The best queer fantasy books for jaded adults

Cat Rector Author Of The Goddess of Nothing At All
By Cat Rector

Who am I?

I’ve been reading books about dark content since I was a teenager, and I’ve always loved the understanding and companionship it provides to people who carry around broken pieces of themselves. Over the years, this interest in hardship has become a lot more specific; I’ve discovered my own queer identity, which has cause me to seek shelter in queer fantasy. It also inevitably lead me to queer Norse mythology, whose source material is dripping with queer hints for anyone with the historical knowledge to find them. Combining all these things, I’ve gathered a large collection of stories that promise to help you lick your wounds, all while drawing you into the next chapter. 


I wrote...

The Goddess of Nothing At All

By Cat Rector,

Book cover of The Goddess of Nothing At All

What is my book about?

Perhaps you know the myths. Furious, benevolent Gods. A tree that binds nine realms. A hammer stronger than any weapon. And someday, the end of everything. But few have heard of me.

Looking back, it’s easy to know what choices I might have made differently. At least it feels that way. I might have given up on my title. Told my father he was useless, king of Gods or no, and left Asgard. Made a life somewhere else. Maybe I would never have let Loki cross my path. Never have fallen in love. But there’s no going back. We were happy once. And the price for that happiness was the end of everything.

The books I picked & why

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A Dowry of Blood

By S. T. Gibson,

Book cover of A Dowry of Blood

Why this book?

This Dracula retelling is bite-sized (pun intended) and beautiful, and I absolutely recommend the audiobook. In it, the brides of Dracula contend with their own inner demons, and the wavering, inconsistent love of their abuser, Dracula. It’s queer, explores polyamory, and takes a dark look into the way that the ones we love can ruin our lives. Having loved a Dracula or two in my day, I found the book cathartic, and I’d recommend it to anyone who needs to process the loss of a toxic love. 


Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes

By Travis Baldree,

Book cover of Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes

Why this book?

Legends & Lattes isn’t my normal cup of tea. It’s a low-stakes fantasy that is soft and gentle, and promises that everything will work out in the end. The concept that captured me enough to read it three times in one month was how profoundly it mourned adulthood. The main character is an Orc that’s done with being a mercenary and just wants to open her own coffee shop. Like so many of us, she’s deeply tired, which leads her to change her career, find a new community, and build something special for herself. I was shocked at how badly I needed this book, and I see myself returning to it for years to come. 


Truth and Other Lies

By Lyra Wolf,

Book cover of Truth and Other Lies

Why this book?

The entire Nine Worlds Rising series is an exercise in watching Loki get taken down a peg or six. I’m deeply in love with Norse myth material, and Lyra is not afraid to take a deep look at the pain that people inflict on each other. Book One deals with betrayal, ostracization, self-sabotage, and becoming the worst version of yourself. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, because the author has a fantastic sense of humour that really shines in Loki. Many of the characters are queer, including at least one that you won’t expect! 


The Monster of Elendhaven

By Jennifer Giesbrecht,

Book cover of The Monster of Elendhaven

Why this book?

This book is just fun, but it’s also a weird kind of fun. Short and to the point, it follows two monstrous men as they wreak deadly havoc on a dark little town. It leans heavily on the media’s history of queer-coding villains in stories and allows the characters to be unapologetically evil. Readers who enjoy this book will find themselves thinking the pair are strangely cute together, all the while trying to remember that they’re very dangerous. It’s great as an audiobook and makes the perfect palate cleaners between longer books. 


The Witch's Heart

By Genevieve Gornichec,

Book cover of The Witch's Heart

Why this book?

A large portion of my book collection is Norse, and every one is different. The Witch’s Heart is a queer retelling that’s greatest strength is its connection to motherhood. When myth nerds think of Angrboda, they think of the mother of monsters, a woman who helped end the nine realms. But this author saw her as something more multifaceted, and showed us someone who was hurt, who fell in love, and who protected her family at all costs. This book is a character-driven masterpiece that took its time, but finished with an intensity that had me sobbing like a baby at 2 am. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in queer topics and characters, Loki, and Norse mythology?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about queer topics and characters, Loki, and Norse mythology.

Queer Topics And Characters Explore 95 books about queer topics and characters
Loki Explore 5 books about Loki
Norse Mythology Explore 53 books about Norse mythology

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Legendborn, and This Poison Heart if you like this list.