Adventures in Mysterious Lands: A Reading List

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

doonThis installment of the Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon.

Fairy tale retellings have become popular in today’s culture, ranging from creative reimaginings of favorite childhood tales to mash-ups with today’s world. And with shows such as Smash and Glee capturing people’s attention, Broadway is making a comeback as well. Authors Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon tap into both trends while also providing an entertaining and spell-binding story with Doon, the first book in a new YA series featuring adventure, humor, and two amazing—and very different—romances.

In this creative spin on the classic Brigadoon, Veronica and her best friend, Mackenna, travel to Scotland for the summer in hopes of finding some peace. But the Scottish countryside holds a host of secrets—including a passageway to a mysterious land that appears to be a real-life fairy tale. In the land of Doon, two handsome princes vie for the girls’ hearts. Veronica and Mackenna could have everything they’ve ever longed for … or end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that may soon become a nightmare.


Whether they take us down a rabbit hole, through a curious old wardrobe, or into outer space, adventure stories offer readers a chance to visit new–and often imaginary–lands in service of discovering things we never knew about ourselves. There’s something undeniably thrilling about characters setting out for parts unknown or finding themselves unexpectedly in places they never knew existed.

We asked you to share your favorite stories that take place in mysterious lands, and here’s what you had to offer:

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Earthsea Series by Ursula K. LeGuin

Winnie-the-Pooh and The House on Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

The Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series by Jasper Fforde

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

The Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

The Magicians series by Lev Grossman

Neverwhere and Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling 

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

The Princess series by Jim. C Hines

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

The Fablehaven series and Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbacher

The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper

His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Hollow Bones by CJ Lyons

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson


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