18 Popular Fantasy Book Series for Young Adults

best fantasy book series for Young Adults to Read
18 Popular Fantasy Book Series for Young Adults 26

Over the years, we, Beyond the Bookends, have developed a love for fantasy book series for young adults. It always started with reading one book, usually the first in a series, and led to so many amazing fantasy novels!

Some of these are considered the most popular YA fantasy books and some are our favorite young adult fantasy series.

A young adult fantasy book is written for readers between the ages of 12-18. Fantasy novels are books that have magic, take place in a different world, and/or have magical creatures in them. Many books written for YA are not appropriate for readers 12-15 years old and are more appropriate for readers ages 16 and up due to sexual content.

If you are looking for the best young adult fantasy series for readers ages 12-14, we suggest our Ultimate List of Middle-Grade Fantasy.

*YA Fantasy Series Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Fantasy Series for Young Adults

Best Fantasy Book Series for Young Adults

THrone of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This epic book series from Sarah J. Maas was started when Sarah was still a teenager! It’s all about Celaena, an imprisoned assassin who is offered freedom by acting as the champion for Prince Dorian.

As she prepares to earn her freedom in the competition, she begins training sessions with the captain of the guard. As she tries to acclimate to court life, the prince is drawn to her, and a love triangle forms.

The YA fantasy series gets better and better with each book! A total must-read if you are looking for books like ACOTAR and a must-read if you love fae books. Or head over to our guide on all of Sarah J. Maas’s books.

caraval

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

When it comes to YA Fantasy books, this one is a classic. The story begins with letters from Scarlett to Legend, the leader of Caraval- a game played once a year in a far-off destination.

Every year, every time it is played, the game is different. Filled with magic and wonder, this destination-based competition is played by Scarlet as she tries to get this year’s prize – her sister Tella – before anyone else can.

There is a love story and magic as the stakes get higher the longer Scarlet plays. This is the first book in a three-part series that gets better and more complicated with each new book. This series of YA fantasy romance books is a must-read.

Find this book in Stephanie Garber Books / YA Fantasy Romance Books / Books Like the Selection

storm and fury

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I loved the Disney cartoon Gargoyles when I was a little girl, so when I saw a YA Fantasy book that is also a paranormal romance book, I knew I needed it. I read this to help ease me out of my House of Earth and Blood book hangover and it was a perfect read. This pick from fantasy romance books for

It’s actually a spin-off of one of Armentrout’s other YA fantasy book series, which I didn’t know until after I read the story. I didn’t feel like I missed anything having read this first. Gargoyles are Wardens out to fight demons and protect humans, and one special human in particular. This urban fantasy is as much romance as fantasy.

Magic Fantasy Book Series for Young Adults

Children of blood and bone

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

I enjoyed this book which is the first in a fantasy series for Young Adults. I listened to the amazing audiobook and I loved listening to the story the way that the story was intended to sound. We were so happy to include this amazing YA fantasy book in our list of books set in Africa. (Orisha is a mythical Nigeria).

When magic disappeared from Orisha, Zelie’s world changed forever.  When the king ordered all the Maji killed, Zelie was left without a mother or magic. She is on a quest to find revenge and bring magic back to Orisha. This is one of the fantasy books for teens that builds a whole new world and brings young adult fantasy books to a whole new level.

Shadow and Bone and more books by Jewish writers

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I was so excited when I learned that Netflix was making this young adult fantasy book series into an adaptation. I think it will be amazing on screen and I am so curious to see if they keep to the book or change things, which is so often the case.

Alina Starkov is an orphan who has never excelled in anything. When her regiment is sent into the fold and her best friend is in danger of being killed, she unleashes a power, unlike anything anyone has seen. It may be the answer to the wars that have ravaged her nation.

Find this book in Books Like Shadow and Bone / Leigh Bardugo Books in Order/ Netflix Adaptations

legendborn

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Why did I not read this book before now? In a way, I’m glad I just read this because I only have to wait a few more months for the sequel in this young adult fantasy series. If you love YA fantasy books, this King Arthur re-imagining is a must-read.

Bree Matthews’s mother died in a tragic accident and she cannot seem to recover. When she has a chance to attend a special program for bright high school students at UNC-Chapel Hill, she jumps at the chance.

When Bree witnesses a magical attack on her first night there, her world is thrown upside down as she enters the world of the Legendborn. It is a secret society of students with powerful magic who are also descendants of King Arthur! This is one of the best re-tellings I have read.

Find this book in fantasy books for Teens / Books About Secret Societies / Dark Academia

The Gilded wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

This YA historical fantasy takes place in Paris in 1889 where coercion, magic, betrayal, and murder are the norm.   At the Exposition Universelle World Fair is an artifact that will give the owner magical Forging abilities.

Severin and his fiercely loyal friends come together to take the artifact in the hope of also obtaining Serverin’s inheritance. Severin finds himself torn between his loyalty to his friends and his desire for revenge. I loved this first book in this YA fantasy book series.

the city of brass

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

I read this book a few years ago when we first started the blog. This book was one of the books that got me back into reading YA fantasy, one of my favorite genres to read.

This historical fantasy takes place in 18th-century Cairo. When Nahri accidentally summons Dara, a Djinn warrior, she is swept to Daevabad, the City of Brass.

Soon Nahri must learn who to trust in a city when magic cannot shield her from the danger that threatens from all around her. This is the first book in a three book YA fantasy series!

Dystopian Fantasy Book Series for Young Adults

Cinder

Cinder by Melissa Meyer

This four-book series is set in the future in a time of disease and war.  This series is part twisted fairy tale, part dystopia, and part sci-fi fantasy.  

Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel are re-imagined as you have never seen them before. All of them are smart and strong women far from the helpless damsels in distress we know them to be. 

The first in this series of classic book retellings introduces us to Cinder.  She is a cyborg (part human, part machine) who lives with her……..you guessed it….. two step-sisters and stepmother.

Find this book in Books Like Cinder / YA Dystopian Books / YA Romance Fantasy Books / Best Teen Fantasy / Books Like The Selection

Red Queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I have been on some weird dystopian kick recently – which is funny because I had to be forced to read the Hunger Games. Now I can’t seem to stop! I’m sure I’ll switch gears this summer, but I love this young adult fantasy novel.

In this world, those with red blood are common and those with silver blood are elite with superhuman abilities. In the war against Silvers and Reds, Mare Barrow is special and so is this book. The ending was a total shock! I couldn’t put it down.

Find this book in Books like The Hunger Games / Young Adult Romance fantasy books / Books like ACOTAR / YA Dystopian Novels / Books Like The Selection

hunger games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is the first book in the Hunger Games series and it is epic! In the aftermath of what was once North America, there are 12 Districts surrounding the capital.

Each year, each district sends one boy and one girl to fight to the death in a competition called “The Hunger Games”. Katniss Everdeen volunteers as a tribute to save her younger sister, Prim, from certain death in the games where it is kill-or-be-killed.

This sci-fi book has everything but at its heart, it is a book about family, love, and survival. This young adult book has a heart while making you turn the pages!

Find this book in Books Like the Hunger Games / Young Adult Fantasy Series / Books About Sisters / Sci-Fi Books / Books Like Fourth Wing / YA Dystopian Novels

Deadly Education and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Thank goodness Hogwarts is nothing like this school. There is not a single first year that would survive. This magic school, The Scholomance, is bursting with magic that is very dark and unforgiving.

Losing a few classmates is nothing surprising. You either graduate or die. If you love the dark side of Harry Potter, you will love this YA fantasy book.

El, along with all other magical children are sent to the Schoolomnace because even though there is a chance they will die inside, they will almost certainly be killed on the outside. There are no holidays and no packages from home. El isn’t exactly worried because she has powers that make her the most dangerous thing inside the walls.

But Orion Lake keeps saving her life and she cannot understand why. All she knows is that she is supposed to stay away from him.

Find this book in Dark Academia Books /Young Adult Dystopian Novels / Best Young Adult Fantasy Series / Fantasy Books for Teens

Fantasy Romance Book Series for Young Adults

court of thorns and roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This book has a cult-like following for a reason. The first book in the series is a loose fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in the world of Prythian. Magical creatures, humans, and fae are all prominent in the book.

When Feyre kills a wolf in the words, a creature arrives to her house to drag her to a magical land that she has only heard about in stories told to terrify children. Now, she is to remain a captor of Tamlin, a fae, as retribution.

This is a fast-paced, addicting, fantasy romance series with a love triangle that develops by the end of the novel. Book two is jaw-dropping! This series is on its way to becoming a classic that you will want to binge in one week.

While this book is technically a YA fantasy series, the books become very steamy and we see this as one of the best fantasy books for adults as well. We are so excited this is going to be one of the Hulu book adaptations.

Find this book in Books Like ACOTAR / Sarah J. Maas Books / Enemies-to-Lovers/ YA Fantasy / Best Romance Novels of all Time.

Zodiac Academy and more books set in college and high school

Zodiac Academy: The Awakening by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Whew. I have found my newest YA Fantasy series addiction. Orphan twins Tory and Darcy find out they are actually Fae after their 18th birthday. And not just any Fae, they are the heirs to the throne and they only need to graduate from Zodiac Academy to claim their throne.

The problem comes in the form of the 4 Heirs – The boys in each elemental order who have been raised to share the throne and rule Solaria together in the Twins’ absence.

They aren’t planning to give up their claim anytime soon and they use their considerable magic in the air, fire, earth, and water elements to put these girls to the test.

This urban fantasy series is on fire hot, with lots of steam, bullying romance, and deadly situations. Even though this is one of a few great books set in high school, do NOT read this one if you are under 18. But if you are looking for books like ACOTAR, you’ll devour this one too! Or check out our list of books like Zodiac Academy!

A Curse so Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmererir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=ab68078db1465da19076d014e383dea9& cb=1590787287915

This is a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I read it for a buddy read with some bookstagram friends. I love that the modern retelling of some of the classics give more power to the women in the story.  

I enjoyed this first in the series of YA fantasy romance books although it is a lot tamer than the ⁣other books in the series.  It is not a typical Beauty and the Beast retelling because it has more of a  love triangle but, I don’t want to reveal more.⁣ It’s the first in the series about Prince Rhen and his kingdom.

Find this book in Books Like Cinder / Books like A Court of Thorns and Roses,

Popular YA Fantasy Series

Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of Air #1) by Holly Black

When Jude was seven years old, her parents were murdered and she was taken to live in the high court of the Faeries with her two sisters. Now, ten years later, Jude is living as a human among faeries and trying to find her place in Court.

This is book is filled with angst, treachery, and drama that makes it completely addicting. I ordered the sequel the minute that I was done with this book, which is the first in a trilogy.

If you are looking for books like A Court of Thorns and Roses, this pick is tamer but addictive as well. This series should be on your radar for books that are more appropriate for the younger YA audience as well.

Find this book in YA Fantasy Romance / Fae Books/ Books Like A Court of Thorns and Roses / YA Fantasy Series / Ultimate List of YA Fantasy / Enemies-to-lovers books

fallen

Fallen by Lauren Kate

I picked up the first two books in this YA fantasy series after turning in a few books and quickly fell in love with the first book and the story of Daniel and Luce’s love.

Luce has been sent to Sword and Cross boarding school, a place for other troubled kids like her. The minute she gets to the school, Daniel catches her eye but he will not give her the time of day. But there is more to Daniel and Luce will discover his secrets no matter what the cost.

This Fae series is addicting. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you are looking for romance books about second chances (or third or fourth), you will love this book. If you are into Rhysand, Azriel, Cassian, and the other winged warriors of the Night Court, then you will love this series of books like A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Find this book in Fae Books / Best Fantasy Books for Teens / Urban Fantasy/

Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

When Jacob experiences a family tragedy, he finds himself on a remote island off the coast of Whales. He Discovers a crumbling ruin that was once Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

As Jacob explores the ruins, he finds clues that lead him to believe that these children might be alive even though it seems impossible. This fantastic story is mixed with vintage photographs that bring the characters to life and is the first in a fantasy series for young adults. This pick is also on our list of middle-grade fantasy books because the content is appropriate for all ages.

Twilight

Twilight (The Twilight Saga) by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight started a phenomenon and obsession with vampires in the same way that Harry Potter created an obsession with magic. This is my opinion but I am sticking with it. This is a must-read young adult fantasy book and one of the best young adult fantasy series.

This vampire series is lacking the gore and fear factor and makes up for it with an amazing romance. When Bella Swan goes to live with her father, she is immediately drawn to Edward Cullen, a mysterious teenager with an old soul. Soon, she discovers he is a vampire. I will not ruin the rest of this cult-like pick from vampire books. But, if you have not read this vampire book yet, what are you waiting for?

It is an iconic urban fantasy series. This love story definitely qualifies as one of the best romance novels of all time. If you love vampire books, you can also check out our list of the best fantasy books for teens.

Eragon

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini

Eragon, a 15-year-old boy, believes that he is merely a farm boy until one day, he discovers a polished blue stone in the forest. When the stone hatches and a dragon emerges, Eragon enters a world full of magic and power that he never knew existed.

Eragon discovers that he is a dragon rider, one of the few left.  This middle-school fantasy series is a world of dragons, magic, and power.  Almost a “Dragon Masters” for the more mature reader, this series will take you into a world of fantasy you won’t forget. This is another pick on our list of YA fantasy books that are technically middle-grade but worth the read.

FAQ About Young Adult Fantasy Book Series

What is a young adult fantasy book?

A young adult fantasy book is written for readers between the ages of 12-18. Fantasy novels are books that have magic, take place in a different world, and/or have magical creatures in them.
Many books written for YA are not appropriate for readers 12-15 years old and are more appropriate for readers ages 16 and up due to sexual content.

What age is young adult fantasy for?

Young adult books are written for readers between the ages of 12-18. That being said, many books written for YA are not appropriate for readers 12-15 years old and are more appropriate for readers ages 16 and up due to mature content.

Is Mistborn a young adult?

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson is considered an adult fantasy novel due to its mature themes. There is significant world-building and a complex storyline.

Is Throne of Glass a YA series?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is considered a fantasy series for young adults. This is one of the series that we do not recommend for younger readers because of the mature subject matter.

Middle grade fantasy header

45+ Best Fantasy Books for Tweens and Middle Grade Fantasy Readers

If you are a huge fantasy fan, check out some of these fantasy book series, while technically middle-grade, there are books for adults to love.

Best YA Fantasy books every fantasy lover needs to read.

Ultimate List of YA Fantasy

If fantasy books are your favorite books, then these are the perfect book lists for you. We carefully divided them into sub-genres.

Fantasy book lists

Fantasy Book Lists

Do you love fantasy as much as we do? Come have a peek at all of our fantasy book lists to create your ultimate TBR! We have more young adult romance fantasy books for you to obsess about.

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