When you select books for kids all day, the titles can sometimes start to blur together. For example, I can’t even begin to track the number of titles I purchase that all begin with “The Girl on” or “The Girl in” or “The Girl of” or some similar variation (a trend adult books are running with too). The latest, though, is crowns. I’m loving all this high fantasy being published lately in YA, and it seems a huge percentage of it focuses on crowns: what they’re made of, what their personalities are like, what color they are, who they belong to, how many there are. And let me tell you: if you read the word “crown” enough, it starts to sound like it’s not a real word. Here’s a round-up of the crown-y books from the last five years, plus a couple forthcoming. Descriptions are from WorldCat.
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (Sept. 2012)
Hero. Foreigner. Queen. Elisa, at the age of seventeen, is all three. And all three draw enemies. Faced with assassins, court politics, and the threat of civil war, Elisa despairs of being the ruler her people need. Her only hope is the Godstone. She must master its power once and for all. She finds clues hidden in a long forgotten–and forbidden–scripture. Accompanied by a one-eyed warrior, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa takes a leap of faith and crosses an ocean in search of the ultimate source of the Godstone’s power.
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima (Oct. 2012)
In the fourth and final novel in the Seven Realms series, Queen Raisa ‘ana Marianna and Han Alister join forces to right a thousand-year-old wrong.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Aug. 2013)
As the royal assassin to an evil king, eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien must decide what she will fight for–survival, love, or the future of a kingdom.
The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (Apr. 2014)
In an alternative past where the Franco-British Empire controls the world’s only source of magic, Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the throne, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, rekindle their childhood friendship as they plot to save Marie from a loveless, political marriage.
The Opal Crown by Jenny Lundquist (Oct. 2014)
When the king of Galandria dies and Wilha’s younger brother, Andrei, claims the throne, he reveals that Elara, Wilha’s secret twin sister, has been masquerading as Wilha, and both girls must fight for their lives when declared traitors to their country.
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett (Sept. 2015)
Tiffany must gather all the witches to prepare for a fairy invasion.
Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard (Jan. 2016, novella)
In two revealing prequels to Red Queen, Queen Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life. Meanwhile, Captain Farley exchanges coded transmissions with the resistance–and stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to an attack on the Nortan capital: Mare Barrow.
Broken Crowns by Lauren DeStefano (Mar. 2016)
With their floating city utopia threatened by the war on the ground and the greed of two kings, Morgan and the others from Internment must find a way to save the city from falling out of the sky or being obliterated altogether.
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (May 2016)
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters — the only two in Russia — and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill — the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
The Crown by Kiera Cass (May 2016)
Events at the palace force Eadlyn to make an important–and impossible–choice, knowing that her Selection might not lead her to the fairytale ending her parents found.
Crystal Crowned by Elisa Kova (Jul. 2016)
One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Sept. 2016)
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose … it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown. If only it was that simple. With alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest … but she may be the darkest.
The Goblin Crown by Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Nov. 2016)
Socially awkward Billy, beautiful Lexi, and star quarterback Kurt mysteriously enter an underworld of goblins, animal hybrids, and powerful magic, where one may be destined to become Goblin King.
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (Mar. 2017)
The new novel follows Gauri, the younger sister of the titular Star-Touched Queen, on her harrowing quest for freedom.
The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye (May 2017)
Sequel to The Crown’s Game.