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Best Fictional Worlds in YA Books

Looking for new fictional YA book worlds to sink into? If you’re a visual reader like me, then this post will help you discover the best built fantasy worlds in the young adult book genre.

Plus, I’m a total sucker for book maps!

Best Fictional Worlds in YA Books

best fictional worlds in young adult books

Hogwarts – Harry Potter

hogwarts map best fictional worlds of ya books

I think we can all agree the magical world created in the Harry Potter books is the best if not one of the best places to read about. And, Hogwarts is definitely where I wanted to live as a 10-year-old.

What makes this fictional book world SO special is the level of detail. J.K. Rowling thought of it all – music, travel, food, books, abilities, creatures, EVERYTHING. Opening the book, everything was fully formed just waiting for the reader to pretend and pray they would get their letter.

Ravka – Shadow and Bone

the grisha trilogy best fictional worlds in ya books

What I love about the Grisha world is that there’s an air of mystery to it. Many places are on the map that were yet-to-be explored in the trilogy, and are now coming to life via Six of Crows.

PLUS – do you see the Unsee?! It’s creepy as hell, and I love that Bardugo actually takes the story there.

The Seven Kingdoms – Graceling

the seven kingdoms graceling best ya book fiction worlds

Graceling + Fire + Bitterblue have my love for life. The magic/fantasy aspect of this book is wholly original in each book.

My favorite world is definitely in Fire – the Dells. There are “monsters” who are vibrant and alluring, and it was brilliantly done.

Erilea – Throne of Glass

erilea throne of glass book map

Here we are in book 4 of the Throne of Glass series, and new characters, places and plots are popping up. The world of Erilea is great in that we don’t know everything there is to know about it yet.

We’re still peeling back layers of magic and mystery. GIMME MORE, MAAS.

Ixia – Poison Study

ixia poison study map best fictional worlds in ya books

Mara V. Snyder explored the world of Ixia with two book series (the second is her Glass series). I liked the military approach to Ixia – it’s uniform and clean cut, while the Southern lands are more of a mystery.

This plays out exactly as you might think in the books, and it was a joy to discover as both series progressed.

Panem – The Hunger Games

panem the hunger games best fictional worlds in ya books

I didn’t often think of it while reading, but Panem is supposed to be a futuristic version of the U.S. I enjoyed how each district was known for one main resource/function, as it made for easy reading.

My favorite area of Panem was the Capitol with its diversely dressed and adorned residents and opulence.

Grey, Red, White & Black London – A Darker Shade of Magic

london a darker shade of magic best fictional worlds ya books

I cannot express my full appreciation for the beautiful simplicity and genius behind the world(s) of A Darker Shade of Magic. Worlds with distinct flavors all accessible to Kell was a DELIGHT in every way.

My fantasy loving mind was captured by the creativity used here, and I hope to “see” more of each London in the remaining sequels.

What are your favorite fictional worlds in YA books?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Hogwarts is my fave! I also love Narnia.

  • Hogwarts is at the top of the list OF COURSE. And I’m so happy to see the Londons from ADSOM on here too — so much love for this book. I would definitely add the multi-layered world of The Burning Sky trilogy from Sherry Thomas. And did you ever read the Redwall series by Brian Jacques? That was a fun little world to spend some time in, too.

  • Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    I love all of these as well! While I love Hogwarts (and Narnia), I think my heart will always go out to Middle Earth…

  • The Original Vampires

    These fantasy ya worlds are reallu awesome. Another awesome fantasy world is Eretz from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. That series is so good.

  • Days Of Blood And Starlight

    Really awesome list! I love Panem, and another good world is Eretz from the DoSaB trilogy.