In Inkish Kingdoms, we always look for new books! We curate our recommendations for you, we make book club questions available and we even have the answers you for!
We want to share with the world the passion for reading and learning from reading. Many people think that reading any kind of book will not have an impact or will teach you anything, but you can learn something from any book you read, and we will prove it.
The love for reading, learning, and literature, can be even shared on social media, and we have been obsessing over “the lesbian bookseller” content since she has put so many books on my TBR, and probably in yours too! So that is why we reach out to Laynie Rose and had a small interview… so keep reading to know how it went!
Inkish Kingdoms: So Laynie what is your favorite niche?
Laynie Rose: My all time favorite niche genre in books is sapphic fantasy.
Inkish Kingdoms: and what in Sapphic fantasy do you enjoy the most?
Laynie Rose: These stories always have women and non-binary people who love women, who are not defined by their relationships with men, and get to live in these magical, fantastical worlds.
Inkish Kingdoms: Ohhh, I get it! Representation and empowerment! So I get Sapphic but why fantasy?
Laynie Rose: You are right, these sapphics have agency, power, and strength, the kind that topples kingdoms and brings nations to their knees. And fantasy because women are allowed to be angry and messy in a kind of way not often seen in your typical contemporary. It’s my favorite kind of story because I want to see my sapphics with a knife in one hand and their lover’s hand in the other while they take down an empire. There’s nothing quite like it! Here’s my list of my favorite, must-read Sapphic Fantasy.
Inkish Kingdoms: Alright, I was sold before we even started Laynie, so here is a challenge, which isn’t a challenge at all… hit us with all you have! What are some of your favorite and must-read Sapphic Fantasy stories?
Inkish Kingdoms: Why? What does it have?
Laynie Rose: Princesses and evil kings, an underdog revolution trying to overthrow the monarchy, and the “I have to kill you but I’m falling in love with you” trope.
Inkish Kingdoms: I love it! I enjoyed so much the enemies-to-lovers situation in Red, White and Royal Blue! I was like “okay, now kiss :3” So we are good there!
Laynie Rose: okay so if you’re looking for somewhere to start into this niche genre, this is the place to dive in.
Inkish Kingdoms: And the cover is beautiful, so I added it to the wish list! What else do you have for us?
Laynie Rose: I have Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Inkish Kingdoms: ahaa tell me more, I have seen that around 😮
Laynie Rose: Cinderella is Dead is a delightfully queer and modern retelling of the classic fairytale.
Inkish Kingdoms: I am not that into retellings but make your case 😮
Laynie Rose: Okay, so not only that, but it’s a powerful story about revolution and what happens when we stand up against an oppressive patriarchy to fight for a better world. This is the book I wish I’d had as a teen, because I firmly believe it would have changed the life of closeted, high school me.
Inkish Kingdoms: Quite a compiling case! I have seen it around on sale, so I think I will get it for sure this time!
Laynie Rose: You better haha Now, we have the Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
Inkish Kingdoms: OMG, I have seen that one too but still I have no idea haha
Laynie Rose: I am here for a reason! So, Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a stunning retelling of Persian Mythology and Sleeping Beauty, and genuinely one of my favorite books of all time.
Inkish Kingdoms: I love that you are making me get out of my zone of no retellings haha I like the Persian Mythology and Sleeping Beauty idea.
Laynie Rose: I know, and it gets better. The women in this book are allowed to be both princess and monster, hero and villain, angry and vulnerable. If you love stories where magic is used as a metaphor for queerness, princesses who unleash their powers, and morally gray characters, this book will completely captivate you.
Inkish Kingdoms: You see, when you put it like that there isn’t a human soul that will say no! And it has depth with the metaphors, I am in! What else?
Laynie Rose: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Inkish Kingdoms: That I haven’t seen before…
Laynie Rose: … Okay so… for many of us, Girls of Paper and Fire was the first sapphic fantasy we could get our hands on and what a knockout of a book it is! This story of survival and love is set in a stunning and magical Asian-inspired fantasy world, and it’s the kind of tale that takes your breath away. If there’s one thing I love more than angry sapphics, it’s when two girls can find a safe home in each other despite the dark and evil world. (Check trigger warnings before reading.)
Inkish Kingdoms: thank you for the warning! I will do so, I see it wasn’t that old, but I like the idea that it, in a way, was a pioneer for those who craved these stories!
Laynie Rose: Now, I have Malice by Heather Walter… As someone who grew up on Sleeping Beauty, this book was like queering the narrative of my life! This is a villain origin story as well as a love story, where the princess and the villain fall in love, and the original fairytale isn’t everything you think it is. Delightfully dark and charming.
Inkish Kingdoms: so Malice is another retailing?
Laynie Rose: Yes, and it is the perfect sapphic fantasy for anyone who grew up on hetero fairytales. I will also talk about The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Inkish Kingdoms: Never have I ever… heard about this book, tell me more!
Laynie Rose: The Jasmine Throne is truly the pinnacle of angry sapphics in fantasy and it’s exquisite.
Inkish Kingdoms: Why angry?
Laynie Rose: Because it is a story of a princess and a priestess, of revenge and retribution, this is everything you could possibly want in a sapphic fantasy, set in a magical world inspired by Indian epics and history. Personally, I love it when women are angry and kiss each other.
Inkish Kingdoms: Kissing as a mechanism to release tension haha
Laynie Rose: Now, I have The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Inkish Kingdoms: I have tried that one and I dropped it! But I think that is my fault because I skipped all the list to start a humongous book XD
Laynie Rose: yes… maybe… but ah, Priory. The eight hundred page beast of a book. When you think “sapphic” and “fantasy” your brain should immediately fly to this book.
Inkish Kingdoms: I just bought it for all the good things people were saying about it… I didn’t know that I was Sapphic!
Laynie Rose: Of course it is! It’s lesbians and dragons, you can’t get much better than that! This sweeping epic fantasy pulls from cultures all over the world and pulls at all your heartstrings as you read it.
Inkish Kingomds: So should I give it a second try?
Laynie Rose: If you can embark on the 800-page journey, it’s worth it! Mark my words!
Inkish Kingomds: Okay, I have that one already haha at least I am not that lost XD Is there any other for us or any other reader who is trying to get into Sapphic Fantasy?
Inkish Kingdoms: Oh, that was released a few weeks ago! I think I know a bit about it!
Laynie Rose: Yes! And it is worth reading now! She Who Became The Sun is the newest release of sapphic fantasy into the world. It’s a genderqueer reimagining of the founding of the Ming Dynasty, a Chinese historical epic, and one of my absolute favorites.
Inkish Kingdoms: what should we be looking for in a book to get to this?
Laynie Rose: Are you looking for some hurt/comfort? Characters that don’t fit into the gender binary? Action adventure sequences? Taking control of your own destiny to become something great?
Inkish Kingdoms: Yes, for sure!
Laynie Rose: So this book has everything you’re looking for and more.
Thank you very much Laynie! We honestly needed some guidance on which books to try and read and I am so happy that we were able to get in touch! I think that every time I get to read one of these I will think of you and spam you over Twitter and probably on IG! Haha, I will do some music TikToks/Reels about the books as we read them!
Following Laynie Rose everywhere will be an excellent decision for high-quality stories! Remember Laynie is “your favorite lesbian bookseller” and she knows what she is talking about! You can follow her on the links below!
Which sapphic books have you read? Or which sapphic books are you reading next?
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