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Book Related Banter > Fantasy Magic with Gay Leads Recommendations

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message 1: by kn (new)

kn (vicecn) Hey everyone, I’m sorry if there is a topic similar to this already, I use the app infrequently so it’s difficult for me to navigate; however I am looking for some new novels (especially with audiobooks made) that includes a main gay character with a fantasy magic theme.

Sorta, Harry Potter meets Call Me By Your Name or Stormlight Archives meet Something Like series!

I’ve read a lot of T.J Klune but I want a little less comedy and a little more drama.

Can you help? I’d be so grateful! Thank you.


message 2: by Iamshadow (new)

Iamshadow | 334 comments If high fantasy is what you're looking for, I recommend the Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling starting with Luck in the Shadows. I'd say it's suitable for teen and up - I was certainly reading straight fiction that's equivalent by my teens. The later books have a higher rating than the earlier ones, and Glimpses: A Collection of Nightrunner Short Stories has a deleted scene that would make it adult, not teen. Also, while the MCs end up in a long term, committed relationship, it takes a little time for them to get there, and both have short-term encounters with women during this time.

If you want a very Harry Potter style story, then Carry On and A Hero at the End of the World are both reimaginings of a Potteresque world that have gay male lead characters.

Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo is a heist duology in a fantasy setting. Two of the ensemble cast end up romantically attracted to each other. Read if you like Leverage, but with swords and sorcery.

The Raven Boys and the three other books in the series by Maggie Stiefvater have two mlm characters as part of the core ensemble, but it's a bit blink and you'll miss it. Also, if you're allergic to rich white boys, there are a bunch.

Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series have a bunch of queer characters, but does tend towards tragic and heroic, so beware the Dead Gay trope. Also, if you don't like magic, telepathic horses, the series isn' t going to be your thing. Start with Magic's Pawn to jump right to the gay, or with Arrows of the Queen if you want to start where the author began when she started writing.

If I think of more, I'll add them!


message 3: by K.S. (new)

K.S. Trenten (cauldronkeeper) | 88 comments Have you read Tanya Huff's Sing the Four Quarters, The Fifth Quarter, No Quarter, and The Quartered Sea? Same sex pairings are part of the scenery in this fantasy universe.

For a fantasy world rife with intrigues and religious fervor, yet none of it directed at same sex pairings (which happen on a regular basis and often involving one of the main characters), there's Fiona Patton's Stone Prince, The Painter Knight, The Granite Shield, and The Golden Sword.

One of my absolute favorites series are the Felix Harrowgate and Mildmay the Fox books by Sarah Monette; Melusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, and Corambis. Felix is an openly gay character who is often quite balanced between being heroic and villainous along with being a powerful wizard, driven to seek knowledge for its own sake besides need. This is a beautifully written fantasy world with some of my favorite elements of our own world, only reshaped in an original form.


message 4: by Kaje (last edited Aug 27, 2018 02:46PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16801 comments Keith wrote: "Hey everyone, I’m sorry if there is a topic similar to this already, I use the app infrequently so it’s difficult for me to navigate; however I am looking for some new novels (especially with audio..."

in YA stories (which TJ's books of course are not)

Lord of the White Hell, Book 1 duology - high fantasy that begins in a magic school setting (one bit of sex scene that would put this older teen IMO)
The Fire's Stone - an old favorite adventure and magic, some slavery/abuse elements
Guardian - a favorite high-fantasy trilogy, the characters are older but relatable for YA
Distant Rumblings trilogy - first book is more urban fantasy, then shifts to high fantasy
The Cat in the Cradle series - magic hero's quest
Triane's Son Rising series - high fantasy adventure in a mystical land
The Student Prince - urban Merlin fantasy (one bit of sex scene that would put this older teen IMO)
The Door Into Fire series - another older one in a land where alnost everyone, including the Goddess and other deities, is casually bisexual, follows two princes in love
Bedlam's Bard - urban fantasy

I love the Melusine series Kari mentioned - do be aware that it opens with an emotional although not described in detail rape scene (making it borderline for YA); also the focus is on brothers - one straight, one gay-, not any gay relationship


message 5: by Iamshadow (new)

Iamshadow | 334 comments Storyteller is also a good one, though I think it's technically Sci fi. Major tissue warning for the slow death of a sentient alien creature, though.


message 6: by kn (new)

kn (vicecn) Wow... you guys have blown me away with the amazing recommendations. I didn’t expect such a comprehensive and detailed lists, but I really appreciate it. They will be put to good use! Thank you :)


message 7: by Iamshadow (new)

Iamshadow | 334 comments Rick Riordan is also known for his diversity. I haven't read him yet, though, so someone else would have to confirm whether he's written a major gay character.


message 8: by Kaje (last edited Aug 28, 2018 07:29AM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16801 comments If you're also interested in adult fantasy, you might also check out the LGBTQ/GSM Fantasy & Science Fiction group here - that one includes books with erotic 18+ content (and you'll find me over there as well, with some of my lists of my favorite adult gay stories) - https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

And in YA, I missed adding The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - YA historical fantasy, light but not totally fluffy
Seven Tears at High Tide - merpeople urban fantasy
Vintage: A Ghost Story


message 9: by K.S. (new)

K.S. Trenten (cauldronkeeper) | 88 comments Keith wrote: "Wow... you guys have blown me away with the amazing recommendations. I didn’t expect such a comprehensive and detailed lists, but I really appreciate it. They will be put to good use! Thank you :)"

You're welcome.


message 10: by Rez (new)

Rez Delnava (rez_delnava) I know you said less comedy, but I can't help recommend In Other Lands. Its comedy is satire with a feminist lean.

There's also The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens.


message 11: by Kim (last edited Aug 28, 2018 07:49PM) (new)

Kim (lokilady) | 405 comments Iamshadow wrote: "Rick Riordan is also known for his diversity. I haven't read him yet, though, so someone else would have to confirm whether he's written a major gay character."

Nico and Will, both gay boys, are mostly supporting characters in the Heroes of Olympus and Trials of Apollo series, although Nico gets fairly decent development in the former, and multiple books remaining in the latter series offer the possibility for both of those characters to get more development. Apollo himself, in both the mythology and Riordan's eponymous series, is potentially attracted to anything with a pulse. Alex, a main character in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, identifies as transgender and genderfluid, and develops a romantic relationship with another main character (view spoiler).


message 12: by kn (new)

kn (vicecn) Gentleman’s guide, other lands and rules and regulations seem like a perfect fit for me, I know I asked for more drama but I love humour and the darker the better.

Thank you for that they group recommendation, I’ve asked to join.

Honestly it’s blowing my mind how much quality stuff is out there. Also I’m half way through six of crows and I’m loving it so far. Thanks for that recommendation guys 😉


message 13: by Iamshadow (new)

Iamshadow | 334 comments Keith wrote: "Also I’m half way through six of crows and I’m loving it so far. Thanks for that recommendation guys "

If you do love that duology, go back and read the trilogy that she started the universe with, The Grisha Trilogy, beginning with Shadow and Bone. It'll give you a deeper appreciation for the universe, and a bit more context for things like the history of the neighboring kingdoms and the magic and how it works. :) There's also a short story collection that ties in called The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic.


message 14: by Kim (last edited Oct 31, 2019 11:45AM) (new)


message 15: by Carrie-Anne (new)

Carrie-Anne | 103 comments Kim wrote: "Next year we'll get a new graphic novel from Alex Sanchez about the DC comics character Aqualad,
You Brought Me the Ocean
. =) "


No way! Alex Sanchez hasn't released anything for ages! :D


message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim (lokilady) | 405 comments Carrie-Anne wrote: "No way! Alex Sanchez hasn't released anything for ages! :D"

Right? And this is a book that would've interested me regardless of the author, so, now I'm doubly keen.


message 17: by Isaac (new)

Isaac (bookswithike) | 14 comments Iamshadow wrote: "If high fantasy is what you're looking for, I recommend the Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling starting with Luck in the Shadows. I'd say it's suitable for teen and u..."

I was wondering about Valdemar. Is Magic's Pawn a good place to start, or do you need to read the previous books to understand everything? I want to read them all but there are over 40 books in the series, and it's still ongoing, so I want to start with the classic queer fantasy bit. Also, are there queer characters in any of the other arcs of the series or is it just The Last Herald Mage?


message 18: by Mere (new)

Mere Rain | 64 comments You can start with Magic's Pawn. If I recall correctly it is actually early in the chronology of the Valdemar stories even though it wasn't written first.

There are queer secondary characters in Arrows of the Queen.


message 19: by Jack (new)

Jack | 9 comments The Boy Who Couldn't Fly Straight
(The Broom Closet Stories #1)
by Jeff Jacobson Is good and slightly Harry Potterish. Gay coming of age, finds out he a witch, slightly angsty. Enjoyable read.


message 20: by Jack (new)

Jack | 9 comments Mere wrote: "You can start with Magic's Pawn. If I recall correctly it is actually early in the chronology of the Valdemar stories even though it wasn't written first.

There are queer secondary characters in [..."


I’m a huge Valdermar fan. Most of the books have gay secondary characters or characters that happen to be gay, but the Magic Trilogy is really the only ones that the primary MC is gay.


message 21: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16801 comments I read Magic's Pawn first (decades ago) and didn't feel like I was missing any background.


message 22: by Isaac (new)

Isaac (bookswithike) | 14 comments Cool. I figured, but wanted to make sure.

I'll be getting it for Christmas, hopefully.


message 23: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16801 comments It's one that is in many libraries too.


message 24: by Andreas (new)

Andreas | 31 comments I would like to recommend The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.

“Near the little town of Fairfold, in the darkest part of the forest, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a sleeping faerie prince that none can rouse. He's the most fascinating thing Hazel and her brother Ben have ever seen.”

Yes, Ben is gay ... (view spoiler)

If you're looking for "Harry Potter meets Call Me By Your Name" this is the book for you. :)

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


message 25: by Andreas (last edited Jun 12, 2020 02:30AM) (new)

Andreas | 31 comments There have been a few new releases lately, so I thought I might give this thread a little update.

Reverie by Ryan La Sala is maybe the most epic one of them. It has a fantastic world building, great characters and an intriguing plot. It's also the queerest of them all.

The Secret of the Sacred Four by E.J. Elwin is about witches, witchcraft and and an old prophecy come to life. It's not for the faint of heart though.

The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos is about magic, friendship and romance. Cute.

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton is not about magic, but about a post-apocalyptic world with zombies – which happen to be a litte bit different. It slightly borders on magic, so I thought I'd include it here as well. It's also not for the faint of heart.


message 26: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I second Luck in the Shadows, though the last books are not as good as earlier ones.
No one's mentioned the Astriant novels, have they? I totally love them. I'm reading the fifth book, Point of Sighs, right now. Of course, it's definitely not for everyone. It is not heavy on the romance, to say the least, and it's like a police procedural in a fantasy world. Some of you might find it boring. They are completely appropriate for a young adult audience, really tame except for a few gruesome corpse descriptions.


message 27: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Sorry, it's the Astreiant series, by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett, starting with Point of Hopes. Be sure to read Point of Knives before Point of Dreams, regardless of publishing dates.


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