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In the wake of the young adult fantasy genre’s success in the past few years, it appears to be reaching new heights with each passing year.

But how does one define the genre of young adult fantasy? Young adult fantasy is one of the understudies of fiction with a wide range of themes. The Young Adult fantasy genre has achieved a massive amount of mainstream popularity. YAlit centers on teens, but the 2012 case study states that 55% of readers are adults; that proves the phrase “age is just a number.”

Let’s get a glimpse of deep and textured worlds together with these 8 most popular young adult fantasy books of all time:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J.Maas:

It is an intense and thrilling adult high fantasy read that revolves around a young mortal huntress named Feyre, who finds herself entangled with lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled the world.

Feyre is swept into a treacherous magical land of fairies by one of the high Fae after killing a faery unknowingly. She discovers the life of fairies and the curse that can be broken only by her. Her journey continues as she gets entwined in a bargain with a high lord and a looming war; Feyre must decide whom to trust and survive the impending doom.

Maas crafted a masterpiece that delivers a powerful female protagonist and a plot infusing action, intrigue, romance, and a twist in a tale.

Despite being a fantasy read, I didn’t expect Maas to outdo the intrigue and emotions, which seem realistic. This volume will always be on my top Young Adult Fantasy list.

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“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.” – Tamlin

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.” – Rhysand

“There are good days and hard days for me – even now. Don’t let the hard days win.” – Mor

“To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.” – Rhysand

2. The Mortal Instruments By Cassandra Clare:

The reader will experience one hell of a ride into the fascinating world with all sorts of supernatural beings. It is an action-packed six-book series with witty lines, an edgy plot, and a twist in Clare style.

Clary Fray, a mundane, or is she? She discovers her real identity and family heritage, which questions her entire life being a lie when she came across shadow hunters – Human and Angel hybrids, protectors of the human world, and unearthed the realm beyond the human world.

The story depicts the influence of friendship and affirms family is not just by blood. If you are looking for creative and unexpected plots and thrills, this story is for you.

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“Heroes aren’t always the ones who win. They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.” – Clary

“That’s what happens when you fall. Everything that was bright about you becomes dark. As brilliant as you once were, that’s how evil you become. It’s a long way to fall” – Jace

“He would burn the whole world down till he could dig you out of the ashes.” – Alec

“If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell.” – Sebastion Morgenstern

3. The Folk of the Air By Holly Black:

It is a trilogy with a dark tale of faerie with a modern twist. The story starts with three sisters: Vivienne, the half-fey, Jude, and Taryn, the human twins moving, but mainly revolves around Jude.

Life in a faerie is cruel and dangerous for humans. Old Fae are tricksters; their hunger for power makes them have their way with humans by compelling and tattling with riddles. Jude is an ambitious and determined girl who works hard to get to a position that defies gender-biased roles. She is a role model; all girls can look up to. She plots, fights, and gets stuck in the whirlwind of her complex family(both human and fairie).

This series is not just another story of a mortal girl falling in love with a mean faerie prince but is a heady blend of high fantasy, high school drama, secret plots, power, bravery, survival, and faerie lore.

If you are among those people who love dark fairytales, this book is a must-read.


“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse” – Jude

“You didn’t get what you deserved, but you don’t have to live inside that one story forever. No one’s heart has to remain stone.”  – Cardan

“I don’t desire to do as well in the tournament as one of the fey. I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal. In my heart, I yearn to best them.” – Jude

4. Throne of Glass Series By Sarah J.Maas:

It is a coming-of-age tale about a young woman facing a plethora of conspiracies and adventures.

This series is of Celaena Sardothein, a trained assassin in the Kingdom of Adarlan, thrown into a contest for her freedom at the cost of becoming a cruel King’s champion. As the events unfold, she discovers the growing darkness in the kingdom and makes some incredibly tough choices to save herself and her loved ones.

Maas is good at making a reader emotionally attached to the characters, and in this story, she depicted romance, adventures, magic, duels, and character development flawlessly.

I happily recommend the TOG series to anyone who loves epic fantasy with a strong female protagonist. The pre-novella “The Assassin’s Blade” is worth the read for more of Celaena’s adventures.

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“Libraries were full of ideas —perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.” – Celaena

“It would not take a monster to destroy a monster ― but light, light to drive out darkness.” – Sarah J.Mass

“There was no lane line, no net, nothin to keep them apart but the well of her will. But that kept losing bricks” – Rowan

“War is sanctioned murder, no matter what side you’re on.” – Dorian

“You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if only you dared” – Elena

5. An Ember in the Ashes By Sabaa Tahir:

The story is set in an ancient world inspired by Romans. It is from the perspective of the main characters- Laia and Elias. A seventeen-year-old Laia is a scholar who agrees with the rebels of the empire to be a spy to free her brother. Meanwhile, Elias – a mask(the most feared soldier in the Martial army), is fighting for his freedom from being an enforcer of a dictatorial regime.

The theme of the story foretells the importance of defying oppression and work together to make a difference. The characters are perfectly tailored to their backstory and the changes they experience throughout the book.

The writing is exquisite and never fails to engage the reader with its captivating and intense story. All I say is – Must read!!

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“All the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.” – Laia

“There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose” – Elias

“You are broken. But it is broken things that are the sharpest. The deadliest. It is broken things that are the most unexpected, and the most underestimated.” – Cain

“The best lies come from the truth.” – SabaaTahir

“I wish I could live a thousand lives so I could fall in love with you a thousand times” – Elias

6. Six of Crows By Leigh Bardugo:

Anyone up for a heist? Then join Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, and his five deadliest outcast crew(a Spy, a Convict, a Sharpshooter, a Runaway, and a Heartrender) in a city named Kettardam – inspired by 17th century Amsterdam.

The fate of the world falls in their hands when they discover the danger that emerges from the rich and power-hungry government by using a drug on magic wielders. The task is to break into an impenetrable fortress, free a hostage, and not get killed. Though it seems simple, it’s a suicide mission.

Every character has their own goals, dreams, pain, hopes, and nightmares. This exhilarating story is full of action, suspense, and a mind-numbing plot till the end.

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“When you can’t beat the odds. Change the game” – Kaz

“Better terrible truths than kind lies” – Inej

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.” – Nina

They fear as I once feared you, as you once feared me. We are all someone’s monster” – Matthias

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.” – Kaz

7. The Infernal Devices By Cassandra Clare:

If you have read “The Mortal instruments” and still hung up on it, you should add this prequel trilogy to your TBR list.

The story features Will, Jem, Tessa, and other Downworlders in the London institute. Tessa, an orphaned teen when unearths her powers, struggles to come in terms of being a warlock with special gifts and at the same time fascinated and torn between two best friends- Will and Jem.

It is one of those series where you encounter a knowledgeable villain trying to build his mechanical automaton army and wise side characters that add to the plot and make the story impeccable.

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“If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?” – Tessa

“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” – Will

“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.” – Jem

“One must always be careful of books and what’s inside them for words have the power to change us.” – Clare

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” – Tessa

8. The Lunar Chronicles By Marissa Meyer:

If you love all the classic Disney fairytales, then I can assure you that you will absolutely enjoy this series. We get to travel through the futuristic retellings of Cinder(Cinderella), Scarlet(Little Red Riding Hood), Cress(Rapunzel), and Winter(Snow White) lives in a world where humans, androids, and cyborgs co-exist.

This series isn’t a cliche fairytale romance where the female lead is miserable and waiting for a Prince to sweep her off her feet. The female leads are resilient and bad-ass and show their true strength in their action and, are not the type to cower in front of evil. The plotline is steady and keeps you entertained throughout the novel.

The life of four young girls are interwoven beautifully that adds a twist to the storyline. Cinder – a cyborg crosses paths with Scarlet – a farm girl with defense skills, Cress – imprisoned hacker, and Winter – a Lunar princess, and they rise against the evil Queen and a looming pandemic to protect Earth’s future.

If you have never read fairytales, this novel should be your next read.

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“Maybe the princess can save herself. That sounds like a pretty good story too.Meyer

“But if there was one thing she knew from years as a mechanic, it was that some stains never came out.” – Cinder

Broken isn’t the same as unfixable.” – Winter

“I just think we shouldn’t judge her, or anyone, without trying to understand them first. That maybe we should get the full story before jumping to conclusions. Crazy notion, I know.” – Scarlet

“Maybe there isn’t a such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them.” – Cress

Young Adult fantasy is not just about romance, but one should read because of its nostalgia, inspiration, imaginative and emotional potency.

So, what’s the wait for? It’s time to enter the portal to another aspect of our world.

Don’t forget to tell me some of your favorite YA fantasies in the comments!

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