Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Hi there and happy Tuesday! I hope you’re having a great day. Today I’m highlighting 10 great books if you love YA fantasy. I haven’t done a Top 10 Tuesday in a while, but I couldn’t resist highlighting some of my recent favorite YA fantasy reads. This and romance are my two favorite genres, and all of the books on my list include a bit of romance. Let’s check them out!
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1. Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
Title: Once upon a Broken Heart
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: Sept. 28, 2021
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Synopsis: A new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.
Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.
But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…
2. Shielded by Kaylynn Flanders
Author: Kaylynn Flanders
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.
The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.
As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.
Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.
3. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Title: Cinderella is Dead
Author: Kalynn Bayron
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Synopsis: It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
4. Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift
Title: Cast in Firelight
Author: Dana Swift
Series: Wickery (Book 1)
Page Length: 448
Publication Date: Jan. 19, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.
Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.
Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.
Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.
Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.
5. Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jenson
Title: Dark Shores
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: Dark Shores (Book 1)
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Synopsis: In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
A SAILOR WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.
A DANGEROUS QUEST
When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.
6. Fable by Adrienne Young
Author: Adrienne Young
Series: Fable (Book 1)
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: Sept. 1, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
7. Faye and the Ether by Nicole Bailey
Title: Faye and the Ether
Author: Nicole Bailey
Page Length: 284
Publication Date: Oct. 27, 2020
Synopsis: For as long as I can remember, the sea has called to me, luring me to explore the secrets hidden beneath its cresting waves.
Faye is tossed into a current of uncertainty as she deliberates over her college choices. More than anything she wants to study by the sea, forever chasing the line where the ocean meets the horizon. But she finds herself dragged down by the riptide of her and her mother’s financial restraints. How can she be true to herself when anchored by her world’s limitations?
As the leader of the deadliest group in the Ether, Daron is at the top of his game. Yet there is one thing he’s failed at time and again–finding the human-raised Ether. It’s a known fact amongst his team that success on that particular mission would change their lives in unimaginable ways. Yet Daron couldn’t comprehend how true that was… until he saw Faye.
Guided by Daron, Faye enters a world she never knew existed. One filled with mythical creatures, struggling to coexist. As Faye wrestles with where she fits in this magical realm, secrets are revealed that turn the tide once more.
Inky darkness is seeping ever closer. Can Faye and Daron work together to save Ether and themselves? Or will the world be crushed under a wave of evil?
From author Nicole Bailey comes a young adult adventure filled with magic, intrigue, and the inner well of strength that flows through us all.
8. Mercurial by Naomi Hughes
Author: Naomi Hughes
Page Length: 412
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Synopsis: Snow, blood, and magic: this story is perfect for fans of the Grishaverse and The Winner’s Kiss series.
Everyone in the Alloyed Empire fears the Destroyer. The metal in her blood gives her incendiary powers, and the coldness in her heart makes her the empress’s perfect weapon…until a rebel attack leaves her with no magic and no memories.
Her bodyguard, Tal, has long since regretted his idealistic hope of saving the Destroyer. Now that she’s powerless he can finally end her reign of terror—if he can stop himself from falling for the wicked, funny, utterly unfamiliar girl she’s become.
Nyx was furious when her brother, Tal, abandoned her to protect a tyrant. Now, she hones herself as a rebel assassin until she can kill the Destroyer and rescue Tal. But the closer she gets, the more she realizes the entire empire hinges on the decisions the three of them will make…
9. The Fate of Crowns by Rebecca L. Garcia
Title: The Fate of Crowns
Author: Rebecca L. Garcia
Series: The Fate of Crowns (Book 1)
Publication Date: Jan. 5, 2021
Synopsis: With my brother’s death came the crown and all the trappings that accompany it. Now, my father, the most dangerous man in Magaelor, seeks to control my future.
But fate has other plans.
Thrown into mer-filled waters, I’m dragged into the rival kingdom of Berovia. Surrounded by those who murdered my brother and wished my entire family dead, I must find my way back to my kingdom. There, a marriage between myself and the dark fae prince could bring peace to a century’s old division between the fae and sorcerers.
But dark revelations and deadly lies threaten to destroy my destiny. I must make the choice between my duty, family, and heart before it’s too late.
Will I allow myself to become the exalted Queen of everything? Or be reduced to a cautionary tale as the shattered princess of nothing?
10. The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning
Title: The Princess Will Save You
Author: Sarah Henning
Series: The Princess Will Save you
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen
A STABLE BOY
When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: Marry the leader of one of the four neighboring kingdoms, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. And to force her hand, her beloved, the stable boy Luca, is kidnapped.
But Amarande was raised to be a warrior, not a sacrifice.
And nothing will stop her from saving her true love and rescuing her kingdom.
The acclaimed author of Sea Witch turns the classic damsel-in-distress tale on its head with this story of adventure, identity, and love.
Have you read any of these books? Which YA fantasy would you recommend? Comment below!