Your Perfect YA Read Based on Your Dungeons & Dragons Class (Part I)
My Geek-o-Meter™ is currently operating at maximum capacity, so I decided now would be the perfect time to combine two of my most favorite things: YA books and Dungeons & Dragons. (If you're already familiar with everyone’s favorite tabletop RPG, here’s another D&D-related blog post from Rachel D. to have fun with while I’m explaining things to the newcomers.)
For those of you who need a quick primer, when you start a game of D&D, the first thing you do is create a character for yourself. This involves making a lot of decisions, including choosing one of 12 classes. Your class helps determine your fighting style and the kind of adventurer you are—whether you fight with swords or fists, whether you serve a deity or you’ve got magic in your blood, etc. It all comes together to make your character a person! (If you’re curious about which class might suit you best, here’s a pretty good quiz for it!)
OK, everybody back and ready to roll? (LOL get it? That’s a little dice humor for ya.) Here are the first six!
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
First of all, I mean, just look at the cover. Nothing screams “BARBARIAN” louder than a big-ass battleaxe. Barbarians are powerful warriors who are all about the fury of battle and thrive outside the restrictions of civilization. But that doesn’t mean they’re mindless killing machines. Often they are the fiercest protectors of their small, close-knit family groups, and they charge into unknown danger to keep others safe.
In Warrior of the Wild, Rasmira is a born leader and a skilled fighter. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged, she is banished to the deadly outside world, far from the safety of her clan. Her only way back in? Hunt down and kill the tyrannical god that rules the land.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Bards are more than just tavern performers (although that can be a very useful way to get your party free room and board while adventuring). They are masters of storytelling, imbuing their words and music with powerful magic that can do anything from inspiring their companions in battle, to creating beautiful (or terrifying) illusions, to taking control of an enemy’s mind.
In the lush world of The Belles, Beauty is valued above all else, and only Belles can control it—sounds like a Bard College of Glamour specialty to me. Camellia is perhaps the most talented Belle of all, but finds herself entangled in a dangerous web of secrets and danger when she’s chosen to serve the royal family.
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Clerics are powerful magic-users that have pledged their service to a specific deity. It’s their connection to said deity that gives them their magic, and unless you’re talking about an evil character, their skills are mostly used for things like healing your companions and smiting evil. Really powerful clerics can even raise the dead.
In Reign of the Fallen, Odessa is a skilled necromancer in service to the throne. It’s her job to bring deceased royals’ souls back from the afterlife so they can continue to rule. The catch? If the dead are ever unveiled, they become vicious monsters called Shades. You might say Odessa’s got her hands full here.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Druids see themselves as an extension of Mother Nature. They value balance and harmony and can not abide any enemy who seeks to upset that balance. When someone does decide to try some nonsense, a druid becomes an embodiment of nature’s wrath, be it with deadly weather and elemental magic or turning into a grizzly bear and tearing their enemies a few (literal) new ones.
In Wilder Girls, Hetty and her schoolmates have been abandoned to survive on their own amid an otherworldly infection called the Tox. It’s turned their forested island home into a deadly and terrifying place. If this were a D&D campaign, any druids in the party would be the first ones to plunge in and eradicate this unnatural horror.
A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lochner
Fighters are arguably the most versatile class in D&D. They're masters of combat, proficient in the use of most if not all kinds of weapons, armor and shields. Most don’t even bother learning magic because frankly they just don’t need it. Whether you’re dungeon-delving, hunting a monster preying on a small village, or standing against a horde of undead, it would bode well for you to have a fighter by your side.
In A Soldier and a Liar, four supernaturally gifted teens are sent on a dangerous mission to stop an army of rebels bent on attacking the city. They might just be the only thing that can hold off all-out war. But with these fighters on the case, we have no reason to worry. ...Right?
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Monks have mastered the ability of harnessing ki (or chi), which is the raw energy that flows through all living things. With it they can make themselves impossibly strong and fast, and between that and their unrivaled prowess at hand-to-hand combat, they don’t typically even need weapons. Monks tend to have meditative personalities, and their focus and discipline is unparalleled.
In Shadow of the Fox, outcast Yumeko has been raised by monks, trained to meticulously control and hide her yokai identity (half human, half kitsune). But when enemies kill her adoptive family and burn her home, Yumeko must go on the run to protect a piece of the ancient Scroll of a Thousand Prayers... a prize many are willing to kill for.
Got any of your own recommendations? Questions about YA or D&D? Share in the comments! And may the dice ever roll in your favor!
Come back next week for Part II!