Looking for Young Adult Science Fiction Trilogy
February 21, 2012 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Trying to find a Young Adult Fantasy Trilogy--Can't Remember the Name

10 years ago, I read a trilogy fantasy novel but I can't remember the name or many details.

It took place in an alternate universe that was sort of steam-punky, with mechanical clocks and other structures.

I recall that the heroine, perhaps an heiress, at one point either has to run away or gets lost, which forces her to wander a desert-like landscape that is filled with tigers and/or lions.

I feel like the protagonists' name was 'Ruby,' but I might be wrong. Has anyone else heard of/remember this? I know that the details are bad; I have scoured the internet with no results.
posted by Eyeveex to Writing & Language (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Black Unicorn?
posted by griselda at 4:23 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Maybe this is too obvious but could it be His Dark Materials? It's from 1995-2000 and mostly takes place in alternate universes (some of it takes place in our universe). It's steampunky and there is a world inhabited by elephant-like creatures. I don't remember if there are lions/tigers but some of the trilogy's shape-shifting daemons may take their forms.
posted by methroach at 4:25 PM on February 21, 2012

There's a lot in your description reminiscent of the Oz books.
posted by jsturgill at 4:26 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No, it's not His Dark Materials--although I do love those books. It's not Philip Pullman's other series either.

It's also not the Scions of Arrabar.

I also think that gypsies or a gypsy-like culture was important, but the heroine largely traveled alone.

Also, I think they were more middle-school-age books than strictly 'Young Adult' books.

I don't remember any unicorns in the story, but 'Black Unicorn' itself sounds like an interesting read.
posted by Eyeveex at 4:29 PM on February 21, 2012

Black Unicorn has some awesome clockwork descriptions in it, which triggered the memory. Do recommend.
posted by griselda at 4:33 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Joan Aiken's Wolves Chronicles?
posted by tully_monster at 4:33 PM on February 21, 2012

Response by poster: Unfortunately, not Wolves' Chronicles either--although that looks great.

I think I remember the title of the trilogy (it was a trilogy at the time, anyway, more books may have been written) was somewhat alliterative and/or repetitive. I don't know if that helps; that's probably true of a lot of fantasy/science fiction.
posted by Eyeveex at 4:41 PM on February 21, 2012

Ozma of Oz?

Mortal Engines?
posted by jenny76 at 4:50 PM on February 21, 2012

My guess would also be Black Unicorn. The sequels are Gold Unicorn and Red Unicorn.
posted by bluesapphires at 5:04 PM on February 21, 2012

Best answer: This also sounds a bit like The Claidi Journals.
posted by gudrun at 5:20 PM on February 21, 2012

Could it be the Wind On Fire trilogy? The books are The Wind Singer, Slaves of the Mastery and Firesong. It's been years since I read them though, so I don't remember details!
posted by pocketfluff at 5:49 PM on February 21, 2012

Sounds just like Ozma of Oz to me too.
posted by Mchelly at 6:30 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

A Princess of Roumania and its sequels by Paul Park? Normal teenage girl gets into alternate universe/reality with two friends where she is long-lost royalty (or something along those lines). One of her friends turns into a dog.
posted by frobozz at 6:55 PM on February 21, 2012

City of Ember?
posted by pickypicky at 7:24 PM on February 21, 2012

Umm... is it The Dark Angel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce?
posted by amileighs at 7:28 PM on February 21, 2012

Best answer: Tanith Lee definitely writes stuff like this (ex., Claidi Journals and Unicorn series). Good/bad news is that there's just so much of it! You should take a look at her bibliography.
posted by anaelith at 11:27 PM on February 21, 2012

It's the Sally Lockhart trilogy by Philip Pullman (author of the His Dark Materials books) - first book is The Ruby in the Smoke.
posted by mskyle at 5:48 AM on February 22, 2012

Oh, never mind, I see you said it wasn't the other Philip Pullman series. But gosh! Ruby! Tigers! Steampunk! It seems so right.
posted by mskyle at 5:51 AM on February 22, 2012

Yup, I was convinced it was Ruby in the Smoke. Are you sure sure sure?
posted by AmandaA at 6:55 AM on February 22, 2012

The Dark Angel trilogy by Meredith Anne Pierce was going to be my first suggestion too. In the first book there's a significant sequence set in a desert amongst a nomadic group. Also, there's a very important lion.
posted by DSime at 8:05 PM on February 22, 2012

Response by poster: I'm very sure it's not Ruby in the Smoke--but the Claidi Journals rings a lot of bells! I'm about 80% sure it's the Lady Journals. I'm going to read through them on Amazon to confirm. Thanks a lot! At the very least, I've learnd about a lot of sci-fi/fantasy novels that sound very interesting!
posted by Eyeveex at 11:16 AM on February 23, 2012

Response by poster: 80% sure it's the Claidi* Journals, I mean
posted by Eyeveex at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2012

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