10 Spellbinding Fantasy Novels for Young Adults

Whether you like to daydream about swashbuckling pirates, faraway kingdoms, or having magical powers, there's something for you in the fantasy genre. If you're also a fan of YA fiction, check out the ten books listed below. They all feature fascinating characters and immersive worlds that will captivate the imaginations of teens and adults alike. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

10 Spellbinding Fantasy Novels for Young Adults

Title Author More by the Author
1. Court of Fives Kate Elliott Poisoned Blade Buried Heart
2. Dreamland Robert L. Anderson
3. The Thickety J.A. White The Whispering Trees Well of Witches
4. The Midnight Sea Kat Ross Blood of the Prophet Queen of Chaos
5. The Waking Land Callie Bates The Memory of Fire The Soul of Power
6. Even the Darkest Stars Heather Fawcett All the Wandering Light Beneath Ceaseless Skies
7. Child of a Hidden Sea A.M. Dellamonica A Daughter of No Nation The Nature of a Pirate
8. The Merchant of Death D.J. MacHale The Lost City of Faar The Never War
9. Seriously Wicked Tina Connolly Seriously Shifted Seriously Hexed
10. Magic of Blood and Sea Cassandra Rose Clarke The Mad Scientist's Daughter Star's End

10 Great Fantasy Films For Young Adults

  1. A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
  2. Dragonslayer (1981)
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
  4. The Lord of the Rings (2001)
  5. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  6. The Dark Crystal (1982)
  7. Percy Jackson & the Olympians (2010)
  8. The Magic Sword (1962)
  9. The Giver (2014)
  10. The Last Unicorn (1982)

Common Fantasy Tropes

The possibilities in this genre are endless, and no two authors create exactly the same world. Still, there are several common tropes that writers love to come back to again and again, sometimes adding their own unique twists. Here are a few beloved fantasy staples:

How Fantasy Reflects Our World

In Depth

Fantasy tales let readers get lost in unique worlds. Stories that take place in this genre give us a chance to briefly escape reality and experience the magic of imagination. We've compiled some of the most spellbinding novels that young adults will love. In no particular order, here is our list of ten.

Starting off at #1 is "Court of Fives" by Kate Elliott. In a world that is divided into two social classes, Jessamy, daughter of an upper-class Patron soldier and a Commoner mother, secretly trains for a prestigious athletic competition called The Fives. However, after her father's powerful sponsor dies, her family is put under political scrutiny, causing her mother and sisters to be imprisoned. As Jessamy is taken as a full-time competitor for the games, she uses her skill, boldness, and growing friendship with Lord Kalliarkos to save her family.

What we have at #2 is "Dreamland," which tells the story of Dea, a 17-year-old dream walker who gets sick when she doesn't enter people's dreams. Having the same gift, her mother sets out walking rules for Dea in order to avoid monsters. Having a hard time making friends, she is drawn to a mysterious boy named Connor and finds herself defying the rules by visiting his dreams more than once. Written by Robert L. Anderson, this highly imaginative novel takes readers on a journey through the world of fantasies and nightmares.

Having a hard time making friends, she is drawn to a mysterious boy named Connor and finds herself defying the rules by visiting his dreams more than once.

At #3 is "The Thickety," written by J.A. White and illustrated by Andrea Offermann. It follows the life of twelve-year-old Kara, who, at the age of five, was forced to watch her mother's execution because of witchcraft. Growing up in a town that condemns magic, she and her brother are always persecuted by the villagers. Until one day, when a bird summons her to a forbidden forest, she finds a strange book that awakens her magical capabilities. As Kara becomes more obsessed with practicing magic, she finds herself facing the same challenges as her mother.

Coming in at #4 is "The Midnight Sea" by Kat Ross. Nazarfeen wants nothing but revenge for her sister who is killed by undead monsters called Druj. So when the opportunity arises, she immediately joins the Water Dogs, an elite group who each link themselves with enslaved demons known as Daevas in order to harness their power against their own kind. However, when Nazarfeen gets physically and spiritually linked with a Daeva named Darius, their forbidden romance causes her to question her loyalty to their empire.

Next up, at #5 is "The Waking Land." Penned by Callie Bates, it follows the viewpoint of Lady Elanna, who is forced to conceal her magic ability to control plants. She is kidnapped at the age of five by King Antoine, who raises her like a daughter but lies about her identity. After the king mysteriously dies, Elanna is accused of murder. As she finds refuge in her hometown, it's not long before she discovers what she is capable of doing.

Penned by Callie Bates, it follows the viewpoint of Lady Elanna, who is forced to conceal her magic ability to control plants.

What we have at #6 is "Even the Darkest Stars," which tells the story of Kamzin, a shaman apprentice who dreams of becoming one of the emperor's royal explorers. When a great explorer named River arrives at their village and is seeking someone who can assist him in climbing the perilous Raksha mountain, he initially chooses Lusha, Kamzin's older sister. However, when Lusha disappears, he turns to Kamzin and her best friend, Tem, for help. Heather Fawcett presents a harrowing journey of exploration filled with magic, mythology, romance, and family drama.

At #7 is "Child of a Hidden Sea" by A.M. Dellamonica. While searching for her birth family, Sophie finds herself transported to the world of Stormwrack. Consisting of numerous islands with various cultures, this land is the home of Sophie's real family. Amazed by the place's environment and magical elements, she persuades her adoptive brother to join her in exploration. However, after her aunt is murdered, she discovers that her homeworld is not as wonderful as it seems to be.

Next, at #8 is "The Merchant of Death." The story begins when 14-year-old Bobby discovers that he is a time traveler. Together with his Uncle Press, he travels to an alternate dimension called Denduron, where a tribe known as Milago is enslaved by another tribe called Bedoowan. Soon after they arrive, Press is captured by the Bedoowan. Bobby must find a way to save his uncle from execution and stop an evil traveler from spreading chaos. D.J. MacHale presents readers with a fascinating adventure tale.

Bobby must find a way to save his uncle from execution and stop an evil traveler from spreading chaos.

At #9 is "Seriously Wicked," which tells the tale of 15-year-old Camellia who is raised by Sarmine, a wicked witch who wants her to also practice magic. Not wanting to be like her adoptive mother, she does everything to stop Sarmine's advances towards world domination. However, when she summons a demon who possesses her school crush, Camellia finds herself turning to magic to save him and everyone around her. Written by Tina Connolly, this lighthearted fantasy novel features a unique perspective on witchcraft.

Finally, at #10 is "Magic of Blood and Sea." Cassandra Rose Clarke gives us a thrilling adventure full of blood magic and sea battles. It follows the life of Ananna, a pirate princess who runs away from an arranged marriage with someone from an ally pirate clan. As she fights for her life, she accidentally saves Naji, an assassin who was sent by her fiance's family. This triggers a curse that forces them to become allies. As they embark on a journey to find the cure, romance starts to blossom between them.