9 Favorite Queer Fantasy Books

For you today, Gentle Reader, I have some super fun queer fantasy book recommendations. A favorite genre of mine!

You can LISTEN to this blog post if you’d prefer…


I like my books cheerful, charming, and happy with a strong romance thread. So that’s what I’ve chosen for you today (mostly). However, there is a whole glorious mess of fabulous queer fantasy out there that deals in darker themes and has more violent tenancies.

If that’s your jam then happy hunting, meanwhile can I interest you in the sunny side?

Fantasy Books with Queer Romance in ‘em

1. The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune

This book has so many things I adore in a fantasy. Extremely snarky gay boy main character. Lots of awesome magic. Horny hornless unicorns with a thing for scarves and dragon BDSM. Okay maybe I didn’t know I wanted that last one, but I do now!

Honestly, this book is hilarious. No really, I was reading it and actually crying with laughter, it’s that funny. This is basically my nerdy-heart’s ideal beach read.

Are you looking for Pratchett only gay and a touch crude? Well, here you go.

2. Sword Masters by Selina Rosen

This is the story of a woman with a very particular set of skills and some seriously dangerous secrets. Tarius infiltrates not only a school for swordsmen but a foreign culture, in an effort to build alliances and defeat a common enemy. Disguised as a man she is forced, eventually, to marry a woman, and must face the consequences of her own lies on a personal, as well as a professional, level.

So yeah, killer lesbians with lots of sword fighting and bonus cross-dressing!

3. Bitterwood by Rowan Speedwell

Bitterwood by Rowan Speedwell is one of my comfort reads. This is a classic old school fantasy romance, with soldiers and wizards, kings and crowns, and magical beasts… only gay. The setting, cold and harsh, becomes a character itself that folds around and supports the honor and standing of those who chose to live bleaker lives.

It gets a bit sexy at times, but if that’s okay with you, this is a deft handling of atmospheric fantasy meets older men falling in love.

4. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey (OP no digital edition)

This was one of the very first books I ever read that had a poly-amorous triad at its heart. Lackey wrote urban fantasy before it was cool, and did it with her usual charm and aplomb (not to mention a few subtle jabs at various dominant cultural paradigms).

Want your elves in LA and bumming about the Renaissance Faire? Then this book if for you. The romance is very light, but still present, and this book may have the most romantic ending ever scribbled.

A Demon for Midwinter Noone

5. A Demon for Midwinter by K.L. Noone

This is a sweet and charming gay paranormal romance set in a well conceived urban fantasy world. For those of us who like a solid romance with our UF this one features some stand up tropes (May/December, hidden identity, rockstar, AND boss/employee). So yeah, get your trope on!

What can I say except that this is one of those stories where I spent the second half of the book grinning like a lunatic. Gotta recommend it.

6. Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet

Cochet’s Thirds series features genetically altered shifter humans (mostly cats) and their various romances in an elite military task force in an alternate world urban fantasy. The hero of the first book is Dex, a normal human cop obsessed with gummy candy. I can’t imagine anyone not loving Dex, as he bring ridiculous banter to a whole new level.

The concepts (and consequences) behind the emergence of shifters are thoroughly explored and very well drawn, plus there are mysteries to be solved, identities to explore, and battles to be fought. This series can get pretty rough and violent, and also very erotic, so trigger warnings all round.

7. Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford

Kai is my favorite type of main character – the tough, scrappy, outcast, snark-monger extraordinaire. He is swimming in snark, splashing about happily and not caring if he drowns everyone (including himself) with his vicious wit. He’s also bisexual, or pansexual, or species sexual.

The world building in this series is based on a clear and simple concept: That the fae realm and ours collided, destroying much of each and leaving behind a weird post apocalyptic California filled with vicious dragons and other magical pests, and lost elf cities merged on top of (or inside) our own. This leaves behind humans who are only just surviving, elves who are slowly fading away, with each becoming a fetish for the other. Of course, this world is a metaphor for Kai himself ~ a merged creation, annihilated and mutilated in the act of birth, but possibly greater than the sum of his parts.

8. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee

Want your fantasy with a dose of superhero? Or should I say, a not quite maybe superhero? Jess has no superpowers (despite her heritage) and so she takes on an internship to get her college applications in order. Unfortunately, said internship is with the local supervillain. Fortunately, it’s also with her crush, Abby.

Everyone has super secrets and unexpected depth in this charming YA.

9. Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson (no print book but the ebook is FREE on Amazon)

This is gay romance meets high fantasy. Literally “high” as half the setting is a series of floating islands way up in the air over the ocean. Which made it feel almost but not quite steampunk.The setting is spine tingling and glorious, and the romance is delightful.

This enemies-to-lovers romance is deceptively simple, because it’s actually full of delicately handled themes like PTSD, the politics of invasion, arranged marriages, and the handling of refugees.

Want more?


8 Feel-Good Queer Comics and Graphic Novels

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Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

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Book de Jour!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.


Your Infusion of Cute . . .

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Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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Book News:

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Quote of the Day:

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Posted by Gail Carriger

2 Responses

  1. Ruth said:

    Just a quick thank you for the recommendations! Love your books (esp the gay ones), and recommendations from authors you think are great beat Amazon recommendations any day. Have purchased most on list.

    The mm/gay romance genre is full of so much dross – not that I don’t sometimes want a quick comfort throwaway read (and still buy it regularly), but – in this genre – finding authors whose writing takes you into another place completely, where you read all night because just don’t want to stop, where you remember the characters and story more than 30 mins after finishing and get even more out of it when re-read later…. is tough. Alexis Hall, Marshall Thornton, 19, Jordan Castillo Price, Edmond Manning, TJ Klune, David Stein, Megan Derr, Dan Skinner, you… the gems among a few thousand ebooks purchased. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Gail Carriger said:

      I am so glad! From looking at your list (I AGREE) might I suggest trying R Cooper (if you can’t take the UF stuff, try their contemporary) and Renae Kaye is a particularly excellent writer (also contemporary). Another one you might love is Kim Fielding, she has a short story in Snow on the Roof which might be one of my favorites ever written, but her stuff is great at world building. Mostly shorter but still great. Her collection The Sacrifice and Other Stories has good examples of her style. I love the Dinjinn one.

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