In honour of Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Carry On’, we’ve got some brilliant LGBT fantasy book recommendations!

You know that feeling of falling so head over heels with a book that you just want MORE? That’s how we felt after finishing ‘Carry On’. Sometimes it helps to have a few books with similar themes on your TBR so we’ve got a few LGBT fantasy reads to ease your book hangover.


Here are a few of our favourite fantasy novels with LGBT characters and themes.

The Abyss Surrounds Us‘The Abyss Surrounds Us’ by Emily Skrutskie is the start of a new fantasy/sci-fi/adventure series and we fell totes in love when we read it earlier in the year. Cas has been brought up training sea monsters called Reckoners. The genetically-engineered beasts are bred to protect the vessels moving across the pirate-infested waters of the Neo-Pacific. During Cas’s first solo mission, she’s snatched by a pirate crew and forced to use her training to benefit them. It’s fast-paced, unique and the unusual relationship between Cas and Swift is handled beautifully. We are DYING for book two.

Pantomime‘Pantomime’ by Laura Lam is the first book in an action-packed, clever and beautifully written fantasy trilogy. Gene has everything you could think to want: a noble family, a to-die-for wardrobe and a loving family. Bu Gene has a secret that will see her turned from nobility: she is both male and female. When her parents plan a devastating betrayal, Gene runs away dressed as a boy. She becomes Micah Gray and joins the circus as an aerialist. But the circus has a dark side, and she might be in as much danger as she was at home. It’s SO GOOD.

More Happy Than not‘More Happy Than Not’ by Adam Silvera balances on the line between genres. It’s contemporary, it’s science fiction, it’s fantastical – but it’s actually just really freaking good. Aaron is struggling to be happy again after the suicide of his father, but with the help of his girlfriend, Genevieve, he’s getting there. When she leaves the city for the summer, Aaron makes a new friend, Thomas, and they become joined at the hip. Thomas makes Aaron happy and Aaron is terrified of these new feelings and turns to the Leteo Institue. Leteo can alter and eradicate unwanted memories and Aaron is considering having Thomas wiped from his mind, even if it means losing some of himself in the process. This is a gorgeous little heartbreaker and we couldn’t get enough of it.

Ash‘Ash’ by Malinda Lo is a lesbian retelling of ‘Cinderella’. In Ash’s world, fairies walk the line between reality and magic, and as Ash works as a servant in her stepmother’s home, she begins to realise that maybe her beloved mother was very aware of them. Against the misery of her life with her stepmother, Ash befriends one of the faeries who grants her wishes that make her more herself again. She also meets Kaisa, one of the King’s huntresses, who awakens things in Ash she thought were lost. Right?? How sold are you!

The Darkest part of the Forest‘The Darkest Part of the Forest’ is Holly Black‘s long-awaited return to faeries. We’re huge fans of Holly Black’s ‘Modern Tales of Faerie’ series here at MP! so we leaped on this as soon as we could get our hands on it and it was delicious. In the dark depths of the forest just outside Fairfold lies a glass casket containing a sleeping faerie prince. He’s been there for as long as the town can remember, but when Hazel and her brother, Ben, start dreaming of waking him, they find out that you should always be careful what you wish for. This faerie tale is dark, dangerous and completely spellbinding.

Have we missed your favourite? Tweet us @maximumpopbooks!

And grab one of our tip-top favourite LGBT fantasies, ‘Carry On’, right here.

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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