This pride month, bibliophiles can sink their teeth into queer fantasy books with complex characters and intricate world-building. The fantasy genre consists of literature set in an imaginary universe, but it can contain elements from the real world.
From alternate universes to magical beings, fantasy books allow readers to immerse themselves in different worlds, some worlds may be completely different while some worlds may resemble the real world, with a splash of the supernatural. Ranging from magicians in fantasy lands fighting with Gods to necromancers competing for the chance to become immortal while mysterious murders take place, these queer fantasy books have a wide range of content.
While the books may be diverse in terms of their plots, there is one thing they all have in common, each book’s lead character is a member of the queer community.
6 Queer Fantasy Books To Read This Pride Month
The Jasmine Throne – Tasha Suri
The Jasmine Throne is the first novel in the Burning Kingdoms trilogy. Set in India, the story revolves around Malini, a princess held captive by her tyrannical brother along with Priya, her maidservant with magical abilities, she keeps hidden for her safety. The two form an uneasy alliance and friendship in order to save their empire from a tyrannical leader. While maintaining their uneasy alliance and a friendship, Malini and Priya juggle with their feelings for each other versus the politics of keeping their people safe.
With intriguing morally gray characters, complex lore, mysterious backstories and a vibrant setting, The Jasmine Throne has many aspects that make reading it a joy.
Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir
Gideon the Ninth is a science fantasy novel set in an empire consisting of nine planets, with each planet having one ‘House’. Each House practices a different type of necromancy. The varying and distinct forms of necromancy of each House demonstrates intricate world-building.
The novel follows Gideon Nav, the titular character who is an orphan that was adopted by the Ninth House. Desperate to escape, she agrees to join hands with Harrowhark Nonagesimus, also known as Harrow, and serve as her cavalier for the Emperor’s trial to become a powerful and immortal necromancer.
The lifelong enemies travel to the First House and work together to solve the trail while facing against cunning enemies and a series of mysterious deaths.
Vicious – V. E. Schwab
College roommates Victor and Eli discover that under the right condition, near-death experiences can imbue individuals with superhuman abilities. Unsurprisingly, the two brilliant and arrogant college students make mistakes that lead to dire consequences.
Victor ends up in jail and after escaping is determined that Eli also suffers the consequences of their actions. While Eli is aiming to rid the world of every superhuman person he can find. The two are bitter with betrayal and loss and aim to get revenge on their friend turned enemy.
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow is a magician prophesied to be the “chosen one” and he is sure that his nemesis and roommate in their school Baz is plotting against him. After accidentally being visited by the ghost of Baz’s mother who asks him to avenge her death, Simon passes on the message and ends up teaming up with Baz.
The two work together to research into the death of Baz’s mother and why certain places have become dead spots for magic.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue follows Addie LaRue, a woman born in France in the 1700s as she prays and yearns for a life outside of her small town. During her forced marriage, Addie catches the attention of a god who makes her a deal. She can live forever and live the unburdened and free life she craves. Eager to escape, she makes the deal without realising that her gift is a curse.
Addie can live the life she craves but nobody will ever remember her, everyone she ever meets will immediately forget her leaving her unable to make connections or settle down.
Everything changes after she meets someone who does not forget her as soon as they part ways.
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
The Magicians is a novel where Harry Potter meets Chronicles of Narnia. Quentin Coldwater discovers that he is a magician when he is admitted into a secret college of magic. An avid fan of a series titled ‘Fillory and Further’, Quentin and his friends discover that a monster that attacks their class and kills several of their classmates is from the thought to be fictional land of Fillory.
In an effort to stop the monster known as The Beast from hunting them, they travel to Fillory and discover the true story of The Beast. With alternate universes, different worlds, magical creatures, and magicians, The Magicians is a novel that always has a vibrant setting and exciting backstory and lore.
This is an indicative list. The views are the author’s own.
Suggested Reading: ‘Invisible Women’ to ‘Mapping Dalit Feminism’: Feminist Books You Must Read