I love reading Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. Action, adventure, and romance in a medieval, dystopian, Victorian, or fantastical setting.
There are many reasons why I prefer YA Fiction over Adult Fiction—there’s more heart, often some quirky humor, usually a good ending—but also they’re less graphic and filled with more hope.
Lately, however, many YA Fiction bestsellers are trending towards more violence and racier sexual content. I’ve lost count how many books I’ve read recently where the heroine is an assassin complete with explicit amorous encounters that would rival an Adult Romance novel.
So if you’re looking for cleaner content that’s still a great read, what do you do? Well, you can count on Christian Fiction to be void of any explicit content but there’s a risk it may be void of a few other things as well. However, in my lifelong journey in and out of countless worlds and stories, there are three Christian Fiction series that still stand out above the rest.
The first is Legends of the Guardian King by Karen Hancock. This quartet consists of The Light of Eidon, The Shadow Within, The Shadow over Kiriath and Return of the Guardian King. The story begins with Abramm Kalladorne, despised prince of Kiriath, uncovering lies within the monastery where he is a novitiate. This shakes the foundation of what he thought to be true and he abandons his faith. His older brothers then sell him into slavery and he is sent to a distant land. Thus he embarks on a gladiator-like journey where he must grapple with the truth and his own identity, while fighting for his life. This action packed, Christian allegory is definitely worth the read.
The second is the Seven Kingdoms Chronicles by Thomas Williams. This series includes The Crown of Eden, The Devil’s Mouth and The Bride of Stone. When I was a young teenager, my mom brought home The Crown of Eden because she had seen it at Sam’s Club and thought I might like it. I loved it so much I read it at least three times. Set in a fantastical medieval land, the story follows Princess Volanna, who is bound by prophecy to marry the evil Prince Lomar. While trying to be faithful to her betrothal, she is thrust in the path of a handsome blacksmith who is more than he appears. This is a wonderful and satisfying hero’s journey layered with adventure, romance and faith.
Last but not least is the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. This trilogy is made up of A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, and As Sure as the Dawn. Set in first century Rome, this powerful story centers on a young, Jewish-Christian slave girl name Hadassah. She must fight to stay true to her beliefs while serving a rebellious, self-destructive young woman and falling for a man beyond her reach. Meanwhile, the threat of being thrown to the lions for her faith is a very real possibility. This masterful story gives a shocking glimpse into Roman life shortly after Jesus’ ascension.
If you’re looking for a break from dark, overly graphic fiction, or in the market for a good book to recommend to your young adult, try these on for size. You can thank me later.