Top 10 YA Fantasy Books Written By Women

As always Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke And Bookish and was created by The Perpetual Page Turner.

This week’s topic is Top Ten ‘X Genre’ Books. And ew, don’t be gross, the X is a stand-in for whatever genre you choose. I decided to go with Top Ten YA Fantasy Books Written By Women because whenever I see Top Ten YA Fantasy books they contain books that I feel fall under the umbrella of speculative fiction but not straight up fantasy, like Divergent, to me, that’s not fantasy, but dystopia. Well, enough with the apples and the oranges, let’s get to the meat!

Top 10 YA Fantasy Books Written By Women:

1. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, Alison Goodman, Two Pearls Of Wisdom, paperback cover,

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Why?: First Eon has a unique setting — most fantasies I read are European based, Eon is Asian-based. Also, the worldbuilding is TO DIE FOR. Well, not quite death. But still, it’s an awesome read that I wish more people would check out.

2. The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl Of Fire And Thorns, Rae Carson, US Book Cover

The Girl Of Fire And Thorns

Why: Don’t I rail on and on about The Girl Of Fire And Thorns every other Top Ten Tuesday. Dudes I love this book. I love it’s high fantasy feeling. I love Elisa and her character development. I love the big show down. I love pumping my fists. AND THE GEORGE RR MARTIN-ING.

3. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Alanna The First Adventure, Book Cover, Tamora Pierce, Looks Like Fire Cover by Kristen Cashore, Sword

Alanna: The First Adventure

Why?: Yo, Tamora Pierce might as well be the godmother of YA Fantasy. Seriously, her books feature kickass heroines, males who are kind, and empowerment. I love that. And really, how can one have a best of YA fantasy WITHOUT including Tamora Pierce? I feel like that’s a sign that maybe you don’t know your stuff.

4.  The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

The Blue Sword Robin McKinley Book Cover

The Blue Sword

Why?: Robin McKinley is one of my favorite writers EVER. The Blue Sword is kind of a chosen one fantasy, but there are horses and a girl named Harry and a SWOON SWOON SWOON SWOON alert over a character named Corlath.

5. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner Book Cover

The Thief

Why?: Sigh. If you don’t know who Gen is, maybe you should fix your life right now and go check out The Queen’s Thief series. IT IS SO GOOD. I mean, think about details and every little thing is important and intricate and fabulous.

6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Book Cover


Why?: I love Graceling because it’s a) sex-positive b) kick ass female character who sticks to her guns c) an equal relationship. I just love this book, I was never like counting pages or anything while reading it.

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study, Maria V Snyder, Book Cover, Green

Poison Study

Why?: Valek. Moving on.

8. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones, Book Cover

Howl's Moving Castle

Why?: Diane Wynne Jones was an amazing author. And I think that Howl’s Moving Castle is one of those books that just feels like a comfort read, to me it felt like a blanket, ya know? It’s got all my favorite elements, a wizard, a talking fire, a spell, and gumption. I just loved it.

9. Chime by Franny Billingsley

Chime, Franny Billingsley, Book Cover, Girl, Hands,


Why?: Beautiful, scrumptious writing with an unreliable narrator. Chime isn’t your average fantasy.

10. Daughter Of The Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter Of The Forest, Juliet Marillier, Book Cover

Daughter Of The Forest

Why?: Okay, so I know SOME people classify Daughter of the Forest as adult. I read it as a teen and it’s stuck with me. I will always consider Daughter Of The Forest to be like a YA crossover. It’s one of those books I could probably read over and over. I still think about it and how much I admire Sorcha and her dedication. How much I love the magic. How I daydreamed about this book while reading it. IT IS SO GOOD.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Adding all of these to my TBR list. I’m on a Fantasy kick. 😀

  2. You need to read The Songs of Pellinor series by Alison Croggon! She’s an Australian author (which already says a lot) and that high fantasy series is seriously awesomesauce. Perhaps a little too high fantasy-ish for a lot of people but dude, I think you’d totally dig it.

  3. Loved Poison Study and Graceling! I’ll have to give Chime another try. I couldn’t get past the first 1/4-12 of the book.

  4. Great list idea – and SO many awesome books are on it!

  5. “And ew, don’t be gross, the X is a stand-in for whatever genre you choose”


    But for real, this list is FABULOUS. I love fantasy with kickass heroines and sword fights and adventure on every page.

    I also *need* to read Eon and Graceling ASAP. And TAMORA PIERCE FANGIRL FOR LIFE.

  6. So. Many. Good. Books. SERIOUSLY. I got so excited checking out your list! I’ve read about half of your list!

  7. Love this list, I’ve read everything in it except for the first two and I already have a copy of both Eon and Eona. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is also on my wishlist. So yes, I agree with most of your choices, they are awesome YA fantasy books.

  8. That is a good list, my friend.

    Lol. “Valek. Moving on.”

  9. Fantastic list! I love The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Eon, and Daughter of the Forest. Some of my favorite fantasy books. I also really liked Poison Study. The Blue Sword (and The Hero and the Crown) were favorites of mine when I was a teen.

    The people in my book discussion group were all talking about The Queen’s Thief series at our last meeting and I really want to read those books now. I also need to read Howl’s Moving Castle.

  10. If I made a list of favorite YA fantasy fiction by women, in addition to some of the books on your list, I’d also include Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. There are so many fantastic YA fantasy books written by women and I hope we see even more. Maybe it is cliche to say this but I do love reading books that feature strong female characters. It certainly meant a lot to me as a teen to read about such inspiring characters.

  11. OMG THIS LIST IS THE BEST!!!! Most of them I’ve read or have high up on my to-read list, but I’m adding the one’s that I haven’t because I know they must be awesomesauce.

    Have you seen the Howl’s Moving Castle Movie by Hayao Miyazaki? It strays a bit from the book, but it’s still fantastic and the animation is gorgeous.

  12. Hands down I swoon for Valek.

  13. Love this list!! Maria Snyder’s Poison Study series is awesome!! I hope more readers pick it up and read it.

  14. Some of these are my favorite books EVER, so I couldn’t agree more with your list! Fantastic choices, April.

  15. Graceling!!! *sigh* Poison Study & Chime are sadly sitting on my shelf shouting “told you so”. I must pick up at least Eon & The Girl of Fire & Thorns.

    Great take on the List 😉

  16. YES to The Thief times a million! Also: I forgot I bought The Poison Study because of you — I have to get going on that!

  17. Great list! It’s important to support female authors, especially when, like this list shows, their writing is AMAZING! Robin McKinley and Tamora Pierce are classic. And I’ve been meaning to read “Daughter of the Forest” for years. Though I don’t know that they count as YA, Ursula LeGuin’s works are fantastic and thought-provoking, too. Thanks for sharing your choices! 🙂

  18. I totally agree with most of this list!

    I’m so glad to see someone else featuring Tamora Pierce books – they’re totally what got me into fantasy in the first place!

    Great list!

  19. YAY for your chick-based list! Love it 🙂

    I really need to read more of these, but HOORAY for Graceling!!! I’m so glad Bitterblue comes out soon. Oh and I really want to read Eon, it looks amazing!

  20. First of all, this is a GREAT idea for a list, I loved how you specified that the books are written by female authors. Second can I just fangirl for a moment and tell you how much I FREAKING LOVE JULIET MARILLIER?!?!?! She is my favorite author EVER and I def. read Daugher of the Forest when I was like 15. Her newer books are awesome too, if you haven’t read the whole Sevenwaters series go read them NOW because they are my favorite books ever seriously. Ok, that is all. Oh and here is my Top Ten

  21. I just flat-out freaking bookmarked this blog post. Hellz yes. High fives and fist pumps to all the swords and dragons on this page.

  22. amazing, amazing, amazing list! Love it!!!!! I adored Chime and Eon, was unbelievably good.

  23. I need to read EVERY book on your list *lol* Graceling and Girl of Fire and Thorns are at the top of my TBR list…

    Check out my Top Ten / Teaser Tuesday!

  24. So excited that you included Diana Wynne Jones and Howl’s Moving Castle on this page. I could agree with you more about that book. You have an excellent selection of books here. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Fantastic list! There’s several fantasy books that I still haven’t read yet, but Chime, The Girl Of, Poison Study and Graceling are some of my all-time favorites. I love the cover of Eon.

  26. Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley were my goddesses during high school! I really want to read Graceling, Eon, Girl of Fire and Thorns…actually all of these! Fabulous list!

    Jennifer @ Feminist Fairytale Reviews

  27. Great list! There’s several on here I’ve been wanting to read for a long time now – Eon, Graceling and anything by Tamora Pierce – I haven’t read any of hers before!

  28. I really need to read some Tamora Pierce since she turns up on every Fantasy list I see. Also Howl’s Moving Castle. Looks amazing.

  29. I’m reading Chime right now and while the writing style was strange at first, I’ve really grown to love it and think Briony has one of the best narrative voices I’ve ever read. Girl of Fire and Thorns is high on my TBR list.

  30. I have Howl’s Moving Castle and it is going to be one I read for my TBR challenge. I can’t wait to read it, especially since it is my favorite Miyazaki film. Great list, thanks for visiting!

  31. Great list! I have to read Graceling still. I know, I know. There are a few others that I’m interested in reading, so I’ll have to make sure to add them to the list. Thanks!

  32. Your top three are basically THE BEST THINGS EVER. I’m excited to see others in the same list I’ve never heard of before. …how have I never heard of Chime? HOW? *goes to fix this*

  33. Awesome list! Graceling is one of my all-time favorites, and Katsa is DEFINITELY my favorite heroine of all time! If you like Maria V. Snyder, you should read her newest, Touch of Power. I loved it!

    Check out YA Litwit’s Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings and my GIVEAWAY!

  34. PROPS to this entire list. I LOVE IT! I have read maybe half of these books and am looking forward to reading the other half, so YAY for great YA fantasy written by women! I know that we’ve both shown Eon crazy love because it’s AWESOME, and Tamora Pierce is, like, the high priestess of YA fantasy. You should read her Beka Cooper series. So good.
    I can’t wait to dig into Howl’s Moving Castle and some more Marillier! And I’ve been seeing Poison Study all over the place lately! That one sounds incredible, too. Plus, it has assassins in it, right? DONE AND DONE. I love assassins!

  35. love this post! Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and now I am off to buy a few books or at the very least add them to my wishlist. I had no idea EON was fantasy! I thought it was science fiction, which I also love. 🙂

  36. APRIL! I love you list… seriously! It made me want to reread some of my favorites and pick up some of the others that I own (of course!) but haven’t read yet. Now I’m all distracted! haha

  37. I just LOVE Marillier. She’s one of my favorite. I don’t think she can write a bad book, because her style is so beautiful. And I always feel so ‘home’ when I read her books. The magical feeling it it.

    Check my list on my blog, if you like ^^

  38. I think I’m the only person under the sun who didn’t like Eon but I just really really didn’t like it. I still need to read quite a few of these, I’m falling behind. I love Poison Study, I need to finish the other 2 in that series yet.

  39. A few of these titles are on my TBR list and I’ll definitely have to bump them up because SO many people seem to have included them in their lists this week (whether it be for Fantasy books or whatever else). I’ve been looking for some good ol’ fashioned fantasy novels, so this list is A+++ 🙂

  40. Word.

    Love it.

  41. Yep…you’re the best. I’ve shamefully only read two of these, but they are ALL on my tbr somewhere if I haven’t. I’ve sworn to God and my mother that I will read Daughter of the Forest this year, and now that Bitterblue’s on the horizon I should really get on Graceling.

  42. I haven’t read any of these but I seriously need to check a few of these books out on amazon! I love strong heroines in fantasy. Great list 🙂

    check out my list if you like!

  43. These are all high fantasy, April, maybe that’s what you mean?
    High fantasy = parallel universe type, ex. FIRE AND THORNS, urban fantasy = erm.. urban fantasy, haha. EX: Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    And I am sorry for being perhaps slightly condescending if you already knew this.

  44. Kick-ass list April! I definitely don’t read enough fantasy and should probably fix that ASAP.

  45. This is a great list, April:) I’ve read about half of them and the other half are on my TBR mountain of books. I also didn’t realize that Chime was fantasy–I think I thought it was paranormal. Thanks for the heads up on that. I couldn’t handle how long it took Eona to figure out what was going on in in Dragoneye Reborn.

  46. I have so many of these sitting on my shelf and I really need to dive into them. I finally read Poison Study and Graceling this year so that’s progress. 🙂 I loved both of them.