I tend to read a lot of queer books but my most recent reads have been on fire! So I wanted to share 15 of the best queer books I’ve been reading lately. I hope you find a new favourite among these books.
Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
Esther hides herself in the Librarian’s book wagon to escape the arranged marriage her father has planned for her, a man who was also engaged to her best friend … who she loved … and who has been executed.
Rep: lesbian main character, non-binary love interest; side lesbian characters
Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
Tala committed crimes against the laws of magic, and against her own family; now she’s been given the task of escorting Prince Jimuro back home to his kingdom, her country’s enemy, so he can take his throne. But in the meantime, Princess Xiulan, 28th in line to the throne of yet another enemy country, plans to secure her place in the line of succession by kidnapping Jimuro and delivering him to her father, the King. To do this, she hires Lee, a criminal, to help her but starts falling for the other woman.
Rep: bi main character, lesbian main character, side trans character; all Asian cast.
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Every city has a soul and New York has five — which are in avatars of five different people who have to come together to save the city after an ancient evil from another universe is trying to destroy it.
Rep: lesbian main character, bi male main character, side trans character, developing m/m romance; Black main characters, Native American main character, Indian main character, Latinx side character, South American side character, Chinese side character
The Library of Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
Claire is the Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing, a neutral space in Hell where all unfinished books reside. Her job is to take care of the books and make sure no character comes to life and tries to make a run for it, when that exact thing happens: a Hero escapes and she has to find him. But that simple retrieval goes horribly wrong when an angel shows up and accuses them of hiding a powerful evil book.
Rep: pansexual Black main character, bisexual main character; mainly POC cast.
Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles
Will came back from the Great War with no idea what to do next, but when he inherits his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop, Will thinks his prayers have been answered. That is until strange visitors visit and start threatening him, looking for a document everyone seems to think Will has but he doesn’t, and he has no idea what to do … until his new friend Kim offers to help. Will finds himself drawn to Kim and falling for him, until he finds something out about Kim that devastates him.
Rep: bisexual main character, gay love interest; Black side character
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary about mermaids. But then it was lost at sea and all hands missing. Some people think its a hoax, and some take it as a confirmation of mermaids. Now a new crew has been assembled, including the sister of one of the missing women.
Rep: bisexual main character, lesbian autistic main character; Deaf character, Black characters, Asian characters
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
The Emperor needs new necromancers so he establishes a deadly game of wits and skill and invites all the heirs and cavaliers of the Nine Houses there. Gideon is offered the chance of a lifetime: pretend to be her master’s cavalier and Harrowhark will give Gideon her freedom. But once the two women, who despise each other, enter the game, they discover one of the other Houses are trying to kill off the others. But Harrow has no choice: she needs Gideon’s help, otherwise she’ll never ascend and become an Immortal.
Rep: lesbian main character and love interest
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Linus Baker leads a quiet life working at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth where he spends his days looking over the well-being of magical children in government orphanages. He’s sent to Marsyas Island where six “dangerous”children live with their caretaker: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, a green blog, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist, along with Arthur Parnassus, their caretaker. Linus has to watch the children and their enigmatic caregiver to make sure they’re safe and don’t post a threat to the world. But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
Rep: gay main character and love interest
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Red finds a letter among the ashes of a dying world. It says, ‘burn after reading’. That leads to an unlikely correspondence between two spies from rival and warring factions who communicate in the most bizarre ways across centuries and different times. And slowly that friendship turns to love. But the discovery of their relationship would mean death for both of them…
Rep: lesbian main characters
Heaven’s Official Blessing by MoXiang TongXiu
Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of Xian Le who ascended to godhood at the age of just 17. But after war ravaged his country, he descended. Then ascended again … before descending again. Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends for the third time and has become the laughing-stock of all the realms, a god who collects trash for fun. On his first task for the gods, he meets a powerful Ghost King whom the gods are terrified of, but who takes a strange liking to Xie Lian. But little does Xie Lian know, this Ghost King is his last believer.
Rep: gay main character, gay love interest; all Asian cast
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
Yetu is the historian of her people, the water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women who were thrown overboard by slave owners. As their past is too traumatic to be remembered, Yetu remembers for them, which has devastating affects on her. But once a year, Yetu is able to let go of the past and allow her people to remember what happened to them. She uses this as a chance to escape her life and try to find a new way to survive.
Rep: wlw characters, mlm characters, intersex characters (everyone is intersex and then chooses their gender/no gender at all), non-binary character; all Black cast
The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
Bagoas was sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, after he was abducted and made a eunuch as a boy. But he soon finds freedom with King Alexander after Macedon conquers Persia. Bagoas becomes Alexander’s attendant, lover, and one of his closest confidants. Their relationship sustains through multiple assassination plots, wars, marriages and through to Alexander’s death.
Rep: mlm characters (I don’t like labelling real historical people with our modern terms for sexuality)
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
Csorwe has spent her life knowing she will die. When she is fourteen, she will climb the mountain, entire the Shrine of the Unspoken, and be sacrificed to her god. That is, until a mysterious mage shows up and offers her a new life: to leave with him and become his thief, spy and assassin, and to help him reclaim his throne.
Rep: lesbian main character and love interest, gay main character
The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation by MoXiang TongXiu
Wei WuXian founded demonic cultivation and for his dark ways, he was killed by powerful clans that rose up against him. Thirteen years later, he is brought back to life by dark magic into the body of a lunatic named Mo Xuanyu who was abandoned by his own clan. If he wants to stay alive in this new body, Wei WuXian must defeat Mo XuanYu’s enemies, but his plans go awry when he’s basically kidnapped by Lan WangJi, his archenemy — sort of. As he and Lan WangJi go on adventures involving zombies and raising children, Wei WuXian starts to see a different side to his archenemy.
Rep: bisexual main character, gay love interest; all Asian cast
Our Dining Table by Ori Mita
Yutaka loves cooking but he struggles to eat in front of people. That changes when he meets Minoru and Take — two brothers, years apart in age — who ask him to teach them how to cook as their mother passed away and their father can’t cook. Soon Yutaka finds himself fitting in to this tiny family and falling in love.
Rep: mlm characters; all Asian cast