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Fantasy / Novels

12 Must-Read Sapphic Fantasy Books of 2020

Three book covers: Girl, Serpent, Thorn; The Midnight Lie; and Sword in the Stars

There’s a strange rumor going around that there is no sapphic literature. Not only is this not true, but I can prove it! Let’s take my favorite genre for example: Epic fantasy. This year, we have been especially blessed with a whole gambit of diverse, sapphic fantasy books.

Here are 12 sapphic fantasy books that have come out (or will come out) in 2020, all with lesbian and bisexual women at the helm.

Three sapphic fantasy book covers: Girl, Serpent, Thorn; The Midnight Lie; and Sword in the Stars

1. Girl, Serpent, Thorn

With Persian mythology, a bisexual protagonist, morally grey characters, and lush world building, this fairy tale novel has a lot to offer! A girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch must figure out who she is — human or demon. Princess or monster.

2. The Midnight Lie

This book uses the delicious trope of the mysterious stranger who becomes a love interest, and honestly, I’m all about that. Add to this themes of magic and resistance to oppression, and you can color me intrigued.

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3. Sword in the Stars

This sequel to Once and Future continues the adventures of Ari, a female incarnation of King Arthur, and her rainbow knights. Instead of the future, they must travel to the past — to the time of the original King Arthur — and pull off a heist while being careful not to skew the timeline. After all, time travel is no easy business.

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Three sapphic fantasy book covers: The Winter Duke; Shorefall; and Harrow the Ninth

4. The Winter Duke

A girl inherits the title of duke and her brother’s warrior bride? Count me in! This book is perfect for those who enjoy political drama, magic, and of course, sapphic romance.

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5. Shorefall

In another sequel about heists, Shorefall continues the story that began with Foundryside about thieves, magic, and gods. As Sancia Grado and her allies sow the seeds of a magical revolution, they face a dangerous foe who seeks to resurrect an ancient and horrifying power.

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6. Harrow the Ninth

In this sequel to the well-praised book Gideon the Ninth about lesbian necromancers (in space), Harrow is the last necromancer of the Ninth House, and has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Meanwhile, someone is trying to kill her — and she begins to wonder if the universe will be better off if they succeed.

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Three covers: The Unspoken Name; Queen of Coin and Whispers; and The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

7. The Unspoken Name

I recently read this book myself, and much enjoyed it! The Unspoken Name features a lesbian orc protagonist who escapes the sacrificial death that was planned for her, and uses her second shot at life to rescue a beautiful young woman from a similar fate. Also, I’m happy to report, almost every major character is queer.

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8. Queen of Coin and Whispers

A young queen inherits a bankrupt kingdom and falls for her female spymaster in this thrilling story of revenge, treason, and sacrifice.

9. The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

In this high-seas adventure, a girl dresses up like a boy to join a pirate crew. While on board, she meets a captivating lady en route to a dreaded arranged marriage. A wild escape ensues that involves a mermaid, a witch, and of course, a budding romance.

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Three book covers: Iron Heart; Beyond the Ruby Veil; and Silk & Steel

10. Iron Heart

Crier’s War introduced a world where the cruel, beautiful Automae rule over humans, and an impossible romance blossoms between two girls — one human, one created. In Iron Heart, the story continues about a love that sparks revolution.

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11. Beyond the Ruby Veil

This dark debut features a power-hungry lesbian in a city where water is created from the blood of its citizens. Plus, there is an enemies-to-lovers arc, which is personally all I need to know to get reading.

(Note: Cover not final.)

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12. Silk & Steel

Unlike the other books listed, this one is an anthology that was originally funded on Kickstarter. It’s a collection of stories about warrior women and high femmes, in both fantasy and sci-fi settings.

(Note: Cover not final.)

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As you can see, there are all sorts of sapphic fantasy books coming out this year alone. Don’t let anyone say there aren’t any sapphic books out there. This is just a small taste of what literature has to offer.

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As a devout reader of fantasy novels, Brianna has always felt the call to put pen to paper and will be embarking on her greatest adventure yet — releasing her debut novel, City of Reckoning in 2021. When she’s not writing, she can be found behind the camera directing films or behind the computer screen working on multimedia design projects. Brianna’s path has led her to contribute digital illustrations to SBA.gov and motion graphics for a multitude of nonprofits, and freelancing while traveling the world. Follow along to see what’s next on her journey at briannadasilva.blog.

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