in upstate New York and later finds out that Fillory is real and not at all what he expected. The Magicians is now also a US TV series, if you want to check that out after reading the book. 

8. His Dark Materials-Phillip Pullman

I may be among the last people to have not read this series, but I figure it's got to be so well loved for a reason, right? These books have been described as kind of a foil to the Chronicles of Narnia in terms of theology, so it might be interesting to compare and contrast! The portal elements only really get introduced in the second book though.

9. Coraline-Neil Gaiman

Coraline is an incredibly creepy little story, about a girl who wanders through a locked door in her new flat in the Other Flat, seemingly idyllic at first but quickly turning horrifying before her very eyes. Much as it pains me to admit it, I've only seen the movie version, but it was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen so I reckon the book is just as, if not more creepy!

10. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz-L.Frank Baum

Dorothy's classic story of being swept away in a cyclone from Kansas to the land of Oz is yet another portal fantasy, and one just as classic as Alice and The Chronicles of Narnia. Even if you've never read or seen the Wizard of Oz, you'll know of Dorothy's quest to return home.


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