The Top 30 Young Adult Fantasy Series & Standalone Novels
Hello reader friends! If you found this post, you most likely also know about my highly popular post – 110 Books Like A Court of Thorns & Roses. (Most readers find me that way!) Recently, that list became so massive that I realized I needed to split it up to explain my thoughts behind books better and share my reading experience.
Plus – If you’re looking for more young adult or new adult books – this list is much more concise and explains my thoughts a little better behind some of the themes present for different age groups.
Young Adult vs. New Adult Books
There is a definite difference in the feel of young adult vs. new adult books. As a heavy reader, I’ve realized that mentally I categorize them differently based on what the characters go through at the time. We’re all learning and growing, but the characters will experience things emotionally/ sexually/ romantically/ morally differently at different ages.
**These are my definitions based on how I would want my children to read. What you decide is up to you and your family!!
- YOUNG ADULT FANTASY BOOKS: Most young adult book series focus on adventures, acts of heroism, strong platonic friendships, and almost no sexual themes throughout.
- NEW ADULT FANTASY BOOKS: These stories are where characters’ eyes are somewhat open to the world, but the books thematically lean into conversations around sexuality and potentially darker themes like sexual non-consent, torture, etc., that may be too much for young readers.
Young Adult Books Fantasy Series
This section of books is for those who don’t like romantic scenes and want more of a slow build. These books are like A Court of Thorns and Roses in that they all involve fantasy world-building and romances, but they’re based on young adult angst, general themes of good vs evil etc.
These may have some romance, but really that’s not the focus of the books.
- The Cruel Prince Series by Holly Black – This one is all talked about over the place and highly recommended!
- Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards Series) by Janella Angeles
- Ash Princess (First of the Ash Princess Series) by Laura Sebastian
- A Curse So Dark & Lonely (First of the Cursebreaker Trilogy) by Brigid Kemmerer – Everyone should read this one!
- Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (She also has a few others like An Enchantment of Ravens and Vespertine!)
- Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
- Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain
- A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft
Young Adult Fantasy Books on Kindle Unlimited
All of these are available for purchase as paperbacks as well as included with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!
**Please make note that while these are available on Kindle Unlimited, at any time they may be removed and you’ll have to purchase a physical copy!
- Air Awakens (5 Book Series) by Elise Kova – Elise Kova is a great YA Fantasy genre author!! You’ll see quite a few from her sprinkled throughout my lists.
- A Trial of Sorcerers (3 Book Series) by Elise Kova
- The Fair Isle Trilogy by Tessonja Odette – I loved every book in this series!! This book includes To Carve a Fae Heart, To Wear a Fae Crown, and To Spark a Fae War. Other awesome books by to include Heart of the Raven Prince: A Cinderella Retelling, then Curse of the Wolf King: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling, and Kiss of the Selkie: A Little Mermaid Retelling.
New Adult Fantasy Series & Standalone Books
- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (The next book Daughter of the Siren Queen, is also available on Kindle Unlimited!)
- The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
- These Violent Delights by Chlor Gong – A Booktok (Book Lovers Tik Tok) favorite everywhere!
- Crave (Part 1 of 6 in the Crave Series) by Tracy Wolff – I loved this one!!
- Divine Rivals (Book #1 of The Letters of Enchantment) by Rebecca Ross – A really well-written series based on two rivals connected by their typewriters and how much they absolutely don’t want to love each other.
- A Court of Honey and Ash Series by Shannon Meyer – Really good! The incredible world-building and just long enough of a series to keep me entertained but not bored!
- Dance With A Fae Prince by Elise Kova – Another great EK novel – best for your older YA readers.
- Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo – (The beginning of the Shadow and Bone books/Netflix Series!)
- For The Wolf by Hannah Witten – This two-part duology was a fun series! Lauded as a darker Beauty and The Beast retelling, I had a lot of fun dissecting the plot and finding those hidden elements from the original story. What makes this book New Adult is how the world-building and fantasy ‘religion’ are woven throughout the plot, needing almost a more mature intellect to comprehend.
- Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber – A young woman and her sister escape an
- Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber – This is a three part series (the last book, A Curse for True Love, is being released October 2023!) written by the same author as the Caraval series. Based on the rose gold haired heroine Evangeline and her quest to discover more of her mother’s Northern heritage, she becomes entangled in the web of lies and half truths of the devastatingly handsome Prince of Hearts.
Fantasy Books & Series I Haven’t Read Yet
These are marketed as ‘young adult’ books – but I haven’t read them yet to classify where they fall on the young adult vs. new adult spectrum.
- We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
- Daughter of the Moon Goddess: A Novel by Sue Lynn Tan
- Fable by Adrienne Young
- Red Queen (Book 1 of the Red Queen Series) by Victoria Aveyard – Also on my April 2022 Books Under $10 on Amazon post!!
- Furyborn (Part 1 of the Empirium Trilogy) by Claire Legrand
***This list is updated regularly based on what I’ve read and reviewed so check back every now and then!
I hope you love whatever book you pick up next! Enjoy my bookish pals! – Southern.Lady.Reads