Best YA Series for Fantasy Nerds

Welcome, Fantasy Nerds! I’m so excited for the start of a new collection of blog posts, the “Best Things for Fantasy Nerds” series. Over the next few weeks, WTF and I will share some of our favorite things for Fantasy Nerds to check out! SO…if you don’t have time (or money) to do all the things, we will try them out for you and let you know the best. I’m kicking it off with the best YA series for Fantasy Nerds because I like to read and write YA fantasy. Next time, WTF will give you her opinion on the best adult series.

Who’s ready to find a new YA fantasy series to read?!

Harry Potter

You know I had to lead with this one. My all-time favorite place to escape is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Seriously, I’m obsessed, but who isn’t?

This is me last Halloween!

J.K. Rowling makes Hogwarts so real that the reader can imagine themselves there, wand at the ready. The brilliant part is that there is a house that everyone can identify with (Ravenclaw here!), and the books really celebrate each individual’s strengths.

The other great thing about this series is that it’s simple enough that I could enjoy it in middle school, but when you re-read it as you grow older you can find so many new hints and themes that you missed. I could go on forever about Harry Potter, so let me stop myself now. Comment below with your Hogwarts House!

A Court of Thorns and Roses

This series quickly became my recent favorite after my husband got it for me because of the Beauty and the Beast retelling (that’s an obsession for another day). But if you think this series is going to be predictable, you are wrong. The Faerie world is so immersive and creative, and with hints of darker relevant themes.

 It blew my expectations out of the water, and I literally cried when I finished the series because I was so sad to say goodbye to the characters. Sarah J. Maas gives her characters so much depth and most are not who you expect them to be. By the end of the books I really felt like I knew them, and this gave the action and plot so much more weight.

The Throne of Glass series is also an amazing read, but Feyre and the Court of Dreams have a special place in my heart. Which Sarah J. Maas series is your favorite?


Harking back to my youth again, Eragon was also one of my favorites. From the moment that baby dragon hatched, I was hooked. For how young Paolini was when he wrote the books, the creatures he creates are very impressive. This series also has a great example of a magic system with proper limits, to keep things from being too easy for Eragon. Paolini manages to subvert expectations in the end, but it still felt right to me.

Six of Crows

Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Orders are so well thought out and the world she creates isn’t your typical fantasy world. She steers away from the medieval setting that a lot of fantasy writers use, and instead gives us an Amsterdam-inspired city. Kaz is one of those chararters that you can’t help but love despite his criminal nature. I was really rooting for his whole gang. Bardugo’s combination of worldbuilding skills and deep characters make for an amazing read.

Six of Crows is my favorite Grishaverse series by only a hair. I do have to give a nod to the amazing villain she creates, the Darkling, in her Shadow and Bone series. However, Kaz and his gang won out over the heroes in that series for me. I have a feeling the new Nikolai duology might become my favorite (he is my favorite character), but since that one’s unfinished I won’t list it yet. Tell me your favorite Grishaverse series or character!

Red Queen

This magic system has to be the most creative and ingenious that I have read. I love the way Aveyard allows for the users to combine their powers, in a way. During one of the big battle scenes when the Nymphs (water) and Shivers (ice) worked together to make an ice bridge for someone to run across, I was so jealous of her imagination. I also really loved that brain lightning magic, and the Singers and Whispers…I could go on and on! The magic in the series is so original and detailed with the widest range of unique abilities, some of which I’ve never seen.

The Queen of the Tearling

The plot for this series is so phenomenal and original. The different narrators, the mix of new and old, and how everything tied together made an interesting read. This series satisfied my YA fantasy genre expectations, while throwing in so many unique aspects from other genres I love (sci-fi, dystopian, historical fiction). It created a completely new reading experience for me.  I also never saw the plot twists coming. The ending had me floored, and I don’t think I will ever forget it.

Another great thing about this series is the heroine. She really finds herself throughout the series, and I felt like I went on that journey with her. She is so relatable in her self-doubt and insecurities, but also her fierce pursuit of what is right.  She also makes a great leader who is willing to sacrifice for her people. In the words of the author, “For Kelsea, it’s all about the job, and I wish there were more such heroines out there.”

The Modern Faerie Tales

I must confess, this series was suggested by WTF. It is still currently in my Amazon cart, so below are WTF’s thoughts on what makes this one of the best series.

Holly Black captures modern fantasy effortlessly. It’s the perfect balance of dark and magical. There is a gruesome realness in Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales. She captures not only the whimsical, but the terrifying side of fantasy.

Her character development is impeccable; you go from loving to hating back to loving a character as all of their story unfolds. She isn’t afraid to show flaws in her characters as well as their strengths. If you haven’t read Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside, I suggest you do so immediately!

What Do You Think?

What do you think of our list of top YA fantasy series? If any look interesting, click here to view the our list on and support local bookstores! As an affiliate, we do earn if you make any purchases. Is there a series you love that wasn’t on the list? If it’s an adult series, check to see if it made the best adult fantasy series list! Or maybe it’s a series we haven’t read. Comment below to help us discover your favorite! If you enjoyed it, feel free to share this post using the buttons below.

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That’s it for now, Fantasy Nerds. Thanks so much for reading!

Clever and WTF

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