Celebrate Diverse Voices in YA Fantasy

There’s no denying that YA fantasy is having an incredible moment, with bestselling books like A Universe of Wishes, The Gilded Ones, and Six Crimson Cranes out now. Travel to another realm by adding some of our favorite YA fantasy books that amplify diverse voices to your summer TBR list.

Blood Heir

Blood Heir

By Amélie Wen Zhao

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are deemed unnatural—even dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, is one of the most terrifying Affinites.

Ana’s ability to control blood has long been kept secret, but when her father, the emperor, is murdered, she is the only suspect. Now, to save her own life, Ana must find her father’s killer. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is one where corruption rules and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of Ana’s world.

The Court of Miracles

The Court of Miracles

By Kester Grant

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger—the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh—Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice—protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

The Gilded Ones

The Gilded Ones

By Namina Forna

The most anticipated fantasy of 2021. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice. Get ready for battle. 

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

The Magic Fish

The Magic Fish

By Trung Le Nguyen

Tiến loves his family and his friends…but Tiến has a secret he’s been keeping from them, and it might change everything. An amazing YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together.

Real life isn’t a fairytale.

But Tiến still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiến, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through?

Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?

Pet

Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi

There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question—How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes

By Elizabeth Lim

Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Spin the Dawn

Spin the Dawn

By Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

A Universe of Wishes

A Universe of Wishes

By Dhonielle Clayton

From the organization We Need Diverse Books and Dhonielle Clayton, the co-author of Blackout, comes a fantasy collection of short stories from a list of diverse, award-winning, and bestselling authors. This critically acclaimed young adult anthology welcomes every voice to lead, empower, and take command of their universe.

Close your eyes, make a wish, and step into a world where…
 ...

Unravel the Dusk

Unravel the Dusk

By Elizabeth Lim

From the New York Times bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes a fantasy filled with courtly intrigue, deceitful demons, and breathtaking gowns ... the stakes are higher than ever in this thrilling sequel to Spin the Dawn!

Maia Tamarin's journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. Edan, the boy she loves, i...

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