If you’re a fan of Suzanne Collins or Veronica Roth, you’ll love these young adult fantasy series I have included below by these other amazing female authors. While there are too many to mention by name, here are some noteworthy series that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
- Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
Published in 2015 by American author Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen was her first novel and series. Red Queen was the winner of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author. The sequels include “Glass Sword”, “King’s Cage” and “War Storm.”
Victoria Aveyard tells a suspenseful tale of the Kingdom of Norta, a world divided by “silvers,” the highest of the social ladder who possess magical abilities, and the “reds,” the lower class, born without any power. The protagonist, Mare Barrow, is a red girl living in the “stilts,” of Summerton, and her best friend about to be conscripted into the army. In an effort to escape conscription, she contacts a rebel terrorist group called the Scarlet Guard, fighting for equality between reds and silvers. The leader, Farley, agrees to smuggle her out of the country for a large sum of money. to steal, she is caught by a boy named Cal, who allows her to keep the money. Through this meeting she soon learns he is the Prince of Norta, she becomes a server in the Summerton palace during the Queenstrial, a contest among royal silvers to choose a wife for the silver Prince, Cal, who Mare met by chance days before.
During the competition, Mare accidentally falls into the arena, which is protected by a lightning shield. Not only does Mare survive the lightning shock, but she harnesses the lightning and blasts a hole through the shield. Everyone is shocked by a red showing this kind of power, and she is interrogated by the Queen. Mare is forced to masquerade as a silver named Mareena Titanos, a silver adopted by reds after her General father was killed in the warzone. The Queen fears that if word were to spread that a red can also have powers, it would inspire a rebellion. She is forcefully engaged to Cal’s younger brother, Prince Maven.
In a visit to her family, she learns that her brother, Shade, has been executed by the silver army for attempting to desert. Furious with the silver rulers, she joins the Scarlet Guard, and even convinces her betrothed to do so as well. The rest of the story takes the reader on a fast-paced ride while Mare trains with her newfound powers, fights for her life, and insights revolution.
- Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass was published in 2012, written by American author Sarah J. Maas. Originally a Disney’s Cinderella retelling, that appeared on a fanfiction site. The series became a New York Times Best Sellers and includes eight books, along with several novellas.
Set in the fictional land of Erilea, Celaena Sardothien is a former assassin fighting in a competition for the King of Adarlan. Freed from an infamous work camp called Endovier, Celaena finds herself fighting to become the King’s Champion, personal assassin and bodyguard.. As the charismatic Prince of Andarlan’s contestant, Celaeana has a chance to win her freedom with four years of service to the King, should she win. However, Celaena must train her body, weakened from a year in the brutal slave camp, and win the competition, or else be sent back. Competing against other assassins and thieves, Celaena, though arrogant and vain, finds herself amidst a challenge she’s suddenly unsure of.
In the kingdom of Adarlan, the King had previously banned magic from the kingdom ten years ago. However, when strange, unexplainable things begin happening throughout the castle, Celaena begins to suspect it was not all destroyed. She enlists the help of her friends Darian, the Prince, Chaol, the stern guard straining her for the competition, and Nehemia, a strange princess visiting from another kingdom. The strange happenings in the castle take a lethal turn when other competitors of the competition disappear, and Celaena must work to train for the competition and solve the mysteries. Celaena and her friends must follow the clues being left for them before Celaena too becomes a victim. Along the way, Celaena discovers dangerous plots, hidden secrets, and even confronts buried truths about herself. The reader is taken through the trip of secrets, betrayals, and hidden knowledge of the magic in the kingdom, as well as Celaena herself.
- Three Dark Crowns, Kendare Blake
Published in 2016, Three Dark Crowns was a New York Times Bestseller, the Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and both the New York and Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016. The books series includes four books, Three Dark Crowns, One Dark Throne, Two Dark Reigns, and Five Dark Fates, along with several novellas. Kendare Blake has written several other books such as Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares.
On the mysterious, magical island of Fennbirn, its citizens have lived in isolation for as long as they can remember, separated by the mainland by a magical fog which stops travelers coming in and going out. As per custom, the matriarchal succession of the island comes from a Queen giving birth to triplets, one of which will become the next Queen. Each sister possesses a different magical power and is labeled as one of three magical types, an Elemental, a Poisoner, or a Naturalist. Elementals can call the power of the deadliest storm, Poisoners can ingest large amounts of poison without trouble, and Naturalists can call to animal familiars. This generation’s sisters are Mirabella, Katherine, and Arsinoe, triplets who’ve been raised separate from each other by members of different magical groups.
Mirabella the Elemental is adopted by the Westwood family and taken to the elemental city of Rolanth. Katherine the poisoner lives in Indrid Down, a city corrupt with ambitious council members and dangerous secrets, where she is tortured with poison daily. Arisone lives in the coastal city of Wolfspring, raised alongside her best friend, Jules Malone.
The sisters have grown up with the knowledge that, in order to become Queen of Fennbirn Island, they must first kill their other sisters during a time period called “the Quickening,” when each of their powers will reach their heights.
The story begins with the Beltane Festival, a time in which each sister will showcase her power and entertain possible suitors. However, Katherina and Arsinoe have yet to develop their powers. On the night they turn sixteen, the battle begins and their lives are in grave danger, but no one will guess who emerges victorious.
- And I Darken, Kiersten White
Published in 2016 in the United Kingdom, And I Darken is a subgenre of fantasy: alternative history. Written by the New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, the series includes “And I Darken,” “Now I Rise,” and “Bright We Burn.”
In a new form of fantasy genre, the author gives us a history lesson in the form of a suspenseful, gripping book. Set in the Ottoman Empire, Kierten gives us a new point of view of one of history’s most ruthless rulers, Vlad the Impaler. In this series, Vlad the Impaler is instead a girl named Lada Dragwlya. The story begins with Lada and her younger brother, Radu, as rightful heirs to the kingdom of Wallachia. However, when the Ottoman Empire invades their homeland, they are abandoned by their father and kidnapped by the Sultan as collateral. Lada has learned that in order to survive in a man’s world and gain favor from her father, she must be ruthless.
They are raised alongside the Sultan’s son, Mehmed, who they begin to see as a dear friend. Throughout their time in the Ottoman courts, they become advisers to the future Sultan, working for an empire that keeps them alive only for its own purposes. Despite this, Lada has sworn to take back her homeland and destroy her enemies, and she will do whatever it takes. Radu, gentle by nature, sees the Ottoman courts as a new home, and with Mehmed, he sees perhaps more than a friend. As they grow, the bonds holding them together will be put to the test, each of their passions leading them in different directions and desires. Their toxic triangle is put to the test at every turn, highlighting betrayals, secrets, and heartache.
- An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes was written by Pakistani-American author Sabaa Tahir and published in 2015. It appeared at #2 on the Young Adult New York Times Best Seller list. debuted It also appeared on the USA today and international bestseller lists, with international translation writes sold in 30 countries. Tahir got the idea while working for the Washington Post, where she read an article about Kashmiri women whose family members were kidnapped by the military.
In a brutal world inspired by Ancient Rome, the Martial Empire rules over its subjects with an iron fist. Anyone who disobeys the Emperor is immediately met with death. A story told from two very different viewpoints, the reader learns that whoever you are in the Martial Empire, you are never free. The city is inhabited by 5 factions, the Masks, or Martial elite, the Scholars, the Augurs, and the tribes.
Laia of Serra is a slave, living with her brother on the backstreets of the empire, she’s learned never to draw attention to yourself. When her brother is arrested for treason, she enlists the help of rebels who agree to rescue him on one condition: She must become a spy for them inside Blackcliff, the Empire’s most ruthless military academy. There, she meets Elias Veturius, the school’s best soldier, trained from birth to be subservient and loyal to the Empire. Secretly, though, he resents the tyranny, seeing first hand what the Empire’s ruthlessness does to his closest friend, Helene. Little do they know, Elias and Laia’s fates are intertwined, and together they will find a way to end the Empire, or die trying.