The best adult fantasy romance books are immersive and filled with epic love that is almost always guaranteed a happy ending. This is one of my favorite sub-genres, taking up 95% of my bookshelf space. If you’re like me and are constantly looking to add more books to your TBR, this list of the best adult fantasy romance books is for you.
Each book below contains a passionate romance that defies the odds. I have mixed urban fantasy and high fantasy reads together, but no matter the sub-genre, each book has enough fantasy to take you out of this world and plop you into a new one. You may see some familiar names on this list, with a few less known. There’s something for everyone on this list of the best adult fantasy romance books.
List of 20 Best Adult Fantasy Romance Books
Below is a straight up list of the best adult fantasy romance books available. We’ll provide a brief summary of each book later in the article.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
- From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
- Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
- The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
- House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
- A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair
- King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
- City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andra Stewart
- The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
- Blade and Rose by Miranda Honfleur
- The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
20 Best Adult Fantasy Romance Books
Some of the adult fantasy romance books on this list blur the lines between Young Adult and Adult and have achieved a new classification called New Adult. However, we’ll include them in this list of the best adult fantasy romance books.
You might also be interested in checking out our list of YA Fantasy romance books as well.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
If you’re looking for a love fuelled by magic, you’ve come to the right place.
Le Cirque des Rêves opens at night, it’s black-and-white striped tent blowing into town without warning. One moment it’s there, the next it’s not.
Behind the curtain, Celia and Marco have been training since childhood to participate in a competition that will pit the two young magicians against each other. Neither knows there can only be one surviving victor and that the circus is but a battlefield on a stage. Despite the competition, the two magicians fall into a love so deep that their magic flares with the littlest touch.
Despite their love, the game must go on, as the fates of everyone involved in the circus depend on the champion.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgernstern
Filled with candlelight, a dark sea, magic, and discovery, this story is not to be missed.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks of a library. This book is filled with stories of another world, featuring key collectors, lovestruck prisoners, and long-forgotten acolytes. As he reads, Zachary comes across a story from his childhood.
Curious and desperate to see how his story came to be recorded, Zachary discovers a series of clues that lead him to New York City. He enters a masquerade party in a secret club, with a hidden library deep beneath the city. But this place is more than a library; it is a place of stories, lost lovers and cities, and the guardians who will sacrifice anything to protect this realm. Alongside Mirabel, a protector, and Dorian, a man with shifting alliances, Zachary explores this magical world, ultimately discovering his fate.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
These steamy adult fantasy romance books feature love and sacrifice, betrayal and heartache. As one of the most popular series of the year, this story should be bumped to the top of your TBR pile.
The future of an entire kingdom rests on Poppy’s shoulders. Chosen from birth to be the Maiden, she lives a solitary life. Never spoken to, never to be looked upon, and hidden behind a veil, Poppy has never had the opportunity to figure out what she wants for herself. As her Ascension looms, Poppy trains secretly with the guards instead of preparing to be found worthy by the gods.
Beyond the mountains, a fallen kingdom is lying in wait to take back what’s theirs. Lead by the Dark One, violence and vengeance reign. When the Dark One sends his men to capture the Maiden, a new guard steps in to protect her.
Hawke is honour-bound to keep Poppy safe, but as duty and destiny collide, Poppy begins to question if it’s time to make a choice for herself. Is being found worthy by the gods indeed what she wants, or is a dark-haired, golden-eyed guard her future? As war looms, Poppy is at risk of losing not only her heart but her life.
A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L Armentrout
This new series is a prequel to From Blood and Ash, and is filled with just as much romance and adventure as the original series.
As far as anyone is concerned, Seraphena Mierel is a Fate-promised Maiden, destined to become the Primal of Death’s consort. But behind the veil lies an assassin with a single target. If she can make the Primal fall in love, become his weakness, she can end him. Should she fail, her kingdom pays the price.
Sera has always been what they made her until the Primal surprises her by breaking down her walls and showing her that she is more than her titles. Knowing that she cannot allow herself to fall in love with this man, Sera must make a choice — knowing her life is forfeit either way.
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
With a clever assassin and an enemy king, this duology features the favourite enemies to lovers trope. Don’t skip this book if you’re looking for the best adult fantasy romance books.
Lara is a warrior princess trained in isolation with her sisters to kill her kingdom’s most ruthless enemy. King Aren of the Bridge Kingdom deprives its rivals of goods, enriched by the only bridge on the continent. Disguised as his bride in a peace treaty, Lara infiltrates a kingdom filled with booby traps and impenetrable defences.
But as Lara learns more about the Bridge Kingdom and its tortured king, she begins to wonder if she’s the hero or the villain. As the hostility between the king and new queen begins to thaw, passion takes its place. Lara must choose which side she is truly on… and which kingdom will fall beneath her blade.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
With so many magical worlds filled with deadly twists and turns, this tale of a smuggling magician brings a new kind of addicting adventure.
As one of the last Antari, Kel has the ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and Black. Raised in Red London, Kel serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador between Londons.
On the side, Kel is a smuggler, allowing people to see the smallest glimpses of other Londons for a price. When one of these dangerous exchanges goes wrong, Kel escapes to Grey London, where he meets Delilah Bard, a thief with a thirst for adventure. After robbing him, she saves him from a deadly enemy and requests he spirit her away to another London.
When perilous magic begins to stir, it is up to Kel and Delilah to save the Londons — embarking on the greatest and most deadly adventure of their lives.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
This mesmerising story about a girl who sells her soul to the devil is written in beautiful prose.
In France, 1714, a young girl named Addie LaRue is desperate for adventure and a life beyond expectations. She prays to gods long forgotten, but they never answer her prayers. Everyone knows not to pray to the gods that answer after dark, but in an act of desperation, Addie ignores these warnings. She strikes a bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
As decades and centuries pass, Addie experiences adventure like she never dreamed. With history unfolding before her very eyes, fashion changing drastically, and people around her experiencing life, Addie begins to realize that forever isn’t everything she’d imagined.
Desperate to be remembered and leave her mark on the world nearly 300 years after her worst mistake, Addie meets a young man in a bookstore… and he can remember her name.
Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
If you need a favour, you ask the Bargainer, a man who can grant your wish for a price. Only death or repayment will fulfil your obligations and sooner or later, he comes to collect.
Callypso Lillis is a siren who has made many bargains, made evident by the bracelet of black beads that circles up her wrist. She has never been asked for repayment until now. When the Bargainer appears in her room, looking like a mix of danger and fun, Callie knows it’s time to pay. But all he asks is for a chaste kiss, one bead’s worth, and a promise for more.
But something is brewing in the Otherworld. As fae warriors go missing and women return in glass caskets, whispers circulate that evil is stirring. While the fae king arrives before Callie under the pretence of repayment, he’ll need Callie’s help if he has any hope of saving his people.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This book may be long (clocking in at 827 pages) but with it’s high fantasy world filled with romance and war, it’s not to be missed.
In a queendom without an heir, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction. The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years, but as assassins close in on the queen, the reign might soon end.
Loyal to the hidden society of mages, Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. As a lady-in-waiting, Ead protects Queen Sabran as best she can with forbidden magic, desperate to keep her alive.
Tané lives across the sea and has trained to be a dragonrider all her life. When she is forced to make a difficult choice, all she has worked for could unravel.
As the East and West refuse to come to a truce, chaos begins to rise and war between good and evil looms.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
If you’re a fan of Twilight, Anne Rice, historical realism, and witches, this series is for you.
Despite being a descendent of the famous Bridget Bishop of Salem, Massachusetts, Diana Bishop wants nothing to do with sorcery. When deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Diana calls forth a bewitched alchemical manuscript entitled Ashmole 782. After flipping through it, she banishes it back amongst the stacks. Without realizing it, Diana has discovered a centuries-old treasure long lost, and she is the only one who can break its spell.
As vampires, witches, and daemons swarm the library, Diana allies with a vampire geneticist, Matthew Clairmont. Their alliance slowly morphs into intimacy and violates age-old tradition. As supernatural creatures become more and more desperate for Diana to call back Ashmole 782, Diana must face the natural powers she abandoned long ago.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
While this series tends to be marketed as YA, it is being rebranded as NA/Adult due to its spicier scenes. As arguably one of the most popular series of the decade, this enemies to lovers fantasy romance should be on everyone’s TBR.
Feyre Archeron is the youngest daughter of a once-wealthy merchant. Now living in a rundown home in a bleak and dangerous forest, close to the wall that separates humans from fae, her family’s survival rests on her ability to hunt.
As winters grow cold and animals find shelter, Feyre and her family are often on the brink of starvation. So when she notices a rather large wolf stalking a deer, Feyre knows she must kill the predator before it makes her prey.
Unaware that the wolf she killed was a faerie from the magical lands of Prythian, Feyre is dragged over the wall to pay the price. Her captor is a High Lord in a jewelled mask, who is as hostile toward her as she feels. Despite being closely guarded, the Spring Court is more than Feyre could have imagined.
But as her feelings toward her captor turn from anger to passion, the lands become more dangerous. With dark forces at work, she must break an ancient curse to free the faerie lands… or risk losing her heart forever.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
If you enjoyed Maas’s previous works, this debut in her new high fantasy series is a must read.
When a demon slaughters party girl Bryce Quinlan’s closest friends, she is left with nothing. With the accused behind bars, Bryce tries to resume her old life. When the murders begin again, Bryce dives into the investigation. Desperate to avenge their deaths, Bryce will make sacrifice after sacrifice for answers.
Hunt Athalar is the notorious Umbra Mortis, a fallen angel enslaved to the Archangels. As their assassin, Hunt must eliminate an impossible amount of threats before he is free. The demon continues to wreak havoc in the city, and his bosses offer Hunt a deal too irresistible to deny: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be in reach.
As dark power looms and threatens everything they hold dear, Bryce and Hunt find a passion in each other that could save them all… if only they could face their respective demons first.
A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair
Hades and Persephone retellings are numerous, but this series puts an interesting spin on the age-old tale.
Persephone, the Goddess of Spring, has moved to New Athens to pursue a career as a journalist. Disguised as a mortal, Persephone hopes to leave her title behind as she’s always felt like an imposter in her world. Unable to grow flowers, all she can do is kill them with a touch.
Hades, God of the Dead, runs a gambling empire in his notorious club. He is rumoured to offer bargains that are impossible to turn down, with a price just as challenging to fulfill.
When Persephone accidentally enters into a contract with Hades during a chance encounter, the bet she must fulfill is not only difficult but impossible. Persephone must create life in the Underworld or be trapped there forever. Hades’s bargains are meant to expose his prey, and the more he reveals her vulnerabilities, the more Persephone falls for the God of the Dead… something that is entirely forbidden.
King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
Enemies to lovers in an arranged marriage? This book has me hook, line, and sinker.
Isolde de Lara is betrothed to the vampire king, Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev. Hoping to end a years-long war, Isolde will marry him, gain his trust, and then kill him. But when her assassination attempt fails, Adrian threatens that should she try to kill him again, he will turn her into the creature she hates the most: a vampire.
As Isolde looks for other ways to defy him and survive living at court, she begins to wonder why he chose her as his consort. The answer will challenge everything she thought she knew.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Homer’s Illiad is a story we all know well, but this retelling of Achilles and Patroclus’s journey is an incredible tale of two people who were more than men at arms, but soul mates.
Achilles, son of the sea goddess, Thetis, and legendary king, Peleus, is a strong warrior in the making. Patroclus is a weak prince who is banished from his homeland after an act of violence. The two meet by chance and form an inseparable bond.
Destined to become the greatest hero in all of Greece, Achilles, with Patroclus in tow, is sent to the mountains to train. Their undying love burns bright with passion, but it isn’t enough to keep war from their door. When the enemy kidnaps Helen of Sparta, Achilles must choose between eternal glory and a simple life with Patroclus at his side. Seduced by glory, Achilles joins the cause to destroy Troy for all its taken. Out of fear for Achilles, Patroclus follows him into battle. But as war rages, greatness comes at a steep cost… one that demands a terrible sacrifice.
City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
This OwnVoices, Muslim fantasy series is endlessly fascinating and entirely addictive and well deserving of it’s rank on this list of the best adult fantasy romance books.
On the streets of 18th century Cairo, Nahri is a talented con woman, utilizing palm readings and zars to delight and trick nobles into turning over their coins. And these talents are just that, tricks, skills, slights of hand. There is no magic in what Nahri does. Or so she believed.
After accidentally summoning an equally clever and mysterious djinn warrior during one of her cons, Nahir must admit that magic is real. The warrior weaves a tale of truth about Daevabad, the city of brass that is calling her name. When Nahri decides it’s time for her to see their world for herself, she discovers that magic comes at a cost, and ancient resentments are stirring. Power is brutal, and magic cannot protect her from the politics and old ways of the court. Nahri may be clever at conning nobles on the streets of Cairo, but in the city of brass, even her slyest schemes can have deadly consequences.
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andra Stewart
An intriguing fantasy debut with a unique magic system and three rogue main characters? Sign me up!
Lin, the emperor’s daughter, watches the unrest in the Empire from behind locked doors in the palace, unable to remember a semblance of her life before five years ago. Her father’s reign has lasted decades, and his hold on forbidden bone shard magic is masterful.
But when a revolution begins across the Empire’s islands, Lin may be all that stands between the rebels and the Empire. When her father refuses to see her as his heir, Lin vows to prove that she is worthy of the title by mastering bone shard magic.
As war reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide between the world she was born into and the people she vowed to protect.
The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
This standalone OwnVoices retelling of Jewish mythology is enthralling from start to finish, with never-ending twists and turns.
Evike is an outcast in her village as she is magic-less and has a Yehuli father. When the Holy Order of the Woodsmen comes to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Evike’s village volunteers her. On the way to the palace, the Woodsmen are attacked, leaving only her and the captain alive.
As the two rely on each other to survive, Evike begins to realize that the captain is not who she thought he was. Throughout the journey, the two bond over their desire to prevent the cruel prince from taking the throne.
Their mission takes them to the capital, and the journey turns their distrust into passion. As Evike discovers her own hidden magic and the captain prepares to face the throne once again, the two must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice for a world that never cared for them at all.
Blade and Rose by Miranda Honfleur
With morally grey characters, an impossible choice, and an epic love, this book is entirely addicting.
Rielle is an elementalist tasked with escorting a paladin named Jon across the kingdom. Hoping to get the chance to investigate her best friend Olivia’s disappearance (that the Tower of Magic doesn’t seem to care about), the two embark on their journey. As they travel, they hear rumours that the king has been murdered and mercenaries have taken the capital.
Rielle can’t leave Olivia in danger, but with assassins closing in on Jon, she can’t leave him to fend for himself either. As their passion grows, Rielle must face her past and an ancient evil gathering in the capital.
Knowing she must do what she can to save Olivia and the kingdom, Rielle defies her orders, forsakes her future, and risks losing the man she loves. In this medieval world where darkness is unfolding, Rielle must choose between saving the kingdom or the love of her life.
The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
This mysterious dark academia read is full of romance, magic, and secrets.
The Alexandrian Society is a secret society that chooses the six most powerful magicians for initiation. Only five will make the cut, destined for a life of wealth and power, protecting lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity.
Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona can control every element of physicality. Reina Mori is a naturalist who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali is a telepath. Callum Nova is an empath. Lastly, Tristan Caine has the rare ability to see through illusions.
All recruited by Atlas Blakely, they have one year to prove their worth. They will be judged based on their contributions, given limited access to the Society’s archives, and as only five will be recruited, one will be eliminated. The six will fight to survive and prove themselves worthy of such a position.
Which of these adult fantasy romance books have you read? Which was your favorite? And which one are you reading next? Let us know down in the comments.
Looking for more book lists?
Check out this list of the best YA Fantasy romance books.