Top 10 YA Fantasy/Sci-fi Books (Christian and non-Christian)

Craving some epic fantasy? Or maybe you want to delve into a bit of science fiction for your next read? Here is a list of 10 of my favourites within these genres, with the lowest age rating being 12+ and some containing adult content. Both Christian and non-Christian titles have been included, and whether you are a part of the Faith or not, I would still recommend you give them a try.

Enjoy!

All book descriptions taken from Amazon kindle website. All links and content based on UK Amazon website

Snow Like Ashes -Sara Raasch

Christian Commentary:

  • Premarital sex, mentions of brothels and more sexual themes
  • Dark magic and corruption
  • Mystical beings
  • Violence, Wars, Murder

Series? : Yes, 3 books, all completed. Please read all 3

Why read? : Likeable main heroine, satisfying love triangle, cool magic system.

“Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.”

An ember in the ashes -Sabaa Tahir

Christian Commentary:

  • Occasional swear words
  • Supernatural characters (wraiths, ghuls, ghosts etc.)
  • Premarital sex
  • Murder
  • Violence

Series? : Yes, 4 books, a completed Quartet.

Why read? : Elias. That is all (jk: Action packed plot, brilliant world building, gut wrenching romance.)

“Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death.

When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn are the rebels.

But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk…Laia’s very life is at stake.

There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined – and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.”

Sky in the deep -Adrienne Young

Christian Commentary:

  • Premarital sex
  • Violence and war
  • Foreign gods
  • Sexual assault

Series? : No, This is a standalone novel

Why read? : Simplistic but intriguing storyline, female warriors, slow-burn romance.

“Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield–her brother, fighting with the enemy–the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.”

The Queen’s risings -Rebecca Ross

Christian Commentary:

  • Violence and Murder
  • Affairs

Series? : 2 books. A completed duology

Why read? : great way to ease into the fantasy genre, main character is not a leader or royalty meaning there is less stressful decision making , cute age-gap romance.

“Born out of wedlock, Brienna is cast off by her noble family and sent to Magnolia House – a boarding house for those looking to study the passions: art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge. Brienna must discover her passion and train hard to perfect her skill, in the hope that she will one day graduate and be chosen by a wealthy patron, looking to support one of the ‘impassioned’.

As Brienna gets closer to the eve of her graduation, she also grows closer to her smart (and handsome) tutor, Cartier. He can sense that she is hiding a secret, but Brienna chooses not to reveal that she is experiencing memories of her ancestors – memories uncovering the mysteries of the past that may have dangerous consequences in the present.

A daring plot is brewing – to overthrow the usurper king and restore the rightful monarchy – and Brienna’s memories hold the key to its success. Cartier desperately wants to help Brienna, but she must chose her friends wisely, keep her enemies close and trust no one if she is to save herself and her people.”

Mark of the Raven -Morgan L.Busse

Christian Commentary:

  • Mentions of murder
  • Mentions of adultery
  • Dark supernatural beings

Series? : Yes, 3 books, all completed.

Why read? : Inspiring main characters, beautiful marriage of convenience, powerful Christian imagery.

“Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?”

The Cruel Prince -Holly Black

Christian Commentary:

  • Mystical beings (Fey, ogres, mermaids etc)
  • Sexual scenes
  • Violence/Murder
  • Magic

Series? : Yes, 3 books in the main series, all completed.

Why read? : strong female lead, amazing world building, addictive enemies-to-lovers romance with love triangles.

“Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal.

As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.

But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . .”

Half a King -Joe Abercrombie

Christian Commentary:

  • Foreign deities
  • Violence
  • Mythological stories

Series? : Yes, 3 books, all completed.

Why read? : relatable underdog main character, amazing adventure, strong sense of camaraderie/loveable friendships.

“Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy…”

Arena -Karen Hancock

Christian Commentary:

  • Sexual assault
  • Mentions of premarital sex
  • Violence

Series? : No this is a standalone novel.

Why read? : Amazing action-packed storyline, sweet slow-burn romance, original and thrilling reimagining/representation of the Gospel story.

“I’ve never read or watched the maze runner but I like to imagine this a having a similar vibe. It contains the most Callie Hayes is living a life of fear and disillusionment when she volunteers for a psychology experiment that promises to turn her life around. As her orientation proceeds, Callie becomes frightened by the secrecy and evasion she encounters. When she demands to be released from the program, she is suddenly dropped into a terrifying alien world and into a perilous battle between good and evil. With limited resources and only a few cryptic words to guide her, Callie embarks on a life-changing journey. Will she decipher the plans the Benefactor has established for her escape, or will she succumb to the deception of the Arena?”

Renegades -Marissa Meyer

Christian Commentary:

  • Violence
  • Superpowers
  • Murder
  • Homosexual couple

Series? : Yes, 3 books, all completed.

Why read? : Diverse cast, epic superpowers, a cute clean romance.

“Secret identities. Extraordinary powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.”

Skyward -Brandon Sanderson

Christian Commentary:

  • Sci-fi violence
  • Strange supernatural ability

Series? : Yes, but only 2 released so far (as of Summer 2021)

Why read? : thrilling flying battles, a talking ship, a sidekick pet slug and an enemies-to-lovers romance.

“Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what’s left of the human race.

Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s – a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa’s chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, making Spensa’s world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .”

Do you agree with this list? Are there any books missing that should be included? Anything to add to the Christian Commentaries? If so, make sure to Leave A Comment or contact me directly!

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