[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Ginn Hale to the site today. She’s sharing some awesome recs for queer fantasy books! Take it away, Ginn!]
Romantic Fantasy is a remarkable union of genres that has the power to make readers feel both loved and taken out of themselves on great and fantastic adventures. And while the majority of these books are written for and by people who identify as cisgender and straight, the number of stories that celebrate other identities are growing.
Here are a few fabulous examples of romantic fantasy featuring queer characters
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
A very creative and charming retelling of Peter Pan. Austin Chant casts Peter as a trans man escaping the imposed identity of Wendy Darling and finding himself caught up in a much more complex relationship with Captain Hook.
Dreadnought: Nemesis, Book One by April Daniels
When a battle inadvertently leaves fifteen-year-old Danny with the powers of a superheroine, her closeted life as a trans girl is thrown into chaos. Fortunately, this young heroine is as determined as she is powerful. With her new-found friend, Calamity, she not only stands up in the face of real-world bigotry and transphobia but she saves the day.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Bisexual, Alejandra Mortiz has no desire to become a witch, so when she is supposed to take part in a ceremony to join the rest of her family as a bruja, Alex rebels and casts a spell to strip herself of magic. Instead, her spell banishes her entire family to Los Lagos, the underworld. Horrified by what she’s done, Alex embarks on a dangerous quest into the deadly underworld. She’s joined by her friend—would-be girlfriend, Rishi as well as the mysterious and handsome Nova.
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
Elliot, a very sarcastic bisexual boy ventures into another world called the Borderlands. Right away he’s calling out fantasy clichés and amusing the reader with his commentary. Despite his snarky attitude—or maybe because of it—he wins the friendship of the two most outstanding warriors enrolled in fantasy school along side him. The elven warrior, Serene, hails from a society where sexism is rife but reversed. Elliot’s friend Luke heralds from a sword-swinging polyamorous family. The three of them deal with wars, unicorns and school plays all while navigating the realms of identity, and sexuality.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Colthurst
To fulfill her part in an arranged marriage, Princess Dennaleia travels to the kingdom of Mynaria, where magic, (like the fire powers she secretly possesses) is forbidden. There she must to learn to master one of the nation’s fearsome warhorses. Her future sister-in-law, the unconventional and Princess Amaranthine, is tasked with teaching her. Despite their differences that two begin to become friends. And when the hunt for an assassin throws them into each other’s close company, they discover their friendship blossoming into something more.
About the Author:
Ginn Hale lives with her lovely wife in the far northern reaches of the Pacific Northwest. She spends the many cloudy days observing fungi and she whiles away the rainy evenings tinkering with words.
Her first novel, Wicked Gentlemen, won the Spectrum Award for best novel. She is a Rainbow Award winner as well as a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her most recent publications include the Lord of the White Hell and Champion of the Scarlet Wolf as well as the Rifter trilogy: The Shattered Gates, The Holy Road and His Sacred Bones.
She is also the voice of 12 year-old Lauren in the podcast, Lauren Proves Magic Is Real
Master of Restless Shadows by Ginn Hale, out now!
Freshly graduated Master Physician Narsi Lif-Tahm has left his home in Anacleto and journeyed to the imposing royal capitol of Cieloalta intent upon keeping the youthful oath he made to a troubled writer. But in the decade since Narsi gave his pledge, Atreau Vediya, has grown from an anonymous delinquent to a man renowned for penning bawdy operas and engaging in scandalous affairs.
What Narsi―and most of the larger world―cannot know is the secret role Atreau plays as spymaster for the Duke of Rauma.
After the Cadeleonian royal bishop launches an unprovoked attack against the witches in neighboring Labara, Atreau will require every resource he can lay his hands upon to avert a war. A physician is exactly what he needs. But with a relentless assassin hunting the city and ancient magic waking, Atreau fears that his actions could cost more than his own honor. The price of peace could be his friends’ lives.