Being a teenager is tough. Pair everyday struggles with superhuman powers, and it can be an incredibly confusing time. One day, you’re just a normal kid; the next thing you know, you can lift a car or magically transport yourself to another world. Magic often has a price, and these awesome powers usually come with some sort of dark catch.
Fantasy books never fail to transport us to exciting new worlds, or provide us with characters we aspire to be — or at least, befriend. So, if you’re an aspiring wizard, a young superhero in training, or just looking for a little magic in your life, these 20 fantasy books featuring magical teens will make you feel right at home.
Cloak of Night
As trained warriors of the Society of Taigas, Sora and Daemon have prepared to bring their combat skills and magical talents into battle.
Anointed by the gods for their warrior role, it is Sora and Daemon’s destiny to protect the kingdom of Kichona. In the first book in the duology, Circle of Shadows, students Sora and Daemon uncover a dangerous plot against the empire, led by a cunning prince who was believed dead.
In Cloak of Night, the sequel to Circle of Shadows by New York Times-bestselling author Evelyn Skye, Sora realizes they are up against a foe with a far greater power than they'd ever dreamed. Sora and Daemon must rely on each other, and on their group of comrades, to save the empress, the kingdom, and each other.
If you love sweeping fantasy, strong female characters, and fantasy fueled by contests for the crown, then this duology by Evelyn Skye is tailor-made for you.
The Hero and the Crown
You can’t control where you came from, but you can control where you go. The story of Aerin, the outcast daughter of the king, is one of intense magic and destiny. She is constantly shadowed by the rumors that her birth mother is a witch. Aerin befriends and trains her father’s retired warhorse, Talat, and learns of a forgotten recipe for dragon fire repellent… just in case the need ever arises.
When a dragon attacks a nearby village, Aerin sees her opportunity to be a hero. Running head first into battle, she realizes that she might have bitten off more than she can chew, as the dragon she attempts to protect her people against is one of the great dragons of ancient times—a dragon that might frighten even the boldest of kings.
In the Keep household, hunting vampires is all a part of the family business. But after his mother was killed, Gidion’s father wants nothing to do with vampires anymore.
Luckily for Gidion, his grandfather still knows a thing or two, and passes down the family tradition. Gidion then goes on to discover that there’s a coven of vampires in his town, and decides to pursue them as his next hunt.
In between his investigation, Gidion also goes through the awkward motions of being in high school, all while keeping a major secret about himself. As Gidion delves deeper into the coven, he learns that one of his best friends might be essential to destroying the vampire clan...But can Gidion trust him?
A coming-of-age story with a bloody twist, Gidion's Night will leave you thirsty for more.
Only Begotten Daughter
A new savior has come, and her name is Julie Katz. Julie was born to a celibate father named Murray Katz who tries to raise Julie as normally as possible in order to hide her true identity: she’s actually Jesus’ half-sister!
While Julie can perform all sorts of miracles, ranging from walking on water to resurrecting dead animals, navigating the life of a teen is a department in which her divinity can’t save her.
As Julie grapples with her identity, she is constantly bombarded by temptations from the Devil and awful tirades from Christian extremists.
Being the daughter of God is rough, especially since Julie has zero clue as to what her purpose on Earth is. But with a little bit of guidance, Julie starts to realize her destiny.
The Secret Witch
The first installment in the Witches of London Trilogy opens with Emma and her cousins Gretchen and Penelope living a bleak life in 1814 London. But their constrained lives suddenly take a witchy turn when Emma accidentally shatters a glass object left by her mother, giving all three women magical abilities.
While this definitely adds some excitement to their previously dreary lives, the three teens unknowingly catch the attention of a coven that gains power from killing young witches.
What started out as a fun discovery turns into a race against time as the girls try and sort out their new abilities in an attempt to combat this coven and save London.
The first in a captivating series, The Secret Witch will fulfill your cravings for historical romance and witchy escapades.
The Hex Witch of Seldom
It’s one thing to be raised in the rural mountain ranges of Pennsylvania by a grandparent, it’s another thing to do so knowing that you might go “all the way crazy” like the rest of your family. This is what keeps Bobbi Lee Yandro up at night.
After receiving the journals of her deceased father, Bobbi begins to see a change. When she’s given a horse, and names it Shane, the two of them set out as fugitives and meet Hazel—the Hex Witch of Seldom.
Hazel introduces Bobbi to the Twelve of the Hidden Circle, a group of otherworldly characters (one of whom is out to steal Shane’s soul). Soon, Bobbi realizes she has a very special bond with her new horse, and that she’ll have to use special gifts of her own if she hopes to save him.
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Troy Horan has learned to make the best with what he has. After being forcibly relocated to the planet of Korwar when his home planet was made into a military base, he learns a very important and mysterious truth: He has the power to communicate with the animals from Terran.
Soon, a murder causes Troy and his newfound animal friends to retreat to the Wild and confront the dark and ancient history of his new home planet.
Being a teenager is hard enough, but going through it at the same time as your sisters adds a whole new layer of trouble. And that’s just for normal sisters, in a normal world, with normal responsibilities.
But life in Ruwenda is anything but normal. Protected by the Archimage Binah, the land is safe for all. But when Binah’s power begins to fade, she transfers it to the three princesses of the royal house: Haramis, Kadiya, and Aingel. The sisters must quickly learn and master their new powers for the sake of their people.
Soon, they are separated and must travel on different roads to do their part in saving their kingdom, their friends, and their future. The first book in a magically thrilling series, this is a story of sisterhood, family, and a quest not to be missed.
Daisy Jones tries her best to not make any waves, but it doesn’t help that she’s the new girl and doesn’t exactly have the economic stability of her peers. That might be a sour spot for some, but for Daisy, it’s not all bad. She’s more concerned about keeping her unpredictable superpower under control.
Soon, she realizes that she’s not the only one: her classmate Vivi has a secret, too. In addition to figuring out what her gift is really meant for, Daisy still has to deal with normal high school antics—including figuring out her feelings for the very attractive Kevin.
As Daisy's connections to her peer grow stronger, her abilities become more potent than ever before.
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For young people, 'normal' is a somewhat relative term. When Jimmy Coates wakes up one morning to find that he can jump higher, run faster, and fight more skillfully than ever before, he knows that his 'normal' has changed forever.
What he comes to realize, however, is that these new perks come at a terrible cost— most normal teenagers don’t have helicopters and men in strange suits chasing them every moment of the day. If Jimmy wants to survive, he'll have to learn to master his newfound powers.
'Blood type' takes on a whole new and magical meaning in Victoria Aveyard’s story of royalty and rebellion. In Mare Barrow’s world, you are either a Red or Silver, which corresponds to the type of blood you have. As a Red, you live to serve Silvers. These ruling Silvers don’t serve anyone because they have incredible powers—each family possessing different abilities.
When Mare, a Red, somehow manages to find herself in front of the Silver court, she realizes that she, too, has a magical ability—something both baffling and alarming to the Silvers.
Attempting to cover up a terrible exception to the rules by which they’ve lived their life, the king forces Mare to pretend to be a lost princess—even betrothing her to his youngest son. But with a Red resistance rising, Mare will have to decide where her loyalties lie.
Shadow and Bone
There are times when young adults feel powerless, without agency, without a future. Alina Starkov knows, like most kids, that she’s never been the heroine of any story. But all that changes when she reveals a dormant power and is to be trained to join the Grisha—a magical special forces unit tasked with defending the kingdom from what lies past the Shadow Fold.
The first in a stunningly creative series, Anita will be forced to grow up fast and learn how to harness her new powers. Not only is she the heroine of her own story, but that of an entire realm of people. No pressure though, right?
A series adaptation of Shadow and Bone is on its way now from Netflix, so this is the perfect time to discover Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse.
Harry Potter series
How many people do you know, including yourself, who quote the story of The Boy Who Lived? Or anxiously awaited their acceptance letter to Hogwarts? The true magic of this series is in the universality of Harry's struggles. We’ve all felt alone and alienated, we’ve all dealt with the awkwardness of young love, and most of us have also unfortunately learned to adapt to grief.
If you’re not familiar with the series, it follows Harry Potter and his friends, wizards and witches born with magical powers who attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Over the seven fantastical books, J.K. Rowling brings many issues that face Muggles (that’s us: people lacking magical abilities) to the forefront, as Harry learns how to cope with both real-life and magical issues facing young adults.
The Queen of Blood
Young people aren’t usually familiar with the incredible weight of actual responsibility. But Daleina, a rather bookish and observant student, knows how important real responsibility is to the adults around her. She understands that the battle between the spirits and humans is coming to a head and that something must be done to end the conflict.
In the world of Renthia, the queen alone possesses the power to prevent the spirits from destroying her people. But with great power comes danger, which is why young women are chosen to train as heirs…in case the worst happens.
Daleina is one such heir and, with the help of a veteran champion Ven, she’ll set out on a mission to find out why the spirits are bent on destroying them.
From the award-winning author of the Temeraire novels comes a standalone book about a young woman determined to save her village and friends at whatever the cost. Every ten years the Dragon, a local wizard, requires a very unique and special fee for the village’s protection: A 17-year-old girl must serve him for the next decade.
Born during the right (or rather, wrong) year, Agnieszka has known her whole life that she will be eligible to be chosen when she’s 17. But she also knows that her beautiful best friend, Kasia, is likely to be picked for this terrible duty, as the Dragon always chooses the prettiest girl.
But when Agnieszka is chosen instead, and she learns she has magical powers of her own, she’ll have to learn how to use them in order to protect her loved ones from the evil that lies in the Wood.
Combining romance, dark fantasy, and military intrigue, Uprooted is a truly memorable standalone fantasy.
Three Dark Crowns
The island of Fennibirn has a special tradition: Every generation, triplet queens are born. But these sisters are no ordinary rulers. Only one will be queen, and they’ll spend their youth learning to harness their different special powers in order to face off to the death the night they turn 16.
It’s one thing to possess magic you may have to use to defeat your enemies someday, but it’s another thing entirely to grow up knowing you’ll have to kill your sisters in order to be queen.
Teenagers have enough things on their mind without the ability to see different possible outcomes of the future, like Addison Coleman does. Addie lives in a constant state of “What if?” as a Searcher—a particular type of clairvoyant.
Imagine knowing what the future could hold? When Addie’s parents get divorced, she looks into the future to decide if she should live with her mom or dad. But while she assesses her two different paths, she’s drawn into a murder investigation that changes everything.
The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series has been adapted for the big screen and the Broadway stage, but the book that started it all remains a compelling fantasy you won’t forget.
In The Lightning Thief, 12-year-old Percy Jackson is on a field trip to the Metropolitan museum when his world turns upside down. His teacher transforms into a harpy, his best friend is a satyr, and soon Percy is locked in a life-and-death battle to save his mother’s life.
Percy learns that he is a demi-god, the son of a mortal and a Greek god. At Camp Half-Blood, Percy meets other young people who are beginning to discover their heavenly ancestry — and prepares for a quest that would terrify mortals and gods alike.
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The Young Elites
Adelina Amouteru is marked with shame left behind by the Blood Fever she barely survived. The pandemic killed much of the kingdom. It spared Adelina’s life, but left her with a scarred face that her father says has cursed the family.
But the fever did more than change the physical appearance of the children it afflicted. There are rumors the young people who lived have talents as well. Adelina’s life is about to converge with two other survivors, on a path that will transform her from abused young girl to vengeful woman.
Children of Blood and Bone
In Children of Blood and Bone, the acclaimed first book in the Legacy of Orisha series, 16-year-old Zelie has abilities she is just beginning to explore. Magic was long-ago banished in the kingdom, by the same monarchy that killed Zelie's mother.
Now, Zelie has one chance to use her burgeoning abilities to restore magic to the kingdom — and get revenge for those who have been lost.
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