Escape Reality With These LGBTQ Fantasy Books
Fantasy novel devotees may already have a handful of LGBTQ titles on their shelves. The genre is full of great authors writing powerful stories with casts of characters that reflect the spectrum of human sexual orientation and gender identity.
If you want an introduction to the fantasy realm, we recommend giving LGBTQ fantasy books a try.
What are LGBTQ Fantasy Books?
LGBTQ fantasy books are books that fall in the fantasy genre and feature characters—usually main characters—who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, these stories might feature a queer romance, a community of trans celestials, or gay vampires. You might also hear these called queer fantasy books. Many fantasy books incorporate themes, tropes, and symbols from other genres as well, like romance, sci-fi, dystopian, supernatural, and horror.
Check out these eight LGBTQ fantasy titles you should add to your TBR list.
1. The Once and Future Queen
by Adam P. Knave and Dj Kirkbride, and illustrated by Nickolas Brokenshire
This graphic novel’s hero Rani Arturus, is a teenage chess prodigy who falls into an epic reimagination of the King Arthur legend and becomes a world-saving hero. The Once and Future Queen combines Camelot, alien invasion, romance, and mind games into an adventurous story full of multi-ethnic characters with diverse orientations.
The graphic novel has won a slew of awards, including the 2018 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Nominee, and was named one of Comicon’s Most Progressive Comics of 2017.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo Buy on Google Play
2. Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor
by Xiran Jay Zhao
When Zachary Ying sets out to explore his Chinese heritage, he uncovers an amazing discovery about his identity. Now a hero in the making, he must journey across China to fulfill his quest: Close the portal to the underworld before it blows open and destroys the mortal realm. Along the way, he must free himself from a Chinese emperor who has attached himself to Zack’s VR headset, rescue his mother from the demons who kidnapped her soul, and learn to harness his powers for good.
If you’re a fantasy reader, you may already know Zhao, who is the New York Times best-selling author of the Iron Widow series. Zachary Ying is written for middle-grade readers, but the action in this book is appealing to all.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo Buy on Google Play
3. Forbidden Throne
by Jennifer Laslie
As the heir apparent to her father’s throne, Rosalyn is prepared to wear the crown and find her king. But when she sees the dragon princess Helena, she realizes she doesn’t want to rule with a king, but with Helena by her side. Will Rosalyn be able to change the kingdom’s archaic beliefs about gender roles? Will Helena have her?
This short, magical romance is an easy yet exciting read from a prolific indie author who is known for writing bold female protagonists and crafting spicy romance plots.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo
4. The Seep
by Chana Porter
The world has been invaded by a mysterious force that calls itself The Seep. The world as we know it is gone—new economic systems, new governments, and even new technologies shape our lives. Trina, a trans woman, and her wife Deeba live under the seemingly benevolent rule of The Seep. When Deeba decides to pursue a rebirth, Trina is left behind to fill the void, resist The Seep, and save others from its powers.
The Seep is a quick, dystopian read that casts human emotions in a world ruled by an emotionless being. Characters must relearn what it means to be human, what it means to be in relationship with each other.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo Buy on Google Play
5. Prince of the Sorrows
by Kellen Graves
This queer fantasy romance is pure Dark Academia. Traded away from his birth parents in exchange for their own good luck, Saffron has lived quietly in the high fey world of Morrígan Academy in Alfidel. Unless he can get a recommendation that protects his right to stay, Saffron risks being banished back to the human realm in which he was born, a cold, hateful one he has never really known.
Goodreads reviewers gush over Graves’s beautiful rendering of a fae love story that just begs to be read, one full of diverse characters, secret identities, changelings, lore, and slow-burning romance.Buy on Amazon
6. This Wicked Fate
by Kalynn Bayron
In This Wicked Fate, Briseis must defeat her enemies and win the remaining pieces of the deadly Absyrtus Heart, lest her mother die. To win this battle, Briseis must tap into her family’s ancient magic and embark on a journey that threatens her life at every turn.
Bayron is the best-selling author of Cinderella Is Dead and This Poison Heart, which is the prequel to This Wicked Fate. She’s known for writing boundary-busting, Black female characters who stop at nothing to conquer the darkness.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo Buy on Google Play
7. Little Thieves
by Margaret Owen
Vanja Schmidt is on a deadline to pay back her debt and break the curse on her life. Vanja’s mothers have demanded she repay them for taking care of her, so in order to spare her own life, Vanja decides to steal the life of another. This leads Vanja to a scrappy life of grifting, until she crosses the wrong deity, who curses her, adding to her growing list of problems.
Little Thieves is a story filled with double lives, private detectives, thieves, and vendettas. Readers will enjoy the LGBTQ romance subplots in a queernorm world.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo Buy on Google Play
8. Evensong’s Heir
by L.S. Baird
Evensong’s Heir is the story of Willim, a prisoner in the Temple of Valnon, a place where young men yearn to be chosen as Songbirds, but even fewer dare to envy the title of Dove. Dedicated to his role as a Bird and concerned with little else, Willim is surprised to find the Temple on the brink of war and at the mercy of an ancient prophecy. The good news is, he’s been saved by the heroic swordsman Nicholas Grayson. Willim may be able to stop the impending destruction of the temple—as long as he can summon the power of the ancient Saint Alveron.
This indie LGBTQ fantasy novel is a tasteful romance in a richly painted story of music, ambition, and love, with plenty of world-building and history-building.Buy on Amazon Buy on Apple Books Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo