10 of the Best First Lines in YA Fantasy

Wrath and the DawnAs all writers—and readers—know, first lines are critical. They suck you in and set you up, making short, sharp work with so little by way of words. They carry the weight of whole worlds and soon to be beloved (or loathed) people. Staggering.

So when I first sat down to write this list, I wasn’t sure how many I’d find. After all, truly great first lines are hard to come by. Right?

But as I combed through, adding countless books to my TBR pile, I realized something. These days, the YA fantasy game is exceptionally strong. And so, rather than withhold, I decided to share all the treasures I uncovered. Herewith, some of the best first lines in YA fantasy. Know this: you will one-click. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.”

Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
“Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.”

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Genevieve Tucholke
“You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand.”

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
“There were two kinds of people in our town. ‘The stupid and the stuck,’ my father had affectionately classified our neighbors.”

The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh
“It would not be a welcome dawn. Already the sky told this story, with its sad halo of silver beckoning from beyond the horizon.”

And I Darken, by Kiersten White
“Vlad Dracul’s heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl.”

An Ember In the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir
“My big brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest.”

The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski
“She shouldn’t have been tempted.”

Daughter of Smoke And Bone, by Laini Taylor
“Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.”

Chime, by Franny Billingsley
“I’ve confessed everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please.”

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