Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Sword Sapphics on the Cover

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The prompt is “Books with ____ on the cover,” and how could I not do girls with swords after seeing this photo in Bernadette Banner’s instagram highlights?

Seriously, if I didn’t already know I was bi, this photo would be my sexual awakening, or at the very least bring up some very strange feelings (I was a teenager in the early 00s, sexuality was fucked then).

How could I not dedicate an entire post to Sword Sapphics?

Blurbs are from Goodreads.

Sword Sapphics Here to Fuck Up Your Sexual Orientation

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

The Unbroken by CL Clark

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought. Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne. Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale. Okay, technically a dirk or short sword, but the Energy radiating off this cover is Super Sapphic and I love it.

The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri

The prophecy of the nameless god—the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa—has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with the strength of the rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight. The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries. Soon they realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn—even if it will cost them.

Silk and Steel ed by Janine Southard

There are many ways to be a heroine. Princess and swordswoman, lawyer and motorcyclist, scholar and barbarian: there are many ways to be a heroine. In this anthology, seventeen authors find new ways to pair one weapon-wielding woman and one whose strengths lie in softer skills. “Which is more powerful, the warrior or the gentlewoman?” these stories ask. And the answer is inevitably, “Both, working together!”

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

The shadow of Godolia’s tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords. Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress. In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

Fire Logic by Laurie Marks

The earth witch who ruled Shaftal is dead, leaving no heir. Shaftal’s ruling house has been scattered by the invading Sainnites. The Shaftali have mobilized a guerrilla army against these marauders, but every year the cost of resistance grows, leaving Shaftal’s fate in the hands of three people: Emil, scholar and reluctant warrior; Zanja, the sole survivor of a slaughtered tribe; and Karis the metalsmith, a half-blood giant whose earth powers can heal, but only when she can muster the strength to hold off her addiction to a deadly drug. Separately, all they can do is watch as Shaftal falls from prosperity into lawlessness and famine. But if they can find a way to work together, they just may change the course of history.

No Quarter by Tanya Huff

Note: this is the blurb for book 1: Sing the Four Quarters. To call the kigh was the height of bard’s magic. Only those born with the gift could learn to Sing these spirits of earth, air, fire and water into doing their bidding, and even someone as gifted as the Princess Annice must spend years studying at the Bardic Hall to truly master the Art. And for Annice, one of those rare talents able to Sing the elemental spirits from each of the four quarters, the call of magic was too strong to be denied, even if it meant renouncing her royal blood and privileges. But Annice might have made a different choice if she could have foreseen that ten years after she’d transferred her life and loyalties from the Royal Palace to the Bardic Hall, she’d find herself fleeing from the King’s Guards.

Sword of the Guardian by Merry Shannon

Princess Shasta Soltranis enjoys a pampered life of court dances, elaborate finery, and the occasional secret fencing match with her twin brother, Daric. But in the midst of a birthday celebration, her world shatters when a mysterious assassin takes her brother’s life. Shasta, the only remaining heir to the throne, narrowly escapes the assassin’s blade thanks to the intervention of a traveling acrobat named Talon With the threat of another attempt on Shasta’s life imminent, her father declares that the young hero will be come the Princess’s bodyguard. 

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Have you read any of these?

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