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8 Sensational LGBTQ+ Fantasy Novels for Your TBR List

The worlds might be magical, but the romances feel real and powerful.

the cover of She Who Became the Sun depicts several military figures on horses

Fantasy has often been seen as a popular genre for LGBTQ+ readers. There’s a certain solace to be found in imagining magical and unreal worlds where anything can happen and you can be whoever you want to. Where readers often turned to subtext to find themselves in the narratives, the genre has become more expansive and diverse in recent years. 

There are more queer fantasy novels than ever, and narrowing our list down to a mere eight choices was near-impossible! 

The Bane Chronicles

The Bane Chronicles

By Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices have long considered Magnus Bane to be an iconic character. The 400+ year old warlock has lived several lifetimes full of magic, mayhem, and many lovers. Wherever he goes, chaos follows. This collection of eleven short stories written by Clare and regular collaborators Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson delve into some of his past and present adventures.

The Cover of She Who Became the Sun depicts several military members on horseback

She Who Became the Sun

By Shelley Parker-Chan

In 14th-century China, the Mongols rule the land with an iron fist. Entire villages on the Central Plains are decimated by famine. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a mighty task to undertake, it seems like the only chance they'll have to fight back against their tormenters. 

But when a bandit attack kills Zhu, it's left to his sister to take up the mantle and fulfil his fate. She uses her brother's identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice, and soon she finds that she is far more capable than the world would ever let a woman be.

Enter, Night

Enter, Night

By Michael Rowe

The year is 1972. Widowed Christina Parr, her daughter Morgan, and her brother-in-law Jeremy have returned Parr's Landing, a remote Ontario mining town where they once lived. Another returning resident is Dr. Billy Lightning, who seeks answers to the mystery of his father's murder. Parr's Landing is a place of intense darkness. A 300-year-old vampire is slumbering there, calling out to the broken and damaged to satiate his murderous bloodthirst. If he awakens, nobody in Parr’s Landing will be safe. 

The Jasmine Throne

The Jasmine Throne

By Tasha Suri

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini is locked in the Hirana, an ancient temple that once stood as an indomitable source of power. Priya is a maidservant who takes the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. It's a tough life but the only way she can hide her dangerous true nature. 

When Malini discovers the secret behind this meek servant, she knows they must unite and take on their enemies. Malini wants vengeance and Priya wants to find her lost family. Together, they have the power to take down a crooked empire.

Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth

By Tasmyn Muir

Gideon is an indentured servant to Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and necromancer. Her duty is to protect the heir but all Gideon really wants to do is read her dirty magazines in peace. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to complete a mysterious and deadly trial. 

If Harrowhawk comes out on top, she'll become an immortal servant of the Resurrection. Gideon's the one with the sword and sass, forced to fight for a woman she doesn't even like. But this grand prize is far more sinister than it first seems.

portal fiction

Every Heart a Doorway

By Seanan McGuire

Sometimes, children disappear. When the conditions are right, a door will appear and whisk them away to a strange new world, one of millions that is completely different from our own. Some are wondrous. Others leave their new visitors scarred for life, tormented by things they’ve seen that shouldn’t even exist. 

Those who return and are unable to readjust are sent to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Their newest pupil is Nancy, who is desperate to return to the world she found. Her fight to go back is hindered as tragedy strikes in the school. Someone is murdering the students, but why? 

a strange and stubborn endurance

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

By Foz Meadows

Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from the neighboring land of Tithena. After his preference for male lovers is revealed, he fears his family will disown him and banish him to the wastelands. But the Tithenai envoy have another idea: why not have Vel marry his former fiancé’s brother instead? Caethari Aeduria always knew he might end up in a political marriage, but his sudden betrothal to a man from Ralia is unexpected. 

Same-sex relationships are forbidden where Vel lives, and becoming husband and husband will make them the new enemies of the entire continent. A lot of people have put targets of Val and Cae's backs, and they'll need to fight to survive. Love will come later, but their chemistry is undeniable, even in the face of utmost adversity. 

Toil & Trouble

Toil & Trouble

By Jessica Spotswood, Tess Sharpe

Fiction is full of witches, from the wicked witch of the West to Sabrina the teenage witch to the trio of witches in Macbeth. Historically, to be accused of witchcraft was a death sentence, a way that vulnerable and wayward women were punished by a puritanical society. 

In this young adult collection of 15 stories, authors like Elizabeth May, Sveta Thakrar, and Brenna Yovanoff imagine a whole new series of witchy tales. Here, you'll find stories of good witches, bad witches, those in-between and those who have been wronged by the past.