10 Young Adult Fantasy Novels
by Mayzi E. - Young Adult Coordinator
1. “The Buried and the Bound” by Rochelle Hassan
As the only hedgewitch in Blackthorn, Massachusetts ― an uncommonly magical place ― Aziza El-Amin has bargained with wood nymphs, rescued palm-sized fairies from house cats, banished flesh-eating shadows from the local park. But when a dark entity awakens in the forest outside of town, eroding the invisible boundary between the human world and fairyland, run-of-the-mill fae mischief turns into outright aggression, and the danger ― to herself and others ― becomes too great for her to handle alone. Leo Merritt is no stranger to magical catastrophes. On his sixteenth birthday, a dormant curse kicked in and ripped away all his memories of his true love. A miserable year has passed since then. He's road-tripped up and down the East Coast looking for a way to get his memories back and hit one dead end after another. He doesn't even know his true love's name, but he feels the absence in his life, and it's haunting. Desperate for answers, he makes a pact [that] he’ll provide much-needed backup on her nightly patrols, and in exchange, she’ll help him break the curse. When the creature in the woods sets its sights on them, their survival depends on the aid of a mysterious young necromancer they’re not certain they can trust. But they’ll have to work together to eradicate the new threat and take back their hometown... even if it forces them to uncover deeply buried secrets and make devastating sacrifices.
2. “The Bone Spindle” by Leslie Vedder
Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn't believe in true love. Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way. Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who's been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him. Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi ― until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she's stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom. Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way ― not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane's heart, along with whatever else she's after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.
3. “So This is Ever After” by F.T. Lukens
Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next. As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing. With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life — starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.
4. “Sing Me to Sleep” by Gabi Burton
Saoirse Sorkova survives on lies. As a soldier-in-training at the most prestigious barracks in the kingdom, she lies about being a siren to avoid execution. At night, working as an assassin for a dangerous group of mercenaries, Saoirse lies about her true identity. And to her family, Saoirse tells the biggest lie of all: that she can control her siren powers and doesn't struggle constantly against an impulse to kill. As the top trainee in her class, Saoirse would be headed for a bright future if it weren't for the need to keep her secrets out of the spotlight. But when a mysterious blackmailer threatens her sister, Saoirse takes a dangerous job that will help her investigate: she becomes [the] personal bodyguard to the crown prince. Saoirse should hate Prince Hayes. After all, his father is the one who enforces the kingdom's brutal creature segregation laws. But when Hayes turns out to be kind, thoughtful, and charming, Saoirse finds herself increasingly drawn to him — especially when they're forced to work together to stop a deadly killer who's plaguing the city. There's only one problem: Saoirse is that deadly killer.
5. “The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea” by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian. Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.
6. “Valiant Ladies” by Melissa Grey
By day Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are proper young seventeenth century ladies. But when night falls, they trade in their silks and lace for swords and muskets, venturing out into the vibrant, bustling, crime-ridden streets of Potosí, in the Spanish Empire's Viceroyalty of Peru. They pass their time fighting, gambling, and falling desperately in love with one another. Then, on the night Kiki's engagement to the Viceroy's son is announced, her older brother ― heir to her family’s fortune ― is murdered. The girls immediately embark on a whirlwind investigation that takes them from the lowliest brothels of Potosí to the highest echelons of the Spanish aristocracy.
7. “Threads That Bind” by Kika Hatzopoulou
Descendants of the Fates are always born in threes: one to weave, one to draw, and one to cut the threads that connect people to the things they love and to life itself. The Ora sisters are no exception. Io, the youngest, uses her Fate-born abilities as a private investigator in the half-sunken city of Alante. But her latest job leads her to a horrific discovery: somebody is abducting women, maiming their life-threads, and setting the resulting wraiths loose in the city to kill. To find the culprit, she must work alongside Edei Rhuna, the right hand of the infamous Mob Queen — and the boy with whom she shares a rare fate-thread linking them as soul mates before they’ve even met. But the investigation turns personal when Io's estranged oldest sister turns up on the arm of her best suspect. Amid unveiled secrets from her past and her growing feelings for Edei, Io must follow clues through the city’s darkest corners and unearth a conspiracy that involves some of the city’s most powerful players — before destruction comes to her own doorstep.
8. “Lucha of the Night Forest” by Tehlor Kay Mejia
A scorned god. A mysterious acolyte. A forgetting drug. A dangerous forest. One girl caught between the freedom she always wanted and a sister she can't bear to leave behind. Under the cover of the Night Forest, will Lucha be able to step into her own power...or will she be consumed by it?
9. “That Self-Same Metal” by Brittany N. Williams
Sixteen-year-old Joan Sands is a gifted craftswoman who creates and upkeeps the stage blades for William Shakespeare’s acting company, The King’s Men. Joan’s skill with her blades comes from a magical ability to control metal — an ability gifted by her Head Orisha, Ogun. Because her whole family is Orisha-blessed, the Sands family have always kept tabs on the Fae presence in London. Usually that doesn’t involve much except noting the faint glow around a Fae’s body as they try to blend in with London society, but lately, there has been an uptick in brutal Fae attacks. After Joan wounds a powerful Fae and saves the son of a cruel Lord, she is drawn into political intrigue in the human and Fae worlds.
10. “The Lost Dreamer” by Lizz Huerta
Indir is a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers; able to see beyond reality, she carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the beloved king dies, his son has no respect for this time-honored tradition. King Alcan wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end — an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep. As violent change shakes Indir’s world to its core, she is forced to make an impossible choice: fight for her home or fight to survive. Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer — she has never been formally trained. Her mother exploits her daughter’s gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village, never staying in one place too long. Almost as if they’re running from something. Almost as if they’re being hunted. When Saya loses the necklace she’s worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn’t her only gift — and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie. As she comes to distrust the only family she’s ever known, Saya will do what she’s never done before, go where she’s never been, and risk it all in the search of answers.