The best queer fantasy books for jaded adults

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.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Dowry of Blood

Cat Rector Why did I love 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. 

By S. T. Gibson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Dowry of Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

S.T. Gibson's sensational novel is the darkly seductive tale of Dracula's first bride, Constanta. 

This is my last love letter to you, though some would call it a confession. . .

Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things.

Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband's dark…

Book cover of Legends & Lattes

Cat Rector Why did I love 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. 

By Travis Baldree,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Legends & Lattes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

High fantasy, low stakes - with a double-shot of coffee.

After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream - for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Even though no one there knows what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can't go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet old rivals and new stand in the way of success. And Thune's shady underbelly could make it all…

Book cover of Truth and Other Lies

Cat Rector Why did I love 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! 

By Lyra Wolf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Truth and Other Lies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing is trickier than the truth.

All Loki the trickster god of Asgard wants is a peaceful life where he’s free to stir up a bit of harmless mischief. But when he’s struck by a painful vision of blood, ash, and death he knows his fun has run out.

Refusing to have his life obliterated by some stuffy prophecy, Loki feels he must save Asgard. Except the gods stand in his way. They don’t trust the God of Lies—which means his only hope is to return to Odin, the man he wished to forget thanks to their complicated history.


Book cover of The Monster of Elendhaven

Cat Rector Why did I love 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. 

By Jennifer Giesbrecht,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monster of Elendhaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A black tide of perversity, violence, and lush writing. I loved it.” —Joe Hill

A Finalist for the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award!

Debut author Jennifer Giesbrecht paints a darkly compelling fantasy of revenge in The Monster of Elendhaven, a dark fantasy about murder, a monster, and the magician who loves both.

The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of industry and left to die. But not everything dies so easily. A thing without a name stalks the city, a thing shaped like a man, with a dark heart…

Book cover of The Witch's Heart

Cat Rector Why did I love 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. 

By Genevieve Gornichec,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Witch's Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Angrboda's story begins where most witch tales end: with being burnt. A punishment from Odin for sharing her visions of the future with the wrong people, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the furthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki, and her initial distrust of him-and any of his kind-grows reluctantly into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces the most important things in her long life: a trio of peculiar children, each with a secret destiny, whom she…

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Radio Free Olympia

By Jeffrey Dunn,

Book cover of Radio Free Olympia

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Radio Free Olympia

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’ve always been a child of the woods. I preferred to leave my home and wade a creek or explore a hillside. Nothing compared to the sight of a black snake or the feel of a mud puppy. School was a torture until an English teacher introduced me to Richard Brautigan and then read my first serious story to the class. Since then, this dyslexic nature lover has become a dream fisher and history miner with a Ph.D. in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Retired from forty-one years of teaching, I now write and publish cultural fiction.

Jeffrey's book list on where imagination and nature run free

What is my book about?

Embark on a riveting journey into Washington State’s untamed Olympic Peninsula, where the threads of folklore legends and historical icons are woven into a complex ecological tapestry.

Follow the enigmatic Petr as he fearlessly employs his pirate radio transmitter to broadcast the forgotten and untamed voices that echo through the wilderness. Venture deeper and encounter Baie, the founder of Wildsisters, a cranberry-infused roadhouse that offers solace to lost and wayward women. When a newborn is kidnapped, Baie and her community must unite to recover what has been stolen. Yet, their quest for justice extends beyond the realm of human characters—it must also be served for the fragile flora, the diverse fauna, and the very essence of the natural world.

Radio Free Olympia

By Jeffrey Dunn,

What is this book about?

Unleash the Power of the Wilderness in Radio Free Olympia

Discover the captivating allure of Washington's untamed Olympic Peninsula in Radio Free Olympia, an extraordinary literary masterpiece that immerses readers in a mesmerizing realm of visionaries, folklore legends, and historical icons. With an enchanting blend of magical realism and cultural fiction, the brilliant wordsmith Jeffrey Dunn artfully intertwines multiple narratives, crafting an intricate ecological tapestry that resonates deeply within the soul.

Embark on a riveting journey alongside the enigmatic Petr, a foundling whose path leads him deep into the heart of the majestic mountain rainforest. Armed with nothing but a…

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Interested in monsters, Loki, and Norse mythology?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about monsters, Loki, and Norse mythology.

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