Book trends come and go, but fantasy is forever. Since the days of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, fantasy books have been much beloved. Here are three of my top picks of recent YA fantasy releases!

queen of the tearling

Kelsea is smuggled out of the castle when she’s just a child after the death of her Mother, the Queen of the Tearling. She is hidden until she comes of age and returns to reclaim her kingdom. But being raised in isolation and ignorant of the ways of court, it will be no easy feat for Kelsea to rule her tattered kingdom.

This book is unusual for a fantasy book because, honestly, there isn’t very much action or magic. The book centres around court politics and extreme character development. I found it refreshing since it deals with realistic concerns that a young Queen might encounter and Kelsea herself is a highly intelligent character who acknowledges her own flaws. Perfect book for any Song of Ice and Fire fans or anyone who likes the Winner’s Curse series. Also, it’s supposedly being made into a film starring Emma Watson.

the kiss of deception

Princess Lia is about to enter into an arranged marriage with the Prince of a neighbouring kingdom, but on the morning of her wedding she flees with her ladies maid, Pauline. She ends up in a sleepy harbour town where she masquerades as a common tavern girl. But no choice is without consequence as Lia discovers when both the Prince she was supposed to marry and an assassin are sent to find her.

I devoured this book. It is delicious from start to finish. A mix of fantasy, romance and mystery. You spend two thirds of the book trying to figure out which character is the Prince and which is the assassin and I found this delightful. Set in a rich and complex world with multiple points of view, what starts out as a seemingly simple story evolves into a tapestry of intrigue and magic. Great for fans of the Throne of Glass series.

the final empire

Considered a God by some and certainly with God-like powers, the Final Empire is ruled by the tyrannous Lord Ruler. A band of mavericks, each with different allomantic powers (magic gleaned from ingesting and “burning” certain metals), led by the legendary Kelsier, seek to overthrow the Lord Ruler with the aid of their new secret weapon, Vin.

All fantasy books should be this good. The Final Empire is the series with the ability to make you fall in love with fantasy. Intricate and detailed, heart-warming and funny; this book has everything and ticks all boxes. I’ve read a lot of predictable fantasy books, but nothing in The Final Empire is predictable. This series breaks and re-writes all the rules and is honestly setting a new standard for all fantasy. Plus, this book has a seriously kick butt female protagonist with all the hang ups of a normal young woman. Brandon Sanderson is at the top of his game and consistently churning out fantastic books: seriously, read him once and fall in love. This book is great for all fans of books (but try to get hold of the UK edition since it’s freaking beautiful).