[Adult] High Fantasy Romances: A Quest (+ Books I’ve Read in this Genre)

Hi friends! As you know, I’ve been on a big kick for adult high fantasy romances! I’m pretty sure I’ve explained “high fantasy” in previous posts … not sure about the other so … By adult I don’t mean “adult situations” I mean “the main characters are considered to have reached the age of majority in their world/culture.” (Although you know, adult situations are good too 😛 ) It seems this is still a genre dominated by YA but … you know. Also, one of my “quirks” is I hold off on reading a series until it’s finished. (Mostly because I’ll blow through an entire series in just a few days.) I do sometimes make an exception but … it’s rare. (And I also need to be assured each book can stand sufficiently alone/doesn’t end on a massive cliffhanger.)

Anyway, here’s my updated list! I would like to note… I’ve branched into YA. I mean – see above, right? I thought about trying to find some symbol to denote YA titles but … that seems too daunting. I periodically make these posts because I ask for recommendations on social media a lot, and a lot of people are always interested, so hopefully this helps us all out. 😀

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson book cover

Here’s what I’ve read:

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy Grade B-
The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy Grade C+ (This title is currently in KU)
The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy Grade C+
Radiance by Grace Draven Grade B+
Eidolon by Grace Draven Grade B-
Master of Crows by Grace Draven Grade B+
The Brush of Black Wings by Grace Draven Grade B
Entreat Me by Grace Draven Grade C+
The Lightning’s God Wife by Grace Draven Grade D+
The Light Within: A Winter’s Tale by Grace Draven Grade C+
Lover of Thorns and Holy Gods by Grace Draven Grade C+
The Undying King by Grace Draven Grade C
All the Stars Look Down by Elizabeth Hunter and Grace Draven Grade C [Sunday’s Child by Grace Draven]
Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson Grade C
Lady of the Light and Shadows by C.L. Wilson Grade D+ (This book is currently in KU)
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C++ (This book is currently in KU)
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C+
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C+
Assassin Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C+
Power Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C+
Ice Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C+
Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C+
Night Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder Grade C-
Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan Grade B-
Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughan, Grade C-
Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan, Grade B-
Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan, Grade C+
The Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo, Grade C
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Grade B
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, Grade B
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, Grade B
A Promise of Fire Amanda Bouchet, Grade C
Impossible Things Kate Johnson, Grade  B
Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier, Grade C+
The Battle Sylph by L. J. McDonald, Grade C+ (This book is currently in KU)
The Shattered Sylph by L. J. McDonald, Grade C (This book is currently in KU)
The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo, Grade B
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Grade B+
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Grade A-
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, Grade A-
Beauty by Robin McKinley, Grade C
Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard, Grade C+
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Grade C+ (Kindle version currently on sale for $4.99)
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers, Grade C
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers, Grade C —
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Grade B- (only $1.99 for kindle at the time of posting), and it’s also in KU
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson, Grade B- (The kindle version appears to be on sale at $4.99)
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson, Grade B (The kindle version appears to be on sale at $6.99)
The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson, Grade C
The Shattered Mountain by Rae Carson, Grade B-
The King’s Guard by Rae Carson, Grade B-
​​Jaded by Anya Bast, Grade B+
Children of the Blood by Michelle Sagara West, Grade  D+
The Hob’s Bargain by Patricia Briggs, Grade C+ [OH DEAR GOD I WANT A SEQUEL OR MORE FROM THIS WORLD PLEASE]
Path of Fate by Diana Pharaoh Francis, Grade C+
Path of Honor by Diana Pharaoh Francis, Grade C-
Path of Blood by Diana Pharaoh Francis, Grade C —
Ishtar’s Blade by Lisa Blackwood, Grade C+ (The title is currently in KU)
Betrayal’s Price by Lisa Blackwood, Grade  C- (Free on kindle currently)
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, Grade B+
Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier, Grade B[+]
Heir to the Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, Grade B
Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, Grade D+
Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, Grade C+
The Winter Players by Tanith Lee, Grade C-
Queen of Blood by Jill Myles, Grade C- (This title is currently in KU)
The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon, Grade B- (This title is currently in KU)
Sorceress Found by Lisa Blackwood, Grade D+
Archangel by Sharon Shinn, Grade C- (On sale for $2.99 on kindle at time of posting)
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, Grade B+
The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon, Grade B- (This title is currently in KU)
Wicked Ugly Bad by Cassandra Gannon, Grade C (This title is currently in KU)
Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh, Grade B+ [OH MY GOD NEED MORE HFR FROM NALINI]
The Shift of the Tide by Jeffe Kennedy, Grade D+
The Wizard’s Ward by Deborah Hale, Grade C (This title is currently in KU)
The Waiting King by Deborah Hale. Grade C- (This title is currently in KU)
The Destined Queen by Deborah Hale, Grade Grade  C –– (This title is currently in KU)
On Fire’s Wings by Christie Golden, Grade D, but I cannot recommend this book => see my GR
In Stone’s Clasp by Christie Golden, Grade F/DNF
Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Grade B-
The Winter King by C. L. Wilson, Grade B+
The Sea King by C. L. Wilson, Grade C (which I reviewed here)
Ariagne by Ekaterine Xia, Grade C-
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, Grade B+
Assassin’s Gambit by Amy Raby, Grade D+ (On sale for $2.99 for kindle)
Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs, Grade B+
Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs, Grade B+
Incubus Caged by A. H. Lee, Grade D++ (This title is currently in KU)
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas C
Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy C–
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan B+ (reviewed here) (On sale for $4.99 on kindle)
Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan B (reviewed here) (On sale for kindle at $4.99)
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George,  C
The Serpent Bride by Sara Douglass, C+ (Kindle version on sale for $3.99)
The Twisted Citadel by Sara Douglass, C (Kindle version on sale for $4.99)
The Infinity Gate by Sara Douglass, D- (I fucking hated the ~ending to this book so much.)
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, C-
Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis, B+
Cage of Darkness by Jennifer Anne Davis, B
Cage of Destiny by Jennifer Anne Davis, B+
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, B-
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows, B-
The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows, D+
​*​Radiance by Grace Draven, B+,
​*​Eidolan by Grace Draven, B
The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst, C+
Minotaur: Blooded by Naomi Lucas, C (This title is currently in KU)
The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King, D+ (This title is currently in KU)
A Kingdom of Exiles by S.B. Nova, A- (This title is currently in KU)
Mage Slave by R.K. Thorne, B+ (This title is currently in KU)
Mage Strike by R.K. Thorne, B+ (This title is currently in KU)
Star Mage by R. K. Thorne, D (This title is currently in KU)
Reluctant Concubine by Dana Marton, C+ (This title is currently in KU)
Accidental Sorceress by Dana Marton, B+ (This title is currently in KU)
Blade & Rose by Miranda Honfleur, B+ (This title is currently in KU)
By Dark Deeds by Miranda Honfleur, C- (This title is currently in KU)
Court of Shadows by Miranda Honfleur, D (This title is currently in KU)
*Fantasy of Frost by Kelly St. Clare, A- (This title is currently in KU)
*Fantasy of Flight by Kelly St. Clare, B+/A- (This title is currently in KU)
*Fantasy of Fire by Kelly St. Clare, A- (This title is currently in KU)
*Fantasy of Freedom by Kelly St. Clare, A- (This title is currently in KU)
Sin by Kelly St. Clare, C+ (This title is currently in KU)
Olandon by Kelly St. Clare, C- (This title is currently in KU)
Rhone by Kelly St. Clare, C+ (This title is currently in KU)
[Blood Oath by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare] (This title is currently in KU)
[Shadow Wings by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare] (This title is currently in KU)
Black Crown by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare, C- (This title is currently in KU)
[The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova] (This title is currently in KU)
[The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova] (This title is currently in KU)
[The Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova] (This title is currently in KU)
[Duel of Fire by Kordan Rivet] (This title is currently in KU)
King of Mist by Jordon Rivet, C (This title is currently in KU)
The Princess of Dhagabad by Anna Kashina, D+
The Goddess of Dance by Anna Kashina, C-
*On Fortune’s Wheel/The Tale of Birle by Cynthia Voigt, A
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven, B-
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst, D- (This title is currently in KU; especially interesting since the first two aren’t)
Beauty’s Beast by Amanda Ashley, D+ (This title is currently in KU)
The Arrows of the Heart by Jeffe Kennedy, B
Pathfinder’s Way by T.A. White, B
Mist’s Edge by T.A. White, B+
Wayfarer’s Keep by T.A. White, B-
Herb-Witch by Elizabeth McCoy, B-
Herb-Wife by Elizabeth McCoy, B
Obsidian Blade by Morgan Rhodes, D-
Persephone Remembers the Pomegranates by Samantha MacLeod, C (This title is currently free for kindle)
Crucible by Elizabeth McCoy
All that Glitters by Elizabeth McCoy, D+
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, A
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, B++
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski, B+
Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski, C-
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt, B- (This title is currently in KU)
Oath of Destruction by Jennifer Anne Davis, D+
Seasons of Sorcery by Amanda Bouchet et al, C+
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Chosen by K.F. Breene, B+ (This title is currently in KU)
Hunted by K.F. Breene, B- (This title is currently in KU)
Shadow Lands by K.F. Breene, B (This title is currently in KU)
Invasion by K.F. Breene, C+ (This title is currently in KU)
Siege by K.F. Breene, B (This title is currently in KU)
Overtaken by K.F. Breene, A- (This title is currently in KU)
Guardian Queen by Dana Marton, C- (This title is currently in KU)
Dragon Lord by Dana Marton. C+ (This title is currently in KU)
Girl in the Red Hood by Brittany Fichter, C- (This title is currently in KU)
Cinders, Stars, and Glass Slippers by Brittany Fichter, C– (This title is currently in KU)
Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken, C-
Chains & Flames by G.A. Aiken, C– (In this edition it’s included at the end)
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, A-
Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep, B+
Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep, B- –
Bound to the Battle God by Ruby Dixon, C (This title is currently in KU)
The King’s Spinster Bride by Ruby Dixon, C- (This title is currently in KU)
The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter, C-
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, D—

Currently Reading
Shadowblade by Anna Kashina
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

+There have been some titles I’ve DNF’d for various reasons – some just weren’t for me, some it was timing, and may go back and try again later.

I’d label The Evil Queen as “very YA.” The Bardugo titles are YA too … as are the Rogersons – but Sorcery of Thorns reads beautifully and didn’t have a lot of the “YA issues” in my opinion. Same with the Rutkoski trilogy, and her upcoming book/series may be my most highly anticipated now.

Out of the books I’ve read… A Court of Thorns and Roses – THE TRILOGY is one of my favorites. If not my definite favorite…. Then I’d also highly recommend Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy. The Warrior Chronicles by K.F. Breene, The Tainted Accords quartet by Kelly. St. Clare, and Grace Draven’s high fantasy stories. And of course the Sevenwaters books by Marillier … >.> except for book 3. I check nearly daily to see if the sequel of A Kingdom of Exiles is out yet. Hidden gem books I’d recommend would be Herb-Witch and Herb-Wife  by Elizabeth McCoy. Kessa might be one of my most favorite heroines ever. It’s not an action packed series, but there’s still a lot going on – and she’s one of the snarliest heroines I’ve ever encountered (she is so for very good reason. And I seriously appreciate her commitment to … herself, justice, vengeance, and carrying through. Badass.) Also shout out to Overtaken – this series as a whole, by K.F. Breene, but this title was probably my favorite. I read all six books in about 3 days. It’s a YA title but I have to shout out On Fortune’s Wheel/The Tale of Birle – I first read it in 6th grade, and I’ve re-read it SO many times. <3  Sorcery of Thorns by Rogerson would be my recommendation as the latest book I absolutely loved. The heroine is basically a sword wielding librarian, the hero is a grouchy young sorcerer, and books are pretty much alive. (Grimoires abound!) Absolutely no “sophomore slump” here – in fact I think this book is much better than her first, and I really enjoyed that one!

Some Books On My Radar/TBR… other than the first three most of these seem to be YA. Which, in part is also why I haven’t jumped on the completed series yet.

The Forgotten Empires (trilogy) by Jeffe Kennedy (The Orchid Throne (9/24/19), ?, ?)
Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven (12/10/19)
Crush the King by Jennifer Estep (3/17/20)

I’m not sure how romance-centric these books/series are, or they’re YA (or both!): [There were more on the list but I deleted some because they didn’t seem to be romances]
The Traitor’s Circle trilogy by Erin Beaty (The Traitor’s Kiss, The Traitor’s Ruin, The Traitor’s Kingdom. I believe this series is finished – I just haven’t gotten to it yet)
The Emperium trilogy by Claire Legrand – not yet complete (Furyborn, Kingsbane, ?)
The Stormheart books by Cora Carmack, (Roar, Rage (8/27/19))
The Cursebreakers (trilogy?) by Brigid Kemmerer (A Curse So Dark and Lonely currently on sale for just $1.99 on kindle, A Heart So Fierce and Broken (1/7/2020), ?)
The Sweet Black Waves (trilogy?) by Kristina Pérez (Sweet Black Waves, Wild Savage Stars (8/27/19), Bright Raven Skies (8/25/2020))
The Girl King (series?) by Mimi Yu, (The Girl King, Empress of Flames (5/12/2020))
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
The Tiger at Midnight trilogy by Swati Teerdhala (The Tiger at Midnight, ? (2020), ?)
The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn, The Rose & the Dagger. This is also complete – but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)
The Everless duology by Sara Holland (Everless, Evermore. This is also complete – but I haven’t gotten to it yet, as it seems this “isn’t really a romance.”.)
It doesn’t seem to be *high fantasy* but … The Gilded Wolves trilogy by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves, The Silvered Serpents (2/4/2020), ? (2021))
The Queens Rising duology by Rebecca Ross (The Queen’s Rising, The Queen’s Resistance. This is also complete – but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)
The Burning Glass trilogy by Kathryn Purdie (Burning Glass, Frozen Blade, Frozen Reign. This is also complete – but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)
The Sun Blessed trilogy by Carol Beth Anderson (Facing the Sun, Facing the Gray, Facing the Fire. This is also complete – but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)
The Evermore Chronicles by Emily R. King (Before the Broken Star, Into the Hourglass (8/20/19), Everafter Song (12/10/19))
Even the Darkest Stars duology by Heather Fawcett (Even the Darkest Stars, All the Wandering Light. I’ve read the first, not the second)
Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Shadow of the Fox trilogy by Julie Kagawa (Shadow of the Fox, Soul the Sword, Night of the Dragon (3/31/2020))
Amber & Dusk (duology?) by Lyra Selene (Amber & Dusk, Diamond & Dawn (12/3/19))
The Witchlands (quintet?) by Susan Dennard (Truthwitch, Windwitch, Bloodwitch, ? (2020), ? (2021))
Kingdom of Souls (trilogy?)  by Rena Barron (Kingdom of Souls (9/3/19), ?, ?)
Of Fire & Stars series by Audrey Coulthurst (Inkmistress (a prequel?), Of Fire & Stars, Of Ice & Shadows (8/13/19))
The A Forgery of Magic (trilogy?) by Maya Motayne (Nocturna, Occulta (2020), ?)
The Cerulean Duology by Amy Ewing (The Cerulean, The Alcazar (3/3/20))
Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye
Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland (10/29/19)
The Four Arts (series? quartet?) by M.J. Scott (The Shattered Court, The Forbidden Heir, The Unbound Queen (not let published)
Crown of Coral and Pearl (duology?) by Mara Rutherford (Crown of Coral and Pearl (8/27/19), Kingdom of Sea and Stone (2020))
The Bloodleaf (trilogy?) by Crystal Smith (Bloodleaf, Greythorne (3/10/20), ?)
The Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes, Ice Like Fire, Frost Like Night. This is also complete – but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)
The Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring, Gathering Darkness, Frozen Tides, Crystal Storm, Immortal Reign.  This series is finished – I just haven’t gotten to it yet)
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, Kingdom of Ash. This series is finished – I just haven’t gotten to it yet)
[The Midnight Lie duology] by Marie Rutkoski (The Midnight Lie (3/3/20), ?)
The Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas (House of Earth and Blood (3/3/20), ?+?)
The Goblin Emperor ~duology by Katherine Addison (The Goblin Emperor, The Witness for the Dead (no publication date yet))
The Sands of Arawiya (duology?) by Hafsah Faizal (We Hunt the Flame, We Free the Stars (5/12/20))
The Blood Heir trilogy by Amélie Wen Zhao (Blood Heir (11/19/19), ?, ?)
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad (apparently not much of a romance, but very female and female friendship centric?)
The Chimera (duology?) by Cate Glass (GOLD STAR IT’S ADULT! … though … just with “romantic elements” so … you see why this is such a struggle. An Illusion of Thieves, A Conjuring of Assassins (2/4/20))
The Witch King trilogy by Nancy Holland (Thalgor’s Witch, Felyn’s Curse, The Witch King (9/16/19))
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (8/6/19)
The Warrior Bards (trilogy?) by Juliet Marillier (The Harp of Kings (9/3/19), ?, ?)
The Camelot Rising (trilogy?) by Kiersten White (The Guinevere Deception (11/5/19), ?(2020), ?(2021))
The Crier’s War trilogy by Nina Varela (The Crier’s War (10/4/19), ? (2020), ? (2021))
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (currently a standalone but apparently it may become a duology)

Feel free to ask any questions about the books I’ve read! Also, if you’ve read the books I haven’t yet – what did you think of them? Would you recommend them or caution me? This list isn’t comprehensive by any means (for the “ones I haven’t read yet” – and as usual I didn’t include any of the books I DNF’d … >.> maybe some time I will…) – but! These were the ones I had on my most present list.

Also!!! Do you have any books to recommend that I didn’t mention that are adult high fantasy romances?!

And … I’ve never done this before, but making this post, checking all the links etc, it not only took me hours, it literally took days. (To say nothing of the time checking lists, etc.) So … if you’d be so kind as to consider Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com I’d really appreciate it! Xoxo

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