arah J. Maas is the undisputed chart-topping queen of fantasy romance – or romantasy. With three successful series in the genre – Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City – spanning almost two dozen books, there is plenty for fans to read. Especially now that the Maasverse has been announced.

But for anyone who picked up one of her books and emerged months later with a deep fantasy romance obsession, SJM’s yearly-ish new releases can’t come fast enough.

Luckily, there are plenty of other captivating books in the genre. So whether you’re in it for the world-building, the spice, or a little of both – we’re counting down the best fantasy romance books that should be on your shelf ASAP.

Fourth Wing

The Empyrean #1

fly or die in Fourth Wing, one of the most addictive fantasy romance books to date

🖋 Rebecca Yarros | 📚 Action & Adventure | 📖 528 pages

Read this if: You’re Manon Blackbeaks #1 fan or you miss the pulse-pounding thrills of the War with Hybern

Life is tough when your mom is the commanding general. Twenty year-old Violet wants to spend her days among books and libraries, but mom has other plans. Violet will joint the competition to become one of the elite of Navarre – a dragon rider.

The Basgiath War College is cutthroat. The other cadets, like wingleader Xaden Riorson, would see her die sooner than take their spot. But as the war grows more deadly, Violet begins to suspect that the leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

With a Fourth Wing Amazon TV show purportedly in the works, now’s the perfect time to step into this world of adventure.

“I would rather lose this entire war than live without you, and if that means I have to prove myself over and over, then I'll do it. You gave me your heart, and I'm keeping it.”

Buy Fourth Wing >>

The Hurricane Wars

Standalone Novel

romantasy bestseller The Hurrican Wars

🖋 Thea Guanzon | 📚 Dragons & Creatures | 📖 480pages

Read this if: Your an Az stan

What would you do to win a war? With the continent ravaged by the battle between a soldier wielding light magic and a prince who summons shadows, the only way for Talasyn to save her people and reclaim her birthright is to enter into a political marriage with Prince Alric.

But when a new threat emerges, the two will have to work together to stop it.

“Do you make it a habit to compliment everyone who's trying to kill you?"
"Not everyone." His eyes flashed with a hint of amusement. "Just you.”

Buy The Hurricane Wars >>

The Ever King

The Ever Seas #1

The Ever King, First book in the Ever Seas fantasy series

🖋 LJ Andrews | 📚 Dark Romance | 📖 408 pages

Read this if: UTM was your favorite part

Scarred and trapped by the man who killed his father, King Erik of the Ever Kingdom has been waiting for an opportunity for revenge. When his enemy’s daughter unwittingly breaks the chains that bind him to his kingdom, she becomes a pawn in his plot. He will reclaim what he lost no matter what… unless the princess captures his heart first.

She was never theirs anyway. Not really. From the moment the songbird tried to appeal to a serpent, she was mine.

Buy the Ever King >>

From Blood and Ash

From Blood and Ash #1

From Blood and Ash Book cover

🖋 Jennifer L. Armentrout | 📚 Vampire Romance | 📖 496 pages

Read this if: You really felt for Feyre at the beginning of ACOMAF

Ever wished Twilight were a little more… dangerous? From Blood and Ash has you covered.

Chosen from birth to play the role of Maiden, Poppy has never had much control over her own life. She’d rather be fighting evil alongside her guards than waiting for the day of the Ascension. And when a golden-eyed guard named Hawke enters her life, the rift between duty and desire just grows wider.  

“The next time you go out, wear better shoes and thicker clothing. Those slippers are likely to be the death of you, and that dress... the death of me”

Buy From Blood and Ash >>

Haunting Adeline

Cat and Mouse Duet

Haunting Adeline dark romance book cover

🖋 HD Carlton | 📚 Gothic Fiction | 📖 607 pages

Read this if: You thought ACOTAR's spicy scenes were just luke warm

Moving into your grandmother’s gorgeous gothic mansion sounds like a dream come true for any writer – and Adeline is no different. As she discovers secrets about her own family, she also must confront her stalker – who will not rest until she calls herself his.

“Heaven isn’t a place you go to when you die, it’s inside the person that’s worth dying for.”

Buy Haunting Adeline >>


The Plated Prisoner #1

Gild a retold m book cover

🖋 Raven Kennedy | 📚 Folklore | 📖 316 pages

Read this if: The whole folk story retelling thing was your jam

Gild is the classic fable of King Midas retold for a modern adult audience. It’s the story of a woman rescued by the king who lives amongst the frozen gold floors, gold walls, gold clothing – until war comes to the kingdom and threatens the life she has come to love. Because in the end, no matter how gilded, a cage is still a cage.

But memory and time aren’t friends. They reject each other, they hurry in opposite directions, pulling the binding taut between them, threatening to snap. They fight, and we inexplicably lose. Memory and time. Always losing one as you go on with the other.

Buy Gild >>

Eternal Reign

Age of Vampires #1

Eternal Reign Age of Vampires 1

🖋 Caroline Peckham | 📚 Paranormal & Urban Fantasy | 📖 421 pages

Read this if: You're on Team Papa Acheron Didn't Redeem Himself

These vampires don’t glitter in the sun or watch over you while you sleep – they are savage, bloodthirsty rulers who reign over the ruined human lands. Sisters Callie and Montana and their father decide to run away rather than wait and see if the vampires will select their blood this time.

When they’re captured, their father is taken to a blood bank, Montana is spirited away to the mysterious Belvedere Castle, and Callie must figure out how to survive and save her sister, learning about the powerful, vampire-hunting Slayers along the way.

“When your back was against the wall, you found out what your soul was made of, and I’d learned long ago that mine had been forged in fire and ferocity.”

Buy Eternal Reign >>

A Shadow in the Ember

Flash And Fire #1

A Shadow in the Ember

🖋 Jennifer L. Armentrout | 📚 Vampire Romance | 📖 647 pages

Read this if: You want more of Rhys and Feyre in Amarantha's Court

Seraphena was chosen before birth – not for glory or joy, but to uphold a deal her ancestor made, promising her to the Primal of Death as his Consort. However, her true destiny lies far deeper. Not the helpless maiden she is made out to be, she is secretly an assassin with one mission – to win the Primal of Death’s heart, and use this power to end him. But how will this encounter change her life forever?

“What does liessa mean?” The god didn’t answer for what felt like a small eternity. “It has different meanings to different people.” The eather pulsed in his eyes, swirling once more through the silver. “But all of them mean something beautiful and powerful.”

Buy A Shadow in the Ember >>


The Four Horsemen #1

Pestilence the first in the standalone Four Horsemen books

🖋 Laura Thalassa | 📚 Post-Apocalyptic | 📖 416 pages

Read this if: You can't get enough of Rhy's morally grayness

Imagine – the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse fan out over the globe. Only in this story they’re beautiful, lethal creatures… and for humanity to survive, they must be stopped. Each of the books in Laura Thalassa’s immensely popular series can be read as a standalone story – but once you pick up one, you’ll definitely be after the rest, too!

In Pestilence, Sara Burn decides to take matters into her own hands. With everyone she cares about marked for death, she shoots Pestilence off his screaming horse and is taken prisoner. Can she find a way to stop him before he destroys humankind?

“When you find someone worth spending that time with, you don’t want to share those minutes with anyone else.”

Buy Pestielnce >>

The Librarian of Crooked Lane

The Glass Library #1

The Librarian of Crooked Lane magical romance book cover

🖋 CJ Archer | 📚 Historical Fantasy | 📖 288 pages

Read this if: You're jealous of Nesta's book collection

Called an “intriguing new fantasy” by USA Today, The Librarian of Crooked Lane tells the story of Sylvia Ashe. Her parents never talked about their family history, so when she stumbles upon a diary that seems to suggest her family line comes from magicians, she’s understandably skeptical.

Sylvia’s life changes forever when she meets Gabe – a war hero investigating the disappearance of a magician made painting – who accidentally gets her dismissed from her job and places her in danger during his investigation. Can they figure out the truth about the painting and Sylvia’s past before it’s too late?

“My mother never voiced her hopes for James or me, if indeed she had any. She wanted us to remain in the shadows where it was safe. But she never told us what she wanted us to be safe from.”

Buy The Librarian of Crooked Lane >>

A Touch of Darkness

Hades & Persephone #1

A Touch of Darkness Hades and Persephone novel

🖋 Scarlett St. Clair | 📚 Folklore | 📖 400 pages

Read this if: You wish Elain would just do something already

This dark, modern retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone casts the God of the Dead as the ruler of the underworld – nightclubs, gambling, the works. And his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible to win.

So when Persephone – who despite being the goddess of spring, has never breathed life into anything – finds herself locked in a contract with him, the terms are impossible… She must create life in the underworld, or sacrifice her freedom forever. Even as she struggles to regain her freedom, her feelings for Hades grow – nevermind that it’s forbidden.

““I have waited lifetimes for you,” he said as if it was an oath he was swearing upon every star in the sky, every drop of water in the ocean, every soul in the entire universe. “I know it.””

Buy A Touch of Darkness >>

The Deer and the Dragon

No Other Gods #1

The Deer and the Dragon by TikTok's Piper CJ new booktok book

🖋 Piper CJ | 📚 Paranormal & Urban Fantasy | 📖 480 pages

Read this if: The best part about Fryer's character is her powers

“Hi my name is Piper, and I have a Master’s in Mythology and Folklore.” And after the TikTok personality released her first fantasy series pulling from her expertise, she’s back with another – much darker than the first.

Like her mother and grandmother before her, Marlow can see beyond the veil of the mortal world – angels and demons, including a dark entity that has followed her for her whole life. She’s content with her small mystical life, until one day a Nordic fae strolls into her life and informs her that her dark entity – the Prince of Hell – has gone missing.

Marlow finds herself increasingly entangled in a centuries-old war between a pantheon of creatures and beings she believed only to be myth. Who will come out on top?

Buy The Deer and the Dragon >>

The Book of Azrael

Gods and Monsters #1

The Book of Azrael dark fantasy romance Gods and Monsters book series

🖋 Amber V. Nicole | 📚 Dark Fantasy | 📖 572 pages

Read this if: You're craving an AU where Cass and Az co parented a child named Samkiel

Dianna made the ultimate sacrifice – a thousand years ago, she gave up her life to save her dying sister, and now spends her days doing whatever the nightmare who answered her call bids. And now Kaden has sent her to retrieve an ancient relic from the very same monsters that hunt her.

Thought long dead and nearly forgotten, Samkiel has hidden away since the Gods War, denying his crown and his responsibilities. But when an ancient enemy rears its ugly head, old rivalries must be put aside in order to save both of their worlds and every realm between.

I didn’t remember how long we talked, but somewhere amidst her laughter and smiles, I decided I would rip the world apart for her.”

Buy The Book of Azrael >>

That’s it for the Romantasy novels that should be in your TBR.

Fantasy romance novels have taken over the internet, and for good reason. With their captivating characters and world-ending stakes, more and more young and adult readers are getting hooked. We hope these romantasy books will tide you over until the next SJM release.

Don’t see your favorite here? Drop us a line! The genre’s exploding, so we’ll be updating this article as new releases hit the shelves. We'll keep reading, to whatever end 👑

Main image courtesy amber.v.nicole and fall.out.bryan – Dianna and Samkiel.

Nov 10, 2023