Love & Magic: Discover the 14 Best YA Fantasy Romance Books

The young adult fantasy romance books genre is so much fun to read. I mean, courts filled with royalty and intrigue, fascinating magical systems, fairy tales, curses, fantastical creatures, and star-crossed lovers? What more could a person want? 

Love & Magic: 15 Best YA Fantasy Romance Books

It was difficult to narrow down the field to just a few top ones because there are so many fabulous series available today. But these fifteen series are absolute magic. If you haven’t read these YA Fantasy Romance series yet, be sure to pick them up today!

The Throne of Glass Series (7-book series) 

Throne of Glass

Books in this series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, Kingdom of Ash

By Sarah J. Maas

This seven-book series is just one of the YA fantasy romance series Sarah J. Maas has written. Full of complex characters and loose fairy tale retellings, the Throne of Glass Series is a fan favorite. 

When Celaena Sardothein, an assassin who has spent the last year in a slave camp, is given the chance to compete to be the King’s Champion, she takes it. Celaena strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Captain of the Guard. Prince Dorian, the son of the cruel king sitting on the Throne of Glass, shows a romantic interest in the beautiful and deadly Celaena. Celaena draws the interest of multiple suitors throughout the series, adding to romantic tensions. 

This series has it all – dark, tough female leads, complex high fantasy plots, action, intrigue, and sizzling romance.

You can buy The Throne of Glass series here.

The Twilight Saga (4 novels)

Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1)

Books in this series: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn

By Stephanie Meyer

If you haven’t caught at least some of The Twilight Series, it would be seriously surprising. Between the popular books and movies, The Twilight Saga is one of the best-known pieces of the YA fantasy romance genre today. 

Bella Swan, a seemingly ordinary sixteen-year-old girl, is the love interest of fabulously handsome Edward Cullen, who happens to be a 104-year-old vampire. In the magical world of The Twilight Saga both vampires and werewolves exist, and Bella becomes an integral piece of both magical cultures as she is pulled between her two love interests, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black. 

The romance doesn’t end when Bella’s decision is made between her love interests. The series follows the romantic entanglements and couples of the supporting characters as well as Bella and her beau’s relationship, and marriage. At the same time, worldwide magical drama breaks out, and Bella and her found family must work to restore balance. 

You can buy The Twilight Series here

The Infernal Devices Series (3-book series)

The Infernal Devices (Boxed Set): Clockwork Angel; Clockwork Prince; Clockwork Princess

Books in this series: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess

By Cassandra Clare

The beginning of the series introduces Tessa, a teenage girl who is kidnapped in Victorian London by two brother warlocks, Will and Jem. The brothers whisk her away to the London Institute, a branch of the Shadowhunters, where she learns that she is a changeling shapeshifter. The plots of these books are as complex and intriguing as the character arcs throughout.  

There is a strong romantic love triangle in the series between the three main characters, Tessa, Will, and Jem, complicated by Will and Jem being brothers and the best of friends. Cassandra Clare is a prolific writer in this genre, and this particular series is simply YA fantasy romance gold. 

You can order The Infernal Devices series here

The Legendborn Cycle (2-book series)

The Legendborn Cycle

Books in this series: Legendborn, Bloodmarked

By Tracy Deonn

The Legendborn Cycle is a complex and well-crafted story that loosely follows Arthurian legend, set in contemporary times. The main character, Bree Matthews, is a sixteen-year-old African American girl attending classes early at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill while grieving the untimely loss of her mother.  

In her search for how her mom died, Bree finds herself embroiled in a secret magical society of pages, knights, mages, and Scions beneath the university. In her investigations, Bree becomes a page, develops a serious crush on one magic wielder while flirting with another, and discovers that she too has a major Black Girl blood-magic legacy to play out. 

Bree is a likable and realistically imperfect character, who copes with being the heir to Arthurian magic, the loss of her mother, generational grief, and being one side of a serious love triangle as well as anyone could expect to – with a distinct balance of making huge mistakes and incredibly capable moments. This is a highly acclaimed YA fantasy romance not to be missed.

You can buy the Legendborn Cycle here

The Lunar Chronicles (4-book series)

Marissa Meyer Lunar Chronicles Series Collection 4 Books Set- Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter

Books in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter

By Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles are Young Adult fairy tale retellings of Cinderella, Little Red Riding hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White respectively. This series is an original mashup of genres including dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and politics. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter are strong, independent female characters, thrust into interesting and steamy situations that loosely touch on their fairytale roots.

Lihn Cinder first meets her Prince Charming, Prince Kai, in the marketplace where she works as an expert mechanic. Scarlet Benoit is questing for her missing grandfather when she decides to work with Wolfe, a street fighter. 

Cress Darnel lives alone on a satellite above the lunar colony and works covertly against the evil Lunar queen, Queen Levana. Cress teams up with Cinder in her mission to save the Earth from Levana. Winter is Queen Levana’s stepdaughter, who suffers from mental illness because she refuses to use the same ill-magic Queen Levana uses on others and just might be able to help Cinder and crew bring down the evil queen.    

The Lunar Chronicles have loveable characters, twisty plots, and heart-pounding romance, making them a must-read.  

You can buy The Lunar Chronicles here.

Folk of the Air Series (3-book series)

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Books in this series: The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, The Queen of Nothing

By Holly Black

Holly Black’s YA fantasy romance Folk of the Air series relies heavily upon the Celtic legend of the Fae. The Fae world borders the human world in Folk of the Air, and people and Fae pass between. Jude and her twin sister are orphaned by a Fae who kills their parents. He then becomes their foster father, raising them in the court of the Folk of the Air. 

The Fae hate humans, and Jude and other humans endure cruelty after cruelty at their hands. The Fae cannot lie, but Jude can because she’s human. Jude is ambitious and positions herself within the court despite being human. There are a couple of romantic interests in this series. If you love a fantastic enemies-to-lovers trope, this is the series for you. 

Buy your copy of The Folk of the Air series here.

Red Queen Series (4-book series)

Red Queen

Books in this series: Red Queen, Glass Sword, King’s Cage, War Storm

By Victoria Aveyard

This series is action-packed, and a definite fan favorite. The Red Queen series takes place in a magical blood-divided world. People with red blood are commoners, and people with silver blood are elite and have super-human magical abilities. The red-blooded serve the silver, which creates major class struggle vibes. 

Mare is a poor thief and a red who suddenly finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Readers come to find that she also possesses a magical ability, despite her red blood. This creates a ton of royal intrigue, and the series follows Mare’s journey to follow her magic and her heart.  

You can purchase the Red Queen series here.

Shatter Me Series (6-book series)

Shatter Me

Books in this series: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me, Restore Me, Defy Me, Imagine Me

By Tahereh Mafi

Juliette Ferrars has a deadly magical gift. The series begins with Juliette locked in a mental asylum because of her magical ability to pull the life from a person simply with one touch. We follow Juliet from that fearful, lonely young lady to coming into her power and mastering it, while at the same time exploring spicy romantic entanglements and growing and changing friendships. 

This series has a strong enemies-to-lovers trope in a dystopian society. It is six books long, with additional novellas, so if you’re looking for a long, juicy series to dig into, this is the right one for you. 

You can purchase the Shatter Me series here.

Six Crimson Cranes Series (2-book series)

Six Crimson Cranes

Books in this series: Six Crimson Cranes, The Dragon’s Promise

By Elizabeth Lim

The Six Crimson Cranes series are YA fairytales of romance and magic. Princess Shiori’amna of Kiata hides her magic from the world. In this East Asian legend-influenced reimagining of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Wild Swans, Princess Shiori is betrothed. In good fairytale style, she runs away from her unwanted wedding to escape a life’s path already decided for her. 

Her escape draws the wrath of the sorceress Raikama, Shiori’s stepmother, who transforms Shiori’s brothers into cranes as punishment. The series follows Shiori’s journey as she attempts to save her brothers while skirting her betrothed, who just might not be such a bad guy. The Six Crimson Cranes series is a delightfully written slow-burn fantasy romance, sure to be a favorite for YA readers.

Get the Six Crimson Cranes YA fantasy romance book series here.

The Cursebreakers Series (3-book series)

The Cursebreaker

Books in this series: A Curse so Dark and Lonely, A Heart so Fierce and Broken, A Vow so Bold and Deadly

By Brigid Kemmerer

This series is a contemporary Beauty and the Beast retelling that exists in dueling worlds. Emberfell is a magical world where the cursed Prince Rhen is doomed to repeat a three-month “season.” For Rhen, each season includes trying to make a girl fall in love with him to break the curse. Then, when his three months run out without the love of a young lady, he becomes a monstrous beast that kills with abandon. 

Harper’s world is contemporary Washington, DC. She is a relatable main character that you’ll love to root for as she helps first a stranger, then as she tries to help Prince Rhen, without falling in love with him, of course (wink, wink). Later in the series, it is the kingdom of Emberfell itself at stake, and the characters must find a way to peace – however possible.

Purchase The Cursebreaker Series here.

The Iron Fey Series (7-book series)

The Iron Fey

Books in this series: The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight, The Iron Prince, The Iron Traitor, The Iron Warrior

By Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase is a girl of sixteen, who has just found out she is the secret daughter of a Summer Fey King. Meghan leaves the mortal world for the world of the Iron Fey, a world of myth, magical people and creatures, love, and unthinkable betrayals. 

The seven-book saga is about Meghan learning her Fey heritage, the war between the Fey and human within her, the battle between the Summer and Winter Fey, romance and seduction between enemies, family honor, magic and mythology, and so much more. 

You can buy The Iron Fey series here.

The Caraval Series (3-book series)

Caraval Paperback Boxed Set: Caraval, Legendary, Finale

Books in this series: Caraval, Legendary, Finale

By Stephanie Garber

The Caraval series follows two sisters, Scarlett and Tella Dragna. This series focuses on the relationship between the two beloved sisters and their two romantic lives. The setting is whimsical and immersive within a magical caraval (carnival). 

This three-book series begins with Scarlett’s story, the second book follows Tella, and the third is from both sisters’ perspectives. The series has something that will touch all YA fantasy romance readers. 

You can buy the this wonderful young adult fantasy romance book here

The Fallen Series (6-book series)

Fallen Series Complete 6 Books Collection Set by Lauren Kate (Fallen, Torment, Passion, Rapture, Unforgiven & Fallen in Love)

Books in this series: Fallen, Torment, Passion, Rapture, Unforgiven, Fallen in Love

By Lauren Kate

Luce Price starts out at Sword & Cross Reform school in Savannah, GA in this YA fantasy paranormal romance series. While at Sword & Cross, she finds love with Daniel, a fallen angel. The series follows the struggles of Luce and Daniel, as they attempt to release their love from an infernal curse laid upon them by an Immortal.

The series is a YA fantasy romance with themes of reincarnation, religious magic, romantic love, and adventure. Some fans liken it to the Twilight series, only with angels, curses, and even Lucifer. 

You can buy the Fallen Series here

The Selection Series (5-book series)

The Selection

Books in this series: The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, The Crown

By Keira Cass

The Selection Series is a fun-filled fantasy Young Adult romance book series based loosely on the popular television show The Bachelor. Fans also liken it to a much lighter-hearted The Hunger Games series, where the competition is instead for the love of a prince. 

In The Selection, America Singer is selected to be one of 35 girls competing for the love of Prince Maxon, and the position of the future queen. The Selected is set in a dystopia, where the people belong to castes. America’s selection is complicated by her previous romance with another young man, Aspen, who is a caste below her. This love triangle plays out throughout the series. 

Pick up The Selection Series here.

FAQ:

What is fantasy romance?

Fantasy romance books focus on romance and also include elements of a magical fantasy world. Some of them are thrilling, msot of them are slow burn romance books. Some examples of fantasy romance include stories about:

Fairy Tales
Supernatural beings
Angels and Demons
Elves and the Fae
Paranormal beings
Mythological Gods

What are some fantasy romance book genres?

Epic High-Fantasy
Epic Low-Fantasy
Epic paranormal
Epic contemporary
Epic steampunk
Epic historical
Low-fantasy paranormal
Low-fantasy contemporary
Low-fantasy steampunk
Low-fantasy historical

What is considered a “steamy” romance novel?

A steamy romance novel is a romance novel that has more description of passionate physical scenes between love interests. All steamy romance novels are driven by their ability to increase the romance in the story. Most YA fantasy romance books are not that steamy, by the way, because they are written for teen and adult readers alike.

What is a dark romance fantasy novel?

A dark romance novel is a romance novel that explores themes of the paranormal, life and death, and includes elements of danger in a romantic setting. These books can have a lot of fun elements like fantasy book twists, love triangles, anti heroes, strong female leads, and friends-to-lover romance touches.

What is an open-door romance novel?

Romance novels are often split into “open-door” and “closed-door” novels. Those categorized as “open-door” are romance novels where the steamy physical details between couples are written out more explicitly on the page, while “closed-door” romance novels often leave out these scenes of physical romance, alluding to them instead.

What is a slow burn romance book?

A slow burn romance is a type of adult or YA romance book that focuses on the gradual development of the romantic relationship between the two main characters. The story often emphasizes the slow, sometimes fun or frustrating process of getting to know one another, as well as the anticipation and excitement of finally falling in love. They can be a ton of fun!

What are other recommendations for fans of young adult fantasy romance books?

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas, 2015)
2. Shadow and Bone (Leigh Bardugo, 2012)
3. The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Ahdieh, 2015)
4. Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas, 2012)
5. A Discovery of Witches (Deborah Harkness, 2011)
6. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins, 2008)
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling, 1997)
8. Twilight (Stephenie Meyer, 2005)
9. The Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer, 2012)
10. City of Bones (Cassandra Clare, 2007)
11. His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman, 1995)
12. Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo, 2015)
13. The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss, 2007)
14. The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954)
15. Graceling (Kristin Cashore, 2008)
16. The Darkest Minds (Alexandra Bracken, 2012)
17. The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern, 2011)
18. The Farseer Trilogy (Robin Hobb, 1995)
19. The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis, 1950)
20. The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan, 1990

Which young adult fantasy romance book  authors are most popular?

We’ve asked our readers and their top picks for magical fantasy mixed with heart-throbbing romance novels are:

1. Sarah J. Maas
2. Cassandra Clare
3. Tobie Easton
4. George R.R. Martin
5. Patrick Rothfuss
6. Cassandra Clare
7. Terry Pratchett
8. Neil Gaiman
9. J.R.R. Tolkien
10. Christopher Paolini
11. Mercedes Lackey
12. Richelle Mead
13. Stephenie Meyer
14. Jim Butcher
15. Karen Marie Moning
16. Brandon Sanderson
17. Anne Rice
18. Robin Hobb
19. Juliet Marillier
20. Nalini Singh

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Sara Zeller