If you’re looking for the best young adult fantasy romance books worth reading then look no further than this book list!
I’ve compiled the most popular young adult fantasy romance books that fans can’t get enough of and that are full of magic, intrigue, mystery, and of course romance.
But the best part is that many of these amazing YA fantasy romance books kick off entire series of epic fantasy romance books so you’ll find even more great books to read after you devour these recommendations.
Whether you’re looking to escape into a world with magical Fae, or take on a gothic mystery, urban fantasy, or a fairy tale retelling, this list of young adult fantasy romance books has it all when it comes to young heroes and heroines saving the day and stealing the show!
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The Best Young Adult Fantasy Romance Books
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
With over a million ratings on Goodreads and as a 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction & Science Fiction, it’s no lie that this book is one of the most popular young adult fantasy romance books.
If you mash up The Bachelor with The Hunger Games-like dystopia and a bunch of teens then you’ve got The Selection and an intriguing love triangle story.
For a fantasy romance set in a futuristic world divided by a caste system, this is a must-read before binge-reading the entire The Selection series!
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.
Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council.
If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life.
Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants meets their end quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the culprit 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.
I love books with strong heroines but a young adult fantasy romance with a female assassin? Yes, please! Plus I love the added bonus of the thrill of the competitions that Celaena must compete in.
Throne of Glass has over a million ratings on Goodreads and as a 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction & Science Fiction, it too earned its place as one of the most popular young adult fantasy romance books.
If you love it, be sure to check out my list of books like Throne of Glass for more to read!
Despite being stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie when she was seven years old, Jude wants to be one of them.
But as a human, she is despised by many of the fae, including Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, Jude becomes mixed in royal intrigues and deceptions, ultimately needing to forge an alliance with the Prince to save herself, her family and possibly the kingdom.
If you love young adult fantasy romance, then it’s a given that you need to read Black’s The Cruel Prince series.
I loved Jude’s strength in this enemies to lovers storyline that’s really a bully romance because Cardan is just so cruel.
But it’s not just the dynamic between Jude and Cardan that will have you hooked in this story – it’s also what’s happening behind the scenes at the High Court of the Faerie.
Related: Best Dark Fantasy Romance Books
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal.
There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.
Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.
Fans of witch romance books will surely love this popular young adult fantasy romance.
A 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards nominee, Shelby Mahurin’s debut novel is a dazzling mix of magic, witchcraft, and forbidden love.
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities.
Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court where she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons.
As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.
I love fantasy books that create awesome new worlds and characters with magical abilities.
The dynamic between Reds and Silvers is compelling in this young adult fantasy romance as well as Mare’s new relationship.
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray witnesses a crime committed by three teenagers outside a club in New York City and then watches the slain body disappear, she doesn’t know what to think or what to do.
What she has done is meet the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons.
While she’d like to put the encounter behind her, she’s thrust into needing the help of Jace, a Shadowhunter who’s also a jerk, after her mother mysteriously disappears and after Clary is ambushed by a demon.
Cassandra Clare’s name is synonymous with young adult fantasy romance books, especially the Mortal Instruments series whose popularity is still going strong after all these years.
I love that City of Bones is a mix of urban fantasy and paranormal with great world-building but I’m biased that it’s really the chemistry between Clary and Jace, our reluctant hero, that I’m after.
Katsa has been able to end a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill.
As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with her skill, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
This is another young adult fantasy romance book with a strong heroine who is struggling with the greater meaning of who she is considering what her Grace enables her to do so well.
I think young adult books are the perfect entry point for this type of introspection but Cashore’s world-building makes this young adult fantasy just breathtaking.
One touch is all it takes. One touch, and Juliette Ferrars can leave a fully grown man gasping for air. One touch, and she can destroy you.
No one knows why Juliette has such incredible power. It feels like a curse, a burden that one person alone could never bear.
But The Reestablishment sees it as a gift, sees her as an opportunity. An opportunity for a dangerous weapon.
Juliette has never fought for herself before. But when she’s reunited with the one person who ever cared about her, she finds a strength she never knew she had.
This young adult fantasy romance also features a female lead with devastating powers but it’s a book that people either love or hate due to the writing style.
Mafi’s prose if very….different….lyrical? I’m not sure how to describe it but some love it and others really, really don’t. If you do, then you can enjoy the entire Shatter Me series.
Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history.
Now, the commanding general―also known as her tough-as-talons mother―has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, the end of your life is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.
With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would take out Violet to better their own chances of success.
The rest would end her just for being her mother’s daughter―like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.
She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.
Yet, with every day that passes, the battle outside grows more dangerous, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the ledger of those lost continues to rise.
Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.
I’m squeezing this onto my list when technically it’s more of a new adult fantasy as opposed to a young adult fantasy romance book since the heroine is twenty but I’m loved it so much that I had to include it!
Violet actually seemed really young to me at the beginning but man, did she soon prove everyone wrong with her resilience.
The young girl who thought she would become a Scribe and who others thought she’d never even make it across the parapet to the Rider quadrant became a heroine I was totally rooting for.
Check out my review of Fourth Wing.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people.
Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan.
If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
Battles are brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow.
When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and destroy the Hunter.
But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
I simply adore that this young adult fantasy romance book is inspired by ancient Arabia. There just aren’t enough Middle Eastern-inspired romance books and I’m all for it.
Hafsah Faizal’s debut novel brings together a sense of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands which earned her a Goodreads Choice Awards nomination!
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map-the key to a legendary treasure trove-seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden.
But luckily, Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve – and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
This book totally had me at seventeen-year-old pirate. I adore strong heroines, especially in young adult fantasy romance books, and I love how Alosa intentionally places herself among her enemies to achieve her goal.
If you too love pirate romances, or romances set at sea, then check out this first book in Daughter of the Pirate King series.
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.
When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with Raffe, an injured enemy angel.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but I love romance books about the apocalypse and want to learn EVERYTHING about this world.
If you’re looking for a dystopian young adult fantasy romance book that dabbles in the supernatural then check this one out!
Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, has been turned into a beast and cursed by an enchantress to repeat his eighteenth year until a girl falls in love with him.
All hope of breaking the curse is lost until he meets Harper.
Harper knows what it’s like to struggle having cerebral palsy, but she doesn’t let that stop her.
When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world with a prince, monsters, a curse and the people’s of Emberfall’s lives at stake.
This young adult fantasy romance is a Beauty and the Beast retelling!
It’s so fun to see how authors put their own spin on this classic fairy tale, but I love how Kemmerer gives us a diverse heroine in her story which we absolutely need more of in romance.
This is also book one of the Cursebreaker series so get ready to jump into this world and then dive into more.
In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies.
But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.
Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.
But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him.
Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.
Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored.
And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.
Emily Henry describes this book as her “fun little book about love, lakes, ghosts, grief, inheritance, magic, Michigan…it’s chill.”
While based in magical realism, it skirts the line with paranormal romance since it has to do with ghosts but I liked that both June and Saul are struggling with loss and come to better understand their decades-long family feud.
Check it out if you’ve become a fan of Emily Henry’s books.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful and cruel father.
Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to attend. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.
It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance.
But whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, and her sister disappears forever.
Honestly, this book has me at magical carnival! I’m so intrigued by the audience’s participation in the game and how the twists and turns will play out while Scarlett is searching for her sister.
Go into this young adult fantasy romance book blind and see what happens then check out the entire Caraval series.
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. An evil plague ravages the population.
From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness.
But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.
Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
I love everything about this unique young adult fantasy romance book – cyborgs, lunar people, a mysterious illness, and a setting in New Beijing…gah! What a cool way to approach a Cinderella retelling is all I have to say.
If you like her rendition of this story, then check out the rest of her retellings in The Lunar Chronicles!
Related: The Lunar Chronicles Books in Order
Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler.
So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.
As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower.
Except that she’s no longer living. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.
With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions.
But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.
I love how this young adult fantasy romance explores what happens AFTER you defeat the evil villain!
Lukens gives us a new twist on the King Arthur/Merlin story that has all the things: fantasy, slow burn, friends to lovers, and MM romcom! What more can you want?
Related: Best Booktok Recommendations
Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end.
Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.
Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation, and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness.
But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the culprit.
However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the person responsible is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side.
Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.
The name alone of this young adult fantasy romance gives you an indication that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the young heroine of the story.
If you’re looking for something with definite gothic vibes that includes a compelling mystery and ghosts then this is the book for you!
For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings . . . until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.
Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts.
In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.
But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game — and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged.
He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy.
I love romance books with bets or deals that go wrong…but do they really if you know a happily-ever-after is in store?
This is a wickedly good enemies to lovers fantasy book to delight young adult fans and fans of magic and fairy tales.
A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations.
A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power.
Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard.
A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself.
A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.
When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.
This book begins a duet that is a spin-off of Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles but can be read as a standalone from that series.
A mixture of hidden missions entangled with romance and a battle of wits between a reformed thief and a young leader of an outlaw dynasty makes this a young adult fantasy romance book worth reading. Read this then the entire Dance of Thieves series.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth have grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly battle.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages — not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color.
Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When one of the strangers — beautiful, haunted Akiva — fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a dark past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
This is one of those captivating novels about a heroine that you just want to know more about. Karou lives in Prague (very cool!) but in two completely different worlds.
She’s pretty awesome with her blue hair and tattoos but she’s a girl who meets monsters and runs errands to collect teeth for goodness sakes!
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything.
Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains.
If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire, and Elisabeth is implicated in the crime.
With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy.
Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself.
For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
A book about libraries, sorcery AND magic? Yes, please!
This is another young adult fantasy romance that uses the enemies to lovers trope to really pull out the strong-willed heroine and her reluctant hero.
Surprisingly, it’s one of a few standalone fantasy reads (meaning not part of a series) so if that appeals to you then definitely check it out.
Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control.
At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes.
She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will perish.
Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne.
Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry.
And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.
I would say to pick up this young adult fantasy romance book just because the cover is so beautiful!
But of course, I love it for its twist on fairy tales and East Asian folklore as well as the dragons and enchanted cranes!
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations.
But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met.
When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I had to include this on the list because I love when romance books are made into movies and the Beautiful Creatures movie released in 2013 with quite the star-studded cast!
It too skirts the line with paranormal romance but if you like young adult fantasy romance books where two teens are mysteriously drawn together and one is unaware of her powers then give Beautiful Creatures a go.
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: destroy the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father.
To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic.
She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol loses his father and older brother to an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom.
To do that, Kol needs magic of his own—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman—and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king.
Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen.
But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
I love a good fairy tale retelling and this is a dark, young adult fantasy romance version of Snow White! Oh, and it also has dragons 😊.
This too is a standalone romance so you don’t have to sign up for an epic series if you don’t want to with this book.
However, you may be interested to check out the rest of the Ravenspire series for even more standalone fantasy romances that are fairy tale retellings!
What did you think of my list of best young adult fantasy romance books? Did your favorite make the cut?
Let me know in the comments below and then be sure to check out the following lists for even more great fantasy romance books to read!
- Best Spellbinding Fantasy Romance Books
- Top 10 Romantasy Books of All Time
- Best Enemies to Lovers Books in Fantasy Romance
- Best Dark Fantasy Romance Books
- Best Fantasy Romance Movies
- Best Paranormal Romance Books
- Best Witch Romance Books
- Best Books About Teenage Romance
- Best YA Enemies to Lovers Books