11 Action-Packed Young Adult Fantasy Novels
Readers of all ages are enthralled by tales of faraway lands, where magic is real and the battle of Good vs Evil rages on. But young readers are particularly fond of fantasy, so if you are a young adult, or the parent of one, you've come to the right place. The eleven novels on this list are action-packed adventures full of daring heroes living in strange and amazing worlds. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
11 Action-Packed Young Adult Fantasy Novels
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:
- Dark Lord
- The Epic Quest
- Medieval Setting & Folklore
- The Chosen One
Classic Works of Fantasy
The authors on this list stand on the shoulders of many famous writers who came before them and influenced the genre. Here are a few works that made fantasy what it is today:
- A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
- Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Once and Future King by T.H. White
- Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
How To Build a Fictional World
Sometimes, we just want to escape reality by reading fantasy novels that take us to entirely fictional worlds full of magic and mythical creatures. These usually feature a protagonist going on a quest against evil, or maybe even a war of epic proportions. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of eleven action-packed young adult fantasy novels. Take note that this list is done in no particular order.
First up, at #1, we have "Mask of Shadows" by Linsey Miller. It revolves around Sallot Leon, a genderfluid thief from the dissolved country of Nacea. Sal is on a quest to avenge Nacea, and in order to do this, they will have to infiltrate the Queen's court by joining her group of personal assassins. Now, Sal has to learn how to outsmart and kill several unnamed candidates, all while trying to uncover the truth behind the fall of their home country.
Second, at #2, is "Red Queen." Written by Victoria Aveyard, it's the first book of her eponymous series, and it's set in a world where society is divided according to the color of their blood. Mare Barrow is a poor thief who has red blood, which means that she's supposed to be just an average person. When people find out that Mare somehow has the power to control electricity, the nobles take her in and pretend that she's a long-lost Silver princess.
When people find out that Mare somehow has the power to control electricity, the nobles take her in and pretend that she's a long-lost Silver princess.
Now that she's in a position of power, she has to decide between continuing to hide the truth or helping a group of red-blooded rebels.
Next, at #3, is "Freed by Flame and Storm" by Becky Allen. It's about Jae, a girl who is trying to free her people from a curse that turns them into subservient slaves. Conflict arises when she realizes that freeing everyone could result in turmoil, but she also knows that leaving them as is would be morally unjust. Aside from her own moral dilemmas, she also has to deal with the ruling class, who are all out to get her.
Next up, at #4, we have "Revenge and the Wild" by Michelle Modesto. When Westie was young, she lost her family to a group of cannibals. Several years later, she's adopted by an inventor named Nigel, and now she's hunting down the people who killed her family. One day, a few wealthy individuals invest in Nigel's newest invention, and Westie immediately recognizes them as the same group of cannibals from her past. Now, she has to find a way to prove their guilt, and it won't be easy.
Several years later, she's adopted by an inventor named Nigel, and now she's hunting down the people who killed her family.
At #5 is "Lost Crow Conspiracy." Written by Rosalyn Eves, it's the second entry of her "Blood Rose Rebellion" series. Set in an alternate 19th century Europe, it's about a girl named Anna Arden, who managed to break a spell that prevented the lower-class from wielding magic. The downside to her actions is that she also inadvertently released the Praetheria, ancient creatures that are being discriminated against and enslaved all across Europe.
Now, she has to figure out how to stop an oncoming war between different nations, and the Praetheria find themselves caught in the middle of it all.
At #6 is "These Rebel Waves" by Sara Raasch. It revolves around the kidnapping of an Argridian delegate, who suddenly went missing during peace talks with the council of the magical island known as Grace Loray. The story follows three very different characters as they try to uncover a conspiracy that threatens to start another war between the two countries. It's a fast-paced adventure full of twists and turns that are sure to keep you on your toes.
It's a fast-paced adventure full of twists and turns that are sure to keep you on your toes.
Next up, at #7, we have "Fate of Flames." Written by Sarah Raughley, it's the first entry of her "Effigies" series. Set in an alternate version of Earth, it focuses on a girl named Maia, one of the world's four protectors who can control certain elements. Maia is chosen to become the next fire-manipulating effigy, and now she has to learn how to work with three other girls in order to stop a man who can control evil creatures known as Phantoms.
Next, at #8, is "Caraval." It's the first book in Stephanie Garber's eponymous trilogy, and it tells the story of Scarlett Dragna, a girl who has always dreamed of seeing the magical world of Caraval. When she finally gets an opportunity to visit it, her sister is kidnapped as a part of a dangerous game, and now she has to find her before it's too late.
At #9 is "Circle of Shadows" by Evelyn Skye. Sora and Daemon are apprentice warriors training to become protectors of the kingdom of Kichona. In an effort to prove their worth, they infiltrate a mysterious group of soldiers that they encountered during a scouting mission, and this decision may have dire consequences for both of them.
In an effort to prove their worth, they infiltrate a mysterious group of soldiers that they encountered during a scouting mission, and this decision may have dire consequences for both of them.
Next, at #10, is "The Traitor's Kiss" by Erin Beaty. It's about a teenager named Sage Fowler, a girl who is considered to be unfit for marriage. She's an apprentice matchmaker whose job is to help arrange marriages to form political alliances. Sage's skills are put to the test when she's tasked with becoming a spy, and now she has to help a soldier uncover a conspiracy that threatens their kingdom.
Finally, at #11, we have "Gates of Thread and Stone" by Lori M. Lee. It revolves around Kai, a girl with the power to manipulate the threads of time. She has no memory of her past, and when her adoptive brother goes missing, she decides to go on a quest to figure out what happened to him. Along the way, she learns more about herself, the people close to her, and the mysterious origin of her powers.