My Lady King by Kayla Bashe kayla-bird is a Kindle download and if you grab it, you’re in for a real treat. (There are apps you can use to read it if you don’t have an actual Kindle. I read mine on my little phone.)

What a great, genderweird romp! Plot twists, rich worldbuilding, come on, I want a movie.

First of all, at its center it’s a romance between a butch warrior monarch who is female but is constantly referred to as a king and not a queen, and you know what? It just makes sense within the logic of the story, and a bisexual witch who’s devoted to helping her impoverished, hardworking people but is also recovering from a scary past.

Second of all, all the other important characters in the book are queer and/or trans, too, including several minor nonbinary characters.

The casualness with which same-sex attraction and trans identities are respected in the fantasy world she created were a lot of fun. Her leads still had plenty of problems to fight off — they just weren’t homo/bi/lesbo/transphobic microaggressions.

Both leading ladies are women of color, and the witch’s dark skin is complimented by other characters in a way that evokes this culture’s worship of the moon and the night.

Also, Bashe created a compelling Death character that, well, I guess I finished up the book with a crush on. MY TASTE IN MEN, IT IS WEIRD bye.

Anyway, short version: if you like things where ladies like other ladies, and defend other ladies, and want to play in a fantasy sandbox where YOU and YOU and YOU are included without having to write half the representation in your head, go download this!

advertisement

Shira Glassman is "a bisexual Jewish violinist passionately inspired by German and French opera and Agatha Christie novels. She and her agender same-sex spouse live in north central Florida, where the alligators are mostly harmless because they're too lazy to be bothered."

Bibliography:

  • The Second Mango (2013, Prizm Books) Golden Crown Literary Society finalist for Young Adult
  • Climbing the Date Palm (2014, Prizm Books) - "The Artist and the Devil" (2014, Vitality's free minizine, online only)
  • A Harvest of Ripe Figs (2015, Prizm Books — due out 1/21/2015)
  • Tales from Outer Lands (included free with the Figs paperback, but available as a separate eBook 2/11/2015)

She says "It's worth noting that every single one of those works has at least one bisexual character, and that "The Artist and the Devil" directly confronts and punctures biphobic stereotypes where one of the two short stories in the Tales, "Aviva and the Aliens", stars a bisexual woman rescuing herself and keeping her girlfriend safe, too. I am currently working on book four of the Mangoverse series."