The best asexual and aromantic fantasy books are packed full of magic, monsters, and mayhem. In a genre where we can imagine anything from unicorns to unique political systems to new approaches to gender and sexuality, these books take on the assignment and expand further than we thought possible.
The main characters in these books are on the asexual and/or aromantic spectrums. To get everyone on the same page, I am going to break down the broadest definitions of sexual and romantic orientations. The Asexual Visibility & Education Network (AVEN) explains, “An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction — they are not drawn to people sexually and do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way.” Aromantic people are “not romantically attracted to or desiring of romantic relationships at all.” Both umbrella groups are spectrums that contain varying levels of sexual and romantic attraction. I would highly recommend diving into some of these ace books or these aro books if you need any additional information.
Fantasy gives readers and writers the opportunity to explore any possibility so they can consider how something like the existence of dragons would affect the economy, politics, and social norms in a space. The growing collection of asexual and aromantic fantasy books is part of that exploration. What if you were transported to a world where asexuality or aromanticism was a well-known and accepted identity? What if you’re an ace vampire who manages to find love?
These ideas are a vital part of a diverse reading experience. People want to see themselves represented in fantasy — and they want to better understand people unlike themselves. Either way, diversity in fantasy is both needed and wanted. The following fantasy books have characters on the ace and aro spectrums in high fantasy, low fantasy, and science fantasy worlds. I hope you have an excellent time with them.
Asexual and Aromantic Fantasy Books
Chosen. Again. By J. Emery
At 30 Ari can still remember the dreamlike teen years she spent saving a fantasy world from an evil ruler. These days, she doesn’t need to know how to wield a sword in order to do her job and live in the real world. At least not until she gets pulled back into the fantasy world she left behind. The farm boy she placed on the throne is cursed, and the great wizard, who was once her friend, believes she is the only one who can help him. This is a portal fantasy book with an asexual protagonist who discovers the place she belongs when she decides to save the world. Again.
The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong
In this science fantasy book, when mixed-species fugitive Jes escapes from the laboratory that tested his gravity powers for years, his prophetic senses draw him to the circus on a pleasure moon. Never one to doubt his senses, Jes lands a job with a talented found family of circus performers on a deadline to improve their act at the risk of losing the show. His unique powers cannot be hidden for long though, and when a crime boss recognizes Jes from news reports, he forces him to work for him. Now, Jes must decide what he is willing to do to stay free.
Tell Me How It Ends by Quinton Li
Gambling house tarot reader, Iris Galaci, is just a worker with anxiety and autism under the control of the family business. That point is made crystal clear when they tell her to earn a thousand coins or lose her job and her family. Iris will do anything to stay, even take on a job saving a falsely imprisoned witch from royal prison. Marian Boudreau is an aro/ace nonbinary acrobatic rescuer with ADHD who is more than happy to pay Iris for her skills. Even with their athleticism and her portents, they will have to use everything they have if they want to pull off the heist of the century.
Socially Orcward by Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey
The third book in the Adventures in Aguillon series follows Dave, an ace orc who loves his dragons, and the ace dragon thief he falls for. As the official royal dragon keeper, Dave gladly accepts the help of a new kitchen worker, Simon Perrin, who shows knowledge and aptitude with dragons. As the son of a notable dragon expert, Simon knows how to get close enough to dragons to steal one for the man who threatens his family, but the closer he gets to Dave, the less he wants to carry out the task. When outside forces endanger Simon and Dave’s dragon Pie, Dave goes on a dangerous journey across the kingdom to get them back to safety.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia
As a nonbinary aro/ace Sassanian refugee, Firuz-e Jafari finds a way to make a new home in the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa as a healing clinic employee and mentor to a magical child. But when a new disease starts appearing in the City-State, Fruiz is thrust in the middle of disputes around who or what is the cause. Now, they must work with the family they’ve made for themselves in order to uncover the true cause of the disease in order to reestablish peace across Qilwa.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
If Pinocchio followed the heartwarming journey of the last real human boy alive surrounded by robots, you would get this science fantasy book. The inventor android, Giovanni Lawson, raised Victor Lawson from infancy, hidden and safe in the woods with an anxious vacuum and a curt nurse bot for company. Growing up, Vic knew he was an inventor, he was asexual, and he was willing to do anything for his family. When he discovers the android HAP in the salvage yard, Vic triggers a series of alarms that bring him on a journey out of the forest and into the wider mechanic world in his attempt to protect his family.
City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault
When Arathiel returns to Isandor after over a hundred years, he is not surprised to find merchant and noble families still politicking for power. Uninterested in engaging with either, he finds a home in the Lower City only to find one of his new friends accused of an assassination. Now, Arathiel will pull out all his old connections and skills to put things right. This political high fantasy world has multiple aro and ace characters trying to right the wrongs of society in the best ways they can.
Human Enough by E.S. Yu
Noah Lau’s determination to be an excellent vampire hunter is tempered by the world’s inability to adequately accommodate being autistic — and his new vampire boyfriend. Six months ago, a vampire captured Noah on the job, and in his escape, he brought the vampire’s former lover with him. While living with Noah, Jordan begins to understand his place in vampire society and his identity on the ace spectrum, but soon friends from his vampire support group go missing. In the hopes of saving Jordan and his friends, Noah will have to uncover the corruption at the heart of his organization in this urban fantasy book.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Sometimes, your goth teenage dreams are affirmed by the magical lands you uncover. That was certainly the case for ace teen Nancy, who found herself in a land reminiscent of the Greek underworld where stillness was prized above all else. She was told she needed to go home before deciding to stay. Now, her parents have taken her to a school full of other wayward children like her who opened doors to other worlds. But upon Nancy’s arrival, her fellow students begin to show up dead. Now, if she doesn’t want to be blamed for their deaths, she will have to uncover who is really behind the gruesome crimes.
Bisclavret by K.L. Noone
A bookish demisexual king falls for a bisexual werewolf knight in a fantasy romance novella based on the medieval poem of the same name. When Bisclavret’s wife discovers her husband is a werewolf, she steals his clothes and traps him in wolf form. Luckily, the clever king notices the wolf who comes upon his group in the woods is too intelligent to dismiss. Thus, Bisclavret becomes a trusted wolf knight and companion to the king in the court. Marie de France’s original poem is a longtime favorite of mine, and this is a lovingly sincere adaptation.
Asexual and aromantic fantasy books may be difficult to find at times, but I am forever encouraged to seek them out and read them when I can. After all, fantasy books can give a space to reimagine possibilities with the impossible trappings of the fantastic. If you are looking for other diverse fantasy recommendations, check out these books about gender shapeshifters, these SFF books with disabled main characters, and these must-read SFF books by Black authors.