High fantasy romance is a subgenre you won’t want to overlook: from descriptive storytelling to delicious romance, you’ll be quickly pulled into these intricate worlds and you’ll never want to leave. The following 20 high-fantasy romance books are brimming with a spellbinding combination of action, romance, and magic that will keep you turning pages late into the night. If you love complex and twisting plotlines with a side of spicy romance, then the high fantasy romance subgenre is right for you.
Best High Fantasy Romance Books
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses is one of the buzziest novels out there, and it deserves all the hype that it gets.
In a land once ruled by cunning, immortal faeries, nineteen-year-old Feyre slays a wolf in the woods: only to be greeted by a terrible creature who demands justice. The creature whisks her away to a magical land she knows only from legends, and she soon knows him as Tamlin — a faerie of old who ignites a passion in her that she can’t resist.
You can buy A Court of Thorns and Roses here, and check out the rest of the riveting series for more seductive, action-packed reading.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Intricate prose and fantastic storytelling dance off the pages of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, a thrilling and magical read that’s sure to keep you hooked.
Agnieszka lives in a world ruled by a callous and driven wizard known as the Dragon, who demands a chilling price for his protection: one young woman to serve him every ten years. Everyone expects that the Dragon will take Kasia — Agnieszka’s beautiful and brave best friend. But the Dragon has a different young woman in mind, and he always gets his first choice.
You can purchase Uprooted here, and prepare for an enchanting mix of magic, romance, and deception.
King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
Scarlett St. Clair’s King of Battle and Blood is an epic fantasy read, complete with sensual, slow-burn romance and a suspenseful, twisting storyline.
Isolde de Lara’s wedding day is also the darkest day of her life: she is to wed Adrian, the vampire king, and kill him. But Adrian discovers Isolde’s plan, and she’s stuck coming up with ways to survive the vampire court.
Even worse, Isolde is fighting an attraction to Adrian, which she knows will end in nothing but bloodshed and heartbreak. Not worth it… right?
You can buy King of Battle and Blood here, and check out the sequel Queen of Myth and Monster for more of Adrian and Isolde’s tempestuous relationship.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone is the first in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, a beloved high fantasy trilogy that’s jam-packed with high-stakes adventure and swoon-worthy romance.
When Alina Starkov’s regiment is attacked, the once expendable soldier unexpectedly unleashes dormant magic on the enemy — powers even she didn’t know she had inside. Alina is thrust into a world of the magical military elite, training under the elusive Darkling, who believes that Alina is capable of destroying the Shadow Fold for good.
You can purchase Shadow and Bone here, and make sure to pick up the next two books in the trilogy to keep up with Alina’s bewitching journey.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Jennifer L. Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash is a steamy, escapist series debut that will leave your heart pounding in anticipation of more.
Poppy is a Maiden — chosen at birth to live a solitary life, touched by no one and never to experience a pleasure. But Poppy has a mind of her own, and when she catches the eye of Hawke, a guard who is employed to ensure her Ascension, she no longer wants to live life by someone else’s rules — not even the rules of the gods.
You can buy From Blood and Ash here, and prepare to be submerged in a complex world of magic and mystery that feels just as real as our own.
Gild by Raven Kennedy
Bestselling novelist Raven Kennedy reimagines the classic myth of King Midas with Gild, a shocking and sexy series debut that you won’t want to miss.
Everything in the castle of Highbell is gold — the floors, the windows, and even Auren herself. King Midas favored her and turned her to gold, destined to stay with him in his palace forever.
But by the time Auren realizes she’s captive to King Midas, it might be too late: the monsters outside the kingdom are even worse than the ones within.
You can purchase Gild here, and check out the next four books in the series for more gripping fantasy romance.
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
If you’re looking for a gripping fantasy romance that’s set in a fascinating fictional universe that you won’t want to leave, then Danielle L. Jensen’s The Bridge Kingdom is the book for you.
Lara is a warrior princess who is training for one primary goal: to bring down King Aren of the Bridge Kingdom. Entering the Bridge Kingdom under the guise of a peaceful bride, Lara’s plans are quickly thrown into disarray when she arrives and learns that she might not be the hero, but the villain.
Worst of all, King Aren isn’t at all what Lara expected, and she finds herself falling for him with a passion that she can’t control. When the time comes to destroy a kingdom, which one will Lara choose?
You can buy The Bridge Kingdom here, and pick up its sequels The Traitor Queen and The Inadequate Heir for more heartstopping action and romance.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree is an alluring feminist fantasy that’s richly detailed and brimming with magical lore.
In a world divided between the East and the West, an ancient enemy threatens to rise again, bringing about unavoidable chaos and destruction. Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a child to secure an heir, but with ruthless assassins and forbidden magic growing closer every day, her queendom might be at permanent risk.
You can purchase The Priory of the Orange Tree here, and this lengthy fantasy read is bound to keep you hooked like no other.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Enter a world of magic and witchery in Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch, a young-adult fantasy romance that thrills teens and adults alike with its phenomenal worldbuilding.
Safi is a Truthwitch: she possesses a magical skill that allows her to tell when people are lying. A skill this powerful is one that people would kill over, so Safi keeps her identity a secret. But with danger in the form of a vengeful Bloodwitch looming, and the attention of the dashing Prince Merik, Safi might not be able to stay hidden for much longer.
You can buy Truthwitch here, and check out the next three books in the series to see where Safi’s power will take her.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas is the reigning queen of modern fantasy, and her newest series debut House of Earth and Blood does not disappoint.
Bryce Quinlan is half-human/half-fae, and Hunt Athlar is an infamous Fallen angel, but they both have one thing in common: find the demon who is wreaking havoc and murdering innocents. The further they venture, the closer Bryce and Hunt get to the truth — but what lies at the heart of Crescent City will tear them apart if they’re not careful.
You can purchase House of Earth and Blood here, and prepare to be immersed in this riveting epic fantasy in no time.
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Political intrigue and violent betrayal line the pages of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart, an alluring high fantasy that inspired many later additions to the subgenre.
Phédre nó Delaunay was born to a nation of angels, but no one could save her from being sold into servitude as a child. Purchased by a nobleman who had her versed in academia, Phédre begins working as a spy, where she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that she must fight to stop, no matter what the price may be.
You can buy Kushiel’s Dart here, and experience for yourself the strengths of this classic, influential fantasy read.
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson’s reputation as a masterful fantasy novelist precedes him, and Tress of the Emerald Sea is widely considered one of his finest works.
Tress lives on an island amidst a stunning emerald-green sea, kept entertained by the storytelling of her bright young friend Charlie. But when Charlie sets out on a voyage to find a bride, disaster strikes, and Tress knows that she’s the only one who can rescue him.
You can purchase Tress of the Emerald Sea here, and you’re sure to fall fast and hard for this charming, sea-swept tale.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes is an addictive series debut that’s as deeply human as it is breathtakingly magical.
Set in a brutal fantasy world where defiance is met with death, readers are introduced to Laia — a slave — and Elias — a soldier. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she goes undercover as a spy at a prestigious military academy, trading information for help rescuing her brother.
Elias is the finest soldier at the academy, and when he and Laia meet their combined power might just be enough to change the Empire forever.
You can buy An Ember in the Ashes here, and check out the next three installations in the series for more of Laia and Elias’s whirlwind romance (and rebellion).
The Winter King by C. L. Wilson
Critically acclaimed fantasy author C. L. Wilson delights readers once more with The Winter King, a seductive mix of fantasy and romance that’s deliciously unputdownable.
Khamsin, the Princess of Summerlea, was supposed to hate being married off to the icy king Wynter. In spite of his flaws, Khamsin falls for him fully, but with looming powers that threaten to change Wynter forever, their relationship — and the entire kingdom — are suddenly put at risk.
You can purchase The Winter King here, and make sure to pick up its companion novel, The Sea King, for more of Wilson’s intriguing fantasy writing.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a rich fantasy read that’s populated by star-crossed lovers and evocative, spell-binding prose (for more books like Daughter of Smoke & Bone, read here).
In a world of devils and angels, seventeen-year-old Karou gets caught up in an otherworldly feud during her search for self-identity. When she meets Akiva, he opens her up to a host of secrets that shift her reality forever — but can their passion survive the war that threatens to undo them both?
You can buy Daughter of Smoke & Bone here, and check out the next two books in the series for more of Karou and Akiva’s cruelly fated love story.
The Witch Collector by Charissa Weaks
If you’re looking for an epic fantasy story with a tantalizing, slow-burn romance at its core, look no further than Charissa Weaks’s The Witch Collector.
Raina Bloodgood wants only one thing: to kill the Frost King and his henchman the Witch Collector, who stole her sister. But once she gets close enough to the Witch Collector to enact the revenge she’s been dreaming of, she starts to see him not as a villain, but as a hero who holds her heart in his hands.
You can purchase The Witch Collector here, and you won’t be able to turn the pages of this can’t-miss fantasy fast enough.
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove is a sparkling character-driven romance that will charm high fantasy fans with its rich, immersive setting.
Louise le Blanc fled her coven years ago to live in Cesarine, a town where witches like her are feared and hunted. Reid Diggory is a passionate huntsman, and should be Louise’s worst enemy: but when the two of them are forced into a marriage arrangement, he quickly becomes so much more.
You can buy Serpent & Dove here, and check out the sequels Blood & Honey and Gods & Monsters for more thrilling romantic fantasy.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Holly Black’s wildly popular Folk of the Air trilogy kicks off with The Cruel Prince, a twisting and turning dark fantasy with a side of swoon-worthy romance.
Jude’s parents were murdered when she was just seven, and she and her sisters were taken away to live in the High Court of Faerie. But some of the fey despise mortals, and Prince Cardan is the worst of all. Jude hates him with a passion, so why does she keep trying to fit in?
You can purchase The Cruel Prince here, and prepare to add this enchanting trilogy to your list of all-time favorites.
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark
Anna Smith Spark exploded onto the fantasy scene with her bold and brilliant debut, The Court of Broken Knives, a gritty and fast-paced must-read.
Orhan, a man haunted by prophetic dreams, has hired a group of soldiers to do the unthinkable: march across the desert, enter the capital city and kill the emperor. But one of the soldiers, a young boy named Marith, is hiding a dark and bloody secret of his own.
You can buy The Court of Broken Knives here, and check out the next two books in the trilogy to see what happens next.
A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows by Holly Renee
Holly Renee’s A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows has everything a good fantasy romance needs: it’s breathtakingly sexy, exquisitely written, and hauntingly magical.
Adara is destined to marry Gavriel, the crowned prince who holds the kingdom’s fate in the palm of his hands. So why is his brother, the half-breed prince Evren, the man she can’t stop thinking about? And what will the consequences be if she follows her heart — and ignores what’s written in the stars?
You can purchase A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows here, and you’ll want to have the rest of the series on hand to pick up when you finish the first!
What is high fantasy?
High fantasy is an epic fantasy that’s set in a universe completely unlike our own.
Is high fantasy hard to read?
High fantasy can be slower to get into since it requires a lot of world-building and description. Despite this, there are many high fantasy novels that can be enjoyed by readers regardless of their skill level or comfortability.
What is high fantasy romance?
High fantasy romance is an epic fantasy that features a romantic pairing at the story’s center.
The aforementioned twenty high fantasy reads are a great introduction to the subgenre.
The above list of twenty high fantasy romances are the best of the subgenre: they’re suspenseful, swoon-worthy, and full of entertaining magic.
Where to start with a high fantasy?
The aforementioned twenty high fantasy reads are a great introduction to the subgenre.