Looking for LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books? Here is a guide to the best LGBTQ+ YA fantasy books to read.
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I’m a sucker for a good YA Fantasy book. They offer the best escapism, fantastical worlds and are often fairly easy to binge read. And I truly think every fantasy fan should have some LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books on their shelves. Whether you are looking for books with wlw or nonbinary representation – I’ve got you covered. I’ve compiled the absolute best LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books.
What are the best LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books?
These are the best LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books that I really recommend.
The following list includes LGBTQ+YA Fantasy books that you NEED to read:)
1. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
If you’re a fan of Crescent City
If you’re a fan of Crescent City you definitely need to read a Dark and Hollow Star. This is one of my top books in 2021! A Dark and Hollow Star is an urban fantasy, with fae, queer main characters and a wlw romance.
A series of gruesome murders threatens to expose the faerie world to humans. Four queer teens – Nausicaä, Arlo, Vehan, and Aurelian – each hold a piece of the truth. And they must track down the mysterious killer.
There are not one but two romances in this book. And the characters are what make them so perfect. I personally love Arlo and Nausicaä. Nausicaä is a grumpy, chaotic and sarcastic lesbian. Arlo and Nausicaä have a perfect grumpy/sunshine slow-burn vibe.
I listened to the audiobook version which you can find on audible. It features a full cast of narrators which made it really engrossing. The voices of Vehan and Nausicaä are so spot on! And you can listen to it on Audible with a free trial. Or you can buy a physical copy on Amazon – you can buy it here.
Representation: Lesbian, bisexual, questioning, pansexual. non-binary
2. We set the dark on fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
If you’re looking for Latinx representation
This book features one of the best wlw enemies to lovers romances that I’ve read!
We Set The Dark On Fire follows Daniela Vargas. She lives in a dystopian world where each man is entitled to 2 wives. A Primera and a Segunda. The Primera is intelligent, calm and analytical. The Segunda is the mother figure.
Outside the wall, the people go hungry. Dani started life outside of the wall. And she must use her wits to survive illegally in the capital. She is also married to one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.
The premise was intriguing. And the main character was instantly likeable. She also grows a lot through the book. But the romance is what makes this so perfect. Two badass women who are married to a Straight man but fall in love with each other.
The world-building is also excellent. And the book has such dark academia vibes. It opens in a prep school for girls. But it discusses so many important issues such as immigration politics and forced marriage.
We set the Dark on Fire features an intriguing dystopian premise and a likeable, strong-minded main character. This YA LGBTQ+ Dystopian book explores immigration politics, toxic masculinity and feminism.
Representation: LatinX, Queer characters, wlw romance
Buy We Set the Dark On Fire on Amazon
3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
If you love a magical heist, the found family trope and a twisty plot
There is so much to love about Six of Crows – magic found family and super sassy banter. But I also love the LGBTQ+ representation. Jesper is one of the best bisexual characters.
It six teenagers living in Ketterdam. Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, is one of the teens. He is offered a deadly heist for a huge payout.
But it’s an impossible heist. And Kaz will need all the help he can get to pull it off. So he assembles five other teens to help him.
Six of Crows is like a fantasy version of Oceans Eleven. If you’re a fan of the friendship group in A Court of Mist and Fury you should read this. There was plenty of banter between the friendship group.
Jesper is an excellent example of a bisexual character. And the romance develops really well throughout the duology. The cast is also really diverse which I really appreciated. It features characters of different ethnicities, religions, and is inclusive towards disabilities.
Magic is incorporated throughout and it’s developed very well. I really enjoyed reading about the unique magic system. You can get this conveniently on Amazon- you can buy it here.
Representation: bisexual character, mlm romance
4. Crier’s War by Nina Varela
If you’re looking for mystery, revenge and enemies to lovers wlw romance
Crier’s War is an epic urban fantasy novel with a f/f romance. It’s set in the Kingdom of Rabu and follows Ayla.
A War has ravaged the kingdom of Rabu. The Automae took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.
Ayla is a human servant who is rising the ranks at the House of Soverign. She dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter – the beautiful Lady Crier.
Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly before she met Ayla.
Representation: Lesbian protagonist, bisexual protagonist, wlw romance
5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you are into friendship, magic and unforgettable characters
The Raven Boys follows Blue. Each year in the churchyard, Blue watches her psychic mother see those who are going to die that year. Blue never actually sees them herself. Until this year. When she speaks directly to a boy.
He is called Gansey and is a student at Aglionby school. The students there are known locally as Raven Boys.
So many people recommended this book to me. And I’m glad it lived up to the hype! It has a lot of paranormal elements woven into the plot. And that makes it a really autumnal read.
It also has dark academia vibes. It’s set in a local private school. Gansey is also obsessed with researching Welsh mythology. And it even references Latin.
The characters are what make this book. On the surface, it seems like a quirky loner meeting rich boys. But it’s so much more than that! The characters are all fully developed with fleshed-out (and tragic) backstories. The relationships between them are some of the best I’ve read in YA Fiction.
Representation: mlm romance, bisexual characters
6. The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
If you’re looking for a curse, witches and a doomed romance
The Dark Tide is a really underrated book. It features a wlw romance, witches and a curse on a town.
It follows Lina. She lives on a small island where the dark tide could cause it to sink. So, every year the Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace and sacrifices her on the full moon. And so keeps the island city from sinking.
Lina is convinced her brother is going to be taken. She asks Thomas Lin to help. Thomas is the only person to survive the sacrifice. But they draw the Queen’s attention. And instead, Thomas is taken.
Lina offers herself instead of Thomas. But the queen is nothing like Eva expected. And they must choose between saving the island or themselves.
This is such an angsty slow burn romance. Lina and Eva had an amazing grumpy/sunshine dynamic. The setup made this story so tragically romantic. It’s also beautifully written with atmospheric worldbuilding that gave it a dark tone.
Representation: wlw romance
7. Spellhacker by M.K. England
If you’re looking for a fantasy heist with witty banter and a memorable friendship group
Spellhacker is a fantastic fantasy heist book. It features a high stakes heist, criminal mastermind main character and plenty of banter. The characters were also really diverse – including non-binary, queer and POC characters.
It’s set in a world where magic ( known as maz) was once freely available. But an earthquake unleashed a deadly plague. And now maz is a tightly controlled and expensive commodity.
We follow Diz who runs an illegal maz siphoning business with her three best friends. They get offered one last massive heist that could change everything.
This was a well written standalone. The book opened with a bang and it was fairly fast-paced throughout. It felt like a cross between Ready, Player One and Six of Crows. The world-building around the magic was also really excellent. You can buy Spellhacker on Book Depository with free shipping worldwide.
Representation: , queer protagonist, non-binary character and love interest
8. This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
If you’re looking for cottagecore sapphics, family secrets and magic
This Poison Heart follows Briseis. She has a magic gift where she can magic tiny seeds grow into rich blooms with a single touch.
Her aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York. And it’s there she must uncover her family’s heritage and secrets.
Mythology was woven seamlessly into the plot of this book. It opens in an urban setting before the characters move to a small town. And the cottagecore imagery is beautiful. I love the plant references.
I love that Poison Heart features supportive same sex parents. Often in YA Fantasy the heroine has a tragic backstory with missing parents. So it was refreshing to read about supportive parents.
It opens with several mysteries and they keep you intrigued until the end of the book.
Representation: wlw romance, queer Black main character, supportive same sex parents
9. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
If you’re looking for a book with superheroes and a sapphic romance
Not Your Sidekick is a superhero-themed novel featuring a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese protagonist, a trans character and a f/f romance. And it’s written by an own voices author.
It follows Jessica Tran, a bisexual high school student who is resigned to a life without superpowers and decides to start an internship to improve her college applications. However, she quickly discovers it’s for a supervillain with her crush Abby.
Not Your Sidekick is another light, fluffy and fun read. It takes superhero tropes and gives a really refreshing take on a superhero story. I love how the superheroes and supervillians storyline is woven into modern, everyday life.
It also manages to tackle a lot of issues while still staying fun. There is a whole series of these and I’ve already added Not Your Villain to my TBR list as I really loved Bells in Not Your Sidekick.
Representation: transgender character, bisexual main character, wlw romance
Read the Good Reads Summary
10. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
If you are looking for autumnal reads with witches (set in Salem)
I was sold on this book as soon as I heard Sapphic witches! It’s a YA Fantasy book about witches featuring a f/f romance and set in Urban Salem.
These Witches Don’t Burn follows Hannah. She is a witch living in Salem. A dark blood ritual interrupts her end of school bonfire. And she investigates with her ex-girlfriend Veronica. She also meets Morgan. But trying to date in the middle of a supernatural crisis is not easy and will test Hannah’s limits.
This is one of my favourite duologies! I love all the magical, fantastical elements and I really enjoyed the modern setting in Salem. The representation is absolutely fantastic. And the pacing of the plot really kept me hooked.
Buy These Witches Don’t Burn here
Read the Good Reads Summary
11. When we were magic by Sarah Gailey
If you enjoy books with magic and wlw romance
When We Were Magic follows Alexis. She has always been able to rely on her best friends and magic powers. On prom night, accidental magic goes wrong and someone ends up dead. Alexis and her friends have to try and fix a terrible wrong.
The writing in this book really made me laugh. I knew I would love it one page in and the opening was fantastic.
The relationships and friendships in this book were really powerful. Also, the parents in this book were really supportive which I always appreciate.
Representation: Lesbian character, bisexual character, supportive same sex parents
Buy When We Were Magic here
Read the Good Reads Summary
12. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
If you’re looking for a Sapphic cinderella retelling with a dystopian twist
A Cinderella retelling with a sapphic romance. This is another twist on the classic story that features BIPOC characters and a wlw romance.
The premise is that teen girls are now required to appear at an annual ball where men select wives. But Sophia wants to marry her childhood best friend Erin. And isn’t a fan of the whole parade in front of suitors thing.
She decides to flee and decided to take down the king once and for all.
The premise in this book is so unique. And I loved the dystopian twist on the classic Cinderella story. The romance is also adorable. It is a bit insta-lovey but it’s developed so well that I was really engaged.
The plot really kept me hooked. And I really enjoyed the concept of women overthrowing a dystopian patriarchy. There is also much cottagey and woodland imagery. And I think this is something Kalynn Bayron writes exceptionally well. And it made me want to live in the forest.
If you’re looking for LGBTQ+ books or fantasy romance books – then I highly recommend Cinderella is Dead.
Representation: Lesbian main character, wlw romance
13. Ash by Malinda Lo
If you’re looking for an LGBTQ+ Cinderella retelling
Ash is a book I’m always torn about. But I had to include it because I love the cottagey world building in this Sapphic retelling.
Ash is a lesbian Cinderella retelling. It follows Ash who is dealing with the grief of losing her parents. She falls in love with the king’s huntress.
I loved the descriptions of the world such as the woods and the fae. And I instantly really loved the King’s Huntress. But, I wish that the romance had been a little better developed.
However, I love that it focuses on Ash recovering from grief. Mental health is a strong theme throughout and the romance feels secondary. This is a really cosy read and offers great escapism. It’s pretty short and you could easily read this in one sitting.
Representation: queer main character, wlw romance
14. Ruinsong by Julia Ember
If you’re looking for a unique magic system in a dystopian world
Ruinsong is an wlw book set in a dystopian world. It has lush world-building, a twisty plot and feisty main characters.
In this world, singers have magic powers when they sing certain songs. And they are able to heal, cause pain and heat people.
Cadence is an incredibly strong mage. She was born in poverty in an orphanage and rises to success. But she works for the evil Queen Elene. And Elene forces Cadence to use her power to torture others. But when she is reunited with her childhood friend she must make a choice. Does she take a stand or follow the queen.
This book reminds me of a dystopian and queer phantom of the opera. Strong-willed women, wearing beautiful ball gowns and taking down evil. If you’re a Katniss or Johanna fan you’re guaranteed to love this underrated gem.
Representation: wlw romance
Buy Ruinsong here
Read the Good Reads Description
15. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
If you’re looking for a wlw fantasy book
I’ve seen Girls of Paper and Fire everywhere online! Firstly, the cover is absolutely stunning and I’m a little bit in love.
It follows Lei. She is a member of the Paper Caste. And the people of Ikhara persecute her. She sees the royal guards take her mother. Afterwards, Lei suffers with trauma. They return and try to take Lei.
She has to learn skills fitting of a King’s Consort. But she falls in love. An excellent fantasy book. The plot is quite dark but it also features a f/f romance.
Representation: wlw romance, Asian main and side characters
Buy Girls of Paper and Fire here
Read the Good Reads Description here
16. Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
If you’re looking for a queer love story in a magical forest
Silver in the wood is a queer love story and forest fairy tale featuring fae. It references mythological creatures such as dryads and faeries. But the magic is much more subtle compared to other books on this list.
This book follows a forest guardian. He is tasked to look after the forest. A man moves into the house in the forest. And they fall in love.
From the very start, the writing was beautiful. And the imagery in the forest is whimsical and enchanting.
If you like the cottagecore aesthetic you’ll probably really enjoy this book. I listened to the audiobook on Audible. And the duology is only 5 hours so it’s a really quick listen on Audible – check it out here.
Representation: mlm romance
17. Malice by Heather Walter
If you’re looking for a dystopian re-telling with an anti-villain protagonist
Malice is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I absolutely adored this book from start to finish. And if you’re a fan of re-tellings, dystopian books or books with fae then you need to read this book!
Malice is a maleficent retelling. The book is set in a Kingdom called Briar. Once upon a time, a wicked fairy cursed a line of princesses to die. Only true love’s kiss can break the curse.
The book follows Alyce – the dark grace. She was left abandoned in Briar from a dark kingdom. The dark magic that runs in her veins abhors residents in Briar.
Except for Princess Aurora who accepts her. And she encourages Alyce to accept herself.
This book is almost a cross between Wicked and The Hunger Games. But with fae. The world building is darkly magical. And the residents of Briar reminded me of the residents of the Capitol. It critiques greed and consumerism quite a lot throughout the book. Alyce’s character was also really well developed. And she gets a lot of growth throughout the novel.
Representation: wlw romance
Those were my picks for LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books
There are so many incredible LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books to read. And this post really is just the tip of the iceberg.
Everyone should have LGBTQ+ Books on their bookshelves. Diversity makes books better.
What are your favourite LGBTQ+ YA Fantasy books?
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