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The 10 Best Queer Dark Academia Books to Read Now (2023)

Remember when I gushed about those swoon-worthy dark academia romance books in my earlier post? Well, I’ve stumbled upon a treasure trove of stories that not only delve into the moody, mysterious vibes of dark academia but also explore the beautiful spectrum of LGBT love and self-discovery. I just had to spill the tea!

Exploring Dark Academia Books with a Queer twist to it

Dark academia and LGBT narratives? That’s a yes from me! These books are not only about unraveling mysteries in old, dusty libraries or solving ancient cryptic codes, they’re about characters exploring who they are, who they love, and owning their identities amidst the classic dark academia settings we adore.

So, let’s dive into some of these gem-like stories that embrace love in all its forms within the hauntingly beautiful dark academia universe:

1. The Teras Trials by Lucien Burr

The Teras Trials by Lucien Burr

Rating: 4.5/5

“The Teras Trials” by Lucien Burr is a dark academia novel that immerses you in a world filled with mysteries, monsters, and ancient Greek mythology vibes. The narrative follows Cassius, a complex character navigating through academic and personal hurdles in a setting ripe with secrets and eerie undertones. The tone is harsh yet fitting, matching the characters’ cruel circumstances. The dark academia essence is felt throughout, blended well with Greek mythology, antique gods, and Latin elements. Although the emergence and closure of certain pacts among characters could use more clarity, the book keeps you hooked with its horror elements and thought-provoking themes on religion and humanity. A blend of dark, horror-filled academia with queer and religious themes makes it a captivating read.

 

Buy The Teras Trials from Amazon US

2. A lesson of Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A lesson of Vengeance by Victoria Lee queer dark academia

Rating: 4.75/5

“A Lesson of Vengeance” by Victoria Lee is a captivating journey into dark academia, set within the ominous halls of Dalloway School. The protagonist, Felicity Morrow, finds herself entangled in a chilling narrative woven around the school’s grim history. The book encapsulates the essence of dark academia—knowledge pursuit in shadowy, ancient halls—infused with a queer narrative that’s both refreshing and engaging. Lee’s writing, crisp and atmospheric, delves into themes of obsession, the burden of history, and the intertwining of the past with the present. Though at times the unraveling of secrets may feel hastened, the eerie ambiance alongside a subtle queer romance keeps the narrative thrilling. This blend of dark academia, suspense, and queer romance makes it a compelling read.

 

Buy A lesson of Vengeance from Amazon US

3. These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever 

These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever 

Rating: 4/5

“These Violent Delights” dives into a tumultuous relationship between Paul and Julian, two college students from different social backgrounds. Their intense bond spirals into dark terrains, reflecting complex queer dynamics amidst societal norms. Paul’s working-class roots clash with Julian’s affluent lifestyle, intensifying their emotional entanglement. The narrative, while harrowing, brilliantly explores the angst and longing of their queer identity against a dark academia backdrop. Its raw portrayal of love, obsession, and acceptance amid societal expectations makes it a compelling, thought-provoking read for those intrigued by the intersections of queer narrative and dark academia.

 

Buy These Violent Delightsfrom Amazon US

4. Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Rating: 4/5

“Summer Sons” thrusts you into a dark academia realm where the supernatural meets heartfelt human connections. Through the lens of Andrew, left grappling with Eddie’s mysterious death, we delve into a narrative tinted with eerie supernatural hues against Vanderbilt’s academic backdrop. The bond between Andrew and Eddie is a profound exploration of queer relationships, transcending mere friendship and diving into deeper emotional entanglements. Amidst unraveling Eddie’s enigmatic past, Andrew’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance unfolds. Mandelo crafts a narrative rich in dark academia aesthetics, where the spooky and the heartfelt dance in a melancholic melody, offering a compelling read for those fascinated by the blend of queer narrative, mystery, and the supernatural within academia’s gloomy halls.

Buy Summer Sons from Amazon US

5. The Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson

The Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson

Rating: 3.5/5

“The Forest Demands Its Due” unveils a harrowing tale centered around Douglas, a queer Black teen navigating the sinister halls of a cursed boarding school. His journey takes a dark twist as he retains memories of the school’s fatal past, contrary to the town’s eerie forgetfulness. The narrative spins a chilling dark academia fantasy, nestling horror amidst a tale of monstrous truths.

The story grips you from the onset, weaving through layers of mystery with a pace that keeps your heart racing. Douglas’ vulnerability evokes an urge to shield him from the malevolent forces at play, while the tender romance with Everett offers a soft haven amidst the surrounding dread. The tale unfolds with unpredictable turns, promising a nocturnal reading escapade that’s hard to put down.

A blend of dark fantasy, paranormal haunts, and character-driven plot makes this an essential read for the spooky season. The poignant queer narrative further enriches the story, making it a captivating read that echoes beyond the last page.

Buy The Forest Demands Its Due from Amazon US

6. The Things We Do To Our Friends by Heather Darwent

The Things We Do To Our Friends by Heather Darwent

Rating: 4/5

“The Things We Do To Our Friends” by Heather Darwent unfolds a dark narrative of obsession, twisted friendships, and vengeful schemes, set against the evocative backdrops of Edinburgh and France. Clare, seeking to rebuild her life post a sinister incident, finds herself entangled with the affluent yet dangerous Tabitha and her clique. Despite early warnings, Clare’s desire for acceptance drives her deeper into the menacing whirlpool of their dark games. Amidst the allure of belonging and eerie charm of the locales, lies a haunting tale of youthful misadventures and the grim shadows cast by past wrongdoings. This story, echoing dark academia aesthetics and the eerie allure of the unknown, is a riveting journey through twisted loyalties and the dire costs of fitting in.

Buy The Things We Do To Our Friends from Amazon US

7. A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

The Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson

Rating: 4.5/5

“A Marvellous Light” by Freya Marske is like a trip back to Edwardian England, but with a magical twist. Robin Blyth, needing a job and a title, suddenly finds himself in a magical mess when he gets a position at an odd office. There, he meets Edwin Courcey, a guy from a magic-wielding family. They start off on the wrong foot but have to team up to find out what happened to the previous office guy, Reginald. Through their mystery-solving adventure, their relationship shifts from foes to friends, and then, yep, to something more. It’s a sweet enemies-to-lovers tale wrapped up in magic and mystery.

The story sticks close to Robin and Edwin’s growing bond and their dive into a magical world that’s new for Robin. Their romance is a slow burn, turning steamy as they get closer while unraveling the mystery. The magic is cool but doesn’t overpower the historical vibes or the romance.

The plot might have some predictable spots, and I wished for more on the magical world’s details. But the chemistry between Robin and Edwin totally steals the show. If you’re into historical settings with a sprinkle of magic and a cute queer romance, this one’s a charming pick.

Buy A Marvellous Light” by Freya Marske from Amazon US

8. Fraternity by Andy Mientus

Fraternity by Andy Mientus dark academia book cover

Rating: 4/5

Andy Mientus paints a dark academia canvas with queer strokes in “Fraternity.” Set in the early 90s at Blackfriars School for Boys, we dive into a clandestine gay club, the Vicious Circle, through the eyes of three diverse characters: Zooey, Daniel, and Leo. As they navigate the murky waters of systemic homophobia and racism, a stumbled-upon occult text thrusts them into a sinister whirlpool. Unlike the common halls of academia, here the eerie halls hold secrets interwoven with witchy elements, echoing a faint cry of Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History.” The narrative morphs from a vintage charm to a harrowing mystical ride, making “Fraternity” a compelling read for those seeking dark academia with a queer twist.

Buy Fraternity by Andy Mientus from Amazon US

9. They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo dark academia queer book

Rating: 3.75/5

“They Never Learn” by Layne Fargo takes you through the sinister halls of Gorman University where Dr. Scarlett Clark, an English professor, and Carly Schiller, a freshman, navigate a world tinted with vengeance and dark justice. Scarlett’s vendetta against misogynistic men and Carly’s quest for personal justice after a close friend faces a horrifying ordeal, paint a chilling picture of vigilante justice. The narrative, splitting its time between Scarlett and Carly, unfurls their dark quests amidst a rigid academic setting. The queer undercurrent, especially through Scarlett’s interactions, adds a nuanced layer to this dark academia thriller, blending moral dilemmas with a fresh exploration of queer relationships in a stern, judgmental backdrop. This book isn’t just a thrilling ride; it’s a bold statement on identity and justice, with a queer narrative that’s as evocative as the dark themes it delves into.

Buy They Never Learn by Layne Fargo from Amazon US

10. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains: A Novel

Rating: 4/5

“They Never Learn” by Layne Fargo takes you through the sinister halls of Gorman University where Dr. Scarlett Clark, an English professor, and Carly Schiller, a freshman, navigate a world tinted with vengeance and dark justice. Scarlett’s vendetta against misogynistic men and Carly’s quest for personal justice after a close friend faces a horrifying ordeal, paint a chilling picture of vigilante justice. The narrative, splitting its time between Scarlett and Carly, unfurls their dark quests amidst a rigid academic setting. The queer undercurrent, especially through Scarlett’s interactions, adds a nuanced layer to this dark academia thriller, blending moral dilemmas with a fresh exploration of queer relationships in a stern, judgmental backdrop. This book isn’t just a thrilling ride; it’s a bold statement on identity and justice, with a queer narrative that’s as evocative as the dark themes it delves into.

Buy If We Were Villains by M.L. Riofrom Amazon US

Top 10 Queer Dark Academia Books: Wrap-Up

As we wrap up our dive into these captivating Queer Dark Academia Books, it’s clear that the blend of enigmatic academia and queer narrative creates a realm rich with intrigue and self-discovery. Each book peels back layers of ancient mysteries, all while exploring the depths of love and identity in the quaint yet eerie halls of academia.

Are there any other Queer Dark Academia Books that have captured your imagination? Or is there a title among these that’s whispering to your literary soul? The fusion of dark academia aesthetics with LGBTQ+ themes opens up a haven for those seeking a blend of intellect, love, and mystery. 

Share your thoughts, your discoveries, and let’s continue to unearth more queer dark academia narratives together. The comments section below is yearning for your insights. Until our next dark academic venture, keep those pages turning and the discussions flowing!

Affiliate Disclaimer: Just a heads-up: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you use them to snag a fantastic read, I earn a small commission that helps keep this blog running. Happy reading! 📚💫

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I’m Bianca. I recently started my own blog as a way to share my thoughts and let my creativity run wild. I have a love for all things aesthetic, particularly fashion and beauty, and I enjoy experimenting with different styles and trends.  Read more.

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