As YA fiction receives more and more media attention, adult fantasy readers are intrigued but may hesitate for fear of fluffy romances and thin storylines. On the contrary, YA fantasy challenges readers with political intrigue, duty of family vs. duty of country, and friendship. Here are eight YA fantasies that are sure to make any new YA fantasy reader stick around for a long time.
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stievfater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 18, 2012
It has been foretold to Blue Sargent that the boy she loves and kisses will die. One day, four private school boys enter her pizza shop and change her life forever.
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: September 29 2015
Kaz, a member of the Dregs gang, has scored a big heist but he needs help. He enlists five others to help him break into the unbreakable Ice Court to steal some precious cargo.
Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: July 8 2014
Lia, a First Daughter, is betrothed to a prince she has never met to bring peace to the kingdoms. Lia believes in love and doesn’t want to be used as a pawn so she runs. In her new life, Lia meets two charming men; however, one is the prince determined win her love and bring her back and one is an assassin who is hired to kill her.
The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1) by Traci Chee
Release Date: September 13 2016
After her aunt is murdered in front of her, Sefia is on a mission to follow and find her killers. During her travels, she meets a beaten young man and together they seek revenge and discover the secrets of their world.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Release Date: September 27 2011
Karou is a normal teenager who happens to meet up with monsters to collect teeth. Constantly questioning who she is and where she’s from, Karou meets Akiva and answers begin to reveal themselves.
The Winner’s Curse (Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: March 4 2014
Kestral is a Valorian and the General’s daughter. Arin is a Herrani slave who is purchased by Kestral. Kestral has the gift of seeing lies but can she see Arin’s lies?
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: February 9 2016
Laia is a Scholar, the lowest of the low, and her brother has been taken by The Masks. He is her only living family member and she will risk her life to find him. Elias is a Mask but he doesn’t want to be. Laia and Elias’ paths cross when Laia goes undercover as a slave at Elias’ military school to get information on her brother.
My Lady Jane (Lady Janies #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Release Date: June 7 2016
Lady Jane would rather spend her day reading than getting married to a man she does not know. When her ailing cousin asks her to marry as a favor, she feels compelled but quickly realizes there’s more to her new husband than meets the eye.
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: January 3 2012
Cinder is a cyborg from New Beijing who ends up caught in an intergalactic war between the Lunar people and her own country. Based on the fairy tale “Cinderella” with a sci-fi twist, Cinder is thrust straight into politics, magic, and her own strange past.