Young adult fantasy books can always been improved with some awesome magical creatures. Whether you love fae, dragons, elves, vampires, wolves, or other magical creatures, these young adult fantasy books are sure to have what you’re looking for. First, we have a list of YA fantasy books with all sorts of magical creatures. Next, we’ll discuss the genre. And finally, we’ll take a deep dive into a few specific creatures. Get out a pen and paper because your to-be-read list is about to grow..
Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody
Set in a lush, Faerie world, this stunning tale of royal intrigue, magic, and sisterly devotion is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince.
I am not enchanting you with my eyes. I just happen to have amazing eyes.–Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody
If you love young adult fantasy books and haven’t read this one yet, now is the time to add it to your list! It has traditional fae folklore and several stunning magical creatures like fae, dryads, a wolf, gnomes, trolls, and more!
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal
People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.
We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.–We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
This book deserves to be on every list featuring teen fantasy books. It has a stunning enemies to lovers romance and a rich world you won’t soon forget.
Gilded by Marissa Meyer
In Gilded, Marissa Meyer returns to the fairytale world with this haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.
When she talked, she could hardly keep herself from telling the most outlandish tales, as though her tongue could not tell the difference between truth and falsehoods.–Gilded by Marissa Meyer
Fairy tale retellings are always popular when it comes to young adult fantasy books. This one is a dark, gothic tale with an Alder King that will put a shiver in your spine. It also has ghosts, magic, and a love story to make you swoon.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
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 her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.–Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
The magical creatures in this epic fantasy series are varied and as wondrous as ever. This series is sure to delight.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.
Do not underestimate the strength it takes to be kind in a world as cruel as ours.–A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Anyone who loves young adult fantasy books needs to check out this fantastic series. Just the cover alone is enough to catch anyone’s attention.
Fire by Kristin Cashore
A breathtaking, marvelous Graceling Realm book from Kristin Cashore.
She wondered if a person could be powerful, but inside be broken into pieces, and shaking, all the time.–Fire by Kristin Cashore
Like many other teen fantasy books, Fire will capture your heart and keep it long after you finish reading. This tale features a young woman with incredible powers, yet all she wishes is to live her life the way she chooses.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.
I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.–A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Though this book has several magical creatures, the one that will grip you the most is the terrifying beast in this magical fairy tale retelling.
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
In this fantastical second series installment by Julie Kagawa, a wish was made and a sword of rage and lightning was forged, one thousand years ago. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. A weapon powerful enough to seal away the formidable demon Hakaimono.
All souls have a destiny. Some are simply brighter than others.–Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
If you love books with impossible odds, this series is for you! It has a heart wrenching romance as well as rich mythology, making it a great addition to this list of young adult fantasy books.
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Meagan Spooner spins a thoroughly thrilling Beauty and the Beast story for the modern age, expertly woven with spellbinding romance, intrigue, and suspense that readers won’t soon be able to forget.
She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.–Hunted by Meagan Spooner
This story has such aching longing that it will leave readers rushing to find out how the story ends. No list of fantasy novels for teens would be complete without this beautiful retelling.
Wings of Shadow by Nicki Pau Preto
In the heart-stopping finale to the Crown of Feathers trilogy, Veronyka must face her most devastating enemy yet: her own sister.
Veronyka stumbled through the darkness, her hands outstretched.–Wings of Shadow by Nicki Pau-Preto
Teen fantasy novels offer a wide array of relatable characters, fantastical plots, and mythical creatures. For a series with all three, you’ll love this epic tale of phoenix riders.
Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee
Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.
For everyone who’s ever wondered if they were enough.–Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee
One look at this gorgeous cover will tell you it’s perfect for readers of young adult fantasy books. This dark fantasy story is one you won’t want to miss!
Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody
She vowed she’d never return to Faerie…but vows were made to be broken.
I’m glad you understand my priorities. Food should always come first, except maybe when it’s up against books.–Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody
This young adult fantasy book series is one full of heart, longing, and fighting an evil that has dropped even the most powerful to their knees. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves feisty female leads!
Why do people love fantasy books with mythical creatures?
The world of young adult fantasy books with magical creatures is a vast and enchanting one. Its popularity has endured for decades. Part of the appeal is these books offer readers an escape from the mundane realities of everyday life. Whether you’re a teenager struggling with the pressures of school and social life or an adult looking for a break from the stresses of work and responsibilities, young adult fantasy books offer a chance to step into a world of magic, adventure, and wonder.
Another reason readers are drawn to YA fantasy novels with magical creatures is the sense of possibility they offer. In these books, anything is possible, and the impossible becomes possible. Magical creatures like dragons, unicorns, and faeries are not bound by the laws and limitations of the natural world. This makes them endlessly fascinating and captivating.
Furthermore, many young adult fantasy books with magical creatures explore themes and issues that resonate with readers of all ages. These books often tackle issues of identity, belonging, self-discovery, and the struggle between good and evil. Through the lens of magical creatures and fantastical worlds, these stories can shed light on the complexities of the human experience and offer insights into our own lives.
Ultimately, the enduring popularity of young adult fantasy books with magical creatures lies in their ability to transport us to a world that is both familiar and otherworldly. They offer an escape from the mundane, and provide a sense of possibility. Best of all, they give a chance to explore hidden parts of ourselves through the lens of fantastical creatures and magical realms.
Dragons in YA Fantasy Novels
Dragons are one of the most beloved magical creatures in young adult fantasy literature. They are often portrayed as fierce, intelligent, and powerful beasts with a keen sense of self-preservation. However, not all dragons are created equal. Different authors have created unique variations of these mythical creatures to suit their stories.
One type of dragon that appears in young adult fantasy books is the traditional Western dragon. These dragons are typically portrayed as having four legs, wings, and the ability to breathe fire. They are often depicted as powerful and dangerous creatures that are not to be trifled with. However, in some stories, Western dragons are also portrayed as wise and benevolent creatures that possess a wealth of knowledge and can be powerful allies to the heroes of the story.
Another type of dragon that appears in young adult fantasy books is the Eastern dragon. These dragons are typically portrayed as long, serpentine creatures with no wings. They are often associated with water and are believed to be bringers of good luck and fortune. Unlike Western dragons, Eastern dragons are often depicted as wise and benevolent creatures that are deeply connected to the natural world.
In addition to traditional dragons, young adult fantasy books also feature a variety of hybrid dragons. These sometimes combine features of different animals. For example, some dragons may have the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle. Other dragons may have the body of a snake and the wings of a bat. These hybrid dragons often have unique abilities and characteristics that set them apart from other dragons.
Overall, the different dragons found in young adult fantasy books offer compelling creatures with unique characteristics and abilities. From the fierce and powerful Western dragon to the wise and benevolent Eastern dragon, these creatures continue to capture our imaginations and inspire us with their majesty and power.
Faeries in Young Adult Books
Faeries are another type of magical creature that appears frequently in young adult fantasy literature. These creatures are often portrayed as ethereal and otherworldly, with an array of unique abilities and limitations. There are many different types of fairies found in these books, each with their own distinct characteristics and abilities.
One of the most common types of faeries is the high fae. These characters are often similar to humans. However, high fae are stronger, more powerful, can hear better, have quicker reflexes, etc. They can be identified by their pointed ears. Sometimes elves and high fae are the same creature, just called by a different name. Other times, high fae and elves are completely different creatures.
Another type of fairy commonly found in young adult fantasy books is the pixie. These tiny creatures are often depicted as mischievous and playful. They have an affinity for nature and a penchant for causing trouble. Some stories suggest that they have the ability to control the elements.
In addition to High Fae and Pixies, young adult fantasy books also feature a variety of other fairy types, such as Brownies, Gnomes, and Sylphs. Each of these faeries has their own unique abilities and limitations. For example, Brownies are often depicted as household faeries that help with chores. Gnomes are typically associated with the earth and have a deep connection to plants and animals.
Despite their magical abilities, fairies in young adult fantasy books often have limitations. Those limitations prevent them from using their powers too freely. For example, some stories suggest that fairies can only use their powers under certain conditions. The fae might need a full moon or to stand on a particular type of flower. These limitations add an element of tension and unpredictability to stories featuring fairies. This, in turn, makes them all the more fascinating and mysterious.
Faeries in young adult fantasy books offer a rich tapestry of creatures with unique abilities and limitations. From mischievous Pixies to strikingly beautiful high fae, these creatures continue to capture our imaginations and inspire us with their magic and wonder.
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