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Best Fantasy Books for Teens

best fantasy books for teens

A fantasy novel is a type of fiction that is set in an imaginary world or universe, often with magical or supernatural elements. These stories usually involve fantastical creatures, mythical beings, and magical powers. The world in which the story is set is often vastly different from the real world, with its own unique rules and laws.

Fantasy novels can be set in various time periods, from historical to futuristic, and can also incorporate elements of other genres such as romance, adventure, and mystery. Many fantasy novels also explore themes such as good versus evil, power struggles, and the journey of self-discovery.

Many people love fantasy novels for a variety of reasons. One reason is that fantasy novels allow readers to escape from reality and enter a world of imagination and magic. Fantasy novels can transport readers to places and times that they could never experience in the real world, such as magical kingdoms or dystopian futures.

Additionally, fantasy novels often have well-developed characters and intricate plots, which can keep readers engaged and invested in the story. Many fantasy novels also explore universal themes, such as love, loss, and self-discovery, which can resonate with readers on a deep emotional level.

Furthermore, fantasy novels often provide readers with a sense of wonder and awe. They can inspire readers to dream big and imagine new possibilities. Fantasy novels can also be empowering, as they often feature characters who overcome great obstacles and challenge the status quo.

Overall, people who love fantasy novels are often drawn to the genre because of the unique and captivating worlds it creates, the engaging characters and plots, and the sense of wonder and inspiration it provides.

Best Fantasy Novels for Teenagers – Top 10

Many teenagers enjoy reading fantasy novels. The fantasy genre can be particularly appealing to teenagers because it allows them to explore their imaginations and escape from the pressures of daily life.

Additionally, many popular young adult fantasy novels feature relatable teenage protagonists who are navigating their way through coming-of-age experiences while also dealing with fantastical situations. These characters often grapple with issues such as self-identity, relationships, and personal growth, which can resonate with teenage readers.

Fantasy novels can also provide a sense of excitement and adventure for teenage readers. Many young adult fantasy novels feature action-packed plots with magic, adventure, and epic battles. These types of stories can be thrilling and engaging for teenagers who are looking for an exciting read.

Overall, while not all teenagers love fantasy novels, the genre can be quite popular among this age group due to its ability to provide an escape, relatable characters, and exciting adventures.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

“The Wrath & the Dawn” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Renée Ahdieh. The story is inspired by “A Thousand and One Nights” and is set in the city of Khorasan, which is ruled by the young and cruel Caliph, Khalid. Every night, Khalid takes a new bride, and every dawn, that bride is found dead.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Shahrzad, the main character, is the daughter of a prominent merchant who was one of Khalid’s victims. Seeking revenge, she volunteers to be Khalid’s next bride, intending to kill him. However, she finds herself drawn to him and realizes that there is more to his story than she initially thought.

As Shahrzad spends more time with Khalid, she uncovers the curse that has been placed upon him and his city, and she becomes determined to break it. She also finds herself embroiled in political intrigue, as she discovers that not everyone in the city is as they seem.

Throughout the novel, the tension between Shahrzad and Khalid builds as they struggle to overcome their personal demons and the obstacles in their path. “The Wrath & the Dawn” is a tale of love, betrayal, and redemption that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

“The Kingdom of Back” is a historical fantasy novel written by Marie Lu. The story follows the life of Nannerl Mozart, the older sister of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The novel imagines a world in which Nannerl had musical talent equal to her brother’s but was unable to pursue it because of societal expectations.

In the story, Nannerl discovers a magical kingdom called Back, where she meets a faerie prince named Hyacinth who offers to help her achieve her dream of becoming a composer. Hyacinth promises to make Nannerl’s compositions known to the world, but in exchange, she must provide him with her most precious possession.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

As Nannerl becomes more involved in the kingdom of Back, she starts to question the true intentions of Hyacinth and the cost of achieving her dreams. She also grapples with the challenges of being a woman in a society that limits her opportunities based on her gender.

Throughout the novel, readers are transported between the real world and the fantastical kingdom of Back, as Nannerl tries to balance her love for music, her obligations to her family, and her desire for adventure. “The Kingdom of Back” is a story of ambition, sacrifice, and the power of imagination, told through the lens of historical fiction and fantasy.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

“Born Wicked” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Jessica Spotswood. The story is set in an alternate version of nineteenth-century New England, where witchcraft is forbidden and punishable by death. The novel follows the lives of the Cahill sisters, who are all witches.

The eldest sister, Cate, has been tasked with keeping her sisters’ magic a secret and protecting them from the Brotherhood, a group of men who hunt witches. However, when Cate falls in love with a young man named Finn, she realizes that she cannot keep her sisters hidden forever.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

As Cate navigates her feelings for Finn and her duty to her family, she also becomes embroiled in a larger struggle for women’s rights and the freedom to practice magic. Along the way, she uncovers secrets about her family’s past and the true nature of the Brotherhood.

Throughout the novel, Cate and her sisters must use their magic to survive and fight for their rights, all while trying to keep their powers hidden from society. “Born Wicked” is a story of love, sisterhood, and the fight for freedom, set against the backdrop of a society that fears and oppresses those who are different.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

“The Guinevere Deception” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Kiersten White. The novel reimagines the legend of King Arthur and his court from the perspective of Guinevere, who is not quite what she seems.

In this version of the story, Guinevere arrives at Camelot as King Arthur’s bride, sent by Merlin to protect the king from a great danger. However, Guinevere is not just a simple princess – she is a magical being, created by Merlin himself to serve as a protector for Arthur.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

As Guinevere settles into life at court, she must navigate the complex politics and intrigue of Camelot, all while keeping her identity a secret. She forms relationships with other key players in the story, including Mordred, Lancelot, and Isolde, but must be careful not to reveal too much about herself.

As the story unfolds, Guinevere discovers that there is a plot to overthrow Arthur and seize control of Camelot. She must use her magical abilities and her wits to protect the king and uncover the traitors in their midst.

“The Guinevere Deception” is a story of love, betrayal, and the struggle for power, set in a world of magic and fantasy. It offers a fresh take on the classic tale of King Arthur and his knights, told from the perspective of a strong and complex female character.

Half Bad by Sally Green

“Half Bad” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Sally Green. The story is set in a world where witches and humans coexist, but there is a deep divide between them. The novel follows the life of Nathan, a half-witch, half-human boy who is hunted and feared by both sides.

Nathan is the son of a White Witch mother and a Black Witch father, making him a powerful and unique individual. However, he is also an outcast, despised by both White and Black witches because of his mixed heritage. Nathan is kept under constant surveillance and is subjected to brutal treatment by the authorities.

Half Bad by Sally Green

As Nathan comes of age, he must undergo a series of trials to determine whether he will be classified as a White Witch or a Black Witch. His fate rests on the decision of the council, a group of powerful witches who hold sway over his life.

Throughout the novel, Nathan struggles to come to terms with his identity and his place in the world. He forms relationships with other half-witches and rebels against the oppressive system that seeks to control him. Along the way, he discovers dark secrets about his family and the true nature of the witches’ society.

“Half Bad” is a story of persecution, prejudice, and the fight for freedom, set in a world of magic and danger. It explores themes of identity, belonging, and the power of individual choice in the face of overwhelming odds.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

“Seraphina” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Rachel Hartman. The story is set in a world where humans and dragons live side by side, but tensions between the two groups run high. The novel follows the life of Seraphina, a gifted musician and court musician, who has a dangerous secret – she is half-dragon.

As Seraphina navigates her role at court, she becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding the murder of the prince, which threatens to reignite the longstanding conflict between humans and dragons. She must work with Prince Lucian Kiggs, a human who has been tasked with investigating the murder, to unravel the mystery and prevent a war.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Throughout the novel, Seraphina grapples with her dual identity and the fear of being discovered as a half-dragon. She also forms relationships with other characters, including the dragon scholar Orma and the human princess Glisselda, and learns more about the history and politics of the world she inhabits.

“Seraphina” is a story of identity, acceptance, and the power of music, set in a world of magic and political intrigue. It explores themes of prejudice, discrimination, and the importance of finding common ground in order to build a more peaceful future.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

“Wicked Fox” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Kat Cho. The story is set in modern-day Seoul, South Korea, and follows the life of Gu Miyoung, a gumiho, or nine-tailed fox, who must feed on the energy of men in order to survive.

As Miyoung struggles with her dual nature, she meets a human boy named Jihoon who is fascinated by her. However, when Miyoung’s existence is threatened by a group of vengeful spirits, she and Jihoon must work together to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Throughout the novel, Miyoung grapples with her desire to be more human and her fear of losing herself to her fox nature. She also forms relationships with other supernatural beings, including a dokkaebi, or Korean goblin, and a shaman who helps her understand the origins of her powers.

“Wicked Fox” is a story of love, identity, and the struggle to belong, set in a world of Korean folklore and mythology. It explores themes of family, sacrifice, and the importance of finding one’s true place in the world.

Squire by Tamora Pierce

“Squire” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Tamora Pierce. It is the third book in the “Protector of the Small” quartet, which follows the story of Keladry of Mindelan, a girl who dreams of becoming a knight in a world where women are not allowed to serve as warriors.

In “Squire,” Keladry has completed her first year as a page and is now a squire, training under her knight master, Raoul of Goldenlake. She faces new challenges and responsibilities as she works to prove herself worthy of becoming a knight. Keladry is also faced with the daunting task of taking care of a group of young pages, one of whom is a troublemaker who is determined to make her life difficult.

Squire by Tamora Pierce

Throughout the novel, Keladry continues to confront the sexism and prejudice that exists within the world of knighthood. She also grapples with her own doubts and fears, particularly as she learns more about the responsibilities that come with being a knight. Keladry forms relationships with other characters, including her fellow squires and a new romance that develops with a fellow knight.

“Squire” is a story of perseverance, determination, and the fight for equality, set in a world of knights and chivalry. It explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the importance of staying true to oneself in the face of adversity.

A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell

“A Phoenix First Must Burn” is a young adult anthology edited by Patrice Caldwell. The book is a collection of short stories written by Black authors, and each story features Black characters and themes.

The stories in the anthology range from science fiction to fantasy to contemporary, but all explore themes of identity, community, and empowerment. Some stories are set in futuristic worlds, while others take place in the present day. All of the stories are united by a focus on Black experiences and perspectives.

A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell

The stories in “A Phoenix First Must Burn” feature a diverse cast of characters, including LGBTQ+ characters and characters with disabilities. They tackle a variety of issues, from racism and discrimination to self-discovery and love.

The anthology’s title comes from a quote by Octavia Butler, who said, “In order to rise from its own ashes, a phoenix first must burn.” The stories in the anthology reflect this sentiment, exploring the challenges and struggles that Black people face, while also celebrating their strength and resilience.

Overall, “A Phoenix First Must Burn” is a powerful and inspiring collection of stories that celebrates the diversity and complexity of Black experiences. It highlights the importance of representation in literature and the power of storytelling to connect us all.

The Reader by Traci Chee

“The Reader” is a young adult fantasy novel written by Traci Chee. The story is set in a world where reading and writing are forbidden, and knowledge is controlled by a powerful ruling class. The novel follows the journey of Sefia, a young girl who has lost everything she loves, including her family and her home.

As Sefia navigates this dangerous world, she discovers a mysterious object – a book – and realizes that it contains the key to unlocking her past and uncovering the truth about the world she lives in. Along the way, she teams up with a group of unlikely allies, including a boy named Archer who becomes her protector and friend.

The Reader by Traci Chee

Throughout the novel, Sefia grapples with her own identity and the legacy of her family. She also confronts the oppressive regime that seeks to control knowledge and power, and she learns the value of reading and writing as tools of resistance and rebellion.

“The Reader” is a story of adventure, mystery, and the power of knowledge, set in a world of magic and political intrigue. It explores themes of identity, family, and the importance of fighting for what you believe in. It also highlights the transformative power of literature and the dangers of a society that seeks to suppress knowledge and ideas.