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4 Favorite Stand Alone Young Adult Fantasy Books

A while back we shared 5 Young Adult Stand Alone Books That Adults Will Love that you should check out. Both of us read lots of speculative fiction, so we thought we’d also share some of our favorite Stand Alone Young Adult Fantasy Books.

Uprooted, Naomi Novik

Uprooted (Book)

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

What an amazingly unique, deep, magical, beautifully written book! The World building is so thorough that I wanted to submerse myself in it every chance I got. It has a fairy-tale feel to make it a smart but whimsical story. I loved this through and through.

The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater

(Photo Credit)

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition – the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

This book is everything! It’s been years since I read it and I’m still in love with the story. The character, the setting … killer seahorses … an epic race – it all sounds interesting, but nothing can prepare you for how Stiefvater turns it all into a brilliant novel. I was with the characters 100% – felt everything they went through, and couldn’t wait to find out what happened at the end.

Iron Cast, Destiny Soria

Iron Cast (Book)

It’s 1919 and Ada Navarra and Corinne Wells make an unlikely pair, but at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat. When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne, her partner in crime, can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

The author set the stage right from the beginning as we’re dropped into a World where “hemopaths” are being hunted down and there are few safe havens. The friendship between the girls take center stage and it was clear that they would do anything for each other. We, the readers, are always aware of the constant danger throughout the book and the action never lets up and the author teases out the story. I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Cast and would highly recommend it to anyone to read.

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Soon she gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold, but an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk – grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh – and Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered.

Spinning Silver completely did me in … in all the right ways. The audiobook narration by Lisa Flanagan was amazing from the start. The story is lush, deep, imaginative, emotional – so, so good. The narration will just suck you right into the novel and hold you into the World and lives of the characters – Myriem, the Ice King, Irina and Wanda. There’s so much going on in this book, and many characters, yet the narrator was able to make each distinct and unique enough so that it was easy to distinguish between them

What are some of your favorite Fantasy Young Adult books?

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  1. Iron Cast is great and not recced often enough. I love Soria’s young adult books in general.

    1. @Annemieke – so agree!

  2. I love Naomi Novik’s books. I’m not sure they were really marketed as YA here, so I agree they’re great for adult who might avoid YA.

  3. Scorpio Races is one of my favorites. Great list!