The Top YA Fantasy Series & Standalone Books From The 1990s-Now! (Part 1)
It’s no secret that fantasy and science fiction are my favorite book genres. I practically write every book review on these genres. And it’s one of the few book genres I go bonkers for.
Today I wanted to share with you (after a ridiculous amount of research) top YA fantasy series. These are the best YA fantasy series..not just from this year, but from `1980-now. In this post specifically we will be covering 2021 – 2010’s.
Before I jump into this post, it’s important to note how much you like a book solely depends on who you are as a person. I might like this book, but you might feel it’s hot trash. That’s okay. As long as we can all be respectful of our opinions, that’s all that really matters…right?
Up & Coming YA Fantasy Series of 2021
1. A Dark and Hollow Star – Ashley Shuttleworth
For centuries a group known as the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among humans, concealed by magic and bound by laws to do no harm to humans.
This type of arrangement has lasted long, until one day when a series of gruesome murders take place.
It’s up to four teens, whom each hold a key part behind the murders to create an alliance and find out the truth of what is happening in the fae world. If they fail they risk the destruction between faerie and human worlds alike.
And if that’s not enough, one of them has an ability to either tip the scales in their favor or not. – Read the Official Synopsis at Goodreads
2. Wings of Ebony – J. Elle
Rue’s life is turned upside down when her mother is shot dead at her doorstep.
The life she once knew is taken from her as she is swept from her home to live with a father she barely grew up with. Rue and her sisters move to an island, Ghizon.
Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering.
Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence.
And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life. An evil beyond belief is plaguing Ghizon and it is up to Rue to fight back.
She’s forced to confront the reality of her situation and become the person she is truly meant to be – Read the Official Synopsis on Goodread
3. The Infinity Courts – Akemi Dawn Bowman
Nami Miyamoto is living her life like any 18 year old girl. She has a great family, in college and is on her way to a party where the boy of her dreams is.
All is great… except for the fact that she is murdered before she arrives.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die.
She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world.
Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human – Read the Official Synopsis on Goodreads
Up & Coming YA Fantasy Standalones of 2021
1. Lore – Alexandra Bracken
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Many years ago, Lore Perseous fled the world in the wake of her familys sadistic murder by a rival line. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever.
But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees. – Read More on Goodreads
2. Sweet & Bitter Magic – Adrienne Tooley
“Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.
Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself.
Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.
When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim.
To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father…” Read More on Goodreads
3. We Are The Fire – Sam Taylor
In Vesimaa, children are taken from their families and forced to undergo a dangerous transformative procedure to serve in an army for their emperor.
This cruel emperor forces children to become fire-wielding soldiers in an army of thousands of children. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place.
Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both.
When they both discover of a new more dangerous plan the emperor plans on enacting with the stolen kids, Pran and Oksana vow to break free from the tyrant and save the other children along the way.
But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them.
Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves – Read the Official Synopsis on Goodreads
Top YA Fantasy Series from 2010 – 2019
1. The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments is a completed 6 book series that follows the life of Clary Fray. Clary and her friend were once normal teenagers living in New York when they come across strange folk known as Shadowhunters.
Shadowhunters are angel and human hybrids that were put on this earth to hunt the demons that escape the underworld.
When Clary’s mother is attacked by what is assumed a demon, she stumbles into the Shadowhunter world uncovering secrets of who she is and the world her mother hid her from.
In this thrilling novel, Clary is forced to face her fears as she crosses into this new world and finds out how to save her mother. But the people she meets along the way aren’t all who they say they are.
2. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts.
The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games.
But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love. – Read More on Goodreads
3. Throne of Glass by Sarah. J Mass
“After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council.
Suddenly, one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined” – Read More on Goodreads
Best YA Standalone Books from 2010-2019
1. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
This book is one of the few that can also be considered an Adult novel.
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.
Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.” – Read More on Goodreads
2. To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea.
Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own.
To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling.
When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her?
And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?” – Read More on Goodreads
3. Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson
“… Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains.
If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital.
With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself…” – Read More on Goodreads
There are so many YA fantasy series and standalones that can be labeled as the “best” or the “top”, at the end of the day it really depends on what you think is considered the best.
I’m so excited for all the up and coming YA fantasy series like Wings of Ebony, all of the books listed here today that are being released in 2021 are some of my most anticipated of the entire year!
What book are you looking forward to reading in 2021?
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