10 Incredible Fantasy Books With LGBTQ Characters

Are you looking for fantastic fantasy books with LGBTQ characters? Finding LGBTQ representation in the fantasy genre can be difficult.

Thankfully, these ten unforgettable novels are unapologetically queer and feature expert storytelling, immersive world-building, and casts of diverse, complex characters.

Here are 10 incredible fantasy books with LGBTQ characters to read: 

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each book below. On the other hand, if you’d like a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.40

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters is The Song of Achilles. While many fantasy novels with LGBTQ themes tend to stray away from historical fiction, this story fully embraces the genre, throwing the reader into a gripping tale of queer love in ancient Greece. It balances youthful romance with epic fantasy and drama incredibly well, making for an unforgettable retelling of the events of the Trojan War.

Madeline Miller’s writing is poetic and surprisingly intimate, giving a unique perspective on gay identity and its many struggles in such an unforgiving and even brutal setting. Moreover, readers found the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles gut-wrenchingly real and relatable, saying it is an enjoyable and emotional depiction of LGBTQ romance. 

Finally, a story peppered with historical details, The Song of Achilles won praise for how well-researched and true to traditional Greek storytelling it is.

Negative Comments

Some readers thought the novel was a bit too derivative and inspired by tales like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey to stand on its own. In addition, many reviewers claimed the relationship and interactions between Patroclus and Achilles dragged out for longer than needed, making for a “boring” and overly melodramatic experience.

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler


Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel — but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic….

Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.

To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.

The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning.

But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural — a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.05

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

A thrilling tale blending historical war fiction with fantasy, Django Wexler’s The Thousand Names is second on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters. This story follows the epic journey of two soldiers into a supernatural world torn apart by strife and distrust on the battlefield. Wexler’s first foray into the genre, it presents an expertly written, diverse cast of characters, most notably an unapologetically queer female protagonist.

Readers found the novel’s cast to be inspiring and diverse, focusing on a queer female perspective. The main two characters are well-written, well-rounded, and likable, with most reviewers very impressed with their raw and honest depictions. Plus, the eventual plot twists are genuinely unpredictable and thrilling.

Negative Comments

The book’s pace struggles in parts and often becomes hard to follow, with readers who aren’t particularly into historical war fiction finding themselves a bit lost. Additionally, some readers found the novel’s prose to be somewhat cliché and overly reliant on tropes at times.

Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey


Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wants no part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior’s path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his if left untrained may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the famed Herald-Mages of Valdemar.

But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil can not master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land. And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin’a’in Adept, Vanyel’s wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone’s ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.21

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters is Magic’s Pawn. This captivating novel is equal parts over-the-top melodrama, irresistible romance, and fantastical adventure. Vanyel is a relatable protagonist for any young LGBTQ reader as a misunderstood mage who wants nothing more than to be a bard in an unforgiving world that pushes him to use his talents for cruelty.

Readers loved this novel’s relatable, sensitive protagonist, Vanyel, despite his occasional self-centeredness and typical teenage behavior. They also greatly enjoyed this book’s romantic subplot between Vanyel and Tylendel, finding it to be a touching expression of young queer love, particularly for readers in their teens struggling with or coming to terms with their identity. 

The medieval fantasy elements and magical world-building are also a treat, with many readers comparing the world of Magic’s Pawn to the likes of Harry Potter. 

Although the youthful, angsty romance between its main characters is the novel’s centerpiece, it also has a lot to enjoy in terms of its complex magic system and fantasy-driven plot.

Negative Comments

While some readers were drawn to Vanyel and found his high degree of emotionality and stubbornness to be relatable, many others found him to be a bit grating, spoiled, and even narcissistic. 

While the novel’s themes of tolerance and anti-toxic masculinity are great in theory, some reviewers noted their execution was somewhat heavy-handed and poorly expressed.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice


The time is now.

Books cover of Interview with the Vampire

We are in a small room with the vampire, face to face, as he speaks – as he pours out the hypnotic, shocking, moving, and erotically charged confessions of his first two hundred years as one of the living dead… 

He speaks quietly, plainly, even gently, carrying us back to the night when he departed human existence as heir – young, romantic, cultivated – to a great Louisiana plantation, and was inducted by the radiant and sinister Lestat into the other, the “endless,” life…

Learning first to sustain himself on the blood of cocks and rats caught in the raffish streets of New Orleans, then on the blood of human beings…

To the years when, moving away from his final human ties under the tutelage of the hated yet necessary Lestat, he gradually embraces the habits, hungers, feelings of vampirism: the detachment, the hardened will, the “superior” sensual pleasures.

He carries us back to the crucial moment in a dark New Orleans street when he finds the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her, struggling against the last residue of human feeling within him…

We see how Claudia in turn is made a vampire – all her passion and intelligence trapped forever in the body of a small child.

And how they arrive at their passionate and dangerous alliance, their French Quarter life of opulence: delicate Grecian statues, Chinese vases, crystal chandeliers, a butler, a maid, a stone nymph in the hidden garden court…

Night curving into night with their vampire senses heightened to the beauty of the world, thirsting for the beauty of death – a constant stream of vulnerable strangers awaiting them below… 

We see them joined against the envious, dangerous Lestat, embarking on a perilous search across Europe for others like themselves, desperate to discover the world they belong to, the ways of survival, to know what they are and why, where they came from, what their future can be…

We follow them across Austria and Transylvania, encountering their kind in forms beyond their wildest imagining…

To Paris, where footsteps behind them, in exact rhythm with their own, steer them to the doors of the Théâtre des Vampires – the beautiful, lewd, and febrile mime theater whose posters of penny-dreadful vampires at once mask and reveal the horror within…

To their meeting with the eerily magnetic Armand, who brings them, at last, into intimacy with a whole brilliant and decadent society of vampires, an intimacy that becomes sudden terror when they are compelled to confront what they have feared and fled… 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.99

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Fourth on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters is Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. This book, readers remarked, is a deeply character-driven tale that explores the vampire mythos from philosophical and moral angles.

Fans said that this gave what could have been a standard vampire story depth and emotion. The questions the story raised – for instance, what gives life (or death) meaning – intrigued these readers.

Moreover, readers described the characters as a highlight. Decisions, isolation and the passing eras affect each character. Because of this, they struck readers as vivid and complex.

LGBTQ+ Characters: While Louis’ sexuality isn’t overtly stated, fans noted an underlying sexual attraction between Louis and Lestat, as well as Louis and Armand. In sequels, Lestat refers to Louis as his lover.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Interview with the Vampire, what did they say? These readers said that while they understood that the story was philosophical take on the vampire mythos, it was too ponderous.

They reported that Louis’ reflections eventually came across to them as self-pity and they eventually lost interest in the story.

Others said that although the book had no outright sexual or romantic content, the eroticism between the characters – particularly Louis to Claudia, a child vampire – disturbed them.

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore


Divine justice is written in blood.

Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.

Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.86

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

What’s the another story on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters? It’s K.A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin.

This book is, in many ways, precisely what it says on the cover: a fantasy novel focusing on a reluctant trained assassin seeking vengeance after someone close to them is murdered. It’s a fascinating exploration into whether or not killing can ever be justified, and Amastan, the novel’s protagonist, makes the tale well worth reading with his perpetual struggles with morality and purpose.

Readers found The Perfect Assassin’s worldbuilding to be unparalleled in its depth and quality, praising the setting’s immersive qualities. Many reviewers were also pleased with the novel’s diverse cast and excellent POC and queer representation.

Negative Comments

Some readers were put off by Doore’s storytelling, finding it predictable and cliche in many instances. In particular, the novel’s foreshadowing was noted by several commenters to be heavy-handed and challenging to engage with.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie


Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie, New York Times best-selling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

Book cover of The Raven Tower

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven.

He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself.

His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes.

But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo – aide to Mawat, the true Lease – arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.04

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters is The Raven Tower, who readers said had a bisexual protagonist. Inspired by Hamlet, this fantasy book captured readers’ attention with it’s unique triple perspective (told from the point of view of an ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘them’). They said that this made the story markedly different from most and that its characterization was excellent.

Negative Comments

Readers who didn’t think The Raven Tower was for them predominately cited the triple perspective as a drawback. They agreed that it was unique, but not something they enjoyed.

Other readers said that while the story had an interesting concept, the plot and world-building came across as slow for them.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab


A life no one will remember. A story you will never forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.27

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueThis evocative novel captivated fans with its lush prose, immersive atmosphere, and character-drive story. These readers praised the story for how the writing style drew them in, giving them a comforting, mesmerizing literary fantasy experience. In addition, others mentioned that most of the character cast were part of the LGBTQ+ community, which they found refreshing.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, including The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueWhat did they say?

For the most part, these readers said that they thought the plot didn’t impart a sense of momentum or that they found Addie unlikeable.

In the first case, they said that the slow-burn plot meandered, rather than worked toward a clear goal or moved in a clear direction. In the second case, critics described Addie as self-centered or jarringly disinterested or uninvolved in the extraordinary historical events she lived through. For example: World War II, emmancipation, civil rights, and more. because of this, they found it difficult to connect with her.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson


Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery – and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

The Traitor Baru is a thrilling blend of science fiction and fantasy, taking the reader on a journey through a dystopic society and one young woman’s efforts to survive in it despite its cruelty. 

The novel’s feminist themes of fighting against a predatory and restrictive hierarchy are well-written and more relevant than ever. Baru is a complex, nuanced protagonist that many LGBTQ readers will find relatable and inspiring.

Readers found Baru and her struggles with her identity as a lesbian touching and heart-wrenching in the face of such a violently anti-LGBTQ society. The novel’s worldbuilding is also incredibly complex and well-written.

Negative Comments

For some, Dickinson’s writing is predictable and difficult to get immersed in with its excessive number of side characters and winding subplots. Many reviewers also noted the novel is a bit heavy-handed with its political themes.

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice


Lestat. The vampire hero of Anne Rice’s enthralling new novel is a creature of the darkest and richest imagination.

Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, he rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying existence. His is a mesmerizing story – passionate, complex, and thrilling.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

As Anne Rice’s second entry into the Vampire Chronicles, The Vampire Lestat is a gripping historical fiction and an excellent follow-up to the unforgettable 1976 novel, Interview with the Vampire. Lestat is a fascinating protagonist and antihero that many LGBTQ readers will find relatable in his efforts to discover other beings like him in this prelude to one of the most popular entries in the vampire fiction genre.

Many readers noted that this is one of Anne Rice’s best, most well-researched works, with a surprising number of comments mentioning it easily surpasses her first entry into the Vampire Chronicles in quality. 

Lestat makes for excellent queer representation, and his depiction in the novel is made all the more relatable and engaging thanks to Rice’s dramatic and elegant prose.

Negative Comments

Some reviewers mentioned the novel’s prose is overwhelming and rambling at times, making it a bit of a chore to read for those not interested in overly flowery and poetic language. Additionally, the book’s deliberate pace often slows to a crawl, with more impatient readers finding it grating and frustrating.

The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon


Paksenarrion wasn’t planning to submit to an unwelcome marriage and a lifetime of poverty, so she left her village with a plan and her grandfather’s sword. And a few weeks later, she was installed as Duke Phelan’s newest recruit in a company of soldiers for hire, her arms training about to begin.

But when Paks sees combat, she’s stabbed with an ensorcelled knife and barely survives. Then the near-misses start mounting up, raising questions about this young fighter. Is she attracting evil because she is a danger to them all? Or is there another reason malignant forces seek her life?

Paks will face the spider-minions of the Webmistress Achrya, orcs and the corrupted men who serve blood mage Liart, Master of Torments.

She will also earn the gratitude of elves and of her Duke. And through conflict she will learn she has powers of her own and a destiny.

To become a gods-chosen Paladin of Gird, and a target for the ultimate torture.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.30

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Last on our list of fantasy books with LGBTQ characters is The Deed of Paksenarrion. This is a compilation of three different books centering around Paksenarrion (Paks), a future paladin. While her sexuality isn’t overly stated, several readers interpreted her as asexual.

Readers reported that author Elizabeth Moon’s background as a Marine shone through. The details she included brought Paksenarrion’s training, camaraderie between the soldiers and trials to life in a fascinating and believable way.

Moreover, readers said that this made Paksenarrion and her upright character even more admirable. Her sincere righteousness, several readers said, was what one of the strongest reasons why they appreciated and bonded with her.

In addition, fans praised the book for its deep and hope-filled take on pain and suffering. Rather than only break and embitter a person, The Deed of Paksenarrion shows how pain and suffering can instead shape one into a better and stronger individual.

Readers applauded the book for its portrayal, especially since the fantasy genre has a reputation for making its ‘knight in shining armor’ characters bland.

Because they were weathering difficult situations in their own lives, some fans even mentioned that Paksenarrion’s struggles and eventual triumph here was particularly meaningful for them.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy The Deed of Paksensarrion say?

Critics generally said one of two things. Firstly, they said they didn’t feel enough of a connection to Paksenarrion.

Originally published in the 1980s, the novel uses a narration style that puts more emotional distance between the reader and the book’s characters. As such, these readers said that it was difficult to get a sense of Paksenarrion’s personality and emotions. Rather than experiencing her story with her, it seemed they were watching her move through it.

Secondly, critics said that the book’s descriptions lasted too long. On one hand, they agreed that the author’s background as a Marine gave each scene she wrote a great sense of realism. But on the other, they said it eventually bogged down the story.

Combined with the distance they felt toward Paksenarrion, this resulted in readers saying the book seemed episodic rather than a seamlessly progressing story.

10 Incredible Fantasy Books With LGBTQ Characters

How Do These Fantasy Novels Compare?

Similar Fantasy Books