48+ Science Fiction & Fantasy Books with Sapphic Characters

Looking for your next queer read featuring strong women? Here is a great list of sapphic fiction to get you started!

The term sapphic (from the poet Sappho) refers to a woman of any sexual orientation who is attracted to other women. It includes lesbians, bisexuals, queer women who don't identify as bi or lesbian. Sapphic books can be of any genre; they may contain sapphic characters, but not necessarily romance. Some books are about women in love with women, others are not. Some are about family life and identity, but others are about adventures and mystery. Like all genres, there is a wide variety to choose from!

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Covers of SFF Books with Sapphic and Lesbian Characters

1. The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner

A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story where sparks fly when a down-and-out fire witch and a young gentlewoman join forces against a deadly conspiracy.

2. Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa

A witchy, atmospheric lesbian contemporary coming-of-age romance set in Salem about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present.

3. Extasia by Claire Legrand

A new, bone-chilling YA horror novel about a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that’s stalking her village. An emotionally searing and lyrically written, it beckons readers to follow its powerful heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood—where the truth is buried in lies, and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.

4. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in this powerful novel of magic, family, and the suffragette movement.

5. Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

An enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page. 

6. Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley

In this gorgeous standalone fantasy with a sweet sapphic romance, a young musician sets out to expose her rival for illegal use of magic only to discover the deception goes deeper than she could have imagined.

7. Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

A dark, queer YA fantasy. After Emanuela Ragno kills the one person in Occhia who can create water, she must find a way to save her city from dying of thirst.

8. The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

Lush and chilling, with razor-sharp edges and an iron core of hope, this bewitching, powerhouse novel of two girls fighting back against the violence the world visits on them will stun and enchant.

9. Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson

A spellbinding young adult fantasy debut following three best friends who turn to magic when they're haunted by a friend's death...and perhaps her spirit. It is a story of profound yearning, and what happens when three teen girls are finally given the power to go after what they want.

10. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

11. Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

In this debut fantasy, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

12. A Lesson In Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia.

Covers of SFF Books with Sapphic and Lesbian Characters

13. The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Vo's debut captures the glittering excess of a Gatsby retelling while layering in commentary on gender, race, sexuality and magic. This is Gatsby reinvented with stunning illusions and revolution, a dreamy interpretation filled with mystery and drama.

14. Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

In the aftermath of World War I, a naive woman is swept into a glittering world filled with dark magic, romance, and murder in this lush and decadent debut. A deliciously dark and witchy sapphic gothic horror and historical fantasy novel that was heavily influenced by “The Great Gatsby”.

15. Burning Roses by S.L. Huang

A gorgeous fairy tale novella of love and family, of demons and lost gods, for fans of Zen Cho and Neon Yang.

16. The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Gothic, intoxicating, feminist, darkly provoking and deeply romantic - this is the breathtakingly imagined untold story of the brides of Dracula.

17. The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder

“Sleeping Beauty” meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fast-paced young adult fairytale retelling full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.

18. The Bone Way by Holly J. Underhill

In this thrilling tale inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Teagan and Cressidae must face both the horrors of the Shadow Realm as well as their own past.

19. Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey

Two teen vigilantes set off on an action-packed investigation to expose corruption and deliver justice in Valiant Ladies, Melissa Grey's YA historical fiction novel inspired by real seventeenth century Latinx teenagers known as the Valiant Ladies of Potosí.

20. Once & Future by A.R. Capetta & Cory McCarthy

This bold, sizzling YA novel reimagines the Once and Future King as a teenage girl determined to save the universe from an evil curse.

21. Malice by Heather Walter

A queer retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” with a complex character-driven story, harrowing twists, action, political intrigue, betrayal, and a slow-burn romance.

22. In The Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

A sapphic fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast with an all-Vietnamese cast and a shapeshifting dragon.

23. A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee

Two queer intrepid Asian girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel “Treasure Island”.

24. Spear by Nicola Griffith

A gender-bent, queer Arthurian tale from the perspective of a young woman who travels as a man, hoping to join Arthur's companions in fighting for what is good.

Covers of SFF Books with Sapphic and Lesbian Characters

25. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

A stunning fantasy tale of magic, mystery, and revolution in which a former heir’s  sense of identity will make or break an empire while she fights to reclaim her power and her place on the throne.

26. A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

Return to the popular alternate Cairo universe where agent Fatma el-Sha'arawi must unravel a mystery to restore peace to the city or face the possibility Al-Jahiz has returned --the man who forty years ago vanished after transforming the world by opening up the veil between the magical and mundane realms.

27. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess's traitor brother.

28. Scorpica by G.R. Macallister

In this sweeping epic fantasy set in a matriarchal society, a centuries-long peace is shattered when a decade passes without a single girl being born.

29. Not Good For Maidens by Tori Bovalino

In this horror-fantasy retelling of the “Goblin Market”, Tori Bovalino crafts a vivid story of star-crossed lovers with goblins and witches.

30. Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

Set in the extravagant and deadly world of the French Revolution, Kat Dunn spins a tale of action, science and magic with a diverse cast of fearless rebel heroines like no other.

31. The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Set in the world of the Winner's Trilogy, The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us--and the lies we tell ourselves.

32. The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can't remain hidden, and about finding home in places--and people--you didn't expect. A wonderfully atmospheric supernatural mystery that exposes people's nature and truths of the past. 

33. Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst

Companion novel set 200 years before “Of Fire and Stars” in the neighboring kingdom of Zumorda, Inkmistress is a sweeping, action-packed, and romantic fantasy full of dangerous magic and dark choices.

34. The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi

Inspired by Ghanian and Arabian folklore, this opening instalment of a scintillating new fantasy series set in a kingdom where a set of trials to determine the land's new rulers threatens to unleash bloody revolution.

35. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

“Frozen” meets “The Bloody Chamber” in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale that traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything--unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

36. The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

An enchanted tale of intrigue where the only survivor of a magical curse, a duke's daughter, must now survive the throne and quickly decide how she will wield her family's magic and power.

Covers of SFF Books with Sapphic and Lesbian Characters

37. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

An enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future.

38. Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

An electric YA debut novel about colossal mechas, a tyrannical regime, and two girls on opposite sides of a war who discover they're fighting for a common purpose—and falling for each other.

39. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

40. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

Told from four interweaving perspectives, this sweeping epic fantasy packs elemental magic, star-crossed romance, and incredible landscapes into a spectacular adventure with the fierce sisterhood of “Frozen” and the breakneck action of “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

41. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space as well as one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in this light-hearted debut space opera.

42. Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

A defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

43. The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh

The Conjuring meets Sadie in this queer ghost story, when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil spirit.

44. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

A young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.

45. The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

This stunning fantasy adventure follows a diverse cast of characters, ethnically, and personality-wise, as they seek to escape life trapped in prostitution by venturing to find the one person who can remove their cursed markings.

46. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

A fascinating space opera debut novel, Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire is an interstellar mystery adventure that follows Mahit Dzmare, the ambassador from Lsel Station to the Teixcalaanli Empire, as she investigates the death of her predecessor and the instabilities that underpin that society.

47. The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

On the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire, two women--a princess and a soldier--will haggle over the price of a nation in this richly imagined, breath-taking sapphic epic fantasy filled with rebellion, espionage, and assassinations.

48. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, Monstress tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.


This blog post was written Chloé. You can follow her on Instagram @chloeinbooksland

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