YA Fantasy Books With No Love Triangles – Part 5

This is a multi part blog post series featuring the YA Fantasy books without love triangles, where romance is minimal or not central to the plot. I did my best to include the books which would be enjoyable reads for the grown up YA Fantasy lovers and inspiring for the young people, where they could read about heroic adventures, friendship, loyalty, responsibility, survival, consequences of decisions, etc something other than romance and ‘which lover should the protagonist choose’ stuff.

See Part 1 here

See Part 2 here

See Part 3 here

See Part 4 here

I included the Goodreads links to make things easier so clicking on the image will take you to the Goodreads profiles of the series/books.

Shattered Sea by Joe Abercrombie

This masterpiece series by the Lord of Grimdark has been the talk of the town for quite some time. It’s YA grimdark and a lot of people love it to death. I haven’t read it just yet but planning to read it this year. Judging from his First Law trilogy -of whcih I’ve read the first book- I expect it to be an awesome read. You can’t go wrong with Abercrombie!

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

This one is in my TBR list and I’ve heard a lot of good talk about it too. Only the first book is out yet but the series sounds quite promising.

The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This award winning series has received tons of great feedback and some people are saying it’s on par with the Patrick Rothfuss books. It’s a historical YA fantasy in an ancient Greece inspired setting, features a thief main character and sounds like a superb story. Well I have a thing for heist stories and ancient Greece so I’m sold. I will definitely review this series soon!

The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

This one shows up in a lot of book blogs I follow and it’s being hyped, but it sounds quite intriguing unlike some other hyped up books out there. There is romance but judging from the blurbs and the reviews it’s not the main plot and also there are no stupid love triangles. The plot and the setting sound interesting, it has some Russian culture elements which is a nice change. I also loved the covers so I placed this series high up in my TBR list. The beautiful covers only get the books into my TBR, but the blurbs that intrigue me, recommendations form my bookish friends and the reviews move them to the top.

There are a bunch of extra stories in this series, be sure to check them out when you click on the covers below and go to the Goodreads page of the series!

Curse Workers by Holly Black

This is a paranormal YA urban fantasy series set in an alternate reality. The magic concept sounds interesting, I’ll certainly give it a try.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (standalone novel)

This one is a vintage-contemporary type of fairy tale theme and received a lot of good reviews. There is a bit of a romance but it’s low profile and not central to the plot.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (standalone novel)

This is a paranormal thriller, a ghost story in a contemporary setting featuring two best friends. Not exactly fantasy but sounds like it might be interesting to some of my readers so I included it in the mix.

This concludes Part 5. See you next week in Part 6!
If you have any recommendations, feel free to let me know and I will add them too. The only requirement is non-romance plot and no love triangles.

YA Fantasy Books With No Love Triangles – Part 1

I’m mainly a High Fantasy/Grimdark reader but I enjoy reading decent YA Fantasy every now and then. However, all the modern YA fantasy I see in the blogosphere is usually centered around teen romance and the love triangle cliche.

Nothing wrong with teen romances with fantasy elements if they are marketed as such, but it greatly annoys me when the books are promoted as epic or heroic fantasy and turn out to be teen romances centered around love triangles.

Dystopian YA Fantasy these days means teen love triangle with some magic elements, and quite a number of people I know wrinkle their noses when they hear the term YA Fantasy. I still think of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson when you say YA Fantasy, but many other folks think ‘Hunger Games ripoff with annoying love triangle’, and it’s rather sad.

I’ve seen a lot of bookish folk complain about this, so I decided to ask around reddit /r/Fantasy and discover some good books with no love triangles and minimal dose of romance. I got a a lot of great recommendations from the redditors, checked them for ratings/reviews on Goodreads and added most of them to my TBR. Here is my original reddit thread for the reference.

The list is rather huge list of books including all kinds of fantasy (urban, epic, military, heist, grimdark, you name it!) so I divided it up in several parts. This post will be the first part. Some of these books are well known and have been around for a long time, some of them won multiple awards and some are severely underrated masterpieces. I hope this list will be useful for my bookish blogger friends who are looking for good YA fantasy not centered around romance and love triangles.

All right, enough talk, let’s get to business! I added the Goodreads links for the series so clicking on the cover images will take you to the Goodreads profiles. The entire list is quite huge and I’m swamped with review commitments and my own writing, I am unfortunately not able to write up summaries for these great books but I encourage you guys to check the Goodreads ratings/reviews for yourselves.

Abhorsen series by Garth Nix

Shade’s Children by Garth Nix (Standalone Novel)

The Icemark Chronicles By Stuart Hill

Wind on Fire Series by William Nicholson

Howl’s Moving Castle Series by Diana Wynne Jones

I have seen the animated movie of this and totally loved it. These books are in my TBR and I intend to read them as soon as I can!

Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce

Damar Series by Robin McKinley