Happy Trans Day of Visibility!

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I just wanted to take a moment to send some good thoughts to any readers who identify as trans or are under the trans umbrella. You deserve so much more than the hardship and discrimination you experience. This will always be a safe space for you, whether you are questioning your identity, still in the closet, or out. I see you, you are valid, and you are valued.

On this blog, I’m always trying to seek out books by LGBTQ+ authors and guys, it isn’t easy to find them. The selection of queer fiction on NetGalley is sparse compared to other genres and Edelweiss+ is largely the same. Take the time to seek out these books, because there are so many great storytellers who go unknown. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite trans authors below, along with their books that I’ve read recently.

Grace Mead 

Grace Mead (she/her) is a practicing lawyer of 17 years. She graduated from Dartmonth and has spent the time since practicing law in Louisiana. She draws on these years of expertise in her debut novel, Defense of an Other. Defense of an Other follows Matt Durant, a young lawyer recently single after a break-up with his long-time girlfriend. After several beers, Matt finds himself at a gay bar and the unexpected victim of a hate crime. In defense of himself and another man, Matt kills one of the assailants and is arrested. Defense of an Other follows Matt’s trial with all the wit and drama of a Law & Order episode, and then some. You can read the full review of Defense of an Other here. Defense of an Other is still available to request on NetGalley until July 8.

Author’s Website | Goodreads

Ana Mardoll

Ana Mardol (xie/xer) is the author of several fantasy novels and a recent favorite of mine, No Man of Woman Born. There is little debate that the fairy tales we grew up hearing are solidly rooted in worlds where there are only two genders. Mardoll breaks this tradition in No Man of Woman Born in the most wonderful way. Xer stories are beautifully written, delightfully subversive, and I treasured each one. I cannot possibly understate how much I look forward to reading xer other books. You can read the full review of No Man of Woman Born here. No Man of Woman Born is still available to request on NetGalley until April 30.

Author’s Website | Goodreads

Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson (they/them) is a poet and the author of Lord of the Butterflies, the very first book reviewed on this blog. Let me first say that I am no poetry aficionado, I find lofty prose just as dull as load of others do. So please know that when I say Gibson’s collection is brilliant, it is brilliant. Their prose is incredible and before I knew it, I had read the book cover-to-cover. So many of their poems have stayed with me all these months later and I can only hope that I’ll have the opportunity to see them perform live. You can read the full review of Lord of the Butterflies here. Lord of the Butterflies is still available to request on NetGalley until April 22.

Author’s Website | Goodreads


If anyone has any books by trans authors or books that feature trans characters to recommend, please comment them below!

Looking for ways to be a better trans ally? I recommend starting here.

Review: No Man of Woman Born

★★★★★39878322

Simply put, wow. I needed this book and I had no idea until I picked it up on a whim.

No Man of Woman Born is a collection of seven short stories, all featuring trans and nonbinary characters in epic fantasy settings. Aside from how overjoyed I was with the representation in this collection, I must take a moment to comment on Ana Mardoll’s incredible talent as a writer. In each brief story xie conjures an elaborate, fleshed out world that could support its own collection of tales. Though the world xie creates may be filled with strife and warfare, xer characters persevere. While some protagonists experienced hardship in their past, none suffer gruesome deaths or tragic fates, no characters are deadnamed, and misgendering and bigotry are minimal. Each story elegantly subverts well established tropes in the fantasy genre, and left me smiling each time it did. Mardoll puts the heart of this book best in xer own words:

The heroes and heroines in these pages aren’t special because they are trans; they are special and they are trans.

I loved this book from cover to cover and I highly recommend it to any lovers of fantasy, retellings, and queer fiction. Continue reading “Review: No Man of Woman Born”

Review: The Scarecrow and the Princess

★★★★☆The Scarecrow and the Princess

In Maggie Archer’s delightful tale, we follow the egotistical Prince Harvey. He has a lush life as the only child of the King and Queen of Avaria, a idyllic, plentiful land. Harvey is the archetypal prince: handsome, talented, charming, born to rule. He is highly thought of by the ladies and he knows it. The story picks up as Harvey’s ego brings ruin upon him. After humiliating the daughter of a powerful witch at the royal ball, Harvey is transformed into a scarecrow and cast out of his kingdom to an orchard in a land he has never seen before.

Lucky for Harvey, a princess frequents this particular orchard. As she relaxes in the beautiful countryside, she finds herself confiding her problems in her friend, the scarecrow.

Archer’s writing carries the story along swiftly and beautifully, and The Scarecrow and the Princess is free from many of the cliches that I’ve always felt tend to bog down children’s fairy tales. These characters and their reactions to Harvey’s predicament feel genuine. There is no magical kiss and a princess immediately whisked away, no children being married or parents that use their kids as political pawns. I loved the dynamic between the families of each kingdom and the rapport between Harvey and the princess. I recommend this highly to and as a gift for any middle-grade lovers of fantasy and fairy tales. Continue reading “Review: The Scarecrow and the Princess”