Searching for ya wlw fantasy books? Here are 15 Sapphic fantasy books with wlw romance that are 100% worth picking up!
This post contains affiliate links. That said, I won’t ever recommend a book I haven’t read and loved myself.
I am a huge fan of ya fantasy books. They offer the best escapism, fantastical worlds and are often fairly easy to binge read. If you’re also looking to add more wlw books to your bookshelves then you’re in luck. There are a ton of insanely good ya wlw fantasy books.
Whether it's witches, fae or fairytale retellings. This post has got you covered! As a lesbian and huge fantasy fan, I'm recommending the absolute best ya wlw fantasy books.
Plus if you head to this page you can find all things LGBTQ+ Pride related including book recommendations, LGBTQ+ Bookmarks and free phone wallpapers.
This post is all about the best ya wlw fantasy books
ya wlw fantasy books
If you’re looking for wlw books hold up just a minute. I have a whole post on Sapphic books you might want to check out. I surveyed book lovers and compiled the top 12 wlw book recommendations. You can check out my article on wlw books here.
1. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
A Dark and Hollow Star is one of the top ya wlw fantasy books! If you’re a fan of Crescent City you definitely need to read a Dark and Hollow Star. There are so many similarities. It's an urban fantasy with fae, queer main characters and an enticing mystery. It also has a seriously adorable wlw romance.
A series of gruesome murders threatens to expose the faerie world to humans. Four queer teens – Nausicaä, Arlo, Vehan, and Aurelian – each hold a piece of the truth. And they must track down the mysterious killer.
There are not one but two romances in this book. And the characters are what make them so perfect. Arlo and Nausicaä have such amazing chemistry. Nausicaä is a grumpy, chaotic and sarcastic lesbian. Arlo and Nausicaä have a perfect grumpy/sunshine slow-burn vibe.
I listened to the audiobook version which you can find on audible. It features a full cast of narrators which made it really engrossing.
The voices of Vehan and Nausicaä are so spot on! And you can listen to it on Audible with a free trial. It's a great audiobook to put on if you're looking for some escapism while you're cleaning or relaxing before bedtime.
This book has one of my favourite lesbian characters. If you're looking for books with lesbian characters - you're in luck! I have a whole blog post on books with lesbian characters.
Good reads rating: 3.83
2. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
I was sold on this book as soon as I heard Sapphic witches! These Witches Don't Burn contains lesbian witches, a mystery to solve and a the found family trope. Plus it's an urban fantasy book set in Salem.
These Witches Don’t Burn follows Hannah. She is a witch living in Salem. A dark blood ritual interrupts her end of school bonfire. And she investigates with her ex-girlfriend Veronica.
She also meets Morgan. But trying to date in the middle of a supernatural crisis is not easy and will test Hannah’s limits.
This is one of my favourite ya fantasy duologies. There are seriously not enough ya fantasy duologies. So this is an easy series to binge read and finish.
Don't get me wrong - it's not hard hitting. But I'm a simple girl and sometimes I want a warm, cozy lesbian book to read. The LGBTQ+ characters are so well incorporated that they are just part of life. This makes it such a comforting ya wlw fantasy book.
3.Malice by Heather Walter
Let me tell you - Malice is one of the best books I have read this year. It was an instant 5 stars from me. You will absolutely love the dystopian world building, morally grey main character and grumpy/sunshine romance.
Malice is a Maleficent retelling. The book is set in a Kingdom called Briar. Once upon a time, a wicked fairy cursed a line of princesses to die. Only true love’s kiss can break the curse.
The book follows Alyce – the dark grace. She was left abandoned in Briar from a dark kingdom. The dark magic that runs in her veins abhors residents in Briar.
Except for Princess Aurora who accepts her. And she encourages Alyce to accept herself.
This book is almost a cross between Wicked and The Hunger Games. But with fae. The world building is darkly magical. And the residents of Briar reminded me of the residents of the Capitol.
If you're searching for Sapphic fantasy books with wlw romance then you should definitely read this. The book has SO many good plot twists. It left me on the edge of my seat. And the grumpy/sunshine romance between Alyce and Aurora is absolutely adorable.
Good reads rating: 4.07
4. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
If you're looking for LGBTQ+ YA Graphic novels with cute, light-hearted romance then you need to read Mooncakes. It's a YA Romance about a witch and a non-binary werewolf.
It follows teen witch Nova. She works at her Nana's magical bookshop. And she helps them loan out spell books. But she also investigates supernatural occurrences in her local town.
One day, she is tasked to investigate reports of a white wolf in a nearby forest. She then discovers her childhood best friend, Tam, fighting a demon werewolf. Together they investigate the demon and rekindle their feelings towards each other.
This is such a comfort read. The artwork is insanely beautiful. I really loved the illustrations of the magic and magical creatures living in the forest. The romance is also really adorable.
The story isn't fast-paced and action packed. We also don't find out much about the characters background. But it's such a quick, cute and light-hearted read that I don't think it matters. The graphic novel format is perfect for anyone trying to get back into reading. Or if you're recovering from a reading slump. Perfect for anyone after light-hearted Sapphic Fantasy books.
Good reads rating: 3.85
5. This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Kalynn Bayron writes some of the best contemporary fantasy books out there! This Poison Heart is an Urban Fantasy book. It opens in the city before the main characters move to a small town. There is also strong plant and cottagecore imagery throughout.
This Poison Heart follows Briseis. She has a magic gift where she can magic tiny seeds grow into rich blooms with a single touch.
Her aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York. And it’s there she must uncover her family’s heritage and secrets.
This is a quick, fast-paced and easy read. You could easily pick this up and binge read it in one setting. Kalynn Bayron writes plant imagery beautifully. And I absolutely adored the plant and forest imagery.
My only complaint with this book is that the romance was very insta-lovey. And I found it difficult to be invested in the romance.
If you enjoyed Legendborn then you HAVE to read this book. The way mythology is woven into the plot reminds me of how Deonn incorporates Arthurian legends into Legendborn. It also feature a Black heroine, supportive same-sex parents and elemental magic. A great choice if you're after Sapphic ya fantasy books.
Good reads rating: 4.20
6. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
When it comes to YA Fantasy, you should definitely read Girls of Paper and Fire. It's a dark ya fantasy featuring magic and a dystopian society. And Asian mythology is woven seamlessly throughout.
Girls of Paper and Fire follows Lei. She is a member of the Paper Caste. And the people of Ikhara persecute her.
She sees the royal guards take her mother. Afterwards, Lei suffers with trauma. But the guards return and try to take Lei. She has to learn skills fitting of a King’s Consort. But she falls in love.
The worldbuilding in this book is seriously beautiful. Natasha Ngan was inspired by her own experiences growing up in Malaysia - a country with a mix of cultures. And Ikhara was heavily inspired by this.
The character development is excellent. I loved the wlw romance in the book. The grumpy/sunshine trope was executed perfectly. The plot of the book is quite dark but it was handled really sensitively
The pacing did lapse a bit in the middle for me. But the character development was so good that I still enjoyed reading it. If you're after Sapphic Ya Fantasy books then you'll love this!
Good reads rating: 3.82
7. The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
The Dark Tide is a seriously underrated book. It features a wlw romance, witches and a curse on a town.
It follows Lina. She lives on a small island where the dark tide could cause it to sink. So, every year the Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace and sacrifices her on the full moon. And so keeps the island city from sinking.
Lina is convinced her brother is going to be taken. She asks Thomas Lin to help. Thomas is the only person to survive the sacrifice. But they draw the Queen’s attention. And instead, Thomas is taken.
Lina offers herself instead of Thomas. But the queen is nothing like Eva expected. And they must choose between saving the island or themselves.
The premise of this book hooked me in straight away. A girl goes to save a guy but instead falls for the 'villain'. If you're looking for a book with an enemies to lovers romance with a morally grey love interest - then this is the book for you.
It was such an angsty slow bur romance. And Lina and Eva had an amazing grumpy/sunshine dynamic. The cursed romance setup was so well executed and made the book so tragically romantic.
The worldbuilding is also really dark, moody and atmospheric. A sea wild tale. it was beautifully written and I fell in love with the world. Full of bitter witches, sea, salt, blood and sacrifice.
Good reads rating: 3.83
8. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
This is another book I seriously do not see enough hype for! Not Your Sidekick is a superhero-themed novel featuring a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese protagonist, a trans character and a wlw romance. And it’s written by an own voices author.
It follows Jessica Tran, a bisexual high school student who is resigned to a life without superpowers and decides to start an internship to improve her college applications. However, she quickly discovers it’s for a supervillain with her crush Abby.
Not Your Sidekick is another light, fluffy and fun read. It takes superhero tropes and gives a really refreshing take on a superhero story. I love how the superheroes and supervillians storyline is woven into modern, everyday life.
It also manages to tackle a lot of issues while still staying fun. There is a whole series of these and I’ve already added Not Your Villain to my TBR list as I really loved Bells in Not Your Sidekick. If you're looking for a lighthearted superhero novel then you should definitely read this one! Plus, you could easily read this in one sitting.
I really enjoyed the bisexual representation in this book. It's done so well! If you're looking for books with bisexual characters you might want to check out my post full of recommendations for bisexual books.
9. Ruinsong by Julia Ember
This is yet another seriously underrated ya books to read for Pride month. I don't see this recommended nearly enough online. Ruinsong is an ya lesbian book set in a dystopian world. It has lush world-building, a twisty plot and feisty main characters.
In this world, singers have magic powers when they sing certain songs. And they are able to heal, cause pain and heat people.
Cadence is an incredibly strong mage. She was born in poverty in an orphanage and rises to success. But she works for the evil Queen Elene. And Elene forces Cadence to use her power to torture others.
But when she is reunited with her childhood friend she must make a choice. Does she take a stand or follow the queen.
This book is like a dystopian and queer phantom of the opera. The world building is so unique. It's full of strong willed women wearing beautiful ball gowns taking down evil. It's a dark fantasy where girls take down their enemies while wearing beautiful pink ballgowns.
It also has one of the most unique magic systems with singing as a vehicle for magic. It was really well developed. And the magic system and well developed characters really hook you into this story.
Good reads rating: 3.54
10. Cinderella is dead by Kalynn Bayron
A Cinderella retelling with a sapphic romance. This is another twist on the classic story that features BIPOC characters and a wlw romance.
The premise is that teen girls are now required to appear at an annual ball where men select wives. But Sophia wants to marry her childhood best friend Erin. And isn’t a fan of the whole parade in front of suitors thing.
She decides to flee and decided to take down the king once and for all.
The dystopian twist on the classic Cinderella story makes this book so unique. The romance is a bit insta-lovey but it's so well developed that it's still engaging.
The plot will keep you hooked throughout. Women overthrowing a dystopian patriarchy. There is also a lot of cottagecore and woodland imagery. Kalynn Bayron writes cottagecore imagery so well. This book will 100% make you want to live in the forest.
I also LOVE that it's a standalone. Standalone ya fantasy books are hard to find. Let alone with lesbian representation. If you're looking for a ya lesbian fantasy book then I highly recommend Cinderella is Dead.
Good reads rating: 3.73
11. When we were magic by Sarah Gailey
When We Were Magic has one of the best openings I've ever read in a book. Honestly, the first page made me laugh so much. When we were magic is a fantasy book set in a high school setting. It follows characters with magic powers.
It follows Alexis. She has always been able to rely on her best friends and magic powers. On prom night, accidental magic goes wrong and someone ends up dead. Alexis and her friends have to try and fix a terrible wrong.
If you're looking for a book with the feel of a contemporary - then you should pick this up. It has fantasy elements to it but it feels much more like a YA Contemporary book.
The writing in this book really made me laugh. But I absolutely adored the friendship group in this book. The group was really supportive of each other. Also, Also, the parents in this book were really supportive which I always appreciate.
My only complaint is that the romance felt quite under developed. But overall, it's a light-hearted fantasy book and easy to read in one sitting. If you like These Witches Don't Burn then you should definitely read this one.
Good reads rating: 3.67
12. Ash by Malinda Lo
Ash is a book I’m always torn about. It hasn't got the most character development. And the romance is a bit insta-lovey. But I had to include it because I love the cottagey world building in this Sapphic retelling.
Ash is a lesbian Cinderella retelling. It follows Ash who is dealing with the grief of losing her parents. She falls in love with the king’s huntress.
The world-building in this book is beautiful. I loved the descriptions of the woods and the fae. The lore around the fae was also excellent. If you're looking for cottagecore worldbuilding then this is an excellent book. to pick up.
I instantly loved the King's Huntess. But I wish the romance was better developed. The focus was definitely on the mental health and the fae. The romance is more of a side-plot rather than the main focus of the book. But I wish a bit more time had been spent on the romance.
However, I love that it focuses on Ash recovering from grief. Mental health is a strong theme throughout and the romance feels secondary. This is a really cosy read and offers great escapism. It’s pretty short and you could easily read this in one sitting.
Good reads rating: 3.63
13. Princess Princess Ever After by Kay O’Neill
I'm kinda cheating here. This is definitely more middle grade rather than Young Adult. But it's such an insanely cute graphic novel that I had to include it. Kay O'Neill writes and illustrates the most beautiful, cosy and enchanting graphic novels.
Princes Princess ever after is about two princesses who fall in love. We follow Sadie who is locked in a tower. She is rescued by another princess -Amira. Also, Amira rides a pink unicorn. It’s just as queer and lovely as it sounds.
This is such a comforting book to read. It deals with some really important topics such as feminism, equality and abusive relationships. But it does it in such a lighthearted way.
This is insanely adorable and a really quick read. You can buy the absolutely beautiful hardcover from Amazon -get it here.
Good reads rating: 4.08
14. We set the dark on fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
This book features one of the best wlw enemies to lovers romances that I’ve read! It's a Ya dystopian novel featuring a wlw romance and Latine representation.
We Set The Dark On Fire follows Daniela Vargas. She lives in a dystopian world where each man is entitled to 2 wives. A Primera and a Segunda. The Primera is intelligent, calm and analytical. The Segunda is the mother figure.
Outside the wall, the people go hungry. Dani started life outside of the wall. And she must use her wits to survive illegally in the capital. She is also married to one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.
The premise was intriguing. And the main character was instantly likeable. She also grows a lot through the book. But the romance is what makes this so perfect. Two badass women who are married to a Straight man but fall in love with each other.
The world-building is also excellent. And the book has such dark academia vibes. It opens in a prep school for girls. But it discusses so many important issues such as immigration politics and forced marriage.
We set the Dark on Fire features an intriguing dystopian premise and a likeable, strong-minded main character. This YA LGBTQ+ Dystopian book explores immigration politics, toxic masculinity and feminism.
We Set the Dark on Fire has one of the most compelling wlw enemies to lovers romances! If (like me) you're a huge fan of wlw enemies to lovers books then you're in luck. I have a whole post dedicated to wlw enemies to lovers books - you can check it out here.
15. The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
This is another seriously underrated book! You definitely need to read this. It features a diverse cast, plenty of fairy tale references and dark academia world-building.
The Grimrose Girls is a modern take on classic fairytales such as The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
The heroines of the stories are re-imagined as friends attending an elite boarding school. After their friend dies, the police rule the death as suicide. But they decide to investigate to find out what really happened.
Grimrose Girls is a unique concept and fantasy retelling. The mystery was really gripping and well-paced. And the story keeps mentioning tantalizing details that keep you engaged.
The story also uses the darker versions of the fairy tales. And this added to the dark academia, mysterious tone of the book. Some reviews do mention the lack of world-building, but I personally preferred this because it kept the plot fast-paced.