Team Epic Reads is back at it again trying to convince you to read ALL the genres. In this edition, we’ve got a list of high fantasy books sure to blow your minds.
Listen, we get it. High fantasy can be hard to get through. They’re (usually) more brick than book, and there’s exposition for days. It’s not a genre you can breeze through if you’re trying to catch up on your Goodreads goal. 🗣 But 🗣 it’s 🗣 worth 🗣 it 🗣! Just think of all the world building you’re missing out on! And do you have any idea how epic a character arc can be in a 500+ page novel? And OMG the bloody, magic battles at the end?
Okay brb we’re going to go read some high fantasy novels. While we’re away, check out the below list of some great books in the genre.
10 High Fantasy YA Books to Read
1. Children of Blood and Bone
Everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
2. The Thief
The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
3. Three Dark Crowns
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. An elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. A poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. A naturalist, said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
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4. The Final Empire
For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
5. Throne of Glass
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince and offered freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are thieves, assassins, and warriors from across the empire. If she beats them in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
6. Even the Darkest Stars
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. When the greatest explorer ever known arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition it’s Kamzin’s chance to prove herself. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best them, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.
7. The Last Namsara
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The death-bringer. These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom from a betrothal to a cruel commandant in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend, Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
8. An Ember in the Ashes
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. It is in this brutal world that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Her parents were brutally murdered and her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera, where Em hopes to find Olivia. In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
10. The Queen’s Rising
While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—she is left without a patron. Until a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. Brienna soon discovers there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
What other high fantasy books would you recommend to someone that’s not crazy about the genre? Tell us in the comments below!
Check out our other genre book recs! Contemporary | Historical Fiction | Mystery Thrillers, | Paranormal Romances | Science Fiction