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12 Must-Read Romantasy Books That Guarantee a Swoon-Worthy Escape

If you’re looking for a read packed with adventure, action and romance, look no further than the latest literary genre to take the world by storm: Romantasy. In recent months, the #Romantasy phenomenon has skyrocketed in popularity on social media, with more than 500,000 posts on Instagram and 900 million views on TikTok. But what exactly defines this melded genre? And what are some of the best romantasy books to read for those interested? Keep reading to find out the answers.

What is romantasy?

Romantasy is a subgenre of fantasy featuring a strong romantic premise that is central in driving the overarching plot forward. In short, romantasy is a perfectly balanced fusion of romance and fantasy. Common themes found within this subgenre: a strong heroine, intricate world building, journeys of epic proportions, magic, high-stakes danger and competition, morally gray characters, enemies-to-lovers tropes, intrigue and, of course, an abundance of slow-burn, tension-filled romance.

Here, we rounded up the 12 best romantasy books that will transport you to another world!

Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Cruel Prince by Holly Black (best romantasy books)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A captivating and magical adventure unfolds in this novel by bestselling author Holly Black. Jude was 7 years old when she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite being human. But the fey don’t like humans…especially Prince Cardan, the smart, wicked son of the High King. Will Jude ever be able to find her place in the High Court of Faerie? To win a place in the court, she has no choice but to defy Cardan…and face the consequences.

What readers are saying: “This book has touched me in a way that very few books have in my life. This is the type of book that reminds me why I fell in love with reading in the first place. This is the type of book that makes me believe words have the most powerful healing magic of anything in this world. I just know that The Cruel Prince is a once in a lifetime series, because this first installment was everything I have ever wanted in a book.”

Serpent & The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent

Serpent & The Wings of Night  by Carissa Broadbent (best romantasy books)
Carissa Broadbent

High-stakes action, complex worlds, vampires…this New York Times bestseller by Carissa Broadbent has it all. Oraya is the human daughter of the Nightborn vampire king. When she must enter the Kejari, a legendary tournament, she makes an alliance with a mysterious rival named Raihn. This suspenseful, unputdownable novel is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games — with a fantastical vampire twist!

What readers are saying: “I hadn’t even heard of this book when I was offered a review copy, but a few glowing reviews caught my attention and I agreed to read it. And I’m so glad I did! This was a wonderful surprise, a dark, dangerous, vampire tale with intricate world building, great characters and a little bit of spice. Even better, this is the first book in a series and I’m so excited to see what comes next.”

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros  (best romantasy books)
Entangled: Red Tower

Unforgettable characters, simmering romance and epic adventure abound in Fourth Wing — the #1 New York Times bestselling novel by Rebecca Yarros. Violet was supposed to live a quiet life among books, but the commanding general — who’s also Violet’s mother — has ordered her to become a dragon rider instead. Now, Violet must fight her way to the top and hope that her enemy Xaden Rioson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader, doesn’t kill her in the process. What follows is a battle of strength, knowledge, trust and love.

What readers are saying: “I am a wreck after reading this book, but in the best of ways. Rebecca Yarros has successfully put me in a temporary book coma. The world that Yarros builds is absolutely stunning. She has artfully and skillfully found that perfect balance in getting the reader to feel every aspect of the story. I believe this is what makes Fourth Wing such a great book.”

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong (best romantasy books)
Gallery

Chloe Gong — bestselling author of These Violent Delights — delivers another imaginative, sharp and mind-bending story. Immortal Longings is her adult fantasy debut inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. The plot follows Calla Tuoleimi, who is in hiding after a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty five years ago. Enter Anton Makusa, an in-debt aristocrat who was exiled from the palace. The two form a surprising alliance and decide to team up, along with the new king’s adopted son, August Kasa, to try and win a set of games. The prize? Unimaginable riches. A fierce and twisty tale that will keep you guessing.

What readers are saying: “Whenever I need a boost of adrenaline, I reach for a book by Chloe Gong. Her latest is a Cleopatra and Antony retelling — and it was utterly riveting. This novel explores love versus duty. Each chapter energized me — I cannot wait for the second installment!”

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ashby Jennifer L. Armentrout  (best romantasy books)
Blue Box Press

This enthralling, action-packed tale by bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout follows Poppy, a key member of the royal court. Chosen from birth, Poppy has always been ‘The Maiden,’ and the future of the entire kingdom rests on her shoulders…but this is a responsibility she’s not sure she wants. As she prepares for Ascension, a golden-eyed guard named Hawke enters her life and soon destiny gets tangled up with duty and desire. A thrilling otherworldly adventure of vengeance, love and fate.

What readers are saying: “This story is truly a gift that keeps on giving. There is a strong, fierce heroine and her swoon-worthy personal guard, which leads to some pretty smoldering romance. But love isn’t the only emotion — this story is overflowing with bravery, suspense, loyalty, curiosity, vengeance and friendship. The detailed world-building presents a new, unique view of old, familiar fantasy creatures. Many plot points are predictable, but not in a way that’s disappointing — in a way that makes the reader feel clever for catching all of the hints and signs along the way. In essence, this story has everything.”

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J Mass (best romantasy books)
Bloomsbury Publishing

Known for her stunning blend of fantasy and romance, Sarah J. Maas — often referred to as the reigning queen of Romantasy — kicked off her popularity with A Court of Thorns And Roses. This is the first novel in her bestselling series and millions of readers credit this story for their interest in the genre. The tale follows 19-year-old huntress Feyre. After she kills a wolf to feed her family, she is kidnapped and dragged to a magical, treacherous land she’s only heard about in legends. Her captor? Tamlin, one of the most powerful faeries. Tamlin is a beast-like immortal, yet over the course of her captivity, Feyre begins to see Tamlin as more than a monster. But still, something does not feel right in this enchanting place. A searing novel that hits every note of the Romantasy genre.

What readers are saying: “I’m typically not a fantasy reader, but I’ve been hearing about this book for a couple of years now. I had a long weekend off recently and finally downloaded this. I’ll admit the first portion of the book was a little slow, but I kept reading. Then, the story unfolded slowly and magnificently and I found myself lost in this surreal land. It was a slow burn of a read with even more promise in the next installment. I watched the vivid scenes play out in my mind like a movie — and I can now say I understand the hype of SJM!”

Lightlark by Alex Aster

Lightlark by Alex Aster (best romantasy books)
Harry N. Abrams

Readers are transported to the magical island of Lightlark in this lush, engrossing saga. Every 100 years, Lightlark hosts the Centennial, a game played by the rulers of the six realms, in hopes of breaking the curses that plague their lands. Isla Crown is the young ruler of Wildling, and her people are counting on her to end their sufferings. A heart-wrenching fantasy of secrets, deception, twists and true love.

What readers are saying: “I started this book because of a book club I just joined. From the very beginning, each chapter leaves you longing for more and yearning to build your own emotional connections with the characters. The relationships, although fantasy, are so realistic and relatable!”

Faebound by Saara El-Arifi

Faebound by Saara El-Arifi (best romantasy books)
Del Rey

Set in the Elven lands, two elven sisters embark on an epic trek in this riveting bestselling novel by Saara El-Arifi. When a fatal mistake forces Yeeran into exile from the Elven Lands, her sister, Lettle, goes with her into the wilderness. They soon encounter the fae court — who haven’t been seen for a millennium. Now, as they get pulled into the seductive fae kingdom, the sisters will have to do all they can to find their way back home.

What readers are saying: “Wow. I loved this book. There was war and politics, love and betrayal, hidden meanings and prophecies, and gods and rulers that think they are gods. The writing style is excellent and overall a really easy book to enjoy. The story is engaging, the content has a great pace and the magic system is creative and unique.”

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibanez (best romantasy books)
Wednesday Books

This whimsical, adventure-filled fantasy begins in 19th-century Buenos Aires and follows Inez Olivera. When Inez receives word of her parents’ deaths, she inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian. Wanting answers, she sails to Cairo with a golden ring her father had sent her before he passed. As she arrives, the magic connected to the ring leads her to uncover secrets and the truth about her parents’ disappearance. What the River Knows is the first book in the Secrets of the Nile duology.

What readers are saying: “This is my first time reading a book by Ibáñez and what an incredible storyteller she is. I have never been to Egypt, yet, Ibañez made me feel like I was there with Inez. The imagery used to describe the settings was so vivid. I could see the colors, feel the wind and hear the sounds. I think that is what makes a good book, good. Aside from that this book is unique, I know I say this a lot but, but I really can’t compare it to anything I have seen before.”

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown  (best romantasy books)
Balzer + Bray

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin — the first in an alluring new fantasy duology — was an instant New York Times bestseller. Inspired by West African folklore, the plot follows Malik, who plans to enter the Solstasia festival competition as a way to escape a war-torn home and start a new life with his sisters. But when his sister is abducted by a spirit, Malik has no choice but to strike a deal: Kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom. But Karina has plans of her own. A shocking, heart-pounding fantasy debut!

What readers are saying: “I loved this! In a cat-and-mouse game of discovery and betrayal brimming with mystery, humor and action from the very first page, Karina and Malik circle ever closer to one another, waiting for the perfect moment to strike — and save their families. Switching between their viewpoints, author Roseanne A. Brown tells their stories against the background of the rich, magical history of Sonande that gives even greater depth to an already immersive world.”

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco  (best romantasy books)
Jimmy Patterson

Bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco, known for her standout series Stalking Jack The Ripper, delivers another fantastical novel of vengeance and suspense in Kingdom of the Wicked — the first book in her latest trilogy. Emilia and her twin sister are streghe — witches who live quietly among humans. One night Vittoria misses dinner service at their family’s Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin and sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance. Then, Emilia meets Wrath, one of the “Wicked” and one of the princes of Hell she has always been warned about. Can Wrath help Emilia with her plan or is he not to be trusted? A richly woven saga that’s sure to draw readers into the dazzling and dangerous world of Sicily and beyond.

What readers are saying: “This is the type of book that is a fast read. Also…those food descriptions! I was salivating through the entire book. Plus, there was enough going on to keep me on my toes. I couldn’t put it down from beginning to end — even if had some mixed feeling about certain parts. It had demons, Princes of Hell, witches and other creatures…everything from our favorite spooky stories. It was like your favorite supernatural stories come to life.”

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St.Clair

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St.Clair (best romantasy books)
Bloom Books

Very steamy romance blends with danger and thrills in this romantasy novel by TikTok-favorite author Scarlett St. Clair. To end a years-long war, Isolde de Lara marries her enemy, the vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, against her will. The only advantage? She will finally get the chance to kill him. But when her assassination attempt goes wrong, Adrian threatens to turn Isolde into the thing she hates the most: a vampire. Now, Isolde must lie, rebel and try to survive, even as insatiable attraction starts to complicate everything.

What readers are saying: “This book seems to be really polarizing, with people either loving or hating it. I didn’t have super high expectations going in, but I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I thought the entire story was entertaining — I read it all in just one sitting!”


For more of our favorite books, click through the links below!

12 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books That Will Send You Back in Time

11 Romance Books to Make You Swoon

Best Book Club Books: 10 Page Turners, From Romances to Thrillers to Historical Fiction

And for all things books, click here!

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