Who are your favorite ladies loving other ladies? (Note: this isn’t specifically cis lesbian couples, but also applies to couples that include bi women, trans women, pan women, ace women, etc.)
These are not my favorite queer female characters; some of them just happen not to be in a romantic relationship (Ajewen Cheris from Ninefox Gambit) or they are in a m/f one (Estrella from Wild Beauty). I don’t like how queer books are marketed based on pairings rather than the identities they represent – you do not need to be in a relationship to be queer! – and I feel like this post contributes to the erasure, so I wanted to put a disclaimer here.
Vanessa and Brianna from Under the Lights
Under the Lights was the first book with a PoV queer woman who didn’t end up dead I ever read, and Vanessa/Brianna is still my favorite f/f relationship. It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember loving how they met, their scenes together, and how Vanessa slowly realized she was a lesbian and got out of a not-so-healthy and definitely loveless relationship.
Shefali and Shizuka from The Tiger’s Daughter
Adult f/f high fantasy books are difficult to find, and The Tiger’s Daughter is the only one I know. It’s an epic epistolary novel which follows two warrior princesses as they grow up and fall in love. It’s not perfect – the pacing is incredibly slow and there are issues with the portrayal of Japanese culture (this Japan-inspired world is badly written) – but I loved Shefali and Shizuka both as characters and as a couple.
Mercedes and Victoria from The Gallery of Unfinished Girls
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls is one of my favorite books of all times, Mercedes Moreno is one of my favorite characters ever, and Mercedes and Victoria would have been my favorite f/f couple, if only they had been canon. They’re not. This is a story about growing up and growing out of things – including crushes, that’s the point and I don’t have a problem with it. I still put it on the list because I loved reading the scenes in which they were together.
This book is really underrated (…rep is not lesser just because there’s no romance) and if you want to read a magical realism coming-of-age story about a bisexual Puerto Rican artist, you should try this.
Lynet and Nadia from Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Girls Made of Snow and Glass is an underhyped fantasy retelling of Snow White in which the Snow White character, Lynet, ends up in a relationship with the surgeon Nadia (I’m always there for lady scentists, especially if they’re queer). While the relationship isn’t the focus of the story, it’s still very well-written and sweet. If you like quiet but subversive stories, this should be on your TBR.
Zan and Jayd from The Stars Are Legion
The Stars Are Legion is a biopunk space opera in which all the characters are women, all the characters live in giant cephalopod-world-ships that feed on corpses, and everyone is kind of dying.
This is not a romance. There’s nothing romantic about this book, and even Zan and Jayd aren’t exactly a couple, as there is a love triangle with the villain, Rasida, and everything is built on betrayal. It’s not a happy book, it’s not about healthy relationship, and it’s full of death as that’s usually what you get with military space operas and biopunk horror. It’s also one of the best sci-fi books I’ve ever read. I love messed up characters.
What are your favorite f/f relationships and queer female characters?