Since it’s Women’s History Month I figured there’s no better time to talk about loving women, so here are some amazing sapphic fantasy recommendations that I hope you’ll enjoy!
Women’s History Month aims to highlight the achievements of women both in history and contemporary society. International Women’s Day happens on March 8th and the month long celebration built up around that.
Sapphic fantasy is super important to me, because it didn’t really exist as a genre when I was younger. I feel very lucky that there are so many diverse books out now, and we all need to make sure we’re supporting them!
On to the books!
Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.
Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.
Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
The Unbroken comes out later this month, but I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy and it was absolutely amazing! Touraine and Luca, the main characters, are both sapphic. Their relationship with each other and other people is wrapped in interesting power dynamics due to the heavy focus on colonialism. This book isn’t strong on the romance, but I’d recommend it to everyone who loves political fantasy.
Young Adult Dystopian Fantasy
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
Cinderella is dead is set in a dystopian world themed around the Cinderella story. It reimagines that popular fairy tale to delve deeper into misogyny, racism, homophobia, and resistance. Sophia, the main character, has been in love with her best friend for as long as she can remember. Erin, however, isn’t willing to leave everything behind, and Sophia is forced to flee without her. That’s when she meets Constance, a descendent of Cinderella. When they join together to bring down the king, sparks fly.
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that orcs aren’t getting enough love in fantasy. If you share that opinion, this book’s for you. Sapphic orcs anyone? This book also features a really strong friendship! And it links together elements of sci-fi and fantasy! Some people have found this read a little dense, but if slower books are your thing, check this one out!
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
You can’t talk about sapphic fantasy without having this chonker on the list. If you’re a fan of those big, epic fantasy books this one is for you. There are so many amazing women in this book, it twists a typically men-focused genre completely on its head. Did I mention that there are dragons? Y’all want a royalty x bodyguard ship? You got one here!
Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.
For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.
Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?
Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.
If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, faeries, and interesting mysteries, this book is for you! We’ve got a sapphic and achillean ship in this book! I love a bit of queer solidarity. On the sapphic front, we’ve got Nausicaä, an ex-fury who is violent, grumpy, and determined to prove how horrible she is. Pair that with Arlo, a soft, kind woman who doesn’t believe she’s powerful or special. We’ve got the whole ‘angry person is only nice to their crush’ vibes going on here! I love them so much.
Young Adult Fantasy
Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made.
A love that could birth a revolution.
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.
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 had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.
Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.
What’s that? You want a slowburn enemy-to-lovers where the characters literally want to kill each other? Well Crier’s War is the book for you! Crier and Ayla are the top tier romance in this trope, you’ve got to read this book. On top of that you have lost history, political intrigue, and amazing plot twists! What more could you want?
Young Adult Fantasy
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.
Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.
But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.
If a slow-paced, character-focused fantasy is what you’re looking for, give this one a go! Featuring intense yearning and all of the longing glances you could ever want!
Young Adult Fantasy
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
You want a book with a strong focus on women and their relationships, mixed with a unique take on gods? The Never Tilting World is that! The representation in this book is fantastic, and is one of the few fantasies I’m aware of with disabled rep! The characters of this book are absolutely amazing, and the sapphic relationship is super sweet.
Young Adult Fantasy
At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.
On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?
In this world men have two wives. Primeras focus on the house, while Segundas are childbearers. Dani is threatened into spying for a resistance group, using her status as Primera to do so. Her enemy from school, Carmen, is the Segunda of the house, and Dani starts to have feelings for her. We stan wives coming together and falling in love with each other. One of the best aspects of We Set the Dark on Fire is how it intertwines parallels to our own political climate in this Latinx fantasy setting.
Fire burns bright and has a long memory….
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?
Fireheart Tiger is set in a pre-colonial Vietnamese world, surrounded by people who want to take it. This is a novella but so much is packed into it. Described as The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle, you can imagine how rich and evocative this book is. Also, complex sapphic relationships!