Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha...and the secrets of her heart.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
After the suicide of her mother, Gemma is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden and prone to visions of the future that have the uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's been followed by a mysterious, young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls--and they journey into the spiritual world--lead to? First in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. Then she meets Prince Po who has a Grace to match her own. Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. Also, read the companion books.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can't see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young as most of the chosen do. First in a series.
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They’re clearly magicked and he’s never been able to get them off. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, a wizard who nearly destroyed the world. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battles to fight. Raisa will soon become eligible for marriage but she wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for. First in the Seven Realms Series.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Andy is in Paris conducting research for her senior thesis on a 19th-century guitarist. While in France, she is distracted by the diary of Alexandrine, the last dauphin's companion, and Virgil, a Tunisian-French hip-hop artist. When she is transported back in time to the terror of the French Revolution, things get dangerous.
The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the government yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters--some human, some not--that also want the relic's power and will stop at nothing to get it. First in the Relic Master Series.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered--in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life. First in a series.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. First in a series.
Half World by Hiromi Goto
Melanie Tamaki is human but her parents aren't. They are from Half World, a limbo between our world and the afterlife, and her father is still there. When her mother disappears, Melanie must travel to a magical dystopia to rescue her and neither may return alive. Half World is literally bereft of color and every being is a grotesque parody of humanity, and Melanie's only ally is a jade rat with unkown powers.
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day. Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way--every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different. First in the Iron Codex Series.
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts--and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany--where she finds herself woefully under prepared--not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death's vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? First in the His Fair Assassin series.
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
In the good old days, magic was indispensable; it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians but it's hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world's last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam--and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic. First in the Chronicles of Kazam.
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere was brutally murdered and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and dying by the thousands in fever camps. Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child as well as a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin's unpredictable behavior suggests that she is not what she seems - and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her, but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny. First in the Lumatere Chronicles.
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, and she's been assigned to Tortall's Lower City. It's a tough beat that's about to get tougher, as Beka's limited ability to communicate with the dead clues her in to an underworld conspiracy. Someone close to Beka is using dark magic to profit from the Lower City's criminal enterprises--and the result is a crime wave the likes of which the Provost's Guard has never seen before. First in the Beka Cooper Trilogy.
Nation by Terry Pratchett
The sea has taken everything. Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne--a girl from the other side of the globe--is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives--all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down. . .
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Some race to win. Others race to survive. It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.