In keeping with the fact it’s Lesbian Visibility Week this week, today’s rec list is going to be one of solely lesbian adult fantasy recs (as requested by Anna). And I mean specifically lesbian, rather than sapphic in general (of which I have an old list here), so we’re talking characters who are attracted to women, but also are completely not attracted to men (simplistically put).
A couple of disclaimers: firstly, I’m fairly sure I’m right in reading these characters as lesbians. But obviously, since it’s fantasy, you don’t tend to get the word itself used, or even hedged around like in contemporary. As such, these are to-the-best-of-my-knowledge recs. Secondly, yeah, a lot of these are upcoming ones. Turns out I haven’t read all that many sapphic adult fantasies that you can pinpoint as lesbian. Something to work on.
All that aside, though, here are ten books you absolutely need to read. Call it lesbian canon, if you will.
This is a rec list I keep promising and then never coming through on, but finally, finally, I’ve got my act together. If you’ve followed me on twitter, you’ll know I regularly complain about lesbians in (generally YA) lit never using the word lesbian about themselves. I even wrote a whole post about just that.
But I never offered you the books I know that do use the word lesbian (of which, I’m finding, I know depressingly few). So, these are they (with the exception of one, which I had to get Anna to tell me how to rec). If you’re looking for more, there are some in this thread.
Before we start, I just need to make clear how I’m deciding on these books. First and foremost, each book has to feature a lesbian character who claims the word lesbian for themselves. Not someone else calling them a lesbian, not random mentions of lesbianism but the mc never says “I’m a lesbian”. Yes, I’m being a bit strict in cases, but I want to offer you ten books where the mc claims the label in a positive context.
I have also tried to keep only to YA books, but I had to sneak one adult in there to make up numbers.
A young adult fantasy book both of us have enjoyed? If you know anything about us (and especially about Charlotte), you realise it must be a miracle! Or just a really good book! Read our reviews to find out what is the truth.
But seriously, if you haven’t pre-ordered These Feathered Flames yet, this is your sign that you absolutely should. And follow Alexandra on twitter, for more info about her upcoming projects!
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
“Once upon a time, there was a villain” is frankly the only kind of a fairy tale opening I want to read from now on. But only if the fairy tale in question is as good as what Malice offers. Because it truly has it all: great characters, magic, betrayals, and a lesbian romance. I assure you, it is the fairy tale retelling of your dreams.
So yes, we’re very excited that we’re part of the blog tour that Del Rey runs for Malice! And hey, you can actually grab yourself a signed copy of Malice right here!
Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die, and could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.
Let me tell you, no one actually cares about what happens to our princesses. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.
Princess Aurora. The last heir to the throne. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.
But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating – and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.
Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I-
My cat spent the day sunbathing, meanwhile I was putting together this post for y’all. Life is what it is. But in all seriousness, there are some fabulous books coming our way next month, so I hope you are all very excited! Surely everyone can find something out of over 100 titles…
As always, a rainbow emoji next to an author indicates they’re LGBT – if you know I made any mistakes here, feel free to let me know. And if you need some more books, you can find all our previous releases posts here.
Let’s be honest, we all know that there is no trope better than found family. And actually, as long as we’re being honest with each other, found family as a concept is inherently gay. There’s just something about choosing your own family, that rings true to all LGBT people.
So yeah, here I am with ten LGBT stories featuring the found family trope. Only the best for you guys!
Hopefully, you’ve all heard of this book. Hopefully, you’re all as in love with the cover (and those arms! 😍) as we are. But if you haven’t heard of it, or have only been tangentially interested in it (as inexplicable as this seems to us), let us do our best to convince you that you need to get your hands on this book.
In a political fantasy unlike any other, debut author C. L. Clark spins an epic tale of rebellion, espionage, and military might on the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire.
Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.
Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.
Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
Rep: Black lesbian mc, bi mc with physical disability due to injury, wlw side characters, mlm side character, nonbinary side character CWs: violence, gore, past attempted rape, threats of rape, torture Release: 23rd March 2021
Sounds weird to use terms associated more with literature, but really, when I say “new adult characters” what I mean is characters in their early or mid 20s. Young people trying to figure adult life out.
I ended up with 11 titles, and because I cheated and am claiming the last one only half fits the theme & that’s why it can stay. I was also tempted to put And Then We Danced and God’s Own Country on here, but eventually figured you all must know about them already.