From necromantic magic, sword fighting, and murder mysteries with lesbians to bisexual mages protecting the world from a magical artifact that could destroy it, gay monster hunters, and vampires falling in love, there’s something for everyone on this list! Some of these 2020 adult LGBTQ+ fantasy books are out already, others are still to be published later this year.
The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell (August 18)
Anza is a bisexual member of her country’s resistance against the despotic King Karolje. She has the evidence—in the form of the previous Queen’s diary—needed to overthrow him. When she has a chance encounter with the King’s son, she convinces him to take part in her plan. But if it fails, their kingdom’s future is even more bleak than it looks under Karolje’s rule.
The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso
Ryx’s magic is broken. After the bisexual mage causes a deadly accident that results in a mysterious magical artifact’s activation, she flees her family’s castle. Searching for a way to fix herself, she falls in with a group of magical experts. From them she learns that the artifact could destroy the world…and everyone is after it.
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang (September 8)
In poetic prose, Chang tells the stories of three generations of Taiwanese American women. A fabulist fantasy tale, Bestiary centers on a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body. But once Mother tells Daughter this story, Daughter wakes up…with a tiger’s tail.
In this wuxia-inspired fantasy, Guet Imm is a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon who has a sacred object to protect. Thus she has found herself involved with an eccentric troupe of thieves, who just might turn out to be found family.
From the Dark We Came by J. Emery
By day Belar is a mild-mannered music teacher. By night he is a monster hunter. When one of the monsters that got away—a vampire name Cassian—shows up on his doorstep, Belar is surprised to discover Cassian wants to hire him, not kill him. Featuring a demisexual protagonist!
Burning Roses by S.L. Huang (September 29)
This gender-swapped retelling of the Chinese fairytale Hou Yi features two queer women of color (one Latina, the other Chinese), one of whom is also trans! These two older queer ladies emerge from their middle age comfort in order to protect the land from the deadly sunbirds—massive killer fire birds.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Linus is an uptight caseworker with a heart of gold working for the department in charge of magical youth. When he goes to investigate an orphanage on an island with supposedly dangerous children and an enigmatic leader Arthur, he’s expecting the worst. But it turns out he might be falling in love with Arthur and his charges.
The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg (September 4)
This trans epic fantasy set in Lemberg’s Birdverse centers on two elder “changers,” a nameless man and his friend Uiziya. The two friends travel through the desert, Uiziya wanting to learn the skill of bone weaving, her friend seeking a name. But when they find the master weaver, they discover the weaver has a difficult task for them to accomplish.
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (August 4)
Admittedly this anticipated sequel to Gideon the Ninth could be shelved as either fantasy or science fiction. Muir focuses on Harrow, the secondary main character of the first book. Harrow is trying to fulfil the Emperor’s request from her. That means fighting an impossible war as an angel of undeath—along with an enemy rival.
Stormsong by C.L. Polk
In this sequel to acclaimed debut Witchmark, Polk focuses on what happens after the magical Big Bad is defeated. Dame Grace Hensley was one of those who helped undo the evil that plagued her nation—but aren’t the conditions that helped that evil to rise still there?
Looking for more 2020 adult LGBTQ+ fantasy books? I also wrote this 50 Must-Read LGBT Fantasy Books. For some YA, check out these 15 Must-Read Queer YA Fantasy Books. If you also like science fiction, don’t miss 10 Great 2020 Adult LGBTQ+ Science Fiction.