Stars and Sorcery: Navigating Love in Fantasy Worlds

An open book with glowing, magical light and stars emanating from its pages against a dark background.

Here at Once Upon a Book Club, we are huge fans of YA literature. And YA fantasy books happen to be a favorite! Just imagine enchanting worlds where chaos and adventure clash with spells and prophecies, throw in a splash of that magical emotional love, and you have a winning combination. 

It doesn’t matter whether you find yourself in enchanted forests, opulent courts, or distant galaxies; love can be found everywhere, even in the most fantastical settings. 

A close-up of a man and woman with long hair, gazing upward with a mystical expression, against a dark and textured backdrop

Fantasy Romances - Why we love them!

Fantasy worlds offer an escape from the mundane. They transport us to places where anything is possible. In these fantastical settings, love takes on a magical quality, especially when tied to those epic quests and daring escapades. The stakes are higher, the emotions far more intense, and any relationships built under extraordinary circumstances are always unforgettable.

Fantasy romances are great for offering that all-important escape from reality while we embark on a brand new adventure. Perhaps it’s the thrill of the unknown or the excitement of discovering a hidden magical realm that amplifies the experience of falling in love.

While we’re on the subject of amplified experiences, let's not forget those intense emotions. Somehow, facing life-threatening challenges makes their love stories far more dramatic and compelling. When it comes to that love relationship, there is nothing like a bit of life and death to add some urgency while stirring up a whole lot of passion.

Finally, let’s not forget about the symbolism we so often find in fantasy love stories, such as good versus evil, freedom, and destiny. 

In the end, these imaginative worlds create what can only be described as a unique backdrop for romance. Yes, we’re talking about enchanted forests or distant galaxies filled with magical creatures, ancient prophecies, and mythical landscapes.

Fantasy Books for Young Adults - Our Top Picks

Here are some of our favorites—get ready to explore a world where love casts its magic amidst chaos and adventure.

A book subscription box featuring 'The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea' with themed items such as a scroll, bookmarks, and decorative packaging.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

In Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, get ready to be transported to a world inspired by Korean mythology. The story follows Mina, who sacrifices herself to the Sea God in place of her brother's beloved, hoping to end the deadly storms plaguing her homeland. Beneath the sea, Mina discovers a world of gods, spirits, and dragons, filled with complex relationships and ancient mysteries.

Mina’s journey is not just about saving her people but also about discovering the depths of her own heart. The romance that unfolds is both tender and fierce, set against a backdrop of divine intrigue and mythic adventure. It’s a tale that reminds us of the power of love to transcend even the most daunting obstacles.

This is one you can’t afford to miss, and you may as well unbox something amazing with our Mythical Sea Curse book box, which features this captivating tale plus 3 beautiful gifts that bring the story to life!

Book cover of 'The Cruel Prince' by Holly Black, featuring a crown entangled in golden branches on a white background.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince will plunge you into the treacherous world of the Faerie Court. Jude, a mortal girl, is thrust into this dangerous realm where she must learn to navigate the intrigues and power struggles of the faeries. 

Amidst the Faerie Court's deadly politics, a complicated relationship takes center stage as Jude finds herself irr0esistibly drawn to one of the most dangerous of them all—the cruel prince, Cardan. 

Brace yourself for a romance that is as complex as the faerie world itself. Jude and Cardan’s love is fraught with rivalry, deceit, and simmering passion. Their tumultuous relationship will have you on the edge of your seat - it’s time for a dose of that captivating combination of danger and desire!

Book cover of 'Divine Rivals' by Rebecca Ross, with the title displayed on old-fashioned typewriter keys intertwined with blue flowers.

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross is a story of rivalry, romance, and divine intervention. The book follows two young journalists, Iris and Roman, who are competing for a prestigious position. As they deal with their professional rivalry, they become entangled in a larger conflict involving gods and mortals.

We love how Rebecca blends romance into a war-torn world, where it becomes a symbol of hope amidst chaos. Iris and Roman’s journey from adversaries to allies to lovers is both heartwarming and exciting.

ook cover of 'Serpent & Dove' by Shelby Mahurin, showcasing a golden serpent and dove on a dark background with intricate detailing.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

In Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent and Dove, we find ourselves in a world where witches and witch hunters are sworn enemies. Louise le Blanc, a witch, and Reid Diggory, a witch hunter, are forced into marriage, bound together by fate and magic in a society that would see them both apart—or dead. 

We loved watching the lines between love and duty blur. It just goes to show that the most powerful spells are those of the heart. This is a slow-burn romance filled with tension and unexpected twists that will have you hooked from start to finish.


Fantasy worlds provide a captivating stage where magic and romance intertwine but just like in reality, love always remains as one of the most powerful forces in the universe. 

Whether under the sea, in a faerie court, amidst divine warfare, or between sworn enemies, love transcends the chaos of fantastical settings, reminding us that in any world—real or imagined—the quest for love and understanding is eternal. 

It’s time to grab the chocolates, a fluffy blanket, and relax while you soak in the magical world of love! Don’t forget the tissues!

If you enjoyed this blog, you may want to check out our blog on Strong Female Protagonists in Young Adult Literature - Girl Power all the way!

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