The future of fantasy looks bright with these 10 sapphic YA fantasy books coming out in 2020 that you definitely want to pre-order and add to your TBR list.
From debut authors to returning favorites, 2020 is jam packed with sapphic YA fantasy books that we can’t help but be excited about. 2019 was a monumental year for queer YA fantasy books, and it’s looking like 2020 will blow 2019 out of the water with representation of LGBT+ in fantasy.
Talking about normalizing LGBT+ in fantasy is something I’m passionate about, as well as lifting #OwnVoices books up and finding new queer fantasy to read, which is important because representation in media matters.
This time, I wanted to highlight some sapphic YA fantasy books that are coming out this coming year that are not only on my TBR for 2020, but are at the top of it. There is something for everyone from revolution to different and unique magic systems, danger is. With perilous journeys and tough decisions to make, these young women are not only bad asses, but know how to get what they want.
10 sapphic YA fantasy books coming out in 2020 to add to your TBR
‘Queen of Coin and Whispers’ by Helen Corcoran
Release Date: April 6, 2020
Queen of Coin and Whispers is a standalone YA fantasy full of some of my favorite things: espionage, betrayals, and treason with a side of romance. This sapphic YA fantasy will surely not disappoint with it’s Queen heroine and her spymaster who must decide what’s best for not only the country, but for themselves.
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‘Dangerous Remedy’ by Kat Dunn
Release Date: May 7, 2020
Dangerous Remedy is the first book in a new series that mixes the French Revolution with the fantastical as it adds in a dash of disturbing magic powers that are sought after by people on both sides of the bloody war. Full of a diverse cast, this sapphic YA fantasy will keep you on the edge of your seat as Camille has to choose between being loyal to those she loves and what’s best for the revolution in this intrigue heavy debut.
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‘Ruinsong’ by Julia Ember
Release Date: November 24, 2020
Ruinsong is a standalone f/f, dark with a forbidden romance with two young women who belong to rival factions that have to come to terms with not only their feelings, but with what side they are truly on. Underground rebellions, bardic magic, and ruthless tyrannical queens make this a book you don’t want to miss.
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‘Blood Countess’ by Lana Popović
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Stunningly dark, Blood Countess brings a bloody retelling of the Countess Dracula herself, Elizabeth Báthory, from the point of view of one of her scullery maids. A historical horror novel, it’s obvious that this won’t be a healthy representation of sapphic love, but one of manipulation and grooming that Elizabeth Báthory was famous for.
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‘Belle Révolte’ by Linsey Miller
Release Date: February 4, 2020
A life swap, where two young women want to live differently than they do, leads to romance as one becomes a physician and another goes to finishing school to learn divination. Add in a war in which they work together to help end, Emilie and Annette’s journey of self-discovery seems like the perfect sapphic YA fantasy to add to our TBR list!
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‘Ink in the Blood’ by Kim Smejkal
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Kim Smejkal’s dark fantasy debut has unique tattoo-based magic that is linked to deities where the tattoos bind the recipients more than they help. With their lives built on lies, it’s up to Ceila and Anya to bring down malicious deities and their vicious zealot followers. Gender expression and fluidity is normalized, and the characters fall all across the LGBT+ spectrum. There’s pansexuality, asexuality, and a number of sapphic couples throughout this amazing debut.
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‘Witches of Ash and Ruin’ by E. Latimer
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Covens with a history of sordid black magic and murder at sacred sites, is only the beginning of the intricately made world of Witches of Ash and Ruin, a dark tale of ascending into powers and a dangerous murder mystery that two young women find themselves in the middle of. It’s described as a mixture of V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and A Discovery of Witches, so this is at the top of my TBR in March.
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‘The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea’ by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Release Date: May 5, 2020
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea is an adventure on the high seas with pirates, cross dressing, arranged marriage, where mermaid’s are wanted for their blood, and two heroines on opposite sides are fighting to stop slave trade. Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s debut mixes pirates, imperial colonialism and it’s terrors, and Asian folklore, giving The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea a unique vibe we can’t wait to sink are claws into.
Add The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea on Goodreads
‘Girl, Serpent, Thorn’ by Melissa Bashdoust
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Morally grey heroines are one of my favorite tropes. Not all characters need to be perfectly and lawfully good. Girl, Serpent, Thorn gives us a princess with a curse, where her touch is poisonous, and on her journey to learn more about her curse, she meets a demon with answers, and she has to decide what side of good or evil she falls on, or if there is such thing as being somewhere in the middle when you’re cursed.
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‘The Dark Tide’ by Alice Jasinska
Release Date: June 1, 2020
This book has everything: seemingly evil queens, human sacrifice for the better of the people, an exchange of life for someone the heroine loves, and an unlikely romance. The Dark Tide is described as being similar to The Wicked Deep, Caraval, and Three Dark Crowns… so sign me up immediately. Where not everything is as it seems, The Dark Tide looks to be enrapturing and alluring with its plot and character dynamics. Is it June yet?
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This is only a small sampling of the amazing queer representation and sapphic YA fantasy coming coming out in 2020. To delve deeper and add even more books to your TBR, check out this massive list compiled by Goodreads!