15 EPIC Books Like These Violent Delights

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.

This fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai has everything you could ask for in a gritty, urban fantasy. And the sequel is just as captivating!

However, you might be 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 that may catch your eye.

So, whether you were hooked because of the romance, historical fantasy setting, or action-packed pacing, one of these books like These Violent Delights will surely appeal to you.  


Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!

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

Our Favourites!

#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  • Winner of the Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel in the Dragon Book Awards 2016
  • Winner of the Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction in the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2015
  • The story of Kaz Brekker and his friends trying to pull off an impossible heist

#2 Best in Romance

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

  • Tells the story of a women who tries to marry the king so she can kill him and overthrow him, only to fall in love
  • Goodreads Choice Awards semi-finalist for Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi Category
  • New York Times bestselling author

#3 Best in Young Adult

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
  • A story of a huntress, a love triangle and a brave women’s battle for survival

Summary of These Violent Delights (No Spoilers!)

In 1926 Shanghai, a blood rivalry between two gangs turns the streets of red.

Juliette Cai is an eighteen-year-old former flapper who has returned to fulfill her place as the proud successor of the Scarlet Gang—a network of outlaws well beyond the law. 

The White Flowers are their sole power rivals. And their successor, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love, and first betrayal, is at the heart of everything they do.

People begin to murmur as criminals on both sides exhibit indications of instability, ending in clawing their own throats out.

Something is lurking in the shadows. As the bodies pile up, Juliette and Roma must put their differences aside and work together, for if they don’t, there will be no city to govern over.


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

When the Ballenger empire’s patriarch dies, his son, Jase, takes 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 set of 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 transgressions against the new settlements.

When Kazi arrives 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.


2. The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us is the work of a New York Times bestselling author, Tricia Levenseller.

The story follows Alessandra Stathos, the wily second daughter of a bankrupt noble, has had to remain hidden from society while she awaited the marriage of her older sister in order to be sold to a noble for her bride price.

However, Alessandra is sick of being ignored, and she hatches a plan to assassinate the Shadow King and conquer his realm.

Nobody understands the true power of the newly anointed Shadow King. Some say he has the power to command the shadows to do his bidding. Others claim they communicate with him. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves and will go to any length to have it.

But Alessandra isn’t the king’s only adversary. As assassination attempts on his life increase, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to declare her his queen, and gradually falling for him in the process. This is one fae romance novel you won’t be able to put down.


3. To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is the most dangerous siren of them all. She is respected across the sea for capturing the hearts of seventeen princes.

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 now has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or forever live 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 more than just a bad habit for him; it’s 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 permanently eradicating sirens.

But how many bargains will Elian have to strike in order to defeat humanity’s greatest foe?


4. Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

Alex Claremont-Diaz is well on his way to success. As the son of the United States’ first female president, he is determined to make a difference in the world by following in his mother’s political footsteps.

When images of him confronting his longstanding adversary Prince Henry at a royal wedding are leaked to the media, threatening American-British ties, both governments hurry to rectify the situation.

Damage control strategy: establish a phony friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

Alex and Henry’s mutual dislike diminishes as they get to know each other better through text messaging and staged public appearances.

As President Claremont begins her reelection campaign, Alex finds himself drawn into a hidden romance with Henry that threatens to ruin the campaign and upend two countries. 

If you liked These Violent Delights for the forbidden romance, then you will definitely like this book!


5. Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie

Ailesse has been trained since infancy to be the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious family of women who utilize animal bones to ferry deceased souls. But first, she must fulfill her rite of passage by murdering the boy she is fated to love.

Bastien’s father was murdered by a Bone Crier, and he’s been out for vengeance ever since. But when he eventually catches one, his revenge must be put on hold. 

Ailesse’s ritual has begun, and their destinies are now intertwined—both in life and death. Now they must find a way to break the bond between them before they all die.


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.

6. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He

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 sooth, Hesina seeks help from Akira—a skilled detective who is also a convicted criminal with his own secrets. Can Hesina find justice for her father while the fate of her kingdom is at stake?

This glistening Chinese-inspired fantasy tells the dark story of 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.


7. Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

Louise le Blanc left her coven two years ago and sought safety in Cesarine, abandoning all magic and surviving on whatever she could steal.

Witches, like Lou, are persecuted. The conflict between witches and the Church is centuries old, and Lou’s most formidable adversaries bring a sentence worse than fire.

Reid Diggory, a Chasseur sworn to the Church, has lived his life by one rule: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never supposed to intersect Lou’s, but a cruel trick drives them into an unexpected marriage.

They must now learn to survive one another, and Lou must ensure that Reid does not discover she is a witch. Because for her, that might mean death.

If you’re looking for books similar to These Violent Delights, then Serpent & Dove needs to be on your list!


8. Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are witches who live among humans in secrecy to escape detection and retribution.

One night, Vittoria doesn’t come home, and Emilia quickly discovers her adored twin’s body…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to uncover her sister’s killer and exact 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.

Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, having been charged by his lord with investigating the island’s string of female killings. But nothing is as it seems when it comes to the Wicked.


9. Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death.

But she exacts her vengeance in an unexpected way: she murders him via the psychic link between pilots and escapes the cockpit uninjured. She is known as an Iron Widow, a feared and hushed female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has tasted power, she will not back down.

She will use every opportunity to use their combined force and notoriety to escape assassination attempt after assassination attempt until she can discover why the pilot system operates in such a sexist manner—and prevent other girls from being sacrificed.


10. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam is a bustling international trading city where anything can be had for the right price—something criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is well aware of.

Kaz is offered the opportunity to participate in a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But there is more to this heist than Kaz and his crew realize.

Kaz assembles his crew: a convict, a sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager, a runaway, the Wraith spy, and a Heartrender who uses her magic to survive the slums. Kaz’s team may be the only thing standing between the world and disaster… that is if they don’t kill each other first.

If you’re looking for more books like These Violent Delights, then Six of Crows is probably right up your alley.


Young Adult Books Like These Violent Delights

While the action and romance can be captivating, something is 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

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

Esta’s natural talent to control time allows her to steal from the past, gathering these relics before the Order even realizes she’s there.

And all of Esta’s training has been for one final mission: returning to 1902 to take an old book carrying the Order’s secrets before the Magician destroys it and dooms the Mageus to a dismal future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world dominated by brutal gangs and hidden societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it appears, especially the Magician.

Esta may have to betray everyone in her past in order to safeguard her future.


12. The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games follows Avery, who is just trying to make it through high school.

Avery is a typical high school student when she learns that millionaire Tobias Hawthorne has died and left her nearly his entire wealth.

What’s the catch? Avery has no clue why, and she has no notion who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into the huge, hidden passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room is full of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also home to the enigmatic family that Tobias Hawthorne just disinherited, including his four attractive grandchildren who grew up thinking they would one day receive billions.

Grayson Hawthorne, the heir apparent, is convinced that Avery is a scam artist and is out to bring her down.

His brother, Jameson, sees her as their grandfather’s final act: a twisted mystery to be answered. Avery will have to play the game herself to survive in a world of money and power, with danger at every step.


13. We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

Zafira 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, the Sultan’s son, and the most famous—and feared—assassin in the kingdom.

If Zafira was revealed to be a female, all of her accomplishments would be disregarded; if Nasir showed compassion, the people he cares about the most would suffer at the hands of his father. Both Zafira and Nasir are Arawiya legends, but neither wants to be.

War is coming, and the Arz draws closer by the day, covering the region in darkness. When Zafira sets out on a journey to find a forgotten item that will restore magic to her suffering realm and halt the Arz, the sultan sends Nasir on a similar mission: acquire the artifact and kill the Hunter.

But as their trip progresses, an ancient evil stirs, and the treasure they seek may represent a peril bigger than either can realize.


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

When Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a horrifying monster arrives to exact vengeance. Feyre is carried to a dangerous magical realm, where she discovers that her captor, Tamlin, is not a beast at all, but one of the deadly, immortal faeries that formerly ruled her world.

As she comes to know this new world, she realizes that everything she’s been told about the Fae is a lie. But there’s a problem in the fairy realm. An ancient evil is on the rise, and Feyre must find a way to stop it before Tamlin and everything she knows destroyed.

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


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

When a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the prosperous desert city of Ziran, Malik makes a tragic bargain: assassinate Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, in exchange for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has her own lethal ambitions. Her mother has been murdered, and her court is on the verge of revolt.

Karina, bereaved, seeks to revive her mother using ancient magic that requires the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to get one: by proposing marriage to the winner of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the competition, they are on a collision path. Will they be able to see their missions through to the end as their desire grows and ancient horrors stir?


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Final Word on Books Like These Violent Delights

That wraps up our list of top 15 books similar to These Violent Delights. I really can’t pass up a good retelling, especially if that story takes place in a fantasy world.

Whether you’re here for the longing romance or you’re looking for an action-packed story with a hint of history, you’ll be sure to find something for your next read.

Did I miss a recommendation that would go great on this list? Let us know in the comments!

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