Skip To Content

    29 YA Fantasy Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2020

    Because the best fantasy is a shelf full of brand new books.

    1. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

    Feiwel & Friends, Via tricialevenseller.com

    Release date: Feb. 25, 2020

    What it's about: If you've been on the hunt for a villainous love story, look no further than The Shadows Between Us. There are many rumors swirling about the power the newly crowned Shadow King holds. Some say he commands the shadows around him to do his bidding while others say the shadows whisper the thoughts of his enemies to him. One thing is for certain though — assassin Alessandra is going to woo the Shadow King, marry him, and then kill him. Problem is, she is not the only one trying to murder him. Her goal: To make sure he stays alive long enough for him to make her his queen.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.59+, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    2. Havenfall by Sara Holland

    Bloomsbury, Sub / Urban Photography

    Release date: Mar. 3, 2020

    What it's about: If you grew up loving Wonderland, Narnia, Oz, and other magical realms, welcome to your new favorite obsession. The Inn at Havenfall, hidden in the mountains of Colorado, is a gateway that connects ancient worlds together, providing a sanctuary for those who seek refuge within its walls — and where Maddie Morrow spends her summers. Maddie's beloved uncle is the Innkeeper, a job she hopes to inherit from him one day, and Havenfall is her escape from reality. But this summer turns deadly when a body is found, her uncle is gravely injured, and Brekken, the Fiorden soldier she fell in love with, is missing. Now, with a dangerous creature on the loose, it's up to Maddie to ensure the safety of everyone in Havenfall.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.39+, Barnes and Noble for $13.39, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    3. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

    Wednesday Books, Via goodreads.com

    Release date: Apr. 7, 2020

    In case you haven't yet read book one, Wicked Saints: In this Slavic-inspired fantasy, we follow Nadya, a cleric who can speak to the gods, and Serefin, a blood mage prince, who must assassinate a king and stop a war. And if you've been looking for a series to satisfy your Reylo obsession, you're gonna love Malachiasz.

    What it's about: The voices that Nadya believes are her gods, that Serefin hears in the darkness, and that Malachiasz is desperate to meet will no longer be quiet. Emily A. Duncan deftly pulls the strings in this sequel, expanding on the addictively compelling characters of the first and leaving you desperate for the final volume of the trilogy.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.39+, Barnes and Noble for $13.39, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    4. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

    Disney-Hyperion, Sarah Younger

    Release date: Apr. 28, 2020

    What it's about: Renata, a memory thief who was kidnapped as a child and brought to the Andalucia palace, was used to carry out a siege that brought about the deaths of thousands of her own people. Though she was rescued by a group of rebel spies called the Whispers, she is unable to escape the memories of her time in the palace. When the commander of her unit, Dez, is taken captive, she must return to Andalucia. Now faced with completing his mission, Renata has to keep her cover, even when faced with a chance at vengeance against the prince. This Inquisition-era Spain-inspired series starter is an unforgettable journey.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    5. The Extraordinaries by T J Klune

    Tor Teen, Natasha Michaels

    Release date: May 5, 2020

    What it's about: Following the most popular (and superpower-free) fanfiction writer in a world full of superheroes, The Extraordinaries takes a look at fandom and at the reasons we push our perceived limits. After an encounter with Nova City's mightiest hero, Shadow Star, Nick Bell sets out to change his ordinary self into an extraordinary self. But the only way he can do that is with the help of his best friend (and the possible love of his life), Seth. If you're looking for a book to read and then reread several times before the next Spider-Man movie releases, this will be perfect.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    6. The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

    Candlewick, Via prettyokmaggie.com

    Release date: May 5, 2020

    What it's about: If you've ever found yourself thinking, "Wow, I'd really love if I could read a love story featuring a gender-fluid pirate, maybe a mermaid, definitely one that explores and inverts some common fantasy tropes," then you are in luck. The pirate Florian/Flora has always done what it takes to survive, including working as a pirate, thief, and worse aboard the ship the Dove. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is aboard the ship to sail to an arranged marriage, accompanied by her own casket. And when the Lady and the Pirate fall in love, both will question the roles they've been assigned to play.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    7. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

    Flatiron, Teresa Marie Photography

    Release date: May 12, 2020

    What it's about: There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. Girl, Serpent, Thorn follows Soraya, a girl cursed by a div, who has lived her life hidden in the shadows. As she decides to take her existence into her own hands, she crosses paths with a boy who seems not to fear the poison within her, and a div girl who is being kept in the dungeon. An original queer fairy tale inspired by the author’s Persian roots, this is one of the best books of the year, hands down.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    8. The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos

    Quill Tree Books, Dirty Sugar LLC

    Release date: May 12, 2020

    What it's about: Magic is frowned upon in Sam's small Georgia town. That's why Sam's friends James and Delia, and their school's magic club, are the only things getting him to graduation. But as Delia grows more frustrated with their amateur magic club, and Sam deals with his growing feelings for James, the latter reveals he got mixed up with some sketchy magickers over the summer...and there is a target on all their backs. If you've been looking for a book to fill a The Raven Boys-esque craving, we found it for you.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    9. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

    Delacorte, Via goodreads.com

    Release date: May 26, 2020

    What it's about: On the day of Deka's blood ceremony, the ceremony that determines whether she will become a member of her village, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity, and Deka knows she will face the consequences. But that's before a mysterious woman offers her a choice: stay in the village to face the backlash, or join an army of girls like her — they're called alaki, near-imortals with rare gifts — who fight for the emperor. And as she journeys to the capital for training, she will discover that nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be. Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore this one.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    10. The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala

    Katherine Tegen, Via swatiteerdhala.com

    Release date: May 26, 2020

    In case you haven't yet read book one, The Tiger at Midnight: Esha is the Viper, a highly skilled assassin for the rebel group, tasked with taking down General Hotha. Kunal is Hotha's nephew, a soldier since childhood, tasked with upholding the power of the King. When their paths cross, both believe they're the one calling the shots, even as their feelings towards each other shift.

    What it's about: Kunal and Esha, now working together as rebel spies, must infiltrate King Vardaan's court during the Sun Mela — a call for peace, a call for celebration, and a deadly competition. Kunal returns as a soldier during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka, Esha as an adviser to Prince Harun. And all the while, a radical plan is underway to rescue Princess Reha of Jansa, the key to a stolen throne. The Tiger at Midnight, drawing influence from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, was one of the best debuts of 2019, and we are eagerly awaiting the second part of this trilogy.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    11. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

    Wednesday Books, Mei Lin Barral

    Release date: Jun. 2, 2020

    What it's about: The Conquering Circus is looking for a new headliner, and those hoping to earn that job must face off in a competition of increasingly risky magical feats. But as an unseen danger lurks behind the scenes, magicians start going missing. Three competitors — Kallia, a fiercely determined showgirl, Jack, the keeper of the club, and Demarco, a judge with a dark past — must reckon with their secrets before they become the darkness' next victims. Perfect for fans of Moulin Rouge and The Phantom of the Opera, Angeles' debut is spectacular, spectacular!

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    12. The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

    Knopf, Via kestergrant.com

    Release date: Jun. 2, 2020

    What it's about: Sticking with our mini musical theme, if you've been looking for a Les Miserables retelling, Kester Grant has the book for you! In an alternate 1828 Paris, after the French Revolution failed, the city is divided between the ruthless royalty and the Court of Miracles, nine underworld criminal guilds. Nina, a member of the Thieves Guild, is a cat burglar, desperate to keep her younger adopted sister, Ettie, safe. But when Ettie attracts the eye of the lord of the Guild of Flesh, Nina's vow to protect her takes them to the glittering court of Louis XVII.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    13. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

    Balzer + Bray, Via roseanneabrown.com

    Release date: Jun. 2, 2020

    What it's about: If you love getting stabbed in the feels, this is definitely the book for you. When Malik's younger sister, Nadia, is taken by a vengeful spirit, Malik makes a deal to get her back — he must kill the Crown Princess of Ziran, Karina. Karina is reeling from the assassination of her mother, the Sultana, and the threat of mutiny from her court. But she can resurrect her mother, for the small price of a beating heart of a king. Both Malik and Karina plan to act around the Solstasia festival — Malik competing to get close to Karina and kill her, and Karina offering her hand in marriage to the winner so that she might cut out their heart.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.29+, Barnes and Noble for $13.29, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    14. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

    Tor Teen, Via bethanycmorrow.com

    Release date: Jun. 2, 2020

    What it's about: Tavia is a siren, but since society is unkind to sirens, that identity is kept firmly a secret. While living in Portland, where there are only a handful of black folk and even fewer with powers, Tavia has her best friend Effie by her side. But the world rocks in the aftermath of a siren murder trial when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past and Tavia's magical voice makes an accidental appearance. Bethany Morrow's YA debut splashes into the world, diving into misogynoir, mythology, and the importance of friendship.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    15. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

    Swoon Reads, Elizabeth Stelle

    Release date: Jun. 9, 2020

    What it's about: Yadriel, a transgender boy desperate to prove himself a brujo to his traditional Latinx family, attempts to summon the ghost of his murdered cousin to set it free. The ghost that shows up instead? Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy. Since Julian is so determined to find out what happened to him, Yadriel agrees to help. But the longer the two boys spend together, the less Yadriel wants Julian to leave. Speaking from experience, this is the kind of book that you read and then immediately go force all your friends to read so they can share the pleasure.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.59+, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    16. Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

    Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, Nettie Photography

    Release date: Jun. 23, 2020

    What it's about: Gul lives in the kingdom of Ambar, where girls with birthmarks like the one she has — a star on her arm — have been disappearing for years. When a group of rebel women take her in and train her to be a warrior, Gul wants nothing more than revenge on those who killed her parents because of her mark. Cavas will do anything to save his terminally ill father, even signing over his life to the king's army. But when he meets a mysterious girl in the capital's bazaar, he finds himself drawn towards her mission of vengeance. Bhathena is best known for her contemporary fiction, so we are wildly excited for her dip into the fantasy genre.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    17. Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

    Page Street, Ty Yang

    Release date: Jun. 23, 2020

    What it's about: Sirscha Ashwyn has undergone years of training to become the queen's next royal spy, but her plans are derailed when her best friend, Saengo, is killed by shamans. And then Sirscha, somehow, brings Saengo back to life. Summoned to the domain of the Spider King, who uses his influence over the Dead Wood — an ancient forest possessed by souls — to enforce peace, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities as a soulguide. For only a soulguide has the power to restrain the trees. Lee's writing and characterizations all but guarantee this one will have a rabid fanbase craving more.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99+, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    18. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

    Bloomsbury, Black Forest Photography

    Release date: Jul. 7, 2020

    What it's about: Kalynn Bayron has written a Cinderella story like no other. Two centuries ago, Cinderella found her prince. Now, teen girls have to attend the Annual Ball, where the kingdom's men select their wives. If a girl is not chosen, she's never heard from again. This is the world that Sophia lives in, though if she had a choice she'd just marry her childhood best friend, Erin. When Sophia's ball approaches, she flees instead to Cinderella's mausoleum. It's there she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella's family, and together they vow to bring down the king.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    19. We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Via hafsahfaizal.com

    Release date: Jul. 7, 2020

    In case you haven't yet read book one, We Hunt the Flame: Zafira is the Hunter, searching for a lost artifact that can restore magic to her world. Nasir is the Prince of Death, sent to assassinate those who defy his father, the King — including the Hunter. Set in a world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame has exquisite worldbuilding, and characters you'd follow into the darkness.

    What it's about: The dark forest of the Arz has fallen, but that doesn't mean their world is safe. Nasir and Zafira have returned to a ghostly Sultan's keep, both fighting against darkness — Nasir against the power in his blood, Zafira against her bond with the Jawarat.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.39+, Barnes and Noble for $13.39, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    20. The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig

    Feiwel & Friends, Via fiercereads.com

    Release date: Jul. 14, 2020

    What it's about: Caleb Roehrig, known for his page turning thrillers such as White Rabbit and Death Prefers Blondes, sinks his teeth into the mystical for his upcoming book. August lives in Fulton Heights, a town located at the nexus of mystical energy fields and filled to the brim with supernatural drama. When Jude Marlowe, a mysterious (and annoyingly hot), vampire boy arrives with a cryptic warning, Auggie seems to be the only one able to stop the ancient and terrible power that is returning to the earthly realm.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    21. The Shadow of Kyoshi by F. C. Yee

    Amulet Books, JCO Studios

    Release date: Jul. 21, 2020

    In case you haven't yet read book one, The Rise of Kyoshi: This prequel duology to the celebrated Nickelodeon series, Avatar the Last Airbender, follows Kyoshi, a homeless child taken in by a disgraced Air Nomad and companion of the late Avatar Kuruk. When Kyoshi displays Avatar-level earth bending, she and Yun, her friend who was previously identified as the next Avatar, are taken to see a spirit that confirms Kyoshi as the Avatar. After a series of tragic events, Kyoshi and her friend Rangi, a teenage firebender who'd been serving as Yun's bodyguard, flee.

    What it's about: As Kyoshi's reputation grows, a mysterious threat emerges from the Spirit World. In order to stop it, Kyoshi, Rangi, and their allies have to join forces before the Four Nations are completey destroyed. We cannot wait to read the continuation of Kyoshi's journey to becoming the longest living Avatar and founding the Kyoshi Warriors.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.09+, Barnes and Noble for $17.09, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    22. The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen

    Henry Holt, Via margaret-owen.com

    Release date: Jul. 28, 2020

    In case you haven't yet read book one, The Merciful Crow: Fie, the future chieftain of a caste of undertakers and mercy killers, is called to collect the royal dead. That royal, Crown Prince Jasmir, turns out to have faked his death, and offers her a deal: protect him from the queen, and he'll protect her caste of Crows when he is on the throne.

    What it's about: Now chieftain of the Crows, Fie and her allies are forced into hiding after the death of King Surimir and the start of the Queen's bid for the throne. As she uses a deadly plague to unite the nation of Sabor against the Crows, a desperate Fie must uncover ancient secrets of the Crows in order to unravel the Queen's plot. Owen's worldbuilding is some of the most intriguing in all of YA, and we're itching to read this sequel.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.29+, Barnes and Noble for $13.29, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    23. Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

    HarperTeen, Lindsey Márton O’Brien

    Release date: Aug. 11, 2020

    What it's about: This debut fantasy follows Sheetal, born to a mortal on Earth and a star who returned to the sky long ago. But when a flare of starfire injures her human dad, Sheetal will have to travel to the celestial court to get the help of a full star, like her mother, to heal him. And once she arrives, she must act as her family's champion in the competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens...or risk never returning to Earth. Thakrar's prose shimmers, and you're going to want to have this one on your doorstep the second it's released.

    Get it from Amazon for $15.66+, Barnes and Noble for $15.66, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    24. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

    Simon Pulse, Via tracydeonn.com

    Release date: Sep. 15, 2020

    What it's about: During Bree's very first night on campus for a residential program for high schoolers, she witnesses a flying demon feeding on human energies. Of course, if the teenage mage who attempted to wipe Bree's memory had succeeded, she wouldn't remember any of this. But instead of erasing her memory, it unlocks Bree's own magic and reveals a hidden connection between the teenage mage and someone who was at the hospital the night her mother died. Determined to find out what really happened to her mother, she decides to infiltrate the Legendborn — descendants of King Arthur and his knights — as an initiate, deciding how far she'll go for the truth. Tracy Deonn's Arthurian debut novel is a beautiful blend of mystery and magic.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    25. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

    Jimmy Patterson, Kelli Maniscalco

    Release date: Sep. 15, 2020

    What it's about: It seems like yesterday that Kerri Maniscalco's debut, Stalking Jack the Ripper was released, but now that all four books in that series are out, she is launching a new historical fantasy series set in 19th century Italy. This book follows Emilia, a strega who lives secretly among humans, after she discovers the dead body of her beloved twin sister, Victoria. Devastated, she sets out to find answers. Wrath is one of seven demon brethren tasked with investigating the fact that the women who were to be his master's bride all keep turning up dead — an investigation that puts his path on a collision course with Emilia.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.09+, Barnes and Noble for $17.09, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    26. Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

    Zoraida Córdova

    Release date: Sep. 15, 2020

    What it's about: Xochital wants to share her heart with a kindred spirit, but she is destined to wander the desert alone with just the stars as companions. But Xo's wish unexpectedly comes true when Emilia, the cold and gorgeous daughter of the town's murderous mayor, joins her for a journey across the desert where stories come to life. Oshiro's debut, Anger is a Gift was one of the best books of 2018, winning the Schneider Family Book Award, and we cannot wait to read their next masterpiece.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    27. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

    Wednesday Books, Aman Sharma

    Release date: Sep. 22, 2020

    In case you haven't yet read book one, The Gilded Wolves: In 1889 Paris, a group of treasure hunters lead by hotelier Séverin must attempt to find an artifact for a shadowy organization so that he may claim his true inheritance. Easily one of the best books of last year, Chokshi balances history, mystery, and fantasy in a way that is not only stunning to read, but also an absolute delight.

    What it's about: After their victory at the end of The Gilded Wolves, Séverin and his team are haunted by the terrible cost. In search of making amends, Séverin goes on the hunt for a long, long, long lost artifact rumored to grant the possessor the power of God. This path leads them to Russia, where a string of unsolved murders leads them to question how much of the rumors are untrue.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.19+, Barnes and Noble for $14.19, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    28. Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

    Page Street, Melanie Barbosa

    Release date: Oct. 6, 2020

    What it's about: 16 countries are about to compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragon riders fight for glory. Lana Torres dreams of representing her native Puerto Rico, and when their runner is kicked off the team, she gets her chance. But dragon sanctuaries around the world are being burned down in a plot to get the Cup cancelled, and Lana will have to navigate an international conspiracy while living out her dragon dreams. With a perfect blend of How to Train Your Dragon and a Quidditch World Cup, how could we not include this debut?

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    29. Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston

    Balzer + Bray, Ashley Poston

    Release date: Oct. 20, 2020

    What it's about: If you've been wanting a fantasy that reminds you of classic magical Disney movies like Tangled and Beauty and the Beast, where there are high stakes but not at the expense of being both fun and effortlessly stunning, then you will want this book. Taking place in the kingdom of Aloriya, peaceful and prosperous since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest, Among the Beasts and Briars follows Cerys, the daughter of the palace gardener. When she was young, she barely escaped the forest that killed her friends and her mother, for as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew cursed and dark. But the biggest threat she faces in the royal gardens is the pesky fox who won't leave her alone. That changes when a new queen, Cerys' best friend, Anwen, is crowned. Things that had been hidden in the woods emerge, and Cerys is forced on the run, alongside that pesky fox. And now it's up to the two of them, with the help of a strange and powerful bear, to find the Lady of the Wilds and save her home.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form