Looking for YA Fantasy Enemies to Lovers books? Here are 17 enemies to lovers romances that I can’t get enough of!
If you look on my bookshelves, you will find so many YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books! I truly think the storyline of two people going from hate at first sight to falling in love makes a gripping story.
What makes enemies to lovers romances so captivating is the character development and slow-burn romance. But there are literally thousands of incredible enemies to lovers books. So which ones are worth your money. I’ve compiled my absolute favourite YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books. Plus scroll to the bottom to find my comparison table with ratings, tropes and trigger warnings.
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- What are some good fantasy enemies to lovers books?
- 1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
- 2. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
- If you’re looking for a YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books with disability representation
- 3. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
- 4. We set the dark on fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
- 5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- 6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- 7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
- 8. Bitter Frost by Kalin Gow
- 9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- 10. Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi
- 11. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
- 12. Crier’s War by Nina Varela
- 13. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
- 14. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- 15. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- 16. A Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
- 17. The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
- Comparison table
- Those were my picks for the best YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books
- Other posts you might like…
What are some good fantasy enemies to lovers books?
1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
If you’re looking for a fantasy book with a strong female lead and lots of twists
The Folk of Air series (The Cruel Prince, Wicked King and Queen of Nothing) has a captivating enemies to lovers romance. Many book lovers list this as their favourite bookish romance. It’s a slow burn romance with a dark, brooding male fae.
The Cruel Prince follows Jude who is a human. As a child, she gets kidnapped with her two sisters and is taken to live with the fae in the woods. She grows up wanting to be like the wicked fae she lives with.
This series is incredible and there is so much to love. Jude is an incredibly strong female lead and an absolute badass. The court intrigue is executed perfectly.
If you like ACOTAR ( A Court of Thorns and roses) you’ll probably love A Cruel Prince. The Cruel Prince has many similarities to A Court of Thorns and Roses such as fae, a strong female lead and an enemies to lovers romance.
2. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
If you’re looking for a YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books with disability representation
If you’re looking for books with bad-ass, disabled characters then you should read a curse so Dark and Lonely. It includes an adorable enemies-to-lovers romance with a badass main character and a cursed prince.
A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Prince Rhen is the Heir of Emberfall.
Emberfall is under a curse and the kingdom is enchanted into an everlasting winter. Prince Rhen needs to make a girl fall in love with him to break the curse.
Harper has cerebral palsy. And she struggles to look after her dying mother. She tries to save a stranger and is pulled into the world of Emberfall.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely is an excellent retelling. It puts a modern spin on the original fairytale. Despite Harper’s disability – she’s not a character in need of sympathy. She’s the perfect fantasy heroine – strong and with a good head on her shoulders. But also flawed enough to feel realistic.
This is the perfect slow burn romance. It takes Harper time to trust Prince Rhen. Rhen has enough inner conflicts to make him a fully developed character. And not just a love interest for Harper.
Buy A Curse So Dark and Lonely on Amazon
3. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
If you’re a fan of Crescent City
If you’re a fan of Crescent City you definitely need to read a Dark and Hollow Star. This is one of my top books in 2021! A Dark and Hollow Star is an urban fantasy, with fae, queer main characters and a wlw romance.
A series of gruesome murders threatens to expose the faerie world to humans. Four queer teens – Nausicaä, Arlo, Vehan, and Aurelian – each hold a piece of the truth. And they must track down the mysterious killer.
There are not one but two romances in this book. And the characters are what make them so perfect. I personally love Arlo and Nausicaä. Nausicaä is a grumpy, chaotic and sarcastic lesbian. Arlo and Nausicaä have a perfect grumpy/sunshine slow-burn vibe.
The other pairing is Vehan and Aurelian. Vehan is the perfect cinnamon roll character ( a character who is super sweet but faces more hardship than they deserve). He is Prince of Seelie court and just wants to protect others. Aurelian is his incredibly grumpy and stoic protector
I listened to the audiobook version which you can find on audible. It features a full cast of narrators which made it really engrossing. The voices of Vehan and Nausicaä are so spot on! And you can listen to it on Audible with a free trial. Or you can buy a physical copy on Amazon – you can buy it here.
4. We set the dark on fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
If you’re looking for Latinx representation
This book features one of the best wlw enemies to lovers romances that I’ve read!
We Set The Dark On Fire follows Daniela Vargas. She lives in a dystopian world where each man is entitled to 2 wives. A Primera and a Segunda. The Primera is intelligent, calm and analytical. The Segunda is the mother figure.
Outside the wall, the people go hungry. Dani started life outside of the wall. And she must use her wits to survive illegally in the capital. She is also married to one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.
The premise was intriguing. And the main character was instantly likeable. She also grows a lot through the book. But the romance is what makes this so perfect. Two badass women who are married to a Straight man but fall in love with each other.
The world-building is also excellent. And the book has such dark academia vibes. It opens in a prep school for girls. But it discusses so many important issues such as immigration politics and forced marriage.
We set the Dark on Fire features an intriguing dystopian premise and a likeable, strong-minded main character. This YA LGBTQ+ Dystopian book explores immigration politics, toxic masculinity and feminism.
Buy We Set the Dark On Fire on Amazon
5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
If you want to feel super emotional…
An Ember in the Ashes features an incredible slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance with an amazingly strong heroine.
An Ember in the Ashes opens with Laia. She has found an illegal sketchbook belonging to her brother. The empire comes and takes away her brother. So she must locate the resistance and go on a perilous mission to save him.
Laia is insanely likeable. She is strong, loving and compassionate. If you love a book with a strong female lead then you should definitely read this one. She’s undeniably strong but in a different way to most ya heroines.
The opening makes you really emotionally invested. Laia goes to extraordinary lengths and becomes a slave in order to save her brother.
The book opens with a punch and it’s fast-paced throughout. The dystopian elements are so well developed. Ancient Rome inspires stark, brutal world-building. The enemies are truly evil. The plot is really compelling. The book opens with a punch and it’s fast-paced throughout. There is so much at stake that it leaves you on the edge of your seat.
The relationships are characters are so complex but also very well developed. This book will make you feel so many emotions. It made me so angry!
6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
If you’re looking for a retelling with a sci-fi twist
The main character Cinder is an android. She had an accident when she was younger. And she now has a cyborg hand and ankle. But the world she lives in shuns androids.
There is also a deadly plague that is affecting the world (sound familiar…heh).
She meets and falls in love with the Prince. But she can’t tell him that she’s an android.
The pace was perfect and I couldn’t put this one down. It opens straight away. And you gradually learn more about the world.
This is one of the most unique retellings I’ve ever read. If you’re a fan of retellings like A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Cruel Prince or a Curse so Dark and Lonely – then you need to read this one. It’s one of the best retellings I’ve read.
There were so many intriguing elements at the start that I kept reading to see what would happen. The world-building was really unique. I’m not normally a sci-fi fan. But the sci-fi and dystopian elements work so perfectly.
7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
If you’re looking for a long series with fae, assassins and enemies-to-lovers romance.
Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothien who is imprisoned in a horrific prison called Endovier. She is an assassin. And one day she is summoned by the Prince to fight in a competition. The winner will become the king’s personal assassin.
I love Celaena. Some reviews describe her as arrogant. But I find her confidence refreshing. It’s really nice to read a female lead who knows how incredible she is.
The first book has an amazing love triangle with great enemies to lovers romance. But later in the series is the most perfect, slow burn enemies to lovers romance. I personally think Sarah J Maas is really good at writing a captivating slow burn ‘hate at first sight’ romance.
The other characters in the series are also amazing. I particularly love Nehemia as she’s so intelligent.
It opens with a punch and hooks you in instantly. The concept of an assassin competition is excellent. Reading about the different rounds kept me hooked.
But there is also a long term plot that develops slowly throughout the course of the series. If you haven’t read this series – I highly recommend it. There are 16 books in the series – so plenty to get stuck into it. And you can pick them up from Amazon – check it out here.
8. Bitter Frost by Kalin Gow
If you love fae, winter imagery and stories about memory loss
Bitter Frost is an amazing book featuring memory loss, beautiful forest imagery and of course Fae. It follows Breena. She has always dreamed of fairies as though she lived among them.
In her dreams, there was always a handsome but dangerous Prince named Kian. But when she turns sixteen she starts seeing strange creatures. And her best friend Logan becomes very protective.
Then she sees Kian in real life. And he’s intent on carrying her off to Feyland. And although Kian seemed to be her intended – he now hates her.
There were a few elements I didn’t like about this – Breena seemed a bit ‘not like other girls’. There were a few comments on other ‘popular girls’ appearances that I didn’t appreciate and weren’t necessary. But she did feel like a realistic teen girl.
It’s also a really captivating fae book. The twists are incredible and the pacing is perfect It was hugely successful – winning awards and selling over 4 million copies.
If you’re a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses you should definitely read this as it references Summer and Winter courts. You can read an ebook version of this on Scribd – they also offer a free 30-day trial. If you prefer a physical book you can also get this conveniently from Amazon.
9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
If you love a magical heist, the found family trope and a twisty plot
There is so much to love about Six of Crows – magic found family and super sassy banter. But it also features an excellent enemies to lovers romance between Nina and Matthias.
It six teenagers living in Ketterdam. Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, is one of the teens. He is offered a deadly heist for a huge payout.
But it’s an impossible heist. And Kaz will need all the help he can get to pull it off. So he assembles five other teens to help him.
Six of Crows is like a fantasy version of Oceans Eleven. If you’re a fan of the friendship group in A Court of Mist and Fury you should read this. There was plenty of banter between the friendship group.
Nina and Matthias are both fully developed characters with flaws and plenty of growth. After reading their backstory it’s almost impossible not to root for them. Nina is incredibly feisty and sassy while Matthias is really grumpy.
There is also an angsty, slow-burn romance between Kaz and Inej. There is a definite ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe And Kaz is a dark, brooding figure.
Magic is incorporated throughout and it’s developed very well. I really enjoyed reading about the unique magic system.
The cast is also really diverse which I really appreciated. And Jesper is an excellent example of a bisexual character. You can get this conveniently on Amazon- you can buy it here.
10. Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi
For fans of super powers, dystopian fiction and angsty romance
Shatter me opens with the main character locked up for murder. She is unable to touch anyone. And she falls in love with the first person she is able to touch.
The writing style in Shatter me is unlike anything else I’ve ever read. It’s very prose heavy. And consequently, it seems to be a book people either love or hate. I love it.
It’s set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world. But it’s definitely more of a romance. And an ansgty one at that. There was a definite ‘will they, won’t they vibe. Similar to Kaz and Inej for me.
Juliette is an excellent main character. She has been dealt an awful hand in life. And yet she still perseveres and looks for the best in everyone.
The plot behind the series is excellent. And it particularly picks up towards the end. Trust me when I say – you will instantly want to read the next book.
Buy Shatter Me on Amazon
Read the Good Reads Description
11. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
If you love fantasy books with cottagecore vibes
An Enchantment of Ravens follows Isobel who creates stunning portraits for the dangerous fair folk. One day she creates a portrait of the Autumn Prince. But she makes a deadly mistake. And paints humanity in his eyes.
I loved the imagery in this. And the focus on art and crafts in the book. I instantly really loved Isobel. She’s down to earth, practical and incredibly kind. The world is also incredibly beautifully described with whimsical forest imagery.
If you love the romance in The Cruel Prince – I think you’ll enjoy this one. It has an enemies-to-lovers romance. And I also love how ruthless the fae are.
12. Crier’s War by Nina Varela
If you’re looking for mystery, revenge and enemies to lovers wlw romance
Crier’s War is an epic urban fantasy novel with a f/f romance. It’s set in the Kingdom of Rabu and follows Ayla.
A War has ravaged the kingdom of Rabu. The Automae took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.
Ayla is a human servant who is rising the ranks at the House of Soverign. She dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter – the beautiful Lady Crier.
Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly before she met Ayla.
13. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
If you’re looking for a coming of age tale with fae
The Iron King is an incredible YA Fantasy book with fae, enemies to lovers romance and a strong female lead.
The Iron King follows 16-year-old Meghan Chase. Her father disappeared mysteriously when she was six years old. And ever since, something has been off.
But things start to change drastically. And Meghan will have to learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she truly cares about.
The Iron King is a book that will divide readers. Some will really not like it. But personally, I really enjoyed it. The setting is beautifully described. And Meghan is a great heroine. She’s not perfect but a very realistic 16-year-old.
This book takes many characters from classic literature and myths (such as a Midsommer Night’s Dreame) and retells them in a YA context. It talks about how technology affects the fae. And I thought this was a really interesting take on faerie. The enemies to lovers romance was also excellent. It’s not as slow-burn compared to others on this list. But it’s still a compelling romance.
But if you love YA Fantasy books with fae then you should definitely read this one. You can also read this on Scribd – they offer a free trial for 30 days.
14. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you are into friendship, magic and unforgettable characters
The Raven Boys follows Blue. Each year in the churchyard, Blue watches her psychic mother see those who are going to die that year. Blue never actually sees them herself. Until this year. When she speaks directly to a boy.
He is called Gansey and is a student at Aglionby school. The students there are known locally as Raven Boys.
So many people recommended this book to me. And I’m glad it lived up to the hype! It has a lot of paranormal elements woven into the plot. And that makes it a really autumnal read.
It also has dark academia vibes. It’s set in a local private school. Gansey is also obsessed with researching Welsh mythology. And it even references Latin.
The series features a perfect cursed romance. And the romance touches on a lot of interclass issues. Blue Sargaent has many preconceptions about the rich students who attend Aglionby school.
The characters are what make this book. On the surface, it seems like a quirky loner meeting rich boys. But it’s so much more than that! The characters are all fully developed with fleshed-out (and tragic) backstories. The relationships between them are some of the best I’ve read in YA Fiction.
15. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
If you love a good plot twist…
In this dystopian novel, blood defines your status. Reds are commoners. But silvers are the elite and have superpowers. The main character is red. But she has superpowers.
The Red Queen has received thousands of five stars reviews and was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. I can see why!
The plot and the twists in this book left me on the edge of my seat! A thrilling read and an excellent choice for Katniss fans.
Buy the Red Queen on Amazon
16. A Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
If you love Les Miserables…
A Sky Without Stars is a dystopian science fiction book and a Les miserable retelling. It features an enemies-to-lovers romance and a love triangle.
It’s set in a dystopian world called Laterre. When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But now an elite class reigns. A rebel group is resurfacing.
It follows three characters Chatine, Alouette and Marcellus. And they all play a role in the revolution.
I definitely think the authors are Eponine fans. Chatine gets the most development out of the three main characters. She is a bit ‘not like other girls’. But I rooted for her because of her tragic backstory.
I Listened to the audiobook version of this. It uses 3 different voices for each of the main characters. This makes it really easy to follow the different points of view.
Buy Sky Without Stars on Book Depository with free shipping
17. The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
If you’re looking for a curse, witches and a doomed romance
The Dark Tide is a really underrated book. It features a wlw romance, witches and a curse on a town.
It follows Lina. She lives on a small island where the dark tide could cause it to sink. So, every year the Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace and sacrifices her on the full moon. And so keeps the island city from sinking.
Lina is convinced her brother is going to be taken. She asks Thomas Lin to help. Thomas is the only person to survive the sacrifice. But they draw the Queen’s attention. And instead, Thomas is taken.
Lina offers herself instead of Thomas. But the queen is nothing like Eva expected. And they must choose between saving the island or themselves.
This is such an angsty slow burn romance. Lina and Eva had an amazing grumpy/sunshine dynamic. The setup made this story so tragically romantic. It’s also beautifully written with atmospheric worldbuilding that gave it a dark tone.
Use the comparison table below to see the rating, tropes, price estimate and trigger/content warning.
|Name and author||Good Reads|
|Tropes||Trigger Warnings||Price |
|The Cruel Prince by Holly Black||4.09||Enemies-to-lovers, court intrigue, anti hero, fae||Body shaming, Slavery, Physical & psychological child abuse, Cheating, Disownment, Nightmares mentioned, Suicide (on-page) and coerced self-harm||$$$|
|A Curse so Dark|
and Lonely by
|4.07||Enemies-to-lovers, court intrigue, slow burn||Ableism & ableist language, Sexism, Sexual assault (on-page) Cheating recounted, Suicide & attempted suicide, gore, cancer|
Grief & loss depiction, death of relative, violence, poverty
|A Dark & Hollow|
Star by Ashley
|3.85||grumpy/sunshine MC, fae,|
political intrigue, outsider
|anger, arson, blood/gore, death, depression, divorce, drug use, grief/grieving, human trafficking, poverty, psychopathy, stalking, suicide, toxic relationship, PTSD, racism, violence||$|
|We Set the dark|
on fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
enemies-to-lovers, dystopian, fighting the power
|abusive relationship, Assault, Blood, Bombing, Death, Guns, Knives, Homophobia, Murder, Police brutality, Protests, Sexism, Terrorism, Torture, Violence, War, Xenophobia||$|
|An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir||4.25||Enemies to lovers, arch-enemy, heroic vow, multiple pov||Attempted rape (on-page), Blood, Child abuse|
Child death, Death, Guilt, Physical abuse, Rape,
Sexual assault, Slavery, Torture, Violence
|Cinder by Marissa Meyer||4.13||Enemies to lovers, cyborg, plague, royals||Blood, Discrimination, Emotional abuse, Medical experimentation (nonconsensual),|
Mind Control (non-consensual), Needles, Plague.
|Throne of glass by|
|4.18||Enemies to lovers, morally grey, love triangle, evil king||Slavery, Misogyny, Classism, Sexual harassment, Rape mentioned,|
Forced arranged marriage mentioned, Trauma & nightmares
|Bitter frost by Kailin Gow||3.52||memory loss, fae, rival factons||Memory loss, bullying||$|
|Six of Crows|
by Leigh Bardugo
|4.47||Enemies to lovers, heist, found family||Addiction (gambling and drug), Child trafficking Gambling, Genocide, Sexual abuse and slavery, Violence (graphic)||$|
|Shatter me by|
|3.92||Enemies to lovers, superpowers, villainous crush||suicide, physical abuse||$|
|An Enchantement of Ravens by Magaret Rogerson||3.65||Enemies to lovers, cottagecore, fae||Blood, Death, Gore (mild)|
Injury description, Violence
|Crier’s War by Nina Varela||4.15||first-love, enemies|
to lovers, revenge plot,
character raised to be a weapon
|Potentially problematic representations of asexuality,|
blood, hunting, sex overheard, death, grief, humans killed, descriptions of dead bodies
|The Iron King by Julia Kagawa||3.89||Enemies to lovers, fae, court intrigue,|
evil matriarch, love triangle
|hand-to-hand combat, sword fighting, monsters, bullying, and|
cruelty to people, animals, and magical creatures
|The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater||4.03||Enemies to lovers, found family, interclass, boarding school||Attempted murder, Alcohol (underage), Depression, Child abuse, Elitism, Ritual sacrifice, Suicide (referenced), Workplace harassment||$$$|
|The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard||4.03||Enemies to lovers, dystopia,|
elemental magic , rags to royalty
|Gore, Profanity, Rape, Sexual abuse.|
|A Sky without stars|
by Jessica Brody and
|3.89||Enemies to lovers, love triangle, rebel group||Child abuse, Execution, Police brutality|
|Dark Tide by|
|3.52||Enemies to lovers, witches, ritual sacrifice, found family||loss of a loved one, human sacrifices, drowning, self-harm for blood for spells, blood depictions, violence, magical compulsion, grief depiction, brief mentions of abuse||$$|
Those were my picks for the best YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books
Whether you’re looking for an enemies to lovers romance or a YA Fantasy – I hope you found some books for your tbr list.
What YA Fantasy enemies to lovers books have you read? Let me know your recommendations in the comments section below.