23 of the Best YA High Fantasy Novels

Shadow and Bone


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Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo 

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.

A Court of Thorns and Roses


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A Court of Thorns and Roses
By Sarah J. Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

This Author has a book on our Best YA Epic Fantasy List!

Frostblood


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Frostblood
By Elly Blake

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating–yet irresistible–Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her–and from the icy young man she has come to love.

The Red Winter Trilogy


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The Red Winter Trilogy
By Annette Marie

Emi has spent her entire life hiding from the creatures that hunt her. The savage earth spirits are determined to kill her before she can become the living host of a goddess, so she stays hidden–until the day she saves the life of one of her hunters.

Shiro isn’t the harmless fox spirit she thought he was. He’s mysterious, cunning, unpredictable … and now hers to command. He’s sworn to pay his debt to her, but he doesn’t know who she is. If he finds out, he’ll kill her.

But she can’t send him away–not yet. Her future isn’t what she thought. The lies surrounding her fate have begun to unravel, and she needs answers before time runs out–answers that lie in the spirit realm. Shiro can take her there … if she dares to trust him.

This Author has books on our Fall Must Reads and Best YA Urban Fantasy Lists!

The Rise of Magic


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The Rise of Magic
By by CM Raymond, LE Barbant, Michael Anderle

The Founder has returned to correct the wrongs of unjust. But to do that, he needs Hannah, a young woman from the city slums. She has a key to unlocking a power even greater than his own–if she can only learn to trust herself and the magic flowing within her blood.

Restriction is a fantasy set in the far future, where magic and monsters ravage the land of Irth and only the strong survive.

The Tainted Accords


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The Tainted Accords
By Kelly St. Clare

I know many things. What I am capable of, what I will change, what I will become. But there is one thing I will never know…

The veil I’ve worn from birth carries with it a terrible loneliness; a suppression I cannot imagine ever being free of. Some things never change, …Until they do. My mother will always hate me. Her court will always shun me.

When the peace delegation arrives from the savage world of Glacium, my life is shoved wildly out of control by the handsome Prince Kedrick who, for unfathomable reasons, shows me kindness.

And the harshest lessons are learned. Sometimes it takes the world bringing you to your knees to find that spark you thought forever lost.

Sometimes it takes death to show you how to live.

Magical Arts Academy


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Magical Arts Academy
By Lucia Ashta

An ordinary girl, a dream to become extraordinary, and the powers that will lead her to change the world.

Sixteen-year-old Isadora is recruited to join a secret school. She knows nothing of where she’s going, but anything is better than being stuck at the house of her belittling uncle.

When a sect of sorcerers out to ruin magic finds her, she doesn’t possess the skills to ward them off. She needs to reach the academy. A whole new world awaits her if only she can make it in time.

Will Isadora beat the sorcerers to the academy and begin her education in the magical arts? Or will they succeed in keeping her from her destiny?

Tales of the Wellspring Knight


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Tales of the Wellspring Knight
By P.J. Cherubino, Michael Anderle

Astrid discovers a land where magic users rule through fear and intimidation. They call themselves Movers.

To fight them, she has to rely on all her magical skills as Knight of the Wellspring. She can’t do it alone.

Astrid needs help and she finds it in the most unlikely places.

Join Astrid and her righteous friends as they stand up to the enemies of humanity.

Dorothy Must Die


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Dorothy Must Die
By Danielle Paige

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

 

Dragon Riders of Elantia


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Dragon Riders of Elantia
By Jessica Drake

Zara Kenrook has never wanted to be ordinary. Abandoned at an orphanage, destined for a life in the slums, she’s clawed her way to the top and made herself a name as one of the best treasure hunters in Elantia.

But Zara hasn’t gotten to where she is without making enemies, and when one of them calls in a debt, her entire livelihood is thrown into peril. Suddenly, Zara is faced with two impossible choices—break into a dragon rider’s home and steal a priceless artifact, or lose the career she’s worked so hard to build.

Luckily, Zara has some experience pulling off heists, and she’s never been one to back down from a challenge. But when the object she tries to steal turns out to be a dragon egg, her whole world changes. For this particular dragon is about to hatch, and once it lays its fiery eyes on Zara, her life will never be the same…

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The Goddess and the Guardians
By Karen Tomlinson

The war raging in the South seems a remote danger for seventeen-year-old Diamond Gillon until her home is brutally attacked. Catapulted into a terrifying new existence where legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned, and half-blood fae like her have no rights, Diamond is inexplicably drawn to Commander Hugo Casimir. But he is a ruthless elite guard owned by a cruel, immortal fae queen who murders her own people for magic.

A prisoner in Hugo’s world, Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous; for the Queen covets more than just magic. Diamond must escape—before her fate, and that of The Eight Kingdoms, is sealed in shadow and chaos.

The Falls Trilogy


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The Falls Trilogy
By Heather Renee

Kaliah “Kali” Atwater is awaiting two things, finishing sophomore year in college and her upcoming twentieth birthday. The day before Kali’s birthday, she finds out that the dream she’s had every night for almost a year of a beautiful land, isn’t a fantasy at all. It’s her birth place.

Every twenty years a new generation of Guardians return to Arvata to bring life back to their world and renew the magic of the Falls. Now it’s Kali’s turn, but dark magic has made its way into her new home preventing the Falls from replenishing.

Kali must accept the role assigned to her by the Fates or let Arvata crumble. Can she and her friends save Arvata in time? Will new love make her stronger? Or will the darkness finally win?

Storm Princess Saga


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Storm Princess Saga
By Everly Frost & Jaymin Eve

FORBIDDEN TO LOVE. DESTINED TO BE TORN APART.
In a city beneath the streets of Chicago, the perfect storm rages, kept under control only by Marbella Mercy, the Storm Princess. Now she is of age, champions from each of the elven houses will play a game of wit and strength to fight for her hand – and for the chance to control the forces of nature.

Baelen Rath, a warrior and leader of the feared House of Rath, is the only male Marbella has ever trusted. He’ll risk everything to be her champion. But what he and the others don’t know? The princess is fighting too.

Because she’s discovered that the winner is cursed to kill her, not marry her, and the only way to save herself is to win.

But Marbella is fighting a power greater than herself, because someone believes that the perfect storm should be unleashed and for that to happen – the princess must die.

This series made our Fall Must Read list! 

Looking for Dei


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Looking for Dei
By David A. Willson

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet, her life is filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her adoptive father refuses to say anything about her origins and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, which tests youths for a magical gift.

The poor village of Dimmitt has not announced a gifted youth for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own forbidden powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a quest for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

The Darkest Part of the Forest


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The Darkest Part of the Forest
By Holly Black

In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake. Until one day, he does….

Ascendance Trilogy


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The Ascendance Trilogy
By Jennifer A. Nielsen

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Sorcerer's Quest


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Sorcerer’s Quest
(Complete Trilogy)
By NAK Baldron

Caffeinated award finalist 2019 for Gaslamp Fantasy

An orphaned boy, uncontrollable magic, and a quest to save a nation’s honor.

In a nation that shuns magic, a young man unleashes his new abilities against his school bully. He’s forced to slip out of the country when others find out.

Now he must find a master to teach him how to control the magic, before it destroys those around him. Only problem is, he will have to compete against every armature sorcerer in the world to join the only magical university.

Will he find help along the way and gain admittance to the university, or will be forever outcast from his home with no hope of redemption?

The Eura Chronicles


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The Eura Chronicles
By K.N. Lee

In a magical world where fairies, elves, and dragons exist, one girl is the key to saving humanity. But, can she escape slavery in time?
Heir to the throne of a god…

…Lilae is one of the world’s most wanted humans.
When she’s enslaved by an evil, yet charismatic emperor, all hope seems lost. But, a ruler from across the realm vows to save Lilae…even if it means losing his heart in the process.

Elemental Origins


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Elemental Origins
By A.L. Knorr

A mysterious shipwreck could unlock ancient powers… or send her to a watery grave.
Targa MacAuley feels more at home on dry land than in the watery realm of her mermaid ancestors. After 17 years on solid ground, she fears she’ll never grow into the creature her mother hoped she’d become. To keep her mom’s homesickness and true identity under wraps, Targa signs on for a mysterious salvage dive in the Baltic Sea.

Her plan to blend in with the rest of the crew is spoiled when she catches the eye of a handsome local. A freak accident and a strange connection to the ancient shipwreck below attract even more unwanted attention. With both her mom’s secret—and her life—in danger, Targa must finally find the courage to unleash the currents surging deep within.

Kingfountain Series


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The Kingfountain Series
By Jeff Wheeler

King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.

Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.he 

The Aermian Feuds


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The Aermian Feuds
By Frost Kay

Fed up with the neglect and corruption of the crown, swordsmith Sage Blackwell steps forward to challenge and spy on the crown. She knows the risks of rebellion – imprisonment or death – and yet, she’s still willing to take them to protect her family.

But when plans unravel, Sage finds herself facing the devils themselves, her sworn enemies, the princes of Aermia.

Tehl Ramses is drowning; crops are being burned, villages pillaged, and citizens are disappearing, leading to a rising rebellion. As crown prince, and acting ruler, Tehl must find a way to crush the rebellion before civil war sweeps through his beloved kingdom.

Jeff Madison and the Shimmers of Drakmere


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Jeff Madison & the Shimmers of Drakmere
By Bernice Fischer

What if he and the wicked witch on his side could inject the sleep of every child with the most horrid of nightmares … And all they needed was one very particular boy?
When Jeff’s brother Matt is captured and spirited away to the kingdom of Drakmere, Jeff knows he must save him. But who are the mysterious, cloaked strangers on Matt’s trail? And what do they mean when they say Matt is a dream catcher?
Soon Jeff faces a choice: He can follow the strangers through the moonglow doorway into the perils of Drakmere or stay at home and risk the possibility of never seeing his brother alive again. And time is running out, because Jeff must make his choice before the last of the moonbeams passes and the doorway closes forever …

Redwall


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Redwall
By Brian Jacques

The question in this first volume is resoundingly clear: What can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey do to defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might have a chance. But the legendary weapon has long been forgotten-except, that is, by the bumbling young apprentice Matthias, who becomes the unlikeliest of heroes. Teeming with riddles, humor, unforgettable characters, and high-bounding adventure, the original Redwall, the launching point for a series that has captured the world’s attention, features seven full-color illustrations by renowned illustrator Troy Howell. This new paperback edition is a must-have for both longtime fans and first-time readers.

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