Hidden Gems: YA-Fantasy Novels
Little known YA Fantasy novels (fewer than 10,000 ratings) that are not just Goodreads but Mustreads!
1 Keturah and Lord Death
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 7,922 ratings
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2 The Dark Lord of Derkholm
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 9,261 ratings
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3 Sorcery & Cecelia: or The E...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 10,689 ratings
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4 Summers at Castle Auburn
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 6,719 ratings
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5 The Seer and the Sword (Hea...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 7,243 ratings
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6 Fire and Hemlock
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 5,664 ratings
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7 The Darkangel (Darkangel Tr...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 5,984 ratings
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8 The Hollow Kingdom (The Hol...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 6,221 ratings
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9 The Perilous Gard
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 5,064 ratings
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10 A Curse Dark as Gold
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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 8,874 ratings
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11 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 7,498 ratings
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12 Star Crossed (Thief Errant,...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 4,937 ratings
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13 Poison
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 4,049 ratings
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14 Heart's Blood
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 7,644 ratings
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15 Flora Segunda (Flora Trilog...
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 2,806 ratings
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16 Mairelon the Magician (Mair...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 5,864 ratings
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17 Froi of the Exiles (Lumater...
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4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 8,504 ratings
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18 The Sherwood Ring
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 1,874 ratings
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19 Brightly Woven
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 6,605 ratings
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20 Dragon's Bait
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 5,057 ratings
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21 Lips Touch: Three Times
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 6,871 ratings
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22 The Ordinary Princess
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 8,241 ratings
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23 Blackbringer (Dreamdark, #1)
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 3,274 ratings
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24 Year of the Griffin (Derkho...
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 5,605 ratings
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25 Dwellers of Ahwahnee
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4.95 of 5 stars 4.95 avg rating — 111 ratings
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26 The Changeover
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 2,097 ratings
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27 The False Princess
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 10,453 ratings
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28 Magician's Ward (Mairelon, #2)
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 5,100 ratings
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29 The Safe-Keeper's Secret (S...
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 3,325 ratings
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30 Tamsin
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 2,292 ratings
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31 The Eighth Day (Eighth Day,...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 426 ratings
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32 Chime
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 8,141 ratings
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33 The Magicians of Caprona (C...
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 6,760 ratings
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34 A Posse of Princesses
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 2,696 ratings
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35 Cast in Shadow (Chronicles ...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 9,841 ratings
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36 Witch Week (Chrestomanci, #3)
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 7,756 ratings
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37 Dogsbody
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 3,760 ratings
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38 Eyes Like Stars (Théâtre Il...
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 9,341 ratings
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39 Thirteenth Child (Frontier ...
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 6,512 ratings
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40 Circle of Five (Pha Yul, #1)
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4.47 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 147 ratings
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41 A Conspiracy of Kings (The ...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 9,356 ratings
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42 Black Unicorn (Unicorn, #1)
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 2,735 ratings
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43 Reckless (Mirrorworld, #1)
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 9,119 ratings
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44 The Changeling Sea
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 3,005 ratings
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45 Chalice
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 8,960 ratings
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46 Young Warriors: Stories of ...
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 2,798 ratings
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47 Obernewtyn (Obernewtyn Chro...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 6,782 ratings
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48 The Savage Damsel and the D...
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 3,434 ratings
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49 Witch in the Woods (Witch i...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 47 ratings
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50 Hexwood
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 2,717 ratings
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51 The Tough Guide To Fantasyland
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 2,903 ratings
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52 Deep Secret (Magids, #1)
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 3,522 ratings
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53 Ice
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 4,786 ratings
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54 The Cry of the Icemark (The...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 6,804 ratings
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55 Mortal Engines (The Hungry ...
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 8,957 ratings
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56 A College of Magics (A Coll...
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 3,737 ratings
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57 My Fair Godmother (My Fair ...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 8,884 ratings
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58 Fly by Night (Fly By Night,...
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 3,384 ratings
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59 Dragon's Keep
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 5,103 ratings
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60 Wise Child (Doran, #1)
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 5,512 ratings
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61 Conrad's Fate (Chrestomanci...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 5,654 ratings
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62 Shadow Spinner
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 4,533 ratings
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63 Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1)
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 4,849 ratings
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64 Magic Under Glass (Magic Un...
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 3,229 ratings
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65 The Magic Thief (Magic Thie...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 10,796 ratings
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66 The Cabinet of Wonders (The...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 2,657 ratings
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67 Alcatraz Versus the Evil Li...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 8,487 ratings
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68 The Raging Quiet
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 2,587 ratings
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69 Alphabet of Thorn
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 3,458 ratings
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70 Arielle Immortal Passion (I...
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4.79 of 5 stars 4.79 avg rating — 121 ratings
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71 Liar's Moon (Thief Errant, #2)
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 2,210 ratings
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72 The Unlikely Ones (Pigs Don...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 851 ratings
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73 Riddle-Master: The Complete...
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 7,197 ratings
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74 The Red Necklace (French Re...
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 5,039 ratings
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75 In the Forests of Serre
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 2,177 ratings
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76 Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 788 ratings
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77 The Dalemark Quartet (The D...
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 444 ratings
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78 The Crown Conspiracy (The R...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 6,809 ratings
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79 The Goblin Wood (Goblin Woo...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,783 ratings
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80 The Divide (The Divide, #1)
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 2,515 ratings
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81 The Grand Tour (Cecilia and...
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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 4,230 ratings
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82 Quintana of Charyn (Lumater...
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4.5 of 5 stars 4.50 avg rating — 5,797 ratings
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83 Companions of the Night
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 4,120 ratings
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84 The Squire, His Knight, and...
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 3,212 ratings
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85 Dreams of the Ringed Vale (...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 737 ratings
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86 Rapunzel's Revenge (Rapunze...
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 9,604 ratings
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87 The Water Mirror (Dark Refl...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 2,823 ratings
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88 The Ropemaker (The Ropemake...
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 1,664 ratings
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89 Moon 514: Blaze and the Whi...
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 12 ratings
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90 Arms of Anu (Arrow of the M...
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4.78 of 5 stars 4.78 avg rating — 51 ratings
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91 The Hounds of the Mórrígan
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 2,200 ratings
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92 Enchanted Glass
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 3,275 ratings
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93 The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 2,050 ratings
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94 Bones of Faerie (Bones of F...
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 5,692 ratings
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95 The Price of Creation
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4.52 of 5 stars 4.52 avg rating — 56 ratings
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96 The Hunter's Moon (The Chro...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 4,281 ratings
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97 The Sword of Truth (The God...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 1,252 ratings
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98 The Privilege of the Sword ...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 2,795 ratings
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99 Witch Song (Witch Song, #1)
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 2,657 ratings
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100 Personal Demons (Personal D...
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 7,775 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,148 books · 2,883 voters · list created August 15th, 2008 by Michael Bialys (votes) .
310 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Wealhtheow
Wealhtheow
3293 books
561 friends
Elyse
Elyse
1012 books
4269 friends
Angel
Angel
843 books
27 friends
Marc
Marc
391 books
357 friends
Mary
Mary
102 books
661 friends
Terry
Terry
3250 books
503 friends
Elisabeth
Elisabeth
2414 books
109 friends
Jessica
Jessica
2553 books
1961 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 53) (53 new)


message 1: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Is Leminy Snicket really fantasy? I mean, really? And I thought this was for 'hidden gems', there are plenty of widely known and read books up there!


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Hmm....a lot of the books on this list are definitely well known..isn't this for the HIDDEN gems? Just saying. I feel like a book that's made into a block buster film is no longer hidden;)


message 3: by Miss Jimenez (new)

Miss Jimenez Interesting list. I've got to remember to write some of the titles down later so I can look for them.


message 4: by Violetcloud (new)

Violetcloud Im new to this genre.. so this is a great list for me!


message 5: by Morgan (new)

Morgan F I don't think a book with over 20,000 ratings should be considered "hidden".


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne Nydam Some of my favorite books are on this list - but not exactly hidden. I compromised by voting for the books I like that didn't already have a lot of reviews!


message 7: by Breanne (new)

Breanne Tiger saga all the way!!!!


message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Green Rider by Kristen Britain is brilliant! It gets off to a slightly slow start but then it gets so amazing that you litrally can't put it down! I'm on book two right now and, if possible, it's even better than the first!


message 9: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell McKinley's down in the high two hundreds....that's really depressing. Also, Neil Gaiman is not "hidden" in any sense of the word.


message 10: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Nov 09, 2011 11:09AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Wolf-Speaker, by Tamora Pierce
The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C. Wreade
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander
Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins
Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher
The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor
Dragonsinger, by Anne McCaffrey
Sabriel, by Garth Nix
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
Ptolemy's Gate, by Jonathan Stroud
The Golem's Eye, by Jonathan Stroud
The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale


message 12: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Nov 30, 2011 09:41PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

The Black Cauldron, by Lloyd Alexander
The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale
Stargazer, by Claudia Gray
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
Poison Study, by Maria Snyder
Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke
Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
Lioness Rampant, by Tamora Pierce
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
Beauty, by Robin McKinley


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Just out, but a great read for older YA fantasy fans, The Ballad of Young Tam Lin. Janet finds true love in the arms of Tam Lin while she is - somewhere else (Summerland, the land of the Elves). However, now she's pregnant, and her true love is on the other side of a portal that she can't cross. Two other problems - he's the lover of the immortal Queen of Summerland and - Janet's not sure he's human.


message 15: by Louise (new)

Louise if 195 people voted for a book, it is not really a hidden gem


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

For some people, it always seems to come down to "I'm gonna vote for my favorite book, and I don't care what the category is." Since anything by Terry Pratchett is a best-seller, I wouldn't say Wee Free Men is obscure. Maybe we need a category of "Hey, this is great, have you read it yet?"


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Wee Free Men has over 14,000 ratings, so I'd say it wasn't eligible for this list.


message 18: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jan 27, 2012 11:14AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

The High King, by Lloyd Alexander
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey
The Secret Hour, by Scott Westerfeld
Demonglass, by Rachel Hawkins
Terrier, by Tamora Pierce
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson
Silence, by Becca Fitzpatrick


message 19: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Black There are some other good books on this list check it out if you want to find some more good books to read:

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/16...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for too many ratings:

Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Mariller


message 21: by Kim (new)

Kim Is it just me, or did a whole chunk of this list just disappear? I know The Queen of Attolia used to be number one, but it doesn't appear to be on this list at all anymore.

Anyone know of any other books that used to be on this list and don't seem to be there anymore? I was getting some great reading recommendations from here, and I'd hate to miss out on some of the titles that someone randomly deleted.


message 23: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Montmorency is not fantasy.


message 24: by Kim (new)

Kim Cindy wrote: "Montmorency is not fantasy."

I wondered about that, but not having read it, I didn't want to just delete it from the list. Since you're of the same mind---and the reviews and popular shelves seem to imply it's a historical mystery---I went ahead and removed it.

If you're a Goodreads librarian, you can remove titles from lists as well. Just click on the "edit" link attached to the list description at the top of the page, then click "remove particular books." That'll take you to the page where you can delete the titles that don't fit the list parameters.

I've been commenting with the titles of the books I delete since some readers may be using this list as a way to get recommendations. That way, even if the books disappear from the list, itself, they're still named in the comments.


message 25: by Kim (last edited Sep 06, 2012 01:45PM) (new)


message 26: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I love Behemoth, but it's not really fantasy...more steampunk sci-fi.


message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim Natalie wrote: "I love Behemoth, but it's not really fantasy...more steampunk sci-fi."

Steampunk is so tricky. Some of it's more on the fantasy side of the genre, while other titles are definitely sci-fi. I haven't read that series at all; what makes Behemoth more sci-fi?


message 28: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Since a lot of the book is based off of Darwinian culture, all of the "magic" in the books is based off of science and evolution, and is all in either animals or architectural warships.
But you're right, steampunk can definitely go either way.


message 29: by Kim (new)

Kim all of the "magic" in the books is based off of science and evolution, and is all in either animals or architectural warships

Yeah, that definitely seems more sci-fi than fantasy. :) Are you a Goodreads librarian, yourself, or would you like me to remove Behemoth?


message 30: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I'm a librarian, and I just took care of it. Thanks, Kim, for helping clarify :D


message 31: by Natalie (new)

Natalie What do people think about Bad Taste in Boys? Is that really a fantasy? I haven't read it, but it seems to be more than a stretch.


message 32: by Natalie (last edited Sep 01, 2012 07:18PM) (new)


message 33: by Kim (new)

Kim Natalie wrote: "What do people think about Bad Taste in Boys? Is that really a fantasy? I haven't read it, but it seems to be more than a stretch."

I've not read it either, but the reviews and Library of Congress subject headings seem to indicate it's more horror than straight fantasy. But horror and fantasy occasionally overlap---especially when the horror involves monsters like zombies and vampires and werewolves or elements of the paranormal like ghosts and witchcraft. So where do we draw the line? I'd hate to see books like A Certain Slant of Light disappear from this list when they might be just the sort of thing a reader of YA fantasy is looking for.


message 34: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Kim wrote: "Natalie wrote: "What do people think about Bad Taste in Boys? Is that really a fantasy? I haven't read it, but it seems to be more than a stretch."

I've not read it either, but the reviews and Li..."


True, true...but I think the "world" that the book is set in can also define it clearer. If the story is more about how supernatural creatures affect modern-day life and existence (like Boys) then it is not a fantasy. If the book is more focused on the supernatural beings themselves, we'll call it fantasy.
Also Library of Congress and reviews, as well as "most popular shelvings" found on the side of the book's page can help define its true genre.


message 35: by Kim (new)

Kim I think Library of Congress, reviews, and popular shelves are definitely good sources, but for Boys, they may not be quite definitive enough. Especially since, as of my posting this, 37 users shelved it as Horror and 36 users shelved it as Fantasy. :)

But I see what you're saying about considering the world in which the book takes place and the use of the more fantastic elements. For instance, Buffy the Vampire Slayer---similar in some aspects to Boys---actually illustrates the culture, mythos, and paranormal aspects of vampires, demons, etc. So it would be a fantasy. As would A Certain Slant of Light, which is told from the perspective of the ghosts.

But Boys---which doesn't seem to explore zombie culture or tell the story from a zombie point of view---is more of a humorous horror-adventure tale where the heroine and her friends have to save the town from becoming zombies.

Does that sound about right? And can you think of any exceptions to these qualifications?


message 36: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Kim wrote: "I think Library of Congress, reviews, and popular shelves are definitely good sources, but for Boys, they may not be quite definitive enough. Especially since, as of my posting this, 37 users shelv..."

That sounds great. It's definitely a hard thing to categorize, but I think this is a good qualification.


message 37: by ayanami (new)

ayanami Deleted for over 10,000 ratings:
Impossible
Nevermore

Deleted for not being fantasy:
Have Space Suit—Will Travel
Runaway
Hikaru's Go 1-23

Deleted for not being YA:
Succubi Like It Hot


message 39: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind Removed for not being fantasy:
Devil on My Back
Freedom's Landing
Rite of Passage

They are all very good, but they are all very science fiction.


message 40: by Becky (new)

Becky B Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Green Rider
Everlost
A Certain Slant of Light
Shadow and Bone
A Wrinkle in Time


message 41: by Becky (last edited Jan 14, 2013 12:35AM) (new)

Becky B Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Once upon a Marigold

Maybe we should celebrate when a lesser known book gets kicked off the list because it becomes more popular? :)

Removed for being steampunk (very similar in style to Behemoth that was removed earlier, also these are Children's books, not YA):
Starcross
Larklight

Removed for being science fiction:
Heir Apparent
The Twenty-one Balloons

Removed for being historical fiction (no fantasy elements at all):
Airman


message 42: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Becky wrote: "Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Once upon a Marigold

Maybe we should celebrate when a lesser known book gets kicked off the list because it becomes more popular? :)

Removed for being st..."


Eoin Colfer's Airman is a arguably a fantasy...it's just the line between sic-fi and fantasy really. But there's definitely fantastical elements of it.


message 43: by Becky (new)

Becky B You are free to add it back if the majority of people feel this is true. I did research the book to make sure that my memory of Airman was true. Library of Congress classifies it as adventure/historical fiction, not as sci-fi or fantasy. Yes, the airman builds a spectacular flying machine but it is plausible (more sci-fi). (The book is actually a re-write of The Count of Monte Cristo set in Ireland.)


message 45: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 17, 2013 03:26PM) (new)

I'm bookmarking this list. So many titles I want to check!

While at it:

Have to say, as proud as they make me, I still get somewhat sad to see them go :D

Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

So You Want to Be a Wizard
Magic Steps
The Queen of Attolia
The King of Attolia
Dragon Slippers
Eona
Seraphina
The Riddle
Tiger's Voyage
Shatterglass
Glimmerglass
Wicked Lovely
Alanna: The First Adventure
Storm Front


Jackie (fireandicebookreviews.blogspot.com) Hi guys, if you are looking for a place to talk about good YA Fantasy books, come and join us here http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...


message 48: by Emmy Lou (new)

Emmy Lou This is an amazing list! :D


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, for having over 10,000 ratings:

House of Many Ways


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