Fantasy is my favourite genre because it makes the impossible possible and takes us to worlds we could never have imagined. Add some romance into the mix, and I’m sold on the story. As fantasy romance is one of the most popular genres, I compiled a list of some of the best YA fantasy romance books trending right now. None of these are to be missed!
Best YA Fantasy Romance Books
A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova
This stand-alone fantasy romance is perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Hades and Persephone. And it certainly deserves its spot a the top of our list of the best YA Fantasy Romance books.
Three thousand years ago, powerful, magical beings hunted humans until a treaty was formed. Now, centuries later, elves come in search of wives, and a Human Queen is chosen from the village, an act seen as a mark of death, not honour.
Luella, the only healer in the village, has avoided this honour for years until the Elf King visits her village and chooses her to be his wife. Upon arriving in Midscape, Luella learns that this world is dying, and she is the only one that can save it. Torn between two worlds, Luella struggles to find her place among them… and protect her heart from the cold, yet devastating, Elf King.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
This two-book series mixes Arabian Nights and 1001 Nights to create an epic romance wrapped in a fantastical tale.
Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a feared king known for taking a new wife each night, only to murder her come dawn.
Sixteen-year-old Shahrzad is fuelled by vengeance. After losing her best friend to the murderous king, Shahrzad volunteers to be his next bride, vowing to put an end to his reign of terror. Each night, Shahrzad weaves a tale so enchanting that it leaves Khalid wanting more, marking her the first bride to see dawn.
As the days pass, Shahrzad begins to realize that there is more to the Caliph than she dreamed. He is troubled, with a tormented soul and secrets to last a lifetime. With each moment she spends with Khalid, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. Resolving to uncover the palace’s secrets, Shahrzad steels herself, remembering what she has come to do. Will their love be enough, or will Khalid’s secrets tear them apart?
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
This two book series is an enemies to lovers romance and a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights.
As the Hunter, Zafira must enter the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Dressed as a man, Zafira knows that all she has worked for will crumble if anyone discovers her identity. She is a legend throughout the kingdom of Arawiya, though she does not want to be.
As the son of the Sultan, Nasir is tasked to assassinate those who defy his father. Named the Prince of Death, Nasir is a brutal legend and feared throughout the kingdom.
Sent on a quest to find a lost artifact that can restore magic to her world, Zafira enters the cursed forest determined to stop the Arz. On a similar mission, Nasir finds himself in the cursed forest, sent to find the artifact and kill the Hunter by his father. The enemies soon realize that the woods, and the artifact, are more dangerous than they realized. As they journey, it becomes clear that the artifact they seek may cause more harm than good.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
This four book series, contains a romance that defies destiny and rewrites the future. If you’re looking for one of the best YA Fantasy Romance books, this should be on your list.
Laia is a slave who lives in the impoverished backstreets of the Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia strikes a deal with the rebels, despite knowing that those who defy the Emperor risk execution. In exchange for freeing her brother, Laia promises to spy for the rebels from inside the Empire’s greatest military academy.
Elias is the most exemplary soldier in the academy but also the most unwilling. His dream is to be free of the Emperor and his reign of terror, hating the person his training has forced him to become. Both Elias and Laia can change the face of the Empire if they are willing to work together, make hard choices, and risk their lives for the greater good.
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare
If you’re looking for a book full of supernatural creatures and romance for days, then The Mortal Instruments is the series for you.
This unique story follows Clary Fray, who, on the night of her sixteenth birthday, witnesses three tattooed teenagers murder a club-goer at the Pandemonium — a murder no one else seems to notice. Clary soon learns that the world she knows is full of demons, vampires, and werewolves, controlled by warriors known as Shadowhunters.
When her mother goes missing, Clary enlists the help of Isabelle and Alec Lightwood and the infuriating but handsome Jace Wayland. Together, they begin to unravel Clary’s past, her blocked memory, and all the secrets her mother is hiding.
Why are demons suddenly so interested in Clary, an ordinary mundane? Did demons kidnap her mother? Why is she only now developing the Sight? With each question comes a scarier answer, and Clary soon finds the world she knew is not the one she belongs in.
Check out our ultimate guide to all the Cassandra Clare books in order for more info.
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices series) by Cassandra Clare
If you’re a fan of love triangles, this prequel to The Mortal Instruments may be for you.
The year is 1878, and Tessa Gray is on the hunt for her missing brother. Deep in London’s supernatural underworld, Tessa finds that the only people who can help her are the Shadowhunters. Will and Jem offer their services as they embark on a hunt for Tessa’s brother, but as days pass, the warriors begin to offer their hearts as well.
The search for Tessa’s brother unearths a dark secret. The Pandemonium Club is a hidden organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans who seek to rule the British Empire. The Downworlders are equipped with their clockwork creatures, and Tessa, Will, and Jem are the only ones who have a chance of stopping this war.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
It’s not a list of YA Fantasy Romance books without this beloved vampire classic. I read Twilight during the peak of the craze, and I’m still obsessed with it to this day.
The Twilight Saga follows seventeen-year-old Bella Swan, who moves from Phoenix, Arizona, to Forks, Washington. She imagines she’ll be miserable in this dreary small town until she meets Edward Cullen, a mysterious boy from her biology class. Pale with golden eyes and unearthly beauty, Bella is drawn to Edward from the moment they meet. After Edward saves Bella from a potentially fatal car accident, Bella realizes there is something inhuman about the Cullens. Soon, Bella finds herself in danger of dying at the hands of Edward Cullen… and of falling in love with him.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Throne of Glass series is a seven-book series and a soul-crushing novella. Filled with favourite tropes such as enemies to lovers, hidden royalty, the anti-hero, and the chosen one, this action-packed series isn’t to be missed.
Assassin-turned-slave Celaena Sardothien is freed from Endovier, an internment camp, by the Crown Prince of Adarlan. The prince offers her a bargain: compete in a tournament to the death, against other criminals, for the role of the King’s Champion and the promise of freedom after four years of service.
But when contestants start to turn up dead, bringing some excitement to court life, Celaena must figure out who the killer is before she becomes their next victim. With the competition challenging and a prince and captain catching her eye, this competition for freedom changes Celaena’s entire destiny.
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Looking for aliens, romance, and adventure? Look no further than Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s Lux series.
The first book, Obsidian, follows seventeen-year-old Katy, who has just moved to West Virginia. Looking to fit in, Katy attempts to befriend her neighbours Daemon and Dee Black. While Dee is kind, her brother Daemon is arrogant, infuriating, and wants nothing to do with Katy.
Katy soon finds that there’s more to her inhumanly gorgeous next-door neighbours than meets the eye. When a stranger attacks Katy, Daemon freezes time to save her, effectively marking her. Now lit up for all the galaxy to find, Katy must stick close to her alien neighbours and hide from the enemies seeking to steal their powers. Katy is sure this new protection detail will drive her crazy, but maybe Daemon isn’t so infuriating after all…
Gilded by Marissa Meyer
A fan of fairytales? This Rumpelstiltskin retelling is filled with darkness and a romance to die for. It might be a little different, but it definitely deserves to be on a list of the best YA Fantasy Romance books.
Cursed long ago by the god of lies, Serilda has a talent for telling fantastical and spellbinding stories that most believe to be untrue. When her stories catch the attention of the Erkling and his undead hunters, Serilda finds herself trapped in a sinister world. In this world where phantoms, ghouls, and demonic beings exist, the king challenges Serilda to the impossible task of spinning straw into gold. Should she fail, the king will kill her for telling false stories. Knowing this is an impossible task, Serilda summons a mysterious boy and strikes a bargain.
But Serilda soon realizes that there is more to this world and this castle than meets the eye. With many secrets to uncover, an ancient curse to break, and this mysterious boy who’s stolen her heart, Serilda must risk everything to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt for good.
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Set in pre-industrial France, this enemies to lovers trilogy contains daring adventure and sacrifice.
Louise le Blanc is a witch hiding in the city of Cesarine. After fleeing her coven two years ago, Lou abandons her magic and steals to survive. Lou dresses in men’s clothes, keeping low where she can as, in Cesarine, witches are hunted, and their fate is a firey stake.
Reid Diggory is one of the famed Chasseurs sworn to the Church to protect Cesarine from witches. Dedicated to the Church and his craft, Reid’s path never should have crossed with Lou’s. But when a stunt goes wrong, their fates align, and the two are bound in holy matrimony.
While living with the Chasseurs proves to be dangerous, and a war is looming, Lou knows that a fate worse than the stake awaits her should her coven find her. Navigating the Church and the witches is as tricky as expected, but Lou could never have imagined was how her feelings for her unwitting, witch-hunting husband would grow.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Welcome, welcome to Caraval. Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett and her sister Donatella have lived on their tiny island their whole lives. When their cruel and powerful father arranges a marriage for Scarlett, she imagines that her dreams of seeing the wonders of the legendary, once-a-year competition, Caraval, have ended. Having written letters to the gamemaster, Legend, for years, Scarlett is surprised when an invitation finally arrives before her wedding.
Tella, always the most adventurous, whisks Scarlett away to Caraval with the help of a mysterious sailor. As the performance commences, Scarlett’s plans of participating for a day or two disappear when she realizes that Legend has kidnapped her sister. This year’s performance revolves around Tella, and the only way to win is to find her. Knowing of Caraval’s addictive magic doesn’t stop Scarlett from tumbling down a rabbit hole of ancient magic and adventure, immersing herself in a game capable of driving someone mad and sweeping them away…
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
Beware the magic of the Magnificent North and get ready for one of the best YA Fantasy Romance books.
Evangeline Fox has always been a dreamer and believer in true love. But when the love of her life plans to marry another, Evangeline makes a desperate bargain to stop the wedding and heal her broken heart. Evangeline strikes a deal with the elusive Prince of Hearts, a Fate known for his deadly kiss and lack of beating heart. The Prince agrees to help Evangeline in exchange for three kisses, to be decided by him at the time and place of his choosing.
This promise takes Evangeline to the Magnificent North, a magical and ancient place where stories come from. After her first promised kiss, Evangeline quickly realizes that making deals with an immortal Fate is dangerous. The Prince of Hearts has tricks up his sleeve and hidden plans for Evangeline that could alter her very destiny and ruin her happily ever after.
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Pirate romances aren’t the most common stories, but any fan of enemies to lovers will adore this tale about a deadly pirate captain and a deceitful first mate.
Alosa is a daring pirate captain on the hunt for a map that will lead to a legendary treasure trove. This map, however, is hidden on an enemy ship, and Alosa allows them to capture her in order to retrieve it. Knowing she is more than a match for the pirate crew aboard, Alosa doesn’t expect her captor and clever first mate, Riden. Vowing that no pirate will stand in her way, the elusive daughter of the pirate king begins her hunt for the map.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Arranged marriage? Balls? Love triangles? This series has it all.
In a world divided by blood, seventeen-year-old Mare lives in the poverty-stricken Stilts. With Red blood, she is considered a commoner. Those with Silver blood are elite, with powers that rival the gods.
When Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, she discovers that she has powers of her own. Knowing she’s a threat to the power they hold, the Silvers declare her a long-lost princess, betrothed to a Silver prince.
With all eyes on her, Mare struggles to navigate a world where one wrong turn could mean her death. Mare secretly begins to work with a Red Guard who is part of a resistant group bent on destroying the Silver regime. With her heart pulled in two different directions, Mare must play a dangerous game between princes, bloods, and her heart.
Discover our ultimate guide to the Red Queen series for more info.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
Kallia, the Star, is willing to risk is all to prove that she is the greatest of them all.
Jack, The Master, is the mysterious keeper of the club who spins lie after lie.
Demarco, the Magician, a judge with secrets upon secrets that won’t stay hidden for long.
Danger lurks in a city covered in ice. A group of magicians will challenge each other to a daring performance to prove they are the best choice to headline the Conquering Circus. Magic is celebrated as much as it is feared, and the competitors find danger lurking behind the curtain. As each act becomes more perilous, more treacherous, magicians begin to go missing. Three must face their secrets and lies before they are next.
Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar
If you’re looking for a romance that can defy the stars, you’re in the right place.
Seventeen-year-old Sheetal Mistry has been forced to hide since her mother’s death. Sheetal has always been drawn to the stars who call her name. But as her birthday draws near, the call grows louder, and the pull grows stronger. Sheetal loses control, and her flare of starfire burns her father.
With no choice but to answer the starsong and ascend to the sky, Sheetal soon finds that her celestial family summoned her for a reason: to be their human champion in a competition that determines the next ruling house. Knowing that only a full star’s blood can heal her father, Sheetal agrees to be their champion. But what Sheetal does not expect is the darkness that looms between the stars.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
This classic enemies to lovers trilogy was a must to add to the list. With a strong female lead and betrayal lurking around every corner, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a must read.
Jude was only seven when her parents were murdered. Now having lived in the High Court of Faerie for the last ten years, Jude just wants to fit in. Despite their wicked magic, their beauty and immortality are envied.
To win a place in the High Court, Jude must defy the High King’s youngest and most wicked son. The consequences could be deadly, but as Jude delves into a palace filled with lies and tricks, she realizes that she is capable of being just as deceptive and deadly. But as tricks play out and betrayal threatens violence in the Court, Jude will need to risk her life to protect her sisters… and Faerie itself.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles series full of romance puts an interesting spin on a few classic fairy tales. Forget the best YA Fantasy Romance books, this is one of the best YA Fantasy Romance series.
In New Beijing, humans and androids filter through the streets while a deadly plague takes its toll on the population. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a second-class citizen and cyborg. She is hated by her step-mother and blamed for her step-sister’s illness.
When Cinder meets Prince Kai, their fates cross, and she finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic struggle. While the Lunar wait in space to make their move, Cinder must uncover the secrets of her past to protect her world and freedom.
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody
If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, this book filled with deadly, magic-fuelled villains is for you.
In Ilvernath, seven elite families name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. Every generation, the moon turns red, and the games begin. The winner and their family gain exclusive control over the city’s high magick and most powerful resource.
With the release of a tell-all book, the tournament is thrust into the spotlight, attracting tourists who hope to watch the ancient curse unfold. The Lowe’s have won nearly every game, and their champion is craving bloodshed. But with tourists picking sides and the chance for the champions to rewrite their family’s history, it’s anyone’s game.
YA Fantasy Romance Books Summary
- A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
- We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
- Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Gilded by Marissa Meyer
- Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
- Caraval by Stephanie Garber
- Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
- Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody
Final thoughts on the Best YA Fantasy Romance Books
There you have it, a quick list of the best romance books in YA Fantasy. Which ones have you read? Which ones are you planning to read next?
At the time of this writing, I’ve read 8 of the above books on the list and enjoyed them all.
Looking for more books lists?
Check out this list of the 25 Best Enemies to Lovers Romance books.