As I explained in my last post, I decided my first rec list this Pride would revolve around the theme of Resistance & Rebellion, in response to the events going on in the USA and Hong Kong right now.
I wish I could have listed more books written or featuring PoC, but I don’t know of more than these. If anyone knows of more racially diverse lists – or queer fantasy/sci-fi books with the same themes of resistance and rebellion – please leave me a link in the comments!
Rec lists can’t do much, but I truly believe that stories can, and I hope that at least some of these books bring inspiration and strength to the people who need them.
The God Eaters follows low-tier anarchist Ashleigh and death-witch Kieran as they meet in a prison for magicals. When they set out to escape, and then tear down, the totalitarian establishment that threw them both in prison (and has oppressed and nearly wiped out the tribes of Kieran’s people), it’ll lead them into the depths of myth and into a warzone between gods.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a little hard to get a hold of this one, since Hajicek self-published it, but it’s for sale in e-format over on Lulu.com.
The Tensorate series follows the twin children of a tyrant as they both take their own paths in an effort to take down their mother. Unique magic faces off against industrialisation, and a world where everyone chooses their gender and dragons twist through low-gravity skies…it’s a series you shouldn’t miss even if you’re not feeling like a little rebellion.
I reviewed Heart of the Circle last year – you can read my review here – but this is very much a book about demonstrations and protests and riots, and protesters having to protect themselves from people who don’t approve. Here, the people fighting for their rights are sorcerers – empaths, seers, others with other magical abilities – but their struggle doesn’t require any magic to understand and empathise with. It’s a fierce book with a brilliant magic system and a cast that’ll steal your heart.
The Book of All Hours duet starts with a map on fire, cinematic and grabbing. Both books are like that, from the first page to the last, as a cast of characters jump back and forth between realities and timelines, draft-dodgers from the war between angels and demons – neither of which are what you’d think. Mixing magic and sci-fi and myth, this is about a team of extraordinary people who are going to burn reality down, if that’s what it takes to break a broken system.
In Sawkill Girls, three girls – two attracted to other girls, and one asexual – are drawn together by the kind-of-consciousness of the very island they live on. Dreams and strangeness, demons and beautiful horses and age-old mysteries; girls have been dying, not just on the island, but all over the world. If these three want to stop it all, they’ll have to band together to tear down the patriarchy that’s happy to keep sacrificing them.
There’ll be more rec lists this month, with different themes. Feel free to leave your queer fantasy recs in the comments; I’d love to add them to my tbr!