The realm of fantasy books knows no bounds, but only their authors’ imagination. This isn't about magic and unicorns but about a fascinating story that shows you just how far one’s imagination can go.

And as if all these were not enough, they’ll trigger yours too. Obviously, not all books are written by the same standards, but if you’re after something new and fresh, here are some of the best young adult action & adventure books released recently.

What Are The Top Young Adult Fantasy Adventure Books?

Academy Arcanist (Astra Academy Book 1), by Shami Stovall (2022)

Gray Lexly, the son of a candlemaker, dreams of escaping his mundane life and studying magic at the prestigious Astra Academy. His hopes are troubled by nightly visits from monstrous nightmares that leave him wounded upon waking. One night, as he faces a near-death encounter in his dreams, he is saved by Professor Helmith, a powerful arcanist who offers him protection and a place at Astra Academy. This young adult adventure is rich with mystical creatures and dragons, blending old-world technologies with magical elements.

To attend the academy, Gray must bond with a mystical creature that will determine his magical abilities. His choices include creatures like a unicorn, pegasus, or kitsune, each with its own unique powers. As Gray makes this critical decision, he also prepares to help Professor Helmith, who faces her own challenges. Gray's journey to mastery becomes urgent as he must find the strength to confront his nightmares and protect those who have supported him before it's too late.

The novel combines adventure with the wonder of magical creatures and dragons, making it an exciting read for young adults.

A Legacy of the Gifted, by Yushi Jr. (2024)

Reading A Legacy of the Gifted by Yushi Jr. was like stepping into Jin's shoes, a teenager whose life turns upside down when he reveals himself as a ‘gift giver'. This single twist puts him at the center of attention in a society that holds people with supernatural abilities in high regard. Jin's story unfolds in a world brimming with competition and expectation, where his unique ability to bestow powers upon others is both a blessing and a curse.

The heart of the story beats to the rhythm of a society-wide competition, an event that everyone in Metronome looks forward to but one that Jin is forbidden to join. The narrative becomes a tightrope walk between Jin's desire to participate and the need to hide who he really is. His bond with Jamarcus adds depth to the story, giving it a heartbeat that resonates with the complexity of friendship and the chaos of teenage years. The ending leaves us in the lurch, as Jamarcus’s story cuts off mysteriously, which keeps me thinking about where his path might lead.

Yushi Jr. paints a vivid picture of a society where extraordinary is the norm and yet somehow not enough. The book pulls you into a world where every character has to weigh their decisions against the backdrop of their society's rules. It's not just a story of magic and power; it’s a reflection on identity and the challenging journey to accept oneself. Closing the book, I'm left curious about the future, hopeful for more tales from Metronome, and reflective on the lessons Jin’s experiences might mirror in our own world.

Tales of Witches and Wyverns (Tales of Witches and Wyverns Book 1), by S. Ramsey

Tales of Witches and Wyverns is a YA series centers on Enid, who has been plagued by nightmares ever since her childhood friend Dylan rescued her from bullying.

On her 16th birthday, things take a dark turn when Dylan is kidnapped. With the human world frozen in time until Dylan returns, Enid faces the high stakes of venturing into the fae realm to rescue him and stop Queen Malagant from taking over both the human and fae worlds.

In the fae realm, Enid learns the hard way that there are rules you can't break and creatures you should avoid. But she also finds that being different isn't so bad. Guided by Merlin and armed with magical relics from the legend of King Arthur, Enid sets out for the Gwyllion mountains. She's determined to bring Dylan back home, even if it means risking her own life.

The series blends Welsh myths, witches, dragons, and explores themes of friendship, love, and the value of being different.

A Magic Evermore, by Michelle Massie (2023)

This is the first book in the Mirri Langley series and a must to become familiar with the scenario and characters.

Life is no longer what it used to be, and only a few can remember the good old times. These days, the whole world is ruled by evil forces. Althord Loch used to be a peaceful land in the past, but it’s now falling apart, as Panthera wants to take it over.

But then, there’s this 15-year-old girl who could do something about it. Mirri is more concerned about her father’s death, but one day, she ends up facing a twisted staircase. She has no clue where it leads, but she gives it a try.

One thing leads to another, and she finds herself in a magic world without anyone to tell her why she's there.

Helped by an orphaned elf, she needs to save the dying world. The only problem is there are lots of dangers on the way. I don’t think this book is all about magic and fantasy, but it also shows you how much self confidence and belief can help in life.

Witch King, by Martha Wells (2023)

This is Martha Wells’ first fantasy book in about 10 years, so it drew my attention straight away. The beginning is quite surprising. Kai seems to be the main character, but he gets murdered. What next? I know, right?

Anyway, his consciousness is now dormant, since he’s not completely dead. Time passes while he’s in a sophisticated trap. But one day, he wakes up, only to find an evil mage trying to harness all of his powers.

He knows this plan won’t do the world any good… But apart from the obvious attempt to retain his powers, there’s another question. Why was Kai partially killed and trapped in the first place? What has this world been through since that moment?

Kai will have to revive his powers but also find some of his old allies and perhaps a few new ones in order to figure out what’s going on. And as if all these questions weren’t enough, it looks like the Rising World Coalition is growing stronger and stronger. That would be a problem too…

Trees of the Emerald Sea, by Brandon Sanderson (2023)

This is one of the best fantasy adventure books coming from a New York Times bestselling author, and for some good reasons. The story behind this fantasy adventure book is just as attractive. Brandon Sanderson wrote it for himself only.

He shared it with his wife, but he had no intention to publish it… But his wife insisted, and it became a hit. And to be honest, I think you can create a masterpiece when you do something out of passion, rather than fame or money.

Anyway, back to our story now…

Trees lives on a small island in the middle of an emerald ocean. Her life has always been simple and quiet. She has a good friend, Charlie, and she likes listening to his stories while collecting things brought by the waters on the shores.

But then, Charlie needs to find a bride, and his father takes him on a long journey to help out. That’s when disaster strikes.

Trees finds herself needing to find the Sorceress of the Midnight Sea. The problem is that getting there implies facing all sorts of dancers, from pirates to creatures she’s never seen in her life.

I’ll let you discover the rest, but mark my words, get ready for your imagination to fly.

Chain of Thorns, by Cassandra Clare (2023)

This is one of those young adult adventure books with a few connections to the real world, I loved how different worlds blend in.

The story follows Cordelia. A few weeks have changed her life. Her father has been murdered, a friendship with Lucie is falling apart, and her marriage with James is not doing very well. To make things even worse, she can no longer become a Shadowhunter either because a demon is killing her power.

She goes from London to Paris in order to start a new life and forget about her dark past. But then, some bad news comes from back home. Her home city is about to be taken over by a prince from Hell.

Cordelia needs to return to London and finds a disaster. It's chaos everywhere, and she has to find a way to save her home, while still facing things from her past.

Spice Road, by Maiya Ibrahim (2023)

If you like old school Arabian inspired fantasy adventure books, this one’s for you. The action takes place in a hidden desert and follows 16-year-old Imani. She’s young, but she’s expected to be the greatest warrior ever. Her skills are impressive for her age.

Her great reputation doesn’t help the family though, as her brother messes it up by stealing some magical stuff, ruining everything. He soon disappears out of shame, and everyone believes he's dead.

But as time goes, Imani notices some signs that her brother might be alive. She’s allowed to go find him, with the one condition that he should face punishment for stealing in the past. And that’s when the adventure begins…

You’ll be left craving for more, but this is only the first book in the series.

Dragon Eyre Badblood (The Magelands Eternal Siege Book 10), by Christopher Mitchell (2022)

Dragon Eyre Badblood sweeps you into a grand tale of clashing empires, celestial politics, and draconic might. Christopher Mitchell’s tenth installment in The Magelands Eternal Siege series introduces us to Corthie Holdfast, a mortal whisked away to become the city's new Champion. Here, Corthie must grapple with his destiny, fighting alongside the Blades to protect the city from the relentless Greenhides or face the wrath of the very gods who dominate this realm.

In the heart of the city, we meet Maddie Jackdaw, a determined but struggling Blade who has been tossed around by fate. Now, faced with an ultimatum, she confronts her deepest fears in the shadows beneath the city walls. Awaiting her is a dragon, bound and seething with secrets and power. The storyline captures the essence of struggle and the fierce desire to rise above one's past.

Blackrose, the dragon of legends, returns to her homeland only to find it fractured by war and chaos. The world of Dragon Eyre is alive with conflict, a stunning archipelago battleground where loyalty is as treacherous as the seas. Amid the turmoil, alliances must be forged, and a wild witch with her unruly dragon must be reckoned with. This installment isn't just another chapter; it's the promise of rebellion, the spark of insurrection that could unite or destroy worlds.

Final words

As a teenager, I remember clutching a dog-eared fantasy novel beneath my desk, stealing every possible moment to disappear into another world. Now, as an adult, I find the same thrill in these pages, the same escape from the hum of everyday life.

What strikes me most about this collection is the resounding truth that no matter our age, the themes of identity, courage, and adventure resonate with us all. They remind us of the times we've stood at the crossroads of difficult decisions, the rush of the unknown, and the strength we've found in the friends who've journeyed alongside us. The books I've showcased are not just temporary diversions; they are mirrors reflecting our deepest desires and fears, asking “What would you do if the world needed saving?”

After all, who knows what quests await us in the quiet moments we steal to read?

If you are interested in fantasy, check out our favorite YA fantasy books series.

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