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A couple of years back, I started diversifying my reads by getting into YA fantasy romance books.
Young adult fantasy is a very popular genre. Although YA fantasy typically features characters that are in the teens to early twenties, this is a genre that can also be enjoyed by adult readers.
Often times, these books are not very steamy (clean romance novels) because they are meant for younger readers. But there are some that can also be mildly steamy fantasy romances.
I have found that YA fantasy is often perfect for when I am looking for a fun, adventurous fantasy story that is not too heavy. Fantasy books are super popular among the booktok community too!
Something about the fantasy setting often makes the stakes of the romance seem higher and more intense than in a non-fantasy book.
Fantasy Book Lists
23 Best YA Fantasy Romance Books
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns of Roses is one of the most popular YA fantasy romance books out there.
This is the first book in a series following Feyre, a human girl who is taken away to the faerie realm as retribution for killing one of their own.
If you are looking for a fantasy romance novel heavy adventure, this is a great choice. And if you’ve already read this, then checkout, 24 Books Like A Court of Thorns and Roses
2. Daughter of The Moon Goddess by Sue Lyn Tan
Daughter of The Moon Goddess is inspired by Chinese mythology – the story of Chang’e and Houyi.
Many of you would know this story as the reason why many Chinese people celebrate the mid-autumn festival.
The plot focuses around their daughter, Xingyin who is determined to free her mother, (Chang’e – the moon goddess) that is bound to the moon.
With intricate world-building, relatable characters, a brewing romance plus an enticing plot, this book stirs the deepest of emotions within us.
3. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Six Crimson Cranes takes us through a story revolving around Princess Shiori and her six brothers trying to break a curse that was put on them by their stepmother, causing her brothers to turn into, you guessed it – crimson cranes.
This book is also a retelling of a fantasy tale called – The Wild Swans. Shiori has to break the curse but the catch is, she’s not allowed to utter a word. If she speaks, her brothers will die.
If you like a book with a strong female protagonist and a brewing romance, this book will be fun to read.
Read More: Review: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel is the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy with plenty of romance.
It’s about Tessa, an American girl who travels to Victorian London in search of her brother.
When she arrives, she finds herself pulled into a shadowy underworld full of magical creatures, captivated by two boys that she meets.
5. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
This is the first book in a very popular YA fantasy series. Jude is a human girl who has been raised in the faerie world, requiring her to be cutthroat and cunning in order to survive.
She hates the youngest faerie prince Cardan, who makes her life miserable.
But in a twist of fate, their paths cross and they find they might not hate each other so much after all.
If you’re a big fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, you’ll love Jude and Cardan’s relationship dynamic. One of the best fantasy enemies to lovers books I’ve ever read!
6. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Pirate King is a fun and adventurous story that is heavy on the romance.
This YA fantasy duology follows Alosa, the daughter of the most fearsome pirate king at sea.
She is sent on a mission by her father to infiltrate a rival pirate ship, and finds herself falling for her enemy, the ship’s first mate Riden.
7. Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
Divine Rivals is a clean romance fantasy novel following Iris Winnow, a writer who works for the local paper.
Her brother has gone to war, initiated by the gods and her grieving mother has quit her job. Iris has no choice but to compete for the columnist position at the local paper to support her family.
However, in her way stands Roman Kitt, a young and dashing man who is also competing for the same position.
The two cannot stand each other, but soon Roman finds out that the mysterious women he has been writing letters to is no other than Iris.
8. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception is about Lia, a princess who runs away with her handmaiden in order to escape her fate of an arranged marriage.
While hiding in a small village, she meets two handsome strangers, not realizing that one of them is the prince from another land that she was supposed to marry, and one is an assassin sent to kill her.
9. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
If you are looking for a whimsical and romantic fantasy series, you will love Caraval.
This is the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy following two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, who receive an invitation to the mysterious Caraval, a once-a-year competition where the audience become performers in an elaborate show.
10. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Kingdom of the Wicked follows Emilia, a witch living in secrecy in 19th century Sicily with her family.
When her twin sister is murdered, Emilia will stop at nothing to find the killer. Including using dark magic to summon the demon prince Wrath, and working with her enemy in order to avenge her sister’s death.
11. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
One of the best YA fantasy romance books is The Winner’s Curse. Kestrel is the daughter of a powerful general, and lives a life of privilege.
Arin is a slave, his kingdom conquered by Kestrel’s.
When a chance encounter and split-second decision binds the two of them together, they can’t help but falling in love.
But in order to be together, they must betray their people… and to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.
12. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone is one of the best fantasy romance books out in the bookish world. In fact, it is now a netlfix series! The first book in this YA fantasy trilogy is full of magic, romance, and action.
Alina is an orphan whose life is changed in an instant when her rare magical ability is revealed.
Soon she’s swept off to the palace, and must choose between her childhood best friend Mal, or the handsome, enigmatic Darkling.
13. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes is a YA fantasy series set in a brutal world inspired by ancient Rome.
Laia must go undercover as a slave in the Empire’s top military academy if she wants to find her brother.
Elias is the school’s finest solider – and secretly, its most unwilling. Their paths will cross in this intense series full of romance.
14. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
Set in New Orleans in the 19th century, The Beautiful is a YA fantasy book filled with romance.
It’s about Celine, a girl who has left her home in Paris after a scandal for a fresh start in New Orleans.
But soon she finds herself pulled into a dark and alluring magical underworld, ruled by the enigmatic Sébastien.
15. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first book in a beautifully written YA fantasy trilogy about star-crossed lovers.
Karou is an art student in Prague who is no stranger to magic. She doesn’t know much about her past, but she’s grown up running magical errands for an eclectic group of monsters who took her in.
When she encounters Akiva, a fiery angel who seems to be hunting her, she begins to learn the true secrets of her past.
16. These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan
If you like romances involving faeries, you will love These Hollow Vows.
Brie is a human girl whose sister is sold to a sadistic faerie king.
She’ll do whatever it takes to her sister back – but once she’s in the faerie realm, she finds herself pulled between two faerie princes, and discovers her own deeper role in the faerie courts.
17. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Serpent and Dove is an enemies to lovers fantasy romance. Lou is a witch, and Reid is a witch hunter.
But when a series of unlikely events bring the two together and force them into a marriage with one another, they start to fall in love despite their differences.
But what will happen when they learn each other’s true identities?
18. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
A Curse So Dark and Lonely is the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy that is based on Beauty and the Beast.
Rhen is a prince who has been cursed by a powerful enchantress, and the only way to break the curse is to find a girl who loves him.
That girl just might be Harper, although at first the two hate one another.
19. Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Furyborn is the first book in an epic YA fantasy trilogy following two young women living one thousand years apart that is full of plenty of romance.
Rielle is the prophesied Sun Queen. Eliana is a bounty hunter for the Undying Empire living a millennium later.
But their stories are connected in a surprising way.
20. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Sorcery of Thorns follows Elisabeth, an apprentice at a magical library.
When some dangerous magical grimoires escape from the library, she must team up with her enemy, a sorcerer named Nathaniel, and his demon servant, in order to track them down.
Along the way, Elisabeth and Nathaniel fall for each other.
21. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
If you are looking for an enemies to lovers fantasy romance, you will like To Kill a Kingdom.
Lira is a siren princess who has been turned into a human, the one thing she hates most, by her mother.
If she wants to return, she must bring her mother the heart of the human prince Elian, a notorious siren hunter who wants to kill her.
22. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
The Shadows Between Us is a standalone YA fantasy novel about a girl named Alessandra, who has a ruthless plot to marry the Shadow King, then kill him and take his throne.
This is a fantasy book with a heavy focus on the romance, which is an enemies to lovers romance between Alessandra and the Shadow King.
23. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Finally on this list of the best YA fantasy romance books is Red Queen.
This is the first book in a series about Mare, a Red-blooded thief in a world ruled by Silver-blooded elites.
But when a twist of fate reveals that Mare possesses an extraordinary magical gift, she finds her world turned upside-down as she is brought into the privileged palace life. There, she finds herself torn between brothers Cal and Maven, the two princes.
Wrap-Up: Best YA Fantasy Romance Books
These are the best YA fantasy romance books to add to your reading list.
Are there any other young adult fantasy romance books I should know about? Leave a comment for me below! I’m always looking for recommendations for more YA fantasy romance books to add to my reading list.