15 YA Fantasy Books With Romances With Mythical Creatures

Are you looking for Young Adult (YA) fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures?

If so, look no further. Whether the mythical creature be an elf, faerie, siren, vampire, dragon or another, this list has a story for you.

Here are 15 fantastic YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each book below. 

On the other hand, if you’d like a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.90

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is The Iron King. This fantasy novel delighted fans with its adrenaline-packed adventure plot, imaginative world and relatable protagonist, Meghan.

Meghan, these readers said, came across to them as extremely relatable. While she began the story uncertain and insecure, she grew into a brave character. Seeing her overcome her fears in order to save her brother made these readers cheer for and admire her.

Aside from that, fans commented on The Iron King’s intriguing world. Jam-packed with magical creatures and enchanting new places, this novel transported readers into its pages. Many said that this, paired with exciting action, kept them eager to know what would happen next.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Iron King?

Overall, if critics didn’t enjoy this novel, they cited Meghan as the reason. Several described her as either a passive protagonist or a ‘damsel in distress‘. For instance, the two main supporting characters, both of whom were men, frequently had to rescue her.

This frustrated critics, who thought too much of the book’s plot relied on this setup.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own.

To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most — a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby — it’s his calling.

When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good — but can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Second on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is To Kill a Kingdom. A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, this fantasy novel enthralled readers with its anti-hero main characters and incredible ability to immerse them in its world.

Neither Lira nor Elian are heroes. In fact, readers often describe them as ruthless and twisted. However, this was exactly what they found refreshing and intriguing about them.

The two of them struck fans as tragic, burdened souls who learned how to be compassionate and to trust from one another. Their relationship is filled with deception, but the bittersweet nature of it was what made To Kill a Kingdom powerful for these readers.

In addition, readers often mentioned the story’s exquisite prose. They said that its lush images and sensory details completely transported them into the story.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about To Kill a Kingdom?

Generally, these readers focus on the characters and their romance. The two are related to one another: critics tended to say that they expected the romance to be darker than it was and were disappointed when it wasn’t.

On the other hand, some readers thought that the romance didn’t seem to grow organically out of Lira and Elian’s characters. Critics suggested that though Lira and Elian were set up as ruthless and driven individuals, they seemed to lose these traits due to the speed with which they fell in love.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen


For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for… 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.94

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Third on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Stolen Songbird. This novel tantalized fans with its intelligent and brave protagonist, perilous and intriguing world, as well as its touching romance.

Readers frequently described Cécile as a great protagonist to follow, one who struck a balance between fierce and compassionate. Forced into circumstances against her will, she shows resourcefulness and makes plans to better her situation. Fans praised her as someone easy to empathize with, as well as wonderfully humorous.

Related to that, Tristan won them over as a captivating love interest. An intelligent and witty who cared deeply about his people, he came across to them as a nuanced and complex character who fans quickly grew attached to. The slow-burn, hate-to-love relationship between him and Cécile seemed all the more passionate because it was so rife with conflict. Fans found this absolutely riveting.

Lastly, the darkly mesmerizing world of Trollus delighted readers. Whether it was the palace, markets or social hierarchies, the world stood out as vibrant and mysterious. Stolen Songbird, they said, felt truly magical.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Stolen Songbird, what did they say? Overall, critics tended to cite either the protagonist or the romantic development as their reasons.

Several found it frustrating that Cécile, after her kidnapping, didn’t do more to escape. They thought she accepted her captivity too easily. Because of this, they lost respect for her.

Aside from that, critics described the romance as transitioning from hostility to love too suddenly. To these readers, Cécile and Tristan didn’t have enough positive interactions for their new feelings to seem convincing.

Tithe by Holly Black


Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home.

There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.72

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Tithe by Holly Black. This book enthralled fans with its gritty atmosphere and characters, particularly its protagonist, Kaye.

Many said that they found this a refreshing and more realistic take on fairytales. For instance, unlike most fantasy protagonists, Kaye is a teenager who drinks, dabbles in drugs and more. Similarly, the Urban Fantasy setting is unglamorized: it features trailerparks, rusted cars and aging buildings rather than only aspects that are beautiful and ethereal.

As such, fans often remarked that they thought Tithe was a more honest and relatable story than most fantasy stories revolving around fairies and fae. This made it so much easier for them to bond with the characters and invest in their stories.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Tithe? Generally, the reasons fans loved this story was the reasons critics disliked it. Several said that they couldn’t connect with the characters, who struck them as either unrealistic or unlikeable.

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs


On land…

Tempest Maguire loves her California coastline home. Surfing the killer waves. Taking care of her brothers and dad. Loving her longtime boyfriend, Mark. But the weight of her secret is pulling her under, toward the ocean’s ever-growing call.

Among the waves…

Tempest’s secret? She is half mermaid, a legacy left by her absent mother, who returned to the ocean many years ago. And now Tempest has her own choice to make. Complicating matters is Kona, an enigmatic newcomer whose otherworldly abilities hint at a shared passion and common secrets.

Beyond the sea…

But there is more at stake besides Tempest’s heart and her identity – her life may be in danger too. Because the waters hide a mysterious and dark secret world of their own, one full of sweeping romance and thrilling adventure – but one where nobody, least of all Tempest, is safe. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Fifth on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Tempest Rising. This novel delighted fans with its relatable and sympathetic main character, Tempest, as well as its fascinating world of mermaids, selkies and more.

Tempest won readers’ hearts, coming across to them as a great mixture of strengths and vulnerabilities. Her inner struggle to decide who and what she wanted to be, especially given her past, was meaningful and human to them.

Because she was so relatable, fans empathized with and rooted for her throughout the story.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Almost unanimously, if readers didn’t like Tempest Rising, it was because they thought Tempest was cheating on her boyfriend.

For context, the book sets up a love triangle with Tempest, her on-and-off-again boyfriend (Mark), and a newcomer (Kona). Fans seemed to interpret Tempest and Mark as too inconsistent to consider her interest in Kona as cheating.

Critics, on the other hand, thought she was doing exactly that. As a result, they found her unlikable and couldn’t respect her.

The Siren by Kiera Cass


A sweeping stand-alone fantasy romance from Kiera Cass, author of the Selection series.

Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human — a kind, handsome boy who’s everything Kahlen ever dreamed of.

Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can’t bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is The Siren. This novel dazzled readers with its vividly portrayed sirens and its heartfelt story about love, in its many different forms.

Fans said this was an uplifting tale, showing them love between friends, parents and children, romantic love, love for one’s self and more. These readers were often deeply moved by The Siren, saying that experiencing the relationships between the characters was at times beautiful and at times heartbreaking.

Overall, fans agreed that while this is an intriguing story about sirens, it’s also a refreshing, deeper story about love, sacrifice and hope.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Siren? Overall, these readers focused on the romance, saying that it came across as two characters falling instantly in love rather than developing organically throughout the story.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie.

Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him – and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.14

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

The next story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is The Cruel PrinceThis novel  captured fans’ imaginations with its suspense, intriguing portrayal of faeries and its strong-willed protagonist, Jude. 

Dangerous yet darkly alluring, the faeries came across as all-together magical. Readers described themselves as transported both into the story’s pages because of their unique portrayal as well as their enchanting world.  

In addition, Jude won them over with her mix of fierceness, determination and cunning. To these readers, she was a refreshing anti-hero, both complex and relatable. 

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Cruel Prince? For the most part, these readers cited either the characters and their romance as reasons for not enjoying the book.

In terms of the former, several described Jude and Cardan as familiar Young Adult Fantasy types. For instance, Jude came across to them as a standard ‘strong female character’ while Cardas seemed like a standard ‘bad boy with a tragic past’. Generally, these readers also found them unsympathetic: they tended to describe Jude as embittered and passive while Cardas came across as a bully.

Related to this, critics couldn’t see what about the characters found attractive about each other. As a result, they thought the romance was unconvincing.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings.

But when she receives her first royal patron — Rook, the autumn prince — Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love…a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.66

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is An Enchantment of Ravens.

Over and over again, fans lauded this novel for its utterly captivating and refreshing take on fairies. Published around the same time as several similar books, An Enchantment of Ravens nevertheless stood out to fans thanks to its beautiful and alien portrayal of these fantasy creatures.

Another highlight they mentioned was Isobel. Several praised her as a great protagonist, particularly because of her passion for painting and her cleverness in dealing with the conniving fair folk.

Fans mentioned how engrossing it was to watch her navigating the world, especially in her dealings in the fairy courts.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about An Enchantment of Ravens? 

Overall, readers cited two reasons: the plot, which focused on the two journeying together, or how quickly the characters fell in love.

In terms of the journey plot, critics typically said that this story style made the novel feel meandering rather than one that built toward a clear endpoint. As such, they didn’t feel a sense of momentum that compelled them to turn the book’s pages.

In terms of the romance, critics generally thought that it was too sudden. Several commented that they didn’t understand what the characters found appealing in one another and, as such, thought the romance was artificial.

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde


When Kerry’s little brother forgets his stuffed bear at the laundry, Kerry ventures out at 11th p.m. to retrieve it for him.

The laundry is deserted and kind of spooky, and while she’s there three men burst in, dragging a bound and bloodied young man they insist is a vampire.

Kerry helps him escape, only to be caught up in a desperate game between vampire hunters and their prey.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.77

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Companion of the Night, a novel that explores the vampire mythos in a modern setting. This story was published before Twilight, and fans praised it for having refreshing ideas and perspectives on ‘modern vampires’ they hadn’t seen before.

Fans described the book as having a genuinely smart protagonist as well as insightful explorations into what it would be like to be a vampire in contemporary times. Many praised its realism, describing it as convincing and intriguing.

Add to that the suspense around whether Kerry and Ethan could trust each other, and Companions of the Night came across as a wonderful book for vampire fans.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, so what did these readers say about Companions of the NightWell, they tended to focus on the story’s pace, saying that it started slowly and seemed to end too quickly.

The Falconer by Elizabeth May


One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

She’s a stunner.

Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.

The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder — but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is The Falconer. A fast-paced steampunk fantasy, this novel captured fans’ imaginations with its refreshing historical setting, complex protagonist and slow-burn romance.

These readers described this story as having a lightning-fast pace and exciting action. Moreover, many of them were delighted by how different the world was. Its blend of magic and technology intrigued them, as well as its dark and deadly atmosphere.

As for Aileana, the protagonist, these readers praised her for seeming so multidimensional. Filled with rage and grief, she was both sympathetic and admirable to them. On one hand, the ghosts of her past spurred her to become a deadly protagonist they loved to follow. On the other, her healing and growing confidence warmed their hearts.

Related to this, fans remarked that Aileana’s love interest, Kiaran, seemed like just the right person to help her to overcome her weaknesses. At the same time, he struck them as a cunning warrior as well as an understandable and complex character in his own right. Seeing the two fall in love and work together was one of The Falconer‘s highlights.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, so what did these readers say about The Falconer? For the most part, they cited two reasons for disliking the book.

The first reason critics gave was that they didn’t connect with Aileana. For some, she struck them is a standard ‘badass’ protagonist, with not much to differentiate her. This made it difficult for them to see her as a flesh-and-blood character. Others thought she didn’t express enough of her emotions for them to get a strong sense of who she was.

The second reason critics gave was that they thought the romance between her and Kiaran developed too quickly. The two of them knew each other before the events in The Falconer, but readers tended to feel that the backstory formed the bulk of its development. As such, during the story events themselves, the relationship didn’t grip them.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan


Books Cover of Firelight by Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth. 

Mortal enemies. 

Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life.

Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life.

Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away; if it dies she will be left as a human forever.

She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide, from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.87

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Firelight is next on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures. Written by Sophie Jordan, who also writes romance books, this novel combines her specialty in romance with an intriguing dragon lore. As such, readers noted that this book is primarily a romance – something they loved.

These readers said that the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ love story between a dragon and dragon hunter immediately caught their interest. Jacinda and Will had every reason to despise and stay far away from each other. And yet, they found themselves drawn to each other regardless.

Fans found themselves on their edge of their seats, feeling both Jacinda’s turmoil and her excitement over newfound love.

They also reported that Firelight flowed well, the pages flitting by thanks to a quick pace and dramatic story line.

Negative Comments

Fans found much to enjoy about Firelight and ultimately, the most common rating readers gave this novel was 5 stars. But what did critics say?

It seems like this is a YA fantasy novel that stirs up strong feelings in readers, whether positive or negative. Critics were as frustrated with Jacinda and the romance as the fans were delighted.

These readers’ criticisms had a common thread: Jacinda came across to them as self-pitying and selfish. Some of them said that her selfishness reached the point where she seemed outright foolish instead.

However, others said that Firelight disappointed them because it stayed so close to standard the YA fantasy format in general. These readers loved the promise of a story filled with dragon shape-shifters, unique draki mythology and a love story that succeeds despite impossible odds. However, they described these twists as tacked-on rather than a fundamental aspect of the novel.

Talon by Julie Kagawa


The Dragons of Talon:

Book Cover of Talon by Julie Kagawa

Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world. 

The Order of St. George:

The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth. 

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.

To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans.

Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. 

As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down.

But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him – and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.75

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Talon by Julie Kagawa. Packed with action and adventure, this novel delighted readers with its combination of excitement, dragons and romance.

The characters themselves also captivated these readers, who often said that there wasn’t a single character they didn’t like. Even Ember, who some readers said initially came across as immature, won them over.

Furthermore, they said that experiencing the story from all three main character’s point of views was a wonderful treat.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Talon, what did they say?

Critics commonly cited Ember herself as well as the story’s familiarity as the culprits. For instance, they said that Ember didn’t come across as a person yearning for freedom for sympathetic reasons. Instead, she came across to them as childish and self-centered.

Ember speaks contemptuously of Talon and its members, who thwart her from doing what she wants. However, these readers pointed out that what Ember rails against are minor inconveniences. Either that or the logical actions of people who take keeping her alive seriously.

Other readers said that they wished the story would deviate more from standard YA fantasy. The story promises dragons and dragon slayers. It delivers. However, readers said that the story’s execution of these concepts was too predictable for their taste.

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa


One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish — and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure — one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost.

Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.00

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Shadow of the Fox. What about this novel enchanted readers? Overall, it was the mixture of a fascinating world and great character cast.

Fans enthused over the enigmatic creatures, beautiful forests, cities and more that this book’s pages introduced to them. With vivid imagery and intricate world-building, this Japanese-inspired setting captured readers’ imaginations. Many said they were completely transported into Shadow of the Fox’s settings.

Others also mentioned how much they enjoyed the characters. They described them as likable, interesting and overall great protagonists to lead this fast-paced story.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, not even Shadow of the FoxIf readers didn’t enjoy this novel, what did they point to as reasons?

In general, they tended to say the story was predictable. Some of them said this was because the main characters came across as recognizable types (aloof warrior and naïve girl), while others said they thought the romance and quest developed and ended exactly as they expected.

Red Rope of Fate by K.M. Shea


In a land where humans and elves find it difficult to communicate, Tari — an elf — is bound to Captain Arion — a human military officer — in a ceremony designed to promote friendship between the two races.

When the ceremony is over the pair discover that the impossible has happened: they can understand each other in spite of the language barrier.

Thrown into a storm of politics, Tari and Arion are put in danger by those who want humans and elves to remain separate.

To make matters worse, Tari realizes she has fallen in love with Arion, who has the emotional capabilities of a rock. As both societies dictate that an elf and a human can never be together, Tari must conceal her feelings.

Unfortunately the taciturn Arion is watchful and attentive to Tari’s well being, constantly pushing her to her limits with his loyalty, friendship, and dreadfully informal habit of touching her.

If Tari and Arion survive, their tumultuous relationship will either strengthen their countries’ alliance, or cripple the human courts of nobility. The deciding factor will be Arion, and his indecipherable feelings for Tari.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.17

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is Red Rope of Fate. Fans praised this book for its sweet, clean romance. Heartwarming and tender, the story was also filled with likable characters, court intrigue, and entertaining culture-shock moments.

Negative Comments

In general, critics of Red Rope of Fate tended to focus on two areas. The first was that they thought the story was mostly straightforward, without swerves or complications. Others, though, thought that the romance came across as overly sweet.

Honor Among Orcs by Amalia Dillin


Tolkien meets Beauty and the Beast in this new fantasy by Amalia Dillin, author of the Fate of the Gods trilogy.

After nearly a decade as the king’s whipping-girl, Princess Arianna has no intention of going quietly into marriage to some treasonous noble, or serving obediently as the king’s spy until her death is more convenient.

When she discovers a handsome orc, chained and trapped inside a magic mirror, Arianna cannot help but see a lasting freedom from her father’s abuse.

Left to rot inside a mirror by the king, Bolthorn never imagined his prayers would be answered by a princess. Nor did he ever expect to meet so worthy a woman after knowing her father’s cruelty.

He needs her help to escape the mirror before the king marches against the orcs, but all he can offer Arianna is ice and darkness in exchange for her aid.

If Arianna can free the monster behind the glass, perhaps she might free herself, as well. But once they cross the mountain, there will be no return, and the deadly winter is the least of what threatens them on the other side. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.78

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Last on our list of YA fantasy books featuring romances with mythical creatures is a story that uses a ‘Beauty and the Beast’, romance-based spin.

Readers said that the story’s emotional resonance mainly comes from the heartwarming and inspiring relationship built between Arianna and Bolthorn. However, they also highlighted the world-building as a treat: a combination of fairy tales, Norse mythology and Tolkien, Honor Among Orcs tantalized readers’ imaginations.

Fans also mentioned that they found it effortless to fall in love with the characters. Both seemed real and evocative, making their romance all the more intriguing.

Negative Comments

Not all readers thought that Honor Among Orcs was for them, though. If this was the case, readers generally said they felt the romance was overly sentimental. In particular, they mentioned Arianna’s inner turmoil about the relationship. Critics said she frustrated them because she tended to agonize too frequently and over the same issues.

Along a similar vein, readers said that they didn’t like Arianna herself. Critics said that she’s meant to be seen as attractive in part due to her bravery. However, they didn’t feel that she acted with courage. In fact, some readers said she came across to them as the opposite.

15 YA Fantasy Books With Romances With Mythical Creatures

How Do These Fantasy Novels Compare?

15 YA Fantasy Books Featuring Romances With Mythical Creatures

Related: Fantasy Books with Romance and Fantasy Creature Books

N.S. Mirage

I'm Natalie, an avid fantasy reader here to help readers find exciting, otherworldly books.

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