Books by Theme: Trends: Young adult historical fantasy dystopians (yeah, that's a mouthful)

books by theme                trends

Okay, so there are only two books on this list so far, but it was such an oddly specific theme to see repeated that I had to include it as a micro-trend.  Both books are historical fantasies with dystopian elements in which magic users control the government and wealth, while non-magic-users are impoverished and subjugated.  In both, resistance movements are starting up among the lower classes to topple the tyranny of the ruling classes.  While they don't all need to be rebellion-themed, I'm hoping we see more fantasy dystopia because the two genres blend so seamlessly, especially with the injection of real-world historical power structures.   

Gilded Cage by Vic James

In an alternate Victorian England, aristocrats with magical gifts hold power over the giftless commoners, who must pledge themselves to 10 years of slavery or suffer horrific magic-induced consequences.  A brother and sister begin their slave days and become tangled up with the brothers of a powerful family, one of whom seems to have his own agenda, while a resistance brews from the factory towns.  It's dark and gritty and despite some problematic romantic elements, a really enjoyable read. I'm hoping the sequel has much more of Silyen, the strange, chaotic brother whose allegiances are impossible to tell.  | Goodreads

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

In another version of magical England, Anna is the magic-less daughter of powerful members of the ruling class.  And while magic seems to run in aristocratic blood, it's also bound by a powerful spell that allows access only to the privileged few, while the commoners are denied access to magic--and punished if they seek it.  When a scandal gets Anna sent with her grandmother to their native Hungary, she finds herself mixed up with anti-government revolutionaries, Romani spellcasters, and others who want to see magic freed.  I can't speak for the quality of the Romani rep (full review to come, so hopefully I'll have found a good ownvoice review by then), but I loved the intricate magic system and Hungarian folklore. | Goodreads

What other books fit the theme? What did you think of these? What do you hope to see in the trend?  


  1. I think Red Queen falls in that category, no?
    Sam @ WLABB

    1. Hm probably? I haven't read it yet *hides* but I trust your judgment!