I know some people aren’t clear on the difference between fantasy and paranormal fiction, so let’s start this post with a definition.
What is paranormal fiction?
Paranormal fiction is set in our normal world, just with some paranormal aspects added, e.g., werewolves, vampires, ghosts, or shapeshifters exist along with humans. If you take away the paranormal creatures, you’d be left with our current world.
What is fantasy?
Fantasy novels are set in another, imaginary world that has its own rules. Very often, magical powers and mythological creatures such as dragons play an important role.
However, there’s a huge overlap between the two genres, especially between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Many even consider paranormal fiction to be a subgenre of fantasy, so I’m not going to be too strict if you want to put a novel such as Second Nature into the fantasy square.
I know some people have been looking forward to this reading list because fantasy is their favorite genre, while others are shying away from it.
If you belong to the latter group, give it a chance. There are some fantastic (no pun intended!) fantasy novels out there, and if you find the right one, you might end up loving it.
15 GREAT LESBIAN FANTASY NOVELS
I’ve put together a list of 15 fantasy novels with lesbian, bisexual, and other women-loving female main characters.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Princess Dennaleia has spent all her life planning to marry a prince and seal an alliance that will protect their homelands from other hostile kingdoms. But as her forbidden magical gift for fire becomes harder to hide and she starts to fall in love with her fiancé’s rogueish horse-training sister, she must choose between her duty, her power, and her heart.
Daughter of Fire: Conspiracy of the Dark (Destiny and Darkness, book 1) by Karen Frost
In an isolated land of ice and snow, a girl finds she has the rare gift of fire. It’s raw and exciting, but sets her apart. Aeryn is taken to train as a mage at a university. There, she meets a healer in training, Lyse, whose beauty draws her in. But there’s also darkness all around that could threaten the whole kingdom.
A compelling fantasy novel, book 1 of the Destiny and Darkness series.
The Exile and the Sorcerer (Lyremouth Series, book 1) by Jane Fletcher
The quest for the chalice is a sham, a way to banish Tevi, without causing scandal. She must go alone into a world where monsters and bandits are the least of her problems.
Jemeryl wants only to be left to study magic in peace and avoid common folk who don’t understand sorcerers. It is all very straightforward, until she meets Tevi.
Daughter of Mystery (Alpennia series) by Heather Rose Jones
An unexpected inheritance fuels Margerit Sovitre’s dream of becoming a scholar, not simply making a good marriage. But the least expected part of that legacy is the swordswoman Barbara, who may be the only person standing between her and a charge of sorcery and treason.
Dragon Horse War: The Calling by D. Jackson Leigh
When is war justified to preserve peace? Jael, seasoned commander of a latent cell of dragon horse warriors, understands what Alyssa, an alluring young Advocate, doesn’t—words won’t be enough to quell the violent sect preying on the population’s fear and hunger. As their conflicting ideologies threaten to jeopardize their mission to save The Collective, Alyssa and Jael realize their growing attraction and entwined destiny might be more formidable than the enemy they have been called upon to defeat.
The Second Sister (Amendyr series, book 1) by Rae D. Magdon
Eleanor of Sandleford’s entire world is shaken when her father marries the mysterious, reclusive Lady Kingsclere to gain a noble title. Ellie is forced to live at Baxstresse Manor with her two new stepsisters. Luciana is sadistic, but Belladonna is the woman who truly haunts her. Forced to be a servant after her father dies, how will she stop an ancient sorcerer’s curse and save her country?
Breaking Legacies by Zoe Reed
In a land impoverished by a war that started before she was born, Kiena has provided for her mother and brother by becoming one of the best hunters in the kingdom. But when a lifelong friend with connections recommends her to the king to track down a runaway princess, her life gets turned upside down. Finding the princess is easy. Deciding what to do in a conflicting mess of politics and emotions…not so much.
Banshee’s Honor (The Tales of Y’Myran, book 1) by Shaylynn Rose
Warleader—in Y’Dan, this is a title of pride, of honor, and of joy. Oathbreaker—a word branded only on those whose crimes are so heinous, all must know of their crime. Both of these names have been given to Azhani Rhu’len. Only one of them is right.
Sword of the Guardian by Merry Shannon
Princess Shasta is saved from an assassination attempt by a handsome traveling acrobat named Talon. Impressed, the King declares Talon will become the Princess’s new bodyguard. Intrigue and treachery permeate the palace, but the greatest deception of all is right under Shasta’s nose. What will she do when she discovers her charming guardian isn’t what he seems?
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
Cassandra Leung has been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant sea monsters to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But then pirate queen Santa Elena kidnaps her. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a sea monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
The Only Way by Jamie Sullivan
In the Gutter, there are only two ways for a girl to earn a living—among the trash or on her back. When Hart decides that’s not good enough for her, she takes on the high stakes world of no-holds-barred fighting. There’s just one problem: women aren’t allowed in the ring. Hair cut short and dressed in her father’s old clothes, Hart ventures into the world of arena fighting. There she meets Ruby…
Ice Massacre (Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, book 1) by Tiana Warner
A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death. Meela, a warrior of Eriana Kwai, must fight for her people’s survival on the ocean’s deadliest battleground — battling against the mermaid she once called a friend.
Rising from the Ashes: The Chronicles of Caymin (The Dragonmage Saga, book 1) by Caren Werlinger
In ancient Ireland, a young girl is orphaned and left to die. Rescued by a clan of badgers, she and her magic come to the attention of other humans. Some want to help her; some want to use her. When she bonds with an orphaned dragon cub, they become the targets of those who seek to use their power. Forced to flee, dragon and dragonmage must search for the answers as to what their future holds.
The Warrior’s Path (When Women Were Warriors series, book 1) by Catherine M. Wilson
Tamras arrives in Merin’s house to begin her apprenticeship as a warrior, but her small stature causes many, including Tamras herself, to doubt that she will ever become a competent swordswoman. To make matters worse, Merin assigns her the position of companion, little more than a personal servant, to a woman who came to Merin’s house, seemingly out of nowhere, the previous winter, and this stranger wants nothing to do with Tamras.
If you haven’t done so already, read up on the rules of Lesbian Book Bingo, pick the book you want to read for the fantasy square, and start reading! Remember that you can either read one of the 15 books listed above or pick another fantasy novel with a female main character who identifies as LGBTQIA+.
Leave a comment to win a book
In addition to winning books by completing a line on the bingo card, there’ll also be a giveaway for each post. This time, there’ll be two prizes: One lucky winner will get a paperback copy of Audrey Coulthurst’s Of Fire and Stars, while another is getting all three e-books in Catherine M. Wilson’s When Women Were Warriors trilogy.
To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment and let us know which book you’re going to read for the fantasy square or if you can think of other lesbian books that fit this category.
I’ll announce the winners of the giveaway on Thursday, February 22.
The reading list for the next bingo square—women of color—will be posted on March 1. There’ll be another giveaway too!
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