Five Young Adult SFF Books Starring Asexual Characters

I first encountered the concept of asexuality in a book. For many, asexual characters reach us before our fellow asexual people ever do. I was eleven years old when I found Sandry in Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series. Sandry was loyal and driven and full to bursting with the magical ability to manipulate the world around her with thread. Sandry was a fully formed person with dreams and friends and a world to save. She made me want to save it right back. She made me love stories about people like me. She was also asexual.

The reality is that the asexual experience isn’t just one thing. Yes, at its core, asexuality is the spectrum of identities that experience little to no sexual attraction, but it’s also a vast array of experiences that, in my opinion, are often best captured by fiction.

The catalog of asexual science fiction and fantasy keeps growing every year. I feel at once utterly spoiled by the variety we now have and desperately hungry for more. In recent years, I’ve seen asexual characters solve mysteries, rule empires, traverse galaxies, and fall in love. Our stories can be magical and mighty—full of adventure, intrigue, murder, and more. Our stories are important.

It’s asexual awareness week, so here are five young adult science fiction and fantasy books starring asexual characters you don’t want to miss!

 

The Kindred by Alechia Dow

Dow puts the “ace” in “space” in this achingly romantic story of soulmates whose intergalactic love transcends divisions of class, a murderous plot, and an adventure among the stars. The Kindred follows demisexual Joy Abara who shares a telepathic link with Duke Felix Hamdi as his Kindred, a sort of queerplatonic assigned soulmate. When they are framed for the murder of Felix’s family, they must go on the run while navigating the new parameters of their relationship as partners in crime and love. This character driven space opera explores love in all its forms and is, pardon the pun, joyful to the core.

 

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Once upon a time, the daughter of death and fortune was a teenage girl and she was the worst. Little Thieves is, as the dedication says, for the gremlin girls, never has there been a more gremlin girl than Vanja Schmidt. A brilliant and brazen swindler, Vanja could give Kaz Brekker a run for his money. But Vanja has bigger fish to fry. As her body rapidly turns into the gemstones she craves, Vanja must put things right and face her greed head on all while juggling her engagement to a terrible margrave, an investigator with his own magic, and the princess whose face she stole. Vanja’s relationship with junior prefect Emeric could not be more demisexual if it tried, with both sides of the romance experiencing asexual spectrum existence in different and complimentary ways. One part Germanic fairytale, one part ensemble heist, Little Thieves is an unhinged romp of a book.

 

Silver in the Mist by Emily Victoria

Silver in the Mist puts spies before guys. Asexual Devlin has grown up in the shadow of her mother’s impressive spy network—and the shadow of the kingdom, too. A magical mist is eating away at their borders, weakening their magic and making them vulnerable to attacks. Devlin is tasked with infiltrating the royal court of the wealthier neighboring kingdom, but when she befriends their most powerful magic wielder, she discovers an ancient mystery that may hold the key to defeating the mists for good. Victoria prioritizes strong friendships between queer characters and an examination of wealth disparity in this fantasy full of twists and turns.

 

Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

Pohl serves up a veritable smorgasbord of queer fairytale goodies in Grimrose Girls. This tale as old as time follows four students at the prestigious boarding school Grimrose Academy—Ella, Yuki, Rory, and newcomer Nani. When the former three’s best friend dies, all four girls are swept up in a dark and twisted mystery full of old fairytale magic. They must work together to unravel the secrets between them and break an ancient curse that dooms them to a fairytale ending (and not the fun kind). Yuki’s aromantic asexual identity is explored in her relationship to expectations, beauty, and friendship throughout the novel. Readers can get excited for the upcoming sequel The Wicked Remain releasing November 1st.

 

What We Devour by Linsey Miller

Get in losers, we’re eating the rich. In what is arguably Miller’s darkest fantasy thus far, asexual Lorena Adler is a wielder of both types of magic granted by the banished gods: the Noble and the Vile. She’d rather live a quiet life as an undertaker and marry her best friend than broadcast her powers, but when her betrothed’s father is arrested, she trades his freedom for her service to crown and its notorious Vile heir, Alistair. Brilliantly anticapitalist, What We Devour pulls no punches when it comes to putting wealth and class on trial, and Lorena’s asexuality is explored within her relationships, her magic, and herself.

 

Rosiee Thor began their career as a storyteller by demanding to tell their mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. They spent their childhood reading by flashlight in the closet until they came out as queer. They live in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and an abundance of plants. They are the author of Young Adult novels Tarnished Are The Stars and Fire Becomes Her and the picture book The Meaning of Pride.

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