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15 EPIC Books Like These Violent Delights

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Louisa

If you love stories with monsters, rival gangs, and rich historical settings then you’ve probably already picked up These Violent Delights or have it on your to-be-read list.

But I guarantee once you reach its mind-blowing ending, you’re going to want to pick up some similar books like These Violent Delights straight after.

Whether you’re looking for another fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet, a story set in 1920s Shanghai, or another gritty, urban fantasy, or whether you were hooked on the romance or action-packed pacing, these similar books will help you fill the void.

If you’re wondering what to read after you’ve turned the last page of the duology. The good news is that there are plenty of books that are similar to These Violent Delights to add to your reading list…

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Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!

Need a book but don’t have much time? No matter, check out my top 3 picks below!

Our Favourites!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1)

#1 Best Acclaimed Novel

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  • Winner of the Best International Novel in the German Fantasy Awards in 2018
  • Listed as one of New York Times Most Notable Children’s Books of 2015
  • A found family story about a group of friends in Shanghai, who try to pull off an impossible heist

The Shadows Between Us

#2 Best in Romance

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

  • A captivating story of about an assassin who falls in love with their enemy
  • Semi-Finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2020 for Best Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi Book
  • Written by a New York Times bestselling author

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 1)

#3 Best in YA Fiction

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

  • Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Novel – Goodreads Choice Awards (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • New York Times Bestselling Author
  • Beauty and the Beast retelling with a love/hate love triangle

These Violent Delights Summary (No Spoilers!)

Before I get into the best books like These Violent Delights, let’s quickly remind you what happens in the story. If you’re still reading, don’t worry, I won’t reveal any spoilers.

The year is 1926, and in the streets of Shanghai, two gangs are engaged in a blood feud that threatens to tear the city apart.

Juliette Cai, an 18-year-old former flapper, returns to lead the Scarlet Gang, a network of outlaws that operates beyond the boundaries of the law.

The White Flowers are their main rivals, and at the center of their operations is Roma Montagov, Juliette’s ex-lover, and betrayer.

The rising instability and violence on both sides spark rumors of a darker force at play.

As the body count grows, Juliette and Roma will have to put aside their differences and work together to save their city from total collapse.

Related Reading: The Best These Violent Delights Quotes

Romance Books Similar to These Violent Delights

If you liked the doomed longing and slow-burn romance in Chloe Gong’s Romeo and Juliet retelling, then you’ll probably enjoy these romance books similar to These Violent Delights.

1. Dance of Thieves – Mary E. Pearson

If you liked These Violent Delights for the gang intrigue, then you may enjoy Dance of Thieves next.

The story begins when the Ballenger empire’s patriarch dies, it’s time for his son, Jase, to take over as ruler.

In a family of troublemakers and outlaws, Jase is no exception. Even neighboring kingdoms submit to the might of this criminal family, who have always followed their own laws.

However, a new era is on the horizon, ushered in by a young queen, making her the target of the dynasty’s contempt and fury.

At the same time, the queen dispatches Kazi, a notorious former street thief, to investigate anyone who transgresses against the new laws.

When Kazi turns up in the country of the Ballengers, she discovers that Jase is more than she expected.

As unforeseen events spiral out of their control, they continue to play a cat-and-mouse game of deceptive movements and intentions in order to complete their own covert goals.

Fast-paced, raw, and gritty. This is one story that you won’t be able to put down until the very end.

2. The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller

If you’re looking for another book about power and finding love in unlikely places, then you may enjoy The Shadows Between Us, which is the work of a New York Times bestselling author, Tricia Levenseller.

Alessandra Stathos, is a bankrupt noble’s second daughter, who lives a life of seclusion, hidden from the public eye until her older sister weds, and she’s able to be sold off to a nobleman as his bride.

However, Alessandra has other ideas.

Her plan is to seduce and then assassinate the Shadow King, seizing his power and realm for herself.

But the Shadow King has supernatural abilities, including commanding the shadows at his will, posing a unique challenge to Alessandra’s mission.

As more assassination attempts against the king continue, Alessandra must ensure his survival until she achieves her endgame.

But there’s a twist, she finds herself falling for him along the way, throwing her scheme off balance.

If you love fae romance novels that also have tons of action and keep you hooked from page to page, then you won’t be able to put this novel down.

3. To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

To Kill A Kingdom is a tantalizing book that explores the theme of human nature.

Of all the sirens, Princess Lira is definitely one of the most dangerous. She is known and respected across the sea for capturing the hearts of seventeen princes…so far.

Until fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen turns Lira into the one thing they despise: a human.

Lira has only until the winter solstice to bring Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen, or she will be forced to live the rest of her days as a human.

Despite being the heir of the world’s most powerful kingdom, Prince Elian’s heart belongs to the sea.

Hunting sirens is his calling.

When he saves a drowning girl in the ocean, he discovers that she is more than she looks.

She pledges to assist him in locating the secret to eradicating the world of sirens once and for all.

In a game of bargains and betrayals, how much will Elian have to go through in order to defeat the sirens?

As we follow the journey, we witness Lira become more human, and Elian becomes more beastly.

The character development is one of the most gripping parts of this book, which was one of the main reasons why I loved These Violent Delights.

4. Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

Of all the books on this list, Red White and Royal Blue is the one that is probably the least like These Violent Delights, but readers who enjoyed TVD will enjoy this book next. Here’s why…

The story follows two unlikely, opposite attract protagonists. In the beginning, they appear on opposite sides but come together to find they actually love each other.

Sounds familiar, right?

We follow Alex Claremont-Diaz who is the son of the United States’ first female president, who doesn’t want to live in his mother’s shadow, and wants to follow in her political footsteps.

His longstanding adversary is from across the pond, the dashing Prince Henry.

When images of the pair are leaked, both governments decide they need to handle the situation by forcing them to become phony friends.

As soon as Alex and Henry start to spend more time with each other, their mutual dislike turns into something more.

Their new hidden romance threatens Alex’s mother’s upcoming campaign, but can they keep the lid on it?

If you liked These Violent Delights for the forbidden romance element and enemies-to-lovers themes, then you will definitely like a book like Red, White and Royal Blue!

Fantasy Books like These Violent Delights

If the rich historical, fantasy setting is what drew you to this book, here are some similar books to These Violent Delights that may help you get lost in an entirely new fantasy world.

5. Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie

If you’re looking for a high fantasy book similar to These Violent Delights, then you may be captivated by the mythological storyline of Bone Crier’s Moon.

The story follows Ailesse who has been trained to be the matriarch of the Bone Criers since she was an infant.

The Bone Criers are a mysterious family of women who use animal bones to ferry deceased souls. Fair warning, there is some graphic animal killing scenes in this novel.

But before Ailesse can become a Bone Crier, she must kill the boy she later realizes she’s in love with. A boy named Bastien.

But Bastien hates Bone Criers. His father was murdered by one, and he’s wanted revenge ever since. When he finally catches one, suddenly revenge is not on his mind. 

Ailesse must kill Bastien to complete the ritual. If she doesn’t she will never possess the power to know what’s coming.

If you love fantasy enemies-to-lovers books, then you won’t be disappointed by this book.

The fact the main protagonists are gods and goddesses means you’re never sure which way the story will go, and you’re constantly on the edge of your seat!

6. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He

For another glistening Chinese-inspired fantasy novel with a dark storyline, check out Descendant of the Crane by Joan He.

The story follows a determined young heroine trying to do the right thing in a world full of deception. This is ideal for fans of novels like These Violent Delights.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always preferred to avoid the obligations of the throne. But when her loving father is assassinated, she is catapulted into power, becoming the queen of a volatile nation.

Hesina, determined to identify her father’s killer, resorts to extreme measures and hires a soothsayer—a treacherous crime punishable by death because magic was prohibited in Yan years ago.

Using the information obtained from the soothsay, Hesina turns to Akira for help.

Akira is a former convicted criminal turned skilled detective, but also has his own secrets.

Hesina just wants to find justice for her father, but can she do that while the fate of her kingdom is at stake?

The vivid description enchants everything around it, creating such a blissful atmosphere that its easy to get lost in its inviting realm!

7. Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

Another great fantasy book like These Violent Delights is Serpent & Dove, which follows a witch called Louise Le Blanc, who previously left her coven to seek sanctuary in Cesarine.

For the past two years, she has abandoned all magic and survived on whatever she could steal.

Witches are persecuted and have been conflicting with the church for centuries.

But Reid Diggory, who is a Chasseur (a hunter) sworn to the Church, vows not to let a single witch live.

When a cruel trick lands him into an unexpected marriage with Lou, it might not be so easy to live by these rules.

Not only do they have to learn to understand one another as man and wife, but Lou must make sure that Reid does not discover the truth about her being a witch.

The suspense in this book is off the charts! If you enjoy arranged marriage books with a hint of enemies to lovers, then this is serving it all up on a silver plate.

8. Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

Another gripping book like These Violent Delights but with more high fantasy elements is Kingdom of the Wicked.

The story follows Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria, who are witches that live among humans in secrecy.

One night, Vittoria doesn’t come home, and Emilia soon finds her beloved twin’s body.

Emilia is devastated, and desperate to learn what happened to her sister.

She sets out on a quest to find her sister’s killer and seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means utilizing prohibited dark magic.

Then Emilia encounters Wrath, one of the Wicked—princes of Hell she has been warned about since she was a child in stories.

Emilia and Wrath appear to be on the same side after he has been appointed by his lord to investigate the island’s female killings.

But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems.

Every single scene oozes emotion and tension between the main characters, leaving readers wanting more and more from them as they progress through their story together.

9. Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao

If you’re looking for another fantasy assassin book set in China, then Iron Window is the most similar book to These Violent Delights with those themes.

The story follows 18-year-old Zetian, who signs up to be a concubine pilot in order to assassinate the male pilot who was responsible for her sister’s death.

But she exacts her vengeance in an unexpected way.

Using a psychic link between pilots, she uses her ability to murder him, before escaping the cockpit uninjured.

Now known as the Iron Widow, she becomes a feared pilot who sacrifices boys to no end.

To tame her mental strength, she pairs up with Li Shimin, who is known as the strongest, most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​.

But Zetian has tasted true power, and she will not back down.

In order to understand why the pilot system operates in this sexist way, she vows to take down pilot after pilot, escaping assassination attempt after assassination attempt, whilst also preventing other girls from being sacrificed.

The plot is incredibly well-crafted, allowing readers to follow the characters’ evolution as events gradually unfold.

10. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows was hyped up a lot on Tiktok and Instagram, but I can confirm it is definitely living up to the hype!

The story is set in Ketterdam, a bustling international trading city. Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker understands that in a city where trade is booming, you can have anything for the right price.

When he is given the chance to take part in an impossible heist, one that could make him rich beyond measure, he jumps at the chance.

Kaz assembles the Six of Crows, which is the name given to him and his crew. They consist of a sharpshooter, a convict, a gambler, a Wraith spy, and a Heartrender with magic abilities.

If they pull it off, the Six of Crows will not only become rich, but save the world from disaster… assuming they don’t kill each other in the process.

This is one of those action-packed found family books that keeps you hooked to the last page.

Related Reading: Books Like The Six of Crows

Young Adult Books Like These Violent Delights

While the action and romance can be captivating, something in the coming-of-age stories and character growth that really sticks with us.

Here are some young adult recommendations if you liked These Violent Delights.

11. The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell

If you’re after a page-turning read like These Violent Delights, The Last Magician would be a worthy addition to your bookshelf.

Esta is a skilled thief who was taught to steal magical objects from the evil Order that built the Brink.

She has a natural talent to control time, which means she can steal from the past, allowing her to gather relics before the Order notices she’s there.

All of Esta’s training was for the purpose of one mission, to go back to 1902 to steal an old book containing the Order’s secrets. She must do this before the Magician destroys it, dooming the Mageus as a result.

But Esta soon learns that Old New York is dangerous, occupied by brutal gangs and undercover societies. The air is full of magic, and nothing is as it seems, including the Magician.

In order to save the future, Esta may have to betray everyone in the past.

The Last Magician is a tale with many ups and downs. It follows an age of alchemy and magic, that has you constantly reading to discover what happens next.

12. The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games is another hyped-up YA book that is definitely worthy of the hype.

The story follows a young high schooler called Avery, who has just learned she can inherit the entire wealth of millionaire Tobias Hawthorne.

She has no idea who Tobias Hawthorne is or why she was picked to receive this money, but in order to receive it, she must move to his huge, hidden passage-filled mansion. Each room is filled with puzzles, riddles, and codes.

It’s also where his enigmatic family who he just disinherited live. Four of which are his very attractive grandchildren, each thinking they were entitled to receive billions.

Grayson Hawthorne believes Avery is a scam artist, but his brother Jameson sees her as a mystery sent by their grandfather as a final test.

Avery and the Hawthornes are now in a game where money and power, are closely followed by danger at every step.

Though it moves quickly, there are also moments where things slow down, allowing for all the important moments to be savored fully by readers.

Related Reading: Books Similar to The Inheritance Games

13. We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

If you would prefer to read something more high fantasy next, consider reading We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal.

The story follows Zafira who is the Hunter, a mysterious figure assumed to be male in her small remote village who braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people.

Nasir is the Prince of Death, Sultan’s son, and the most famous—and feared—assassin in the kingdom.

But Zafira must keep her gender hidden, or else all her accomplishments would be for nothing.

But if Nasir showed any compassion, the ones he loves the most will suffer.

Both Zafira and Nasir are from different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common; neither wants to be an Arawiya legend.

With the war approaching and the Arz getting closer each day, Zafira must set out on a journey to find a forgotten item that will bring magic to the realm.

Meanwhile, the sultan sends Nasir to acquire an artifact and kill the Hunter.

And thus, the two meet. And they soon discover that the treasure they seek is not the biggest concern and that a bigger threat looms.

We Hunt The Flame is an action-packed slow burn romance book with an adventure story and lyrical writing.

The characters are based on ancient Arabia, and the amount of detail in this book takes the reader on a cultural journey as well as a fantasy one.

14. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

ACOTAR is probably the most talked about book in the fantasy romance community.

It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, following a huntress named Feyre who kills a wolf in the woods, only to be met with a monster who has come for vengeance.

Feyre is then taken to a dangerous magical realm and lives under her captor, Tamlin, who she learns is not a beast at all, but a deadly and immortal faerie who once ruled her world.

As she learns more about this new world, she realizes everything she knew about Fae was a lie.

Soon, an ancient evil threatens the realm, and Feyre must find a way to save Tamlin and the realmn before it is all destroyed.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, the debut novel in the series, is a fascinating, exquisite blend of romance, adventure, and faerie lore.

Related Reading: Books Similar to ACOTAR

15. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – Roseanne A. Brown

The last book on this list is another assassin-themed novel with an explosive storyline and some fantasy elements.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is about a boy named Malik, whose little sister, Nadia, was just abducted by a vengeful spirit.

To get her back, Malik makes a bargain to assassinate the Crown Princess of Ziran, Karina, in exchange for his sister’s freedom.

But little does he know that Karina has lethal ambitions of her own. After her mother is murdered, her court is in disarray.

Grief-stricken, she seeks to bring her mother back using ancient magic, which requires the beating heart of a king.

In order to find a king, she makes the prize for winning the Solstasia competition.

So when Malik enters the competition, the pair are on a collision path.

But will either of them fulfill their mission, or will they find a hidden desire growing between them?

If you love fantasy enemies to lovers tropes, this one should be top of your list!

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Final Word on Books Like These Violent Delights

I really can’t pass up a good retelling story, especially one that takes place in a fantasy world.

Whether you’re looking for a sizzling romance or something action-packed with a hint of history, there’s something for every reader on this list.

Do you think I missed a recommendation that MUST be on this list? Let me know in the comments!

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About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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