The best YA Christian fantasy to unlock your imagination

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Lindsay, and I never stop falling in love with human creativity. From the moment I first cracked open a library-borrowed copy of The Wizard of Oz as a child, I’ve been asking “What if…?” and I’ve delighted in how other authors imaginatively tackle that question. My interests are eclectic, ranging from history and politics to baking and sparkly things. I read to be swept away and to take a peek inside the storyteller’s mind and heart.


I wrote...

The Story Peddler

By Lindsay A. Franklin,

Book cover of The Story Peddler

What is my book about?

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down... and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers... and they’re after her too.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Lindsay A. Franklin Why did I love this book?

Come for the toothy cows—stay for the hilarious footnotes sprinkled throughout this rollicking adventure. Andrew Peterson’s beloved Wingfeather Saga begins with On the Edge While the Wingfeather books get better and perhaps more serious as the series continues, I love this insight into Peterson’s goofy sense of humor. I handed this book to my sons when they were each in middle school, and they became instant fans.

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

After living for years under the occupation by the evil Fangs of Dang, the Igiby children find a map rumoured to lead to the lost Jewels of Anniera - the one thing the Fangs will do anything to find. The family is thrown headlong into a perilous adventure, uncovering truths about who they are that will change their world forever.

Repackaged with new illustrations, this is the opportunity to discover the Wingfeathers.


Book cover of Cyndere's Midnight

Lindsay A. Franklin Why did I love this book?

The Auralia Thread is seriously underrated (Cyndere is book two). Of all the fantasy from Christian publishers I read when I first entered the publishing industry, these books were my favorite and the most personally influential. Forbidden color magic? Yes, please. The awakening of a conscience in a cursed “beastman”? Sign me up! Cyndere had an emotional impact on me that still resonates more than a decade after I first read it.

By Jeffrey Overstreet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cyndere's Midnight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the second book in the Auralia Thread series, the power of Auralia’s colors brings together a bloodthirsty beastman and a grieving widow in a most unlikely relationship, one that not only will change their lives, but could also impact the four kingdoms of The Expanse forever.

Jordam is one of four ferocious brothers from the clan of cursed beastmen. But he is unique: The glory of Auralia’s colors has enchanted him, awakening a noble conscience that clashes with his vicious appetites.

Cyndere, heiress to a great ruling house, and her husband Deuneroi share a dream of helping the beastmen.…


Book cover of Of Fire and Ash

Lindsay A. Franklin Why did I love this book?

Easily one of my favorite epic fantasies I’ve read in recent years. The complexity of Gillian’s world is a highlight, yet she still makes the story and those within it accessible for her readers. It felt deep, not cluttered. She writes distinctly and with heart from three different points of view. I couldn’t flip pages fast enough, anxious for the moment these three story threads would intersect. It was more than worth the wait. 

By Gillian Bronte Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Fire and Ash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction.

Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people.

But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds…


Book cover of By Darkness Hid: Volume 1

Lindsay A. Franklin Why did I love this book?

The quintessential YA Christian fantasy story in my opinion! Jill hits every fantasy beat perfectly, and I particularly loved the obvious care she put into the details. The result is a world that feels ripped from the pages of history, yet it’s overlaid with spiritual themes, supernatural happenings (bloodvoicing, anyone?), and allusions to Christ that will resonate for followers of Jesus. When I want a story that has overt and uplifting Christian themes, I reach for this series. 

By Jill Williamson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked By Darkness Hid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Darkness divides the land.

Half of Er'Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them.

It's called bloodvoicing. Some say it's a gift. One of the newly "gifted" wish it had never come.

Achan had been a slave all his life. Worse than a slave—a stray. He is consigned to the kitchens of a lord and forced to swallow a foul potion every day. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills…


Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Lindsay A. Franklin Why did I love this book?

No list of Christian YA (or middle grade) is complete without a little Narnia. I don’t have fond childhood memories of Narnia like most people do. I read the books for the first time as an adult when I already had children of my own, so I didn’t bring nostalgia to the process. I was delighted to discover the books held up under the scrutiny of a grown-up tiptoeing her way into writing fantastical stories of her own. I remember reading all seven books in short order, wanting nothing more than to write stories that would take others on such journeys. Into the wardrobe we go, friends!

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country's creatures are ever going to be free again...


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A Beggar's Bargain

By Jan Sikes,

Book cover of A Beggar's Bargain

Jan Sikes Author Of The Edge of Too Late

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Avid reader Lover of Music Astral Traveler Tarot Reader Grandmother

Jan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Historical Fiction Post WW2.

A shocking proposal that changes everything.

Desperate to honor his father’s dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.
Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time—a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.

But the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?

Then, the banker makes an alternative proposition—marry his unwanted daughter, Sara Beth, in exchange for a two-year extension. Out of options, money, and time, Layken agrees to the bargain.

Now, he has two years to make a living off the land while he shares his life with a stranger. If he fails at either, he’ll lose it all.

A Beggar's Bargain

By Jan Sikes,

What is this book about?

A shocking proposal that changes everything.

Desperate to honor his father's dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.

Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time-a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.

But the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?

Then, the banker makes an…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in knights, exile, and lions?

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