It’s Pride Month, so we’re going to spend this week’s Top Five Tuesday sharing some love to books with queer rep! This list barely scratches the surface, but I hope it gives you a starting place to add some great reads to your TBR! As always, shout out to Bionic Book Worm who usually hosts this weekly meme, but is taking the month off for some much needed R&R.
THE LAST SUN by K.D. Edwards
If you love urban fantasy, but are looking for a series staring a gay lead, you must check out THE TAROT SEQUENCE! With two books and a novella (so far), the story follows Rune, the last heir to the Sun Court of Atlantis. Rune shares a platonic relationship with his bodyguard, but by the end of book one, he finds a guy that he’s definitely falling for. (I won’t spoil who!) And while I haven’t read the full-length sequel book, there is absolutely an adorable date scene in the novella!
(Note: Content warning in THE LAST SUN for descriptions of past sexual assault.)
A PALE LIGHT IN THE BLACK by K.B. Wagers
This near-future sci-fi adventure not only imagines the existence of a “space coast guard,” it also imagines a future where all LGBTQ+ members serve and exist openly and without anyone blinking an eye. In this world, when you meet someone for the first time, electronic ID cards are swapped between personal devices, which include not only name and rank, but also pronouns. A PALE LIGHT features an ace lead, and a significant portion of the crew identifies as something other than cis and/or straight. (And if you’re looking for something a little more STAR WARS, check out THE INDRANAN WAR series by Wagers, which also has queer characters, although on a smaller scale than PALE LIGHT.)
NIGHT OF THE DRAGON by Julie Kagawa
While the leads in this book are straight, there is a significant queer romance between two other characters in the adventuring party. It’s one that grows throughout the SHADOW OF THE FOX trilogy, and is given full weight and payoff by NIGHT OF THE DRAGON, the final book in the series. It’s a beautiful finale for two characters who came from very different places. If you like watching characters go from antagonistic bickering to quietly cuddling under a tree, this one’s for you!
GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE by Natasha Ngan
This YA fantasy has a pretty grim premise. Every year, a handful of girls are selected to be concubines to the demon king that rules the land, forced into service whether they like it or not. While the book does deal with sexual assault, it also has a romance between Lei and fellow concubine Wren. Together, the two not only question the society that has forced them into subjugation, but actually start making moves to tear the whole system down. Together these two queer heroines will start a revolution that threatens to overthrow the empire.
And that is just the starting point for books in sci-fi/fantasy featuring LGBTQ+ characters! What other books would you recommend?