3 Great Western-Inspired YA Fantasy Novels

I love books that take two different genres and mash them together to create something new and unique–like how Marissa Meyer took fairy tales and sci-fi and combined them for a fun series in the Lunar Chronicles. My latest obsession has been Western and fantasy mash ups. There have been some really good releases that fit this particular cross section beautifully, and I’m so excited to share a few of them with you this week!

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Set in 1850’s United States, Rae Carson spins an intriguing Gold Rush tale, infused  with magic. Lee Westfall lives with her parents on a small farm in Georgia, where they pan for gold on their land and lead a quiet life. Lee knows not to tell anyone about her secret talent for sensing gold in the ground, but when she comes home one day to find her parents murdered, she knows someone has discovered her secret–and that they’re coming for her next. She goes on the run, along with her best friend, and together they head West, joining a group of hopeful people who have no idea just how arduous the journey to California will be–especially when Lee’s parents’ murderer is pursuing them. This is the first in the Gold Seer trilogy that brings the West to life with all of its accompanying hardship, adventure, and danger, and cruelty.

Elysium GirlsElysium Girls by Kate Pentecost

This spring 2020 debut novel is a an epic fantasy set against the backdrop of a fictional Oklahoma town during the Dust Bowl. The people of Elysium, OK are hoping to survive the Dust Bowl, just like everyone else in the country, when they’re chosen by two all powerful sisters, Life and Death, in a cruel game. They have ten years to prove themselves worthy before the sisters return, and just as their time is up, seventeen-year-old Sal is ready to lead her people through the end of the game. Then a newcomer arrives in Elysium with a huge secret that will throw off the careful balance in their small town. This is a magical read, perfect for fans who love strong heroines, witches, and high-stakes magic.

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Five girls who are alone in the world are sold into a “welcome house” in the fantasy world Arketta, but this welcome house is anything but home for them. When one inadvertently kills a man, all give of them must go on the run from the only home they know and into the dangers of the countryside, where they’re pursued by captors and ghosts, and dark magic lurks. All they have are rumors of a refuge that might not exist, and each other to rely on. This is a magical take on sisterhood, survival, and hope that you definitely do not want to miss.

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And if you like books in this genre mash up, I recommend picking up Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey. It’s not technically a YA book, but it’s an adult novella that YA readers will definitely enjoy!


Want more “3 On A YA Theme” posts? Gotcha covered.