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3 on a YA Theme: Standalone YA Fantasy Novels

Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

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Are you a fantasy lover with series fatigue? I get it. Sometimes it’s super fun to escape into a lush fantasy world for a while, but it’s a bit of a bummer when you realize the book has a sequel and you don’t have it on the shelf, or the sequel isn’t even out yet. Standalone fantasy novels used to be hard to come by, but now more and more YA fantasy releases are appearing as one-and-done books, and I’m here for it. Here are three that I’ve enjoyed lately!

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young book coverSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

This is a standalone novel, although Young has another book set in the same fantasy world with different characters! It’s about Eelyn, who has been brought up a warrior in her Aska clan. It’s the only way of life they know, since they’re constantly at war with the Riki clan. But one day, a skirmish changes everything for Eelyn—she sees the brother she thought died five years ago fighting with the Riki. In her shock, she is captured and taken to the Riki territories, where she must figure out how to survive, and what to do about her traitorous brother. But before she can make sense of her brother’s betrayal, another clan invades the Riki, making it clear that in order to survive, the Riki and Aska must band together, as impossible as it may seem.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

This is a fantastic retelling of Snow White, but with a great twist: It’s from both the perspectives of the Snow White character and her stepmother. Mina is young woman who doesn’t believe she’s capable of love, so she settles for the next best thing: being admired and respected as queen. Lynet has grown up in the shadow of her dead mother’s legacy when really she’d rather be more like her beloved stepmother, Mina. When Lynet’s father suffers a terrible accident, she learns that truth about Mina’s past and her struggles, but she also learns about her own legacy and strength.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

This is a standalone novel that I actually wish had a sequel because I loved the characters so much! Elisabeth is a Librarian’s apprentice in a magical world where sorcery is considered dangerous and Librarians keep deadly grimoires under lock and key. When a grimoire escapes and wreaks havoc, Elisabeth is implicated in the crime and must align herself with a notorious sorcerer and his sly demon servant in order to clear her name—and she discovers a nefarious plot and a new perspective on sorcery along the way!

Looking for more standalone YA fantasy novels? Here are some suggestions.

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