Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Jella Erhard
Explore the best new fantasy YA books with strong world-building, dark magic, and romance. Or go on longer journeys thanks to magical YA fantasy series with epic quests and otherworldly creatures.
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Must-Read New Fantasy YA Books
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As a fan of the fantasy YA genre, it’s always exciting to discover new and upcoming releases that promise to transport us to magical worlds filled with adventure, romance, and unforgettable characters.
With so many talented authors and imaginative ideas being brought to life, the possibilities for new and exciting stories are endless. Here you’ll find some of the most highly anticipated new fantasy YA books as well as a few lesser-known but highly-acclaimed YA fantasy books for teens.
Thanks to these brilliant fantasy YA books you’ll be able to explore new and exciting worlds and get fully immersed in new stories about magic and sorcery as well as mythical beasts.
You’ll also find here inspiring dark fantasy ya books with strong female protagonists with mighty supernatural powers as well as romantic and feel-good LGBTQ+ fantasy YA books with brilliantly crafted characters and believable and engaging fantasy ya worlds.
No matter if you prefer high fantasy, urban, dystopian, or romance ya fantasy books because you’ll find here a fascinating fantasy ya story that grabs you on page one, and will keep it until the very last page.
RELATED: Best Dark Fantasy Books For Adults
Whether you’re a fan of action-packed adventures or character-driven stories, fantasy YA books with strong world-building and dark magic elements offer endless possibilities for readers.
And if you’re looking for a touch of romance to add some extra excitement to your reading, there are plenty of amazing fantasy YA series out there that deliver on all fronts.
You’ll also find here magical coming-of-age stories about prophecies and destiny but can also choose from action-packed ya fantasy novels, historical fantasy ya books, mythology-inspired tales, and mystery and thriller fantasy stories.
We also included some of the most exciting new character-driven fantasy ya books with social commentary as well as multicultural fantasy ya books that explore real-world issues and themes. These fascinating worlds might seem different at first but they reflect the diversity of our own, so you can explore real-world issues and themes in a powerful and thought-provoking way.
From epic quests to dark magic since these books promise to capture your imagination and take you on thrilling journeys that you won’t soon forget.
Court of the Undying Seasons by A.M. Strickland – May 2023
Sarah J. Maas meets A Deadly Education in A.M. Strickland’s lush, queer YA dark fantasy novel.
In becoming a vampire, I’m less than a girl. And more.
Or maybe I’m becoming what I always have been, deep inside.
When nineteen-year-old Fin volunteers to take her secret love’s place in their village’s Finding, she is terrified.
Those who are chosen at the Finding are whisked away to Castle Courtsheart, a vampire school where human students either succeed and become vampires, fail and spend the rest of their lives as human thralls…or they don’t survive long enough to become either.
Fin is determined to forge a different path: learn how to kill the undead and get revenge for her mother, who was taken by the vampires years ago.
But Courtsheart is as captivating as it is deadly, and Fin is quickly swept up in her new world and its inhabitants – particularly Gavron, her handsome and hostile vampire maker, whose blood is nothing short of intoxicating.
As Fin begins to discover new aspects of her own identity and test her newfound powers, she stumbles across a string of murders that may be connected to a larger ritual – one with potentially lethal consequences for vampires and humans alike.
Fin must uncover the truth and find the killer before she loses her life…or betrays her own heart.
Court of the Undying Seasons is a deliciously dark romantic novel and a pitch perfect modern take on classic vampire tropes.
Court of the Undying Seasons is a darkly atmospheric new fantasy ya book with witches, vampires, and a twisty mystery story.
Bewitched by Laura Thalassa – April 2023
Come to me, Empress …
At age twenty, Selene Bowers desperately hopes to be accepted into Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches. Since one of the requirements for entry is to connect with her powers via a quest through the wilderness, Selene books a trip to South America.
When a nefarious supernatural force tries to drag her plane from the sky, Selene’s magic awakens to save her life―at a cost. Using her powers devours her memories, one by one.
Worse, when Selene braves the jungle and discovers the source of the attack, she finds herself awakening an ancient evil, Memnon the Cursed, who mistakes Selene for his long-dead wife. The wife who betrayed him.
Selene manages to escape and begin her studies at Henbane, but when Memnon turns up at the coven and witches are found dead across campus, Selene becomes entangled in a dangerous plot.
Accused of the murders on the basis of her memory loss, Selene must rely on Memnon’s help for answers―and his plans for her will change everything.
Bewitched is one of the most fascinating new paranormal fantasy ya books that adults and teens will enjoy.
RELATED: Brilliant New Fantasy Books
When Oceans Rise by Robin Alvarez – May 2023
Submerged in a toxic relationship and disconnected from everyone, she turns to the sea to decide her fate. Its decision? Toss her to the sea witch.
Seventeen-year-old Malaya is cursed. In her family, every girl’s first love ends in death after falling for someone evil. Good thing Malaya’s dream guy isn’t monstrous.
When Oceans Rise is one of the most enchanting new romance fantasy ya books that’s a perfect choice fro readers who enjoy retelling novels.
A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid – September 2023
Effy Sayre has always believed in fairy tales. She’s had no choice. Since childhood, she’s been haunted by visions of the Fairy King. She’s found solace only in the pages of Angharad – author Emrys Myrddin’s beloved epic about a mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, and then destroys him.
Effy’s tattered, dog-eared copy is all that’s keeping her afloat through her stifling first term at Llyr’s prestigious architecture college.
So when Myrddin’s family announces a contest to design the late author’s house, Effy fells certain this is her destiny.
But Hiraeth Manor is an impossible task: a musty, decrepit estate on the brink of crumbling into a hungry sea. And when Effy arrives, she finds she isn’t the only one who’s made a temporary home there.
Preston Héloury, a stodgy young literature scholar, is studying Myrddin’s papers and is determined to prove her favorite author is a fraud.
As the two rival students investigate the reclusive author’s legacy, piecing together clues through his letters, books, and diaries, they discover that the house’s foundation isn’t the only thing that can’t be trusted.
There are dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspiring against them – and the truth may bring them both to ruin.
A Study in Drowning is one of the spookiest new fantasy ya books with a thrilling mystery story.
A Curse for True Love (Once Upon a Broken Heart #3) by Stephanie Garber – September 2023
Two villains, one girl, and a deadly battle for happily ever after.
Evangeline Fox ventured to the Magnificent North in search of her happy ending, and it seems as if she has it. She’s married to a handsome prince and lives in a legendary castle.
But Evangeline has no idea of the devastating price she’s paid for this fairytale. She doesn’t know what she has lost, and her husband is determined to make sure she never finds out . . . but first he must kill Jacks, the Prince of Hearts.
Blood will be shed, hearts will be stolen, and true love will be put to the test in A Curse for True Love, the breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Once Upon A Broken Heart trilogy.
A Curse for True Love is one of the most magical new fantasy ya book series.
Bring Me Your Midnight by Rachel Griffin – August 2023
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of Witches and Wild is the Witch comes a lush romantic fantasy about forbidden love, the choices we make, and the pull between duty and desire.
Tana Fairchild’s fate has never been in question. Her life has been planned out since the moment she was born: she is to marry the governor’s son, Landon, and secure an unprecedented alliance between the witches of her island home and the mainlanders who see her very existence as a threat.
Tana’s coven has appeased those who fear their power for years by releasing most of their magic into the ocean during the full moon. But when Tana misses the midnight ritual—a fatal mistake—there is no one she can turn to for help…until she meets Wolfe.
Wolfe claims he is from a coven that practices dark magic, making him one of the only people who can help her. But he refuses to let Tana’s power rush into the sea, and instead teaches her his forbidden magic. A magic that makes her feel powerful. Alive.
As the sea grows more violent, her coven loses control of the currents, a danger that could destroy the alliance as well as her island. Tana will have to choose between love and duty, between loyalty to her people and loyalty to her heart.
Marrying Landon would secure peace for her coven but losing Wolfe and his wild magic could cost her everything else.
Bring Me Your Midnight is one of the most magical new fantasy YA books with witches and magic.
A Door in the Dark by Scott Reintgen – March 2023
One of Us is Lying meets A Deadly Education in this fantasy thriller that follows six teenage wizards as they fight to make it home alive after a malfunctioning spell leaves them stranded in the wilderness.
Ren Monroe has spent four years proving she’s one of the best wizards in her generation. But top marks at Balmerick University will mean nothing if she fails to get recruited into one of the major houses.
Enter Theo Brood. If being rich were a sin, he’d already be halfway to hell. After a failed and disastrous party trick, fate has the two of them crossing paths at the public waxway portal the day before holidays—Theo’s punishment is to travel home with the scholarship kids. Which doesn’t sit well with any of them.
A fight breaks out. In the chaos, the portal spell malfunctions. All six students are snatched from the safety of the school’s campus and set down in the middle of nowhere. And one of them is dead on arrival.
If anyone can get them through the punishing wilderness with limited magical reserves it’s Ren. She’s been in survival mode her entire life. But no magic could prepare her for the tangled secrets the rest of the group is harboring, or for what’s following them through the dark woods…
A Door In The Dark is one of the most fascinating new fantasy YA books with a darkly immersive mystery story.
Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare – October 2023
Two outcasts find themselves at the center of world-altering change in the start of a riveting epic fantasy series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
In the vibrant city-state of Castellane, the richest of nobles and the most debauched of criminals have one thing in common: the constant search for wealth, power, and the next hedonistic thrill.
Kel is an orphan, stolen from the life he knew to become the Sword-Catcher—the body-double of a royal heir, Prince Conor Aurelian. He has been raised alongside the prince, trained in every aspect of combat and statecraft. He and Conor are close as brothers, but Kel knows he has one destiny: to die for Conor. No other future is possible.
Lin Caster is one of the Ashkar, a small community who still possess magical abilities. By law, they must live behind walls in the city, but Lin, a physician, ventures out to tend to the sick and dying of Castellane.
Despite her skills, she cannot heal her best friend Mariam without access to forbidden knowledge.
After a failed assassination attempt brings Lin and Kel together, they are drawn into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King, the criminal ruler of Castellane’s underworld.
He offers them each what they want most; but as they descend into his world of intrigue and shadow, they discover a conspiracy of corruption that reaches from the darkest gutters of Castellane to the highest tower of its palaces.
As long-kept secrets begin to unravel, they must ask themselves: Is knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? And will Lin and Kel’s discoveries plunge their nation into war—and the world into chaos?
Sword Catcher is one of the most exciting new high fantasy YA books with an epic romance story.
Doves & Demons by Clio Evans – March 2023
Welcome to London, where the roaring twenties are filled with fangs and freaks.
When Irene is kidnapped by a gang of monsters, she is shoved straight into a world of magic and murder.
A Mothman. An Unseelie. A Demonic Plague Doctor.
The Freaks are a terrifying group ready to wreak havoc on the world that destroyed their humanity. But as these creatures drag Irene into the dark— they crave her soul, mind, and body.
The longer these four are together, the faster they fall into a terrifying type of love.
Will the demons take the wings from their caged dove, or will they set her free before their world devours her?
Doves & Demons is the first book in the Freaks of Nature Duet and will be a complete story for the characters. This is a very spicy and dark Why Choose steampunk Monster romance.
Doves & Demons is a darkly thrilling new reverse harem fantasy ya book set in a magical steampunk-inspired realm.
All the Dead Lie Down by Kyrie McCauley – March 2023
The Haunting of Bly Manor meets House of Salt and Sorrows in award-winning author Kyrie McCauley’s contemporary YA gothic romance about a dark family lineage, the ghosts of grief, and the lines we’ll cross for love.
The Sleeping House was very much awake . . .
Days after a tragedy leaves Marin Blythe alone in the world, she receives a surprising invitation from Alice Lovelace—an acclaimed horror writer and childhood friend of Marin’s mother.
Alice offers her a nanny position at Lovelace House, the family’s coastal Maine estate.
Marin accepts and soon finds herself minding Alice’s peculiar girls. Thea buries her dolls one by one, hosting a series of funerals, while Wren does everything in her power to drive Marin away.
Then Alice’s eldest daughter returns home unexpectedly. Evie Hallowell is every bit as strange as her younger sisters, and yet Marin is quickly drawn in by Evie’s compelling behavior and ethereal grace.
But as Marin settles in, she can’t escape the anxiety that follows her like a shadow. Dead birds appear in Marin’s room. The children’s pranks escalate. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, leaving mutilated animals in its wake.
All is not well at Lovelace House, and Marin must unravel its secrets before they consume her.
All the Dead Lie Down is one of the scariest new mystery fantasy ya books that’s a perfect choice for readers who enjoy atmospheric gothic novels.
Wolfwood by Marianna Baer – March 2023
A teenage girl begins secretly forging paintings, plunging her into a dark and dangerous imaginary world
Indigo and her mother, once-famous artist Zoe Serra, have barely been scraping by since her mom’s breakdown. When a gallery offers Zoe a revival show for her unfinished blockbuster series, Wolfwood, Indigo knows it’s a crucial chance to finally regain stability.
Zoe, however, mysteriously refuses. Desperate not to lose the opportunity, Indigo secretly takes up the brush herself.
It turns out, there might be a very good reason her mother wants nothing to do with Wolfwood.
Painting submerges Indigo into Wolfwood itself—a dangerous jungle where an army of grotesque, monstrous flora are in a violent battle with a band of girls. As Indigo enters Wolfwood again and again, the line between fantasy and reality blurs.
It’s a tenuous balancing act: keeping her forgery secret and her mind lucid, all while fighting her attraction to Kai, the son of the gallery owner.
And by the time Indigo realizes the true nature of the monsters she’s up against, it might be too late—and the monsters might just win.
Wolfwood is one of the most imaginative new contemporary fantasy ya books with a thought-provoking story.
Stardust in Their Veins (Castles in Their Bones #2) by Laura Sebastian – February 2023
Princesses Beatriz and Daphne have lost their older sister, but their mother’s grand scheme of taking the continent of Vesteria is far from complete.
With the country of Temarin now under the Empress’s control, only the nations of Cellaria and Friv remain free from her rule. What’s worse, an ominous prophecy has begun to shine through the constellations: the blood of stars and majesty spilled.
Usurped by conniving cousins Nico and Gigi, Beatriz fears for her life, while in icy Friv, Daphne continues her shaky alliance with the rebels even as she struggles to stay a step ahead of them. But when an unlikely ally offers Beatriz a deal, she finds herself back in her mother’s sights.
With enemies around every corner and the stars whispering of betrayal, Daphne and Beatriz can’t trust anyone–least of all each other. If they’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the Empress’s game is constantly changing.
And the arrival of surprise visitors from Temarin just might tip the scales in the princesses’ favor… if they manage to avoid meeting their sister’s fate before they can make their next move.
Immerse yourself in the second book in a fantasy trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Ash Pricess series. The sequel to Castles in Their Bones is the story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown.
Stardust in Their Veins is one of the most addictive new romance fantasy YA book series that takes its readers on an epic adventure.
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