Tor.com content by

Maya Gittelman

Queer Love, Rage, and Magic Amid War: Red Skies Falling by Alex London

Twins Kylee and Brysen find themselves separated for the first time in their lives, each on either side of a world fluttering toward the knife-edge of war. Alex London’s Red Skies Falling serves as a soaring followup to the entrancing YA fantasy novel Black Wings Beating. The stakes raise enormously, the pace quickens, and ancient magic manifests in fresh, terrifying ways.

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A Queer Fairytale Reclamation, with Dragons: Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

It begins in the aftermath. Two young women, in love, in a nation conquered by a powerful emperor. The mountain nation of Ilvera dragonriders was subjugated a generation ago, encompassed by the rule of the Zefedi downmountainers. Verrans could not resist the colonizers, not when they were armed with the very dragons they’d stolen from Ilvera. Maren has a relatively unique identity within her village—her father is Zefedi and her mother is Verran. They are a loving family, complicating Maren’s relationship with the Zefedi rule, especially as physically, she takes after her father, with lighter brown skin than her girlfriend and most of her village.

Despite the political landscape of her home, Maren wants little more than to remain on the mountain and live out her days in its peace and beauty. Her priority is her girlfriend, Kaia. As long as they’re together, she wants for nothing. Kaia, on the other hand, can’t wait to leave—to venture out past the ruins on the other side of the lake, to cross the mountain range of Anetka, to travel south to the ocean, and finally, to prove herself to the emperor, the Flame of the West, in hopes that he will christen her a Talon, one of his elite dragon guard. Even though Maren doesn’t share these aspirations, she would do anything for her, and so she plans to join Kaia on her adventures.

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