Social media has made a way for every kind of reader to find their niche of books. TikTok, with its constantly updated, user-friendly algorithm is constantly curating itself to be more appealing. The more you scroll, the more books you might happen upon. Book TikTok, or BookTok, is truly a wonder. That popularity is what led us to round up the most popular fantasy books on TikTok, arguably one of the most popular genres on the platform.
What Makes a Book Popular on TikTok?
TikTok is an unpredictable landscape. Trends are both inescapable and unexplainable. When a book goes viral on TikTok, it’s either hot off the presses or it’s ten years old. It’s all about the users of the app. During the initial COVID-19 lockdown, many people found themselves reading for pleasure again, thus rediscovering old favorites. BookTok really loves romance, from the sweet to the sublime. Like BookTube and Bookstagram, fantasy remains among the top genres.
Fantasy also offers an escape from everything going on the world. BookTok fantasy faves tend toward the aesthetically pleasing and/or the retelling.
Since TikTok is mainly visual, it makes sense that people are drawn to beautiful books. It’s not just about the cover though. The book itself has to be beautiful — in storytelling, the characters, the music, the food, the world of the book has to fit. It’s amazing how creative people can be with household items to recreate a scene from their favorite book.
The Most Popular Fantasy Books On TikTok
This list is based on popularity at the time of writing. TikTok trends move at lightning speed, so don’t be surprised if the latest BookTok darling isn’t on this list.
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
In Huxia, girls are prized for their mental strength and used to help pilot the Chrysalises, robots that protect against the aliens. After Zeitan’s sister dies from the strain, Zeitain offers herself up as a pilot. When Zeitan psychically kills her male pilot, she is labeled an Iron Widow. Zeitan will do anything to protect herself and more girls from the system that keeps killing them. This powerful sci-fi fantasy novel is inspired by Chinese history, and features a polyamorous love story.
The Awakening by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Twin fae Tory and Darcy (Geminis, of course) have been selected to attend the esteemed Zodiac Academy. Their fate is intertwined with their abilities, and that of the powers of their peers, making every moment dangerous. If you’re into astrology, elemental magic, magic schools, fae, and romance, this New Adult novel is for you.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
The first in an epic trilogy, The Poppy War is inspired by Chinese history and mythology. When Rin, a poor peasant girl, scores highly on a prestigious exam, she is sent for rigorous military training. During her training, Rin discovers powers within herself that she must learn to harness, in order to save her people. Dark and captivating,The Poppy War is sure to be a fantasy classic in years to come.
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Inspired by Indian epics, The Jasmine Throne is the first in a new trilogy about magic, fate, and love. Banished princess Malini spends her days alone in a decaying magic temple. When her maidservant, Priya, is attacked one night, Malini witnesses Priya’s true nature. This incident binds them, leading Priya and Malini down a dangerous path that could lead toward a fate worse than death, or triumphant victory.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
After her mother’s tragic death, Bree enters a program for exceptional students. On her first night on campus, Bree encounters a secret society of magicians, called the Legendborn, who protect against magical attacks. Bree decides to join Legendborn herself, despite setbacks. This gritty reimagining of the Knights of the Round Table stories is full of magical secrets.
House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas
The second book in the Crescent City series is packed with action, romance, plot twists, and hints at the next installment. After saving Crescent City, Bryce and Hunt are ready for a slower pace. As new tensions rise, staying complacent won’t be an option. Other Maas BookTok favorites include A Court of Thorns and Roses.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
This retelling of Romeo and Juliet is set in 1926 Shanghai, where rival gangs control the power and a monster lurks in the Huangpu River. When both the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers are suddenly afflicted by a mysterious illness, former lovers Juliette and Roma must work together to protect their city.
This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi
Inspired by Persian mythology, This Woven Kingdom can be described as Cinderella meets The Godfather. Alizeh, heir to the Jinn throne, hides in plain sight, determined to reclaim her place. Meanwhile, crown prince Kamran prepares himself against the prophesies. Forbidden romance, snark, dual POV, and gorgeous writing make the perfect introduction to this new trilogy. Mafi is also the author of BookTok favorite Shatter Me.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lyn Tan
Xingyin lives a life of solitude on the moon, hidden away from the Celestial Emperor. When her magic flares, Xingyin is forced to flee and leaving her mother behind. Alone in the Celestial Kingdom, Xingyin disguises herself in order to learn magic and archery alongside the prince. To rescue her mother, Xingyin must take on dangerous creatures and even the Celestial Emperor himself. This striking novel is the first in a duology inspired by Chinese legends.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab
Schwab is a BookTok favorite, so it’s no surprise to see her latest on this list. All Olivia has of her mother is her diaries, which make little sense. One day, a letter arrives requesting Olivia to come home to Gallant manor. Gallant is full of secrets, and no one expected Olivia’s visit, yet it feels like home. Uncover the truth of Gallant with Olivia as she takes her place in this strange, secretive home.
What books do you think will go viral next? For more TikTok fun, check out our TikTok archive. Want to get made-for-you book recommendations without an algorithm? Check out TBR, our book recommendation service!