So recently Bloomsbury made an announcement that they’ve created a card game based off Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. The game will be called Embers of Memory and although you can preorder it now, it won’t be coming out til around October time. In the interim, I decided it was high time I made a post to try and pair some of my favourite YA books with some of my favourite board games. If you didn’t know already, I have recently gotten into board games since moving into my new apartment. We currently have around 20 of them on our shelves and there are plans to add more soon. Every few nights or so, me and my boyfriend pick one and play it, and it’s become a very sweet and exciting routine.
Today then, I’m going to basically be recommending board and card games to try based on YA novels or series. I’m mostly going off themes here, although some of them are more about the artwork or style of the game.
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo and Fox in the Forest by Renegade Games
This seemed like a really easy choice for me. Fox in the Forest is a card game of trick taking with some truly gorgeous artwork. The game is for two people and you each take turns to play cards in different suits– moons, keys and some kind of symbol that I believe is a tower. There are some cards, like Swans, Woodcutters, Queens etc, which allow you to take a certain type of action. It all has a very fairytale kind of feel to it and involves some sneaky forward thinking. Which reminds me so much of Bardugo’s fairy tale collection set in the Grishaverse. It too has some fabulous artwork, which actually changes as you flip through the pages to fit with the stories, as well as involving some tricky and magical characters.
This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson and Pandemic by Z-Man Games
I recently read This Splintered Silence as part of a buddy read with some of the other Book Box Club subscribers and totally loved it. I was gripped by the tense storyline and the characters’ determination to survive after their parents are all killed off by a mysterious virus. It reminded me a lot of a game I also played recently called Pandemic. This is a super popular board game, one which I’m sure a fair few of you will recognise. It’s a co-operation game that involves players trying to cure Earth of four deadly diseases before they wipe out humanity. You can increase or decrease the difficulty of the game with Epidemic cards [these cause diseases to spread like wildfire whenever they’re picked out of the deck] and each person plays as a different character with some unique abilities. It’s very entertaining once you get the hang of it, and it definitely made me feel like I was Lindley, up in space and trying to figure out how to stop the disease from spreading or mutating and wiping out the remains of her crew.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and Ex Libris by Renegade Games
Lazlo, the protagonist of Strange the Dreamer is a typical bookworm. He gets lost in the pages frequently, so much so that he once had his nose broken by a tome. He spent a good portion of his life in a library and fell in love with reading. So it stands to reason that the game I’m pairing with his tale is Ex Libris. Another Renegade creation, this game is all about collecting rare books. You’re an avid collector vying with others for the position of Grand Librarian. To beat the competition, you have a single week to expand your library by sending your assistants out to nab the rarest and finest books around. After that, you need to hurry and get them all shelved in time for the Inspector visiting, as she will decide who gets the prestigious position.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Arcane Academy by IDW Games
Okay, so again, I feel the connection is obvious here. Most of us book lovers have probably spent most of their childhood falling in love with Rowling’s world, and I am sure a fair number of us are still eagerly awaiting our Hogwarts letters. While we’re waiting though, there’s Arcane Academy, a board game in which you play as magic students at a school, trying to best each other in your abilities. You duel against rival students for honour and for the prize of being the best student at the academy. It involves a bit of maths, which has never been my strong suit, but it is something that definitely gives me Hogwarts vibes.
A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas and Root by Leder Games
The similarities are a bit less obvious in this one, but please hear me out. In Maas’ fantasy series, there are several courts of Fae who ally with one another against outside forces or inside enemies. Occasionally, for one reason or another, they plot to stab each other in the back. The courts in the series are shown to be beautiful and ruthless at times, and it seems like to survive in them you need to keep your wits about you. Root kinda goes off the same principle. You each play as a different woodland animal who wants a different thing. The Marquis de Cat wants to build lots of factories to expand her cat empire throughout the forest. The Birds, who used to rule the forest, want to nab territory back from the cat and regain control by creating a decree they must follow. The Woodland Alliance of mice, foxes and rabbits want to throw over their oppressors and band together to start rebellions against the cats and birds. Meanwhile the Raccoon wanders the forest, stealing from others and sometimes helping or hindering certain groups. The game is fought over several courts, and the first to meet their objectives and get to 30 points wins. It seems very complex, but has quickly turned into my favourite board game, simply because there are so many tactics you can use and switch up and no two games feel the same.
Has anyone tried these games before? What board games would you pair with your favourite YA titles? I’d love to know, so please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below ❤