Current Favorite YA Fantasy Books!

Staff Picks

Current Favorite YA Fantasy Books!

Five binge worthy fantasy books!

I think that fantasy novels are a great way to distract yourself from stress, life, or whatever it is you would like to avoid. They also allow you to completely immerse yourself into a world that is different than your own. Allowing you to pretend to be a warrior, a witch, or even a demon. The five books discussed here are the first books in series. So, if you enjoy the series for the world-building, the characters, the action, the romance, or the drama, you can continue to read more books that each author has published in the worlds. 

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
This is an Asian based fantasy in which our main character, Maia, is not allowed to be a tailor because she is a female. Her dad and brothers all work as tailors when they are not called off to war to fight. Maia knows this is not fair because she is more talented than all of her brothers combined when it comes to tailoring. Her dad helps to teach and nurture this talent in secret because he does not see a problem with her helping out in their family store. When disaster reaches her family, Maia has to step up and protect them. She goes to the King's house in order to compete to be the royal tailor. Though her dad does not want to see her go, he knows that she must and as a parting gift he gives her a pair of scissors that belonged to her grandmother. Little do they know that these scissors will be the key to discovering her talent, magic, and who she really is. 

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
This is a book that follows Sunny, her family, and her friends through the two worlds that she belongs to. After meeting a new friend, ChiChi, Sunny realizes that she is not a simple albino Nigerian as she thought. She is in fact a powerful spirit person and being albino contributes to her skill. In a short time, she has to learn about the new world that she is apart of, begin to conquer her skills (juju), take care of her family, get to know her friends and teachers, all while saving the world. Though Sunny is new and she does not know as much about the world as her friends; Sunny gift is rare and powerful and she is the key to killing the evil lurking in Nigeria. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This is a book that begins not only this series but the second series in this world (Six of Crows). You learn all about the magical system in this world and follow our main character Alina as she learns more about herself. She thought she was just an ordinary orphan as she grew up with her best friend Mal. While they were both on a mission to cross the Unsea she is faced with losing her best friend to a monster or sacrificing herself for him to have the chance to live. In sacrificing herself she lets loose something that she has been hiding for a while since she was eight. Something that she knew would take her away from her best friend, would change the future they had planned together, and make her special. When she finally allows herself to become special she learns more about herself, her future, and may even find the love of her life along the way. 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
This is a book that follows six unlikely characters that come together to kidnap a man and ultimately save the world. Within this group, you have the "witch," the witch hunter, the scientists, the snipper, the acrobat, and the gangster. In some cases their lives have been intertwined because of history, others their current paths are intertwined, and others their future will be intertwined. They all join this mission for various reasons but one that is held above the rest, money. In Katterdam money is the only way to get yourself out of servitude, debt, street cred, or earn control which these characters need. This is a very immersive fantasy world that may seem slow-paced at the beginning but once part two begins it picks up and you become even more connected with the characters. You get the best of a few worlds action, fantasy, romance with both heterosexual and queer representation, and diversity. 

Sky in the Deep Adrienne Young
This book is a Viking fantasy where two groups come together to fight every five years. They do this to protect their rights to property and because it is tradition. When it is not fighting season then they are training for the fighting season. Our main character Eelyn has grown up fighting with her older brother until one season he gets killed. The act of losing her brother is terrible but worse because she knows she was not a good enough partner to keep her brother alive. Their group does not believe in taking their dead bodies back so she and her father mourn is body where it laid dead and went back home to sacrifice to their gods for his spirit to be at peace. The next fighting seasons she is paired up with a new partner and one day she sees someone she never thought she would again, her brother. She has to choose between her people, her brother, and the love of her life in this gripping novel. Along with trying to figure out a plan so that she can keep all of them safe from the same people who killed her mother the Herja.