The romantasy genre has become wildly popular in recent years – readers just can’t get enough! It’s a magical blend of fantasy and romance that brings together detailed world-building, an exciting plot, fascinating characters, and swoon-worthy romance for something unique and unputdownable. It’s a new favorite genre of mine, and so much fun to read. Whether you’re new to this genre or already a fan, here are some must-read romantasy books for adults!
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What is romantasy?
Romantasy is a sub-genre of fiction that blends fantasy and romance, often with intricate world-building that unfurls alongside the romantic aspects of the plot.
Romantasy novels have both fantasy elements (such as magic, a fantasy world setting, paranormal characters, etc.) and a particular focus on a romantic relationship between characters.
Some are more romance-heavy than others, and many have some spice. It really depends on the book itself!
The romantasy genre has grown in popularity year after year, and is especially prominent on Bookstagram and TikTok (“BookTok”).
In fact, it’s such a popular sub-genre that Goodreads created a specific genre category for it (labeled under ‘fantasy romance’).
As someone who hadn’t read much romance in the past, I discovered the romantasy genre last year and have embraced it as a new favorite! I especially love stories that have strong world-building and a page-turning plot in addition to the romance aspect.
Must-Read Romantasy Novels (Fantasy Romance)
Below, I’m sharing some of the best and most popular romantasy books for adults, with unique world-building and characters you’ll fall in love with.
Many hail Sarah J. Maas as the queen of romantasy (for good reason – her books are incredible and wildly popular!), but I’ve also included some other wonderful romantasy authors in this list, too.
From bestsellers like the ACOTAR series and Fourth Wing to lesser known (but still great) novels, there’s something for every romantasy reader. Enjoy!
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
This romantic fantasy novel is a fairy tale retelling that’s loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast.
I think I can safely say: this series is the reason a vast number of readers discovered and fell in love with the romantasy genre (myself included)!
If you’ve never read a romantasy book before, this is a great place to start. Even if this first book doesn’t completely hook you right away, I recommend sticking with it – the series gets better as it goes on!
It has fabulous characters, strong world-building, and some spice – plus, there are faeries (known as fae in this series).
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
This breakout bestselling fantasy novel is about a young woman with a chronic illness who is forced (by her mother, a high-ranking general) to join a war college for dragon riders.
Cadets are subjected to deadly trials designed to train them for war – and to prepare them for the power-wielding bond they will forge with a dragon.
It’s like a cross between The Hunger Games, ACOTAR, Game of Thrones, and Eragon. I could not put this book down, and I know I’m not alone there!
This was one of the buzziest books of 2023, and the sequel – Iron Flame – was published just six months later. (And don’t worry – there are more books planned for the series!).
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (Crescent City #1)
This popular series by Sarah J. Maas is set in a more modern-inspired world than her ACOTAR series, with demons and fallen angels.
If you loved ACOTAR, you’ll likely love this one, too! (I recommend starting with that series before reading the Crescent City series.)
Serpent and the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent
A human woman competes against vampire warriors in a deadly tournament held by a powerful goddess.
Her only option to survive: form an alliance with one of the vampires.
Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout
From the bestselling author of From Blood and Ash, this fantasy romance series is about a world that’s been destroyed by gods, and one woman who must rely on her intuition in the midst of a brimming rebellion.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
In this cozy historical fantasy, a grumpy scholar and faerie lore expert travels to a small town to study a group of secretive faeries called The Hidden Ones.
But, so does her infuriatingly charming academic rival, who manages to involve himself in her research – to her chagrin.
The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
Set in a small town in a magical realm, this cozy romantasy novel follows two enemies – a town marshal and a shopkeeper – who become pen pals (and maybe even more), without realizing who they’re writing to.
Bride by Ali Hazelwood
Fans of paranormal romance and/or popular contemporary romance author Ali Hazelwood will be excited to hear about her new vampire-werewolf romantic fantasy novel!
Outcast vampire Misery Lark is forced to marry an Alpha werewolf in order to keep the peace between their worlds. But Misery has her own, more personal reasons for agreeing to the marriage – if only she can survive in enemy territory.
Publication date: February 6th, 2024
A Fate Inked in Blood by Danielle L. Jensen
The bestselling author of The Bridge Kingdom is back with a new fantasy series inspired by Norse mythology.
A woman named Freya – blessed by the gods as a shield maiden – is destined to unite a nation. But a powerful king-to-be forces her to bind herself to him and hone her magic in order to defeat his kingdom’s enemies.
As she faces down tests from the gods themselves – along with her own personal struggles – her destiny and the fate of the kingdom hangs in the balance.
Publication date: February 27th, 2024
What’s your favorite romantasy novel? Are any of these on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments!