A while back we shared 6 Amazing (Y)oung Adult Stand Alone Novels that you should check out. Both of us read lots of speculative fiction, so we thought we’d also share some of our favorite Fantasy (Y)oung Adult novels as well.
Uprooted, Naomi Novik
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
What an amazingly unique, deep, magical, beautifully written book! The World building is so thorough that I wanted to submerse myself in it every chance I got. It has a fairy-tale feel to make it a smart but whimsical story. I loved this through and through.
The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition – the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
This book is everything! It’s been years since I read it and I’m still in love with the story. The character, the setting … killer seahorses … an epic race – it all sounds interesting, but nothing can prepare you for how Stiefvater turns it all into a brilliant novel. I was with the characters 100% – felt everything they went through, and couldn’t wait to find out what happened at the end.
Iron Cast, Destiny Soria
It’s 1919 and Ada Navarra and Corinne Wells make an unlikely pair, but at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat. When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne, her partner in crime, can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.
The author set the stage right from the beginning as we’re dropped into a World where “hemopaths” are being hunted down and there are few safe havens. The friendship between the girls take center stage and it was clear that they would do anything for each other. We, the readers, are always aware of the constant danger throughout the book and the action never lets up and the author teases out the story. I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Cast and would highly recommend it to anyone to read.
House of Hollow, Krystal Sutherland
Something happened to seventeen year old Iris and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. When her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get. The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous
This is a fantasy with a touch of horror. Imagine beautiful flowers blooming out of the wounds of the dead, and haunting nightmares of doors that lead to otherworlds. Trust me, you won’t see the twist in this one coming!
Among the Beasts and Briars, Ashley Poston
The kingdom of Aloriya exists in peace ever since the King made a deal with the lady of the forest. But now a new queen reigns and that peace is starting to unravel. Cerys knows the dangers of the forest. She carries a bit of the forest magic and curse in her after having escaped it when she was a girl. But now that the peace of Aloriya is at risk, Cerys must journey back in the forest and make a new deal with the lady.
If you want the perfect fairytale vibes, this books is the one for you. It’s magical and adventurous. Cerys’ companion is a small fox and she is aided by a strange and powerful bear from the forest. If you like The Bear and the Nightingale, you’ll love this one.
Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
I’ve talked about this one before as one of my favorite debuts I’ve ever read. I didn’t love the next book that Thomas came out with but I’m currently reading their third- The Sunbearer Trials and it’s so good! Anyway, I just loved the grit and heart of Cemetery Boys and recommend it whenever I get the chance.
Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations for our next fantasy young adult read – whether it’s a standalone novel or a series?