Heyhey, BookNerds! I’m a bit late with this post but Happy Pride Month 🌈! I finally got around to making this post of LGBTQ+ books to read for Pride month of course, but it’s also important to support LGBTQ+ books all year round too, so hopefully you’ll add these at least one of these to your future tbrs!
A lot of the books on the list are written by ownvoice or LGBTQ+ authors, but some just feature LGBTQ+ characters – just a little note for you all – though I tried to focus most of my recs on LGBTQ+ authors. Please check out my reviews for any CW’s/TW’s relating to these titles. Ok so let’s dive into my list!
The Sapphic Trifecta!
To kick off this list of book rec’s I had to start with The Sapphic Trifecta. This Golden Trio of books have become very popular and all three are stunning.
She Who Became The Sun (SWBTS), by Shelley Parker-Chan is the first in a duology and is not out yet but it does publish next month! This is a gorgeous Chinese Historical Fantasy that has LGBTQIA+ Main and side characters, and a Genderqueer MC. This book is brilliant with Cdrama level angst, phenomenal world building, a captivating plot and incredible characters. The book MC is Zhu, a character whose fate is to be nothing, but Zhu refuses to be nothing and will defy the Gods to claim a fate much more promising. Honestly, the sass, sarcasm, wit and charm of the MC and the rest of the cast will have you falling in love with them.
The Jasmine Throne, by Tasha Suri is beautiful and magical from start to finish. This is the first in a new trilogy by the fantastic Tasha Suri and it will have you completely captivated. This Indian-Inspired fantasy features sapphic mc’s who are clever, powerful and amazing. With multiple POV’s, this book creates a rich and compelling world with gorgeous and deadly nature magic that will root itself in your heart. Suri tackles patriarchy, colonisation and power in this beautifully written story. We follow Priya, a maidservant with a deadly secret, and Malini, an imprisoned Princess, as they challenge the Kingdom, find themselves, and forge their own identities.
The Unbroken, by CL Clark is a captivating and gritty fantasy that kicks off a trilogy! This North-African inspired fantasy tackles colonisation and oppressive empires with fierce characters. This fantasy features sapphic mc’s, including one who is disabled, and has a queernormative society. Clark throws you into the realities of colonisation with a strong and powerful story embedded with magic, community and family. Our mc, Touraine, is a conscript, a soldier, for the Empire and Luca is a Princess of the Empire. We follow Touraine as she challenges the beliefs instilled in her by the Empire that took over her home, and watch her begin to build her own identity.
This Golden Trifecta is truly a symbol of the amazing fantasy books we have been blessed with this year.
The Mask Of Mirrors, by MA Carrick is a twisty, complex adult fantasy full of suspense. This book features a queernormative society, found family, and family bonds that extend beyond blood. ANother fantastic start to a fantasy series, this book is gorgeous and compelling. With an impressive cast, and gorgeous wardrobes, you will be thoroughly enthralled. Though a mutliple POV, we primarily follow Ren, a clever con artist, as she tries to con her way into high society. With magic, untrustworthy characters, and a masked vigilante running around, you can’t help but fall in love with this story.
In the Ravenous Dark, by AM Strickland is a dark, twisty fantasy full of blood and death magic that will keep you engrossed in this story. With Poly/Pansexuality/asexuality/non-binary/(f/f, m/f/f)/lesbian rep, thic book has a strong and large diverse cast. This book is a hilarious, gory, and dark fantasy that is full of twists and turns. We follow our chaotic mc, Rovan, a blood mage, as she assigned an undead warrior guard and focred to live the life of a bloodmage. But Rovan starts to notice something dark lurking in Thanapolis, and she is determined to find out the truth.
The Bone Shard Daughter, by Andrea Stewart is an intriguing Asian-inspired fantasy full of bone magic, secrets locked behind palace doors, and a crumbling Empire. This multiple POV story features an established f/f couple. This world of bone magic, and constructs made from it, will keep you captivated and the twists will keep you on your toes. We follow Lin, the Emperor’s daughter, as she tries to unravel the secrets of bone magic. We also have Jovis, out rugged, charming smuggler and his magical companion Mephi – a seacat/otter type creature!
The Priory of The Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon is a chonky stand alone fantasy full of magic, dragons and wyrms. THis book features sapphic mc’s as well as other LGBTQ+ side characters. This is a rich and vivid fantasy that has a complex and incredible world, powerful and compelling characters and intriguing magic and beliefs. We follow Queen Sabran, a mysterious member of the court called Ead, and Tane, an aspiring dragon rider. As well as others! This book weaves a clever and complex story that slowly entwines all the characters fate’s together.
Gideon The Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir is a fun, mystery filled fantasy with necromantic magic. This book features a lesbian mc, with heavily implied LGBTQ+ side characters. The story is entertaining, fun, mysterious and twisty with murder, magic and tension entwined to create something compelling. We follow Gideon, a character sick to death of death who becomes a cavalier for Harrow. Harrow is a necromancer, and when the king needs more Lyctors Harrow is put to the test.
The Obsidian Tower, by Melissa Caruso is an epic start to a fantasy series. Featuring a Bisexual Main Character, Lesbian Side Characters, (side/background f/f relationship), Non-Binary/Gender Neutral Side Character – this book has a rich and diverse cast. We follow Ryx, cursed with broken magic that kills whomever she touches, as she guards a door in the castle that must never be opened. But things start to go wrong and Ryx must hold it all together. With magic, politics and fantastic characters, this book will keep you engaged from start to finish.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn, by Melissa Bashardoust is a beautiful, Persian-inspired fairytale story. Featuring an f/f pairing, and bisexual mc, this book will turn the fairytale feel on its head and give you a story full of surprises. With magic, monsters and secrets , this book is a compelling and engaging read. We follow Soraya, a princess cursed from birth with a poisonous touch that means she lives an isolated life in the shadows. But when a chance of freedom arises, Soraya must decide where her loyalties lie.
Book Review: The Unspoken Name, by A.K. Larkwood
The Unspoken Name, by AK Larkwood is a fun and unique f/f led fantasy. We follow Cswore, raised in a cult that follows dark magic and an old god. Her fate is to die, to be a sacrifice to the god, but when Cswore is offered a chance of escape she is thrown into something much more complex. Hunting for a mysterious artefact, Cswore faces danger at every turn.
The Hidden King, by EG Radcliff is a celtic inspired story of magic and fae. This book features an m/m couple as the main characters, with a heavy focus on found family. Book 2: Book Review: The Last Prince (The Coming Of Aed #2), by E.G. Radcliff is a prequel/sequel to this book. Both books feature the same m/m couple. We follow Aed, a man with a tragic backstory and a secret, as he tries to escape the life he and his family are forced to live. This is a gritty and tragic story.
The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern is a love letter to stories and books. This book does feature an m/m pairing, one of which is the mc. This is a beautiful and lrical book that is very metaphorical and abstract. We follow Zachary as he finds a book that seems to have him in it, trying to work out why, Zachary is launched into a world he could never have even dreamed of.
February 2021 Wrap-up. So I don’t have a full review for this, but I did mention my thoughts in my wrap up! I don’t read much contemporary YA but this was a bookclub read and I tried to beanch out a bit!
You Should See Me In A Crown, by Leah Johnson is a Ya story of life and love set in a school environment. We have an f/f couple and the mc is LGBTQ+. This is a cute and fun story that tackles real issues surrounding identity. Unique and quick to read, it is definitely worth it as you watch our mc grow into herself and challenge her own school.
I don’t have a review up for this yet but it is one of the less tragic books associated with Adam Silvera.
What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera is a cute coming of age story featuring m/m protagonists. Two boys meet each other by chance and when they are reunited they start to date. As the two navigate dating, their own identities and conflicts, they find themselves and form their own ambitions. A sweet romance that is a fun read.
BL Reads/adapted into Cdramas/Donghuas.
I have added two Chinese BL reads to the list – but it’s important to note this genre focuses on a specific type of portrayal focused on angst, beauty etc…
Mo Dao Zu Shi, by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu is a chinese BL novel that has been adapted into a Cdrama called The Untamed. This book follows Wei Ying, a cultivator, who becomes demonised and killed only to come back and find himself embroiled in a mystery full of murder and corruption. To piece together the truth he works with Lan Zhan, one of the best cultivators, who is highly respected.
Tiān Guān Cì Fú, by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Recently added to Netflix as a Donghua called Heaven’s Officials Blessing – this book throws you into the world of Gods and ghosts. I don’t have a review for this one yet but it is in the same genre/vein as MDZS.
To Look Forward To!
Though it isn’t out yet I had to add it to the list because it is definitely one you want to watch out for!
A Master f Djinn, by P. Djèlí Clark is an epic Egyptian-inspired and set fantasy has a steampunk feel entwined with magic and Djinn. Featuring an f/f couple with one as the mc, this book throws you into the streets of Cairo. Agent Fatma, an agent who works with magical items and supernatural entities, finds herself investigating a brutal murder scene alongside her girlfriend Siti and a new agent named Hadia. This book is amazing and while my review wont be up for a little while as this published in August, it is well worth keeping your eyes on.
So, BookNerds, these are some of my LGBTQ+ rec’s! Unsurprisingly most of my recs are fantasy based 😅 however, thanks to some lovely book bloggers on twitter who commented on my tweet, I have a range of other genres to dive into in the future!