Katie recommends Sabriel by Garth Nix
Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.
The description sounds gothic and scary, but really Sabriel reads like a cousin to the Narnia books, complete with talking cats, lost princes, and magical bells. Don’t let the talk of death scare you off–this feminist tale sells every bit of its carefully crafted world, from British boarding school to mystical showdown with the forces of darkness.