Kingdom of Ash hit shelves today, and I may have bought the three US exclusive copies…I’m just waiting for two of them to be delivered. And as much as I want to pick it up and start reading it, I have to wait. I’m currently re-reading Queen of Shadows and then Empire of Storms and then, I can pick up the finale. Since I read Tower of Dawn not too long ago, I don’t think I need a refresher of it. I definitely don’t want to wait too long to read it – apparently spoilers are already popping up on the internet – not cool.
Like, last page spoilers.
Don’t want to inadvertently come across it. Which means, once I’m done writing this, I’ll be getting back to reading!
So, in honor of Kingdom of Ash’s release, here are some High Fantasy YA recommendations. I’ve read all of these series and can vouch for my love of them. Some of these books I’ve talked about before on this blog, but there is one trilogy that I’ve never mentioned which I loved when I was a young teen.
These are the books that have helped convince and inspire me to try my hand at writing High Fantasy, and I’m so excited!
I’ll put the synopsis for the first book in each series below!
The Icemark Chronicles – Stuart Hill
The Icemark is a kingdom in grave danger. Its king has been killed in battle, its enemy lies in wait, and its fate rests on the shoulders of one girl. Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, a beautiful princess and an intrepid warrior, must find a way to protect her land from a terrible invasion. She will forge an extraordinary alliance of noble Snow Leopards, ancient Vampires, and ferocious Wolf-folk. She will find unexpected strength in her friendship with a young warlock. And she will lead her allies to victory with her fierce battle cry: “Blood! Blast! And Fire!”
The Witchlands – Susan Dennard
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini
Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands…
Blade & Rose – Miranda Honfleur
A kingdom in turmoil or the love of her life. Which one will she save?
Elementalist Rielle hasn’t heard from her best friend in far too long. Yet no one at the Tower of Magic seems to care about Olivia’s silence, or the curtain of secrecy surrounding the distant capital. Before Rielle can investigate, she’s assigned a strange new mission: escort a paladin named Jon across the kingdom.
When whispers reveal mercenaries have killed the king, taken the capital, and that no one is coming to help, Rielle can’t leave Olivia in peril. But as infamous mages and deadly assassins hunt Jon, she can’t leave him unprotected either—especially as she finds herself falling for his strength, his passion, and his uncompromising goodness. Her past returns to haunt her, a werewolf stalks their steps, and an ancient evil is gathering, yet the restraints forbidding their love strain and snap one by one.
Saving Olivia and the kingdom means defying orders and sacrificing her every ambition, and could mean losing the man who’s become so much more to her than a mission. Which will she choose: her best friend and the kingdom, or the love of her life?
Dive into a medieval world sensual and dark, full of magic and greed, love and blades, where factions vie for influence and there are no easy choices.
The Broken Lands – Carrie Summers
The Empire is heartless, but fate is crueler still.
Tainted magic spills from a crack between worlds. Quakes rattle the Atal Empire, opening rifts that split towns in two. As the land shatters and betrayals cleave the Emperor’s court, ancient power awakens in a flame-haired young woman.
Savra, a miner on a remote coast, lives in relative innocence of her Emperor’s savage rule. When she turns seventeen, she expects to be assigned sluice mining as her official Function. Everyone from her home village is a sluicer–unless they turn renegade and fugitive like Savra’s father. But when she’s suddenly torn from her home, turned pawn in the plots of madmen, a chance meeting with a young man provides the first glimpse of her tangled destiny.
For nineteen years, Kostan has been groomed for one thing: ascension to the throne. One of thirteen imperial Scions, he bears a wound that won’t heal until his twenty-first birthday. On that date, only the shape of the Scions’ scars will determine the next Atal Emperor.
Savra secretly fears she carries her father’s rebel blood. Kostan despises everything the Empire stands for. Neither desires a fight, but as the Empire crumbles around them, they stand on opposite sides of a war. Each could be part of Empire’s salvation, if only they could bridge the chasm dividing them.
Air Awakens Series – Elise Kova
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
The Ember Quartet – Sabba Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.