Must-Read Fantasy Books

Momo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind

Momo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind By Misa Sugiura

A thrilling fantasy series about a twelve year old girl who sets out to save her Shinto goddess mother—and the world—by facing down demons intent on bringing chaos.

“A grand adventure.” —Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven

“A wild ride of a novel…hilarious.” —Sayantani DasGupta, New York Times bestselling author of The Kingdom Beyond


All Momo wants for her twelfth birthday is an ordinary life—like everyone else's. At home, she has to take care of her absentminded widowed mother. At school, kids ridicule her for mixing up reality with the magical stories her mother used to tell her.

But then Momo’s mother falls gravely ill, and a death hag straight out of those childhood stories attacks Momo at the mall, where she’s rescued by a talking fox . . . and “ordinary” goes out the window. It turns out that Momo's mother is a banished Shinto goddess who used to protect a long-forgotten passageway to Yomi—a.k.a. the land of the dead. That passageway is now under attack, and countless evil spirits threaten to escape and wreak havoc across the earth.

Joined by Niko the fox and Danny—her former best friend turned popular jerk, whom she never planned to speak to again, much less save the world with—Momo must embrace her (definitely not "ordinary") identity as half human, half goddess to unlock her divine powers, save her mother’s life, and force the demons back to Yomi.

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Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston By Esme Symes-Smith

In a magical medieval world filled with dragons, shape-shifters, and witches, a twelve-year-old nonbinary hopeful knight battles for the heart of their kingdom. A thrilling middle-grade series opener that explores identity and gender amid sword fights and magic, and proves anyone can be a hero.

“These heroes come in all shapes and skills—I cheered for them throughout their exciting journey.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce


When their ex-hero dad is summoned back to the royal capital of Helston to train a hopeless crown prince, Callie lunges at the opportunity to finally prove themself worthy to the kingdom’s "great and powerful."

Except the intolerant great and powerful look at nonbinary Callie and only see girl. But Callie has always known exactly what they want to be, and they’re not about to let anything stand in their way. 

Trapped in Helston’s rigid hierarchy where girls learn magic and boys train as knights, Callie discovers they aren’t alone—there’s Elowen, the chancellor’s brilliant daughter, whose unparalleled power is being stifled; Edwyn, Elowen’s twin brother desperate to win his father’s approval; and Willow, the crown prince who was never meant to be king.  

In this start to an epic series packed with action, humor, and heart, Callie and their new friends quickly find themselves embedded in an ancient war—and their only hope to defeat the threats outside the kingdom lies in first defeating the bigotry within.

"Everything you could possibly want from a middle grade fantasy." —The Nerd Daily

Sinner's Isle

Sinner's Isle By Angela Montoya

A spellbinding romantic fantasy about a powerful witch who will do anything to escape the remote island she’s being held captive on, including blackmail a notorious, charming pirate who washes up on shore, from debut author Angela Montoya.

Rosalinda is trapped on Sinner’s Isle, an island filled with young women like her—Majestics, beautiful witches loathed by society for their dangerous magic yet revered by powerful men who want to use them. 

For years, she has been kept under the watchful, calculating eye of Doña Lucia. Now eighteen, Rosa will be the prized commodity at this year’s Offering, a fiesta for the wealthy to engage in drink, damsels, and debauchery. That is why she must flee—before someone forces the vicious phantoms within her to destroy everything she touches. 

Handsome, swashbuckling Mariano has long sailed the high seas as the Prince of Pirates. Then the king’s fleet attacks his father’s infamous ship, leaving him marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire. Instead, he falls into the hands of a brazen (although) bewitching headache—Rosa.

Together they must outwit each other and their enemies before the Offering ends and it’s too late to escape the perils of Sinner’s Isle.

Lucha of the Night Forest

Lucha of the Night Forest By Tehlor Kay Mejia

An edge-of-your-seat fantasy about a girl who will do anything to protect her sister—even if it means striking a dangerous bargain. Dark forces, forgotten magic, and a heart-stopping queer romance make this young adult novel a must-read.

A scorned god.
A mysterious acolyte.
A forgetting drug.
A dangerous forest.

One girl caught between the freedom she always wanted and a sister she can't bear to leave behind.

Under the cover of the Night Forest, will Lucha be able to step into her own power...or will she be consumed by it?

This gorgeous and fast-paced fantasy novel from acclaimed author Tehlor Kay Mejia is brimming with adventure, peril, romance, and family bonds—and asks what it means for a teen girl to become fully herself.

Random House Teachers and Librarians