This month, I’m going to do my best to combine the prompts of Bionic Book Worm’s Top Five Tuesday with the readathon event, Wyrd and Wonder, and create some fantasy themed lists! This week, we’ve been asked to list our favorite cute romances (which I’m just going to extend into favorite romances in general because who’s gonna stop me?) and so I bring you my favorite pairs from the world of fantasy!
This week’s post brings a light spoiler warning, since these are couples that don’t start out together at the beginning of the story. Proceed at your own risk!
Elisabeth and Nathaniel – SORCERY OF THORNS by Margaret Rogerson
This YA fantasy took my heart by storm in 2019 and easily clinched a spot in my Top Five for the year because it just hit every single right button for me. One of those buttons was the romance between librarian Elisabeth and sorcerer Nathaniel. As Elisabeth was raised to believe that sorcerers are inherently bad because of the magic they wield, this was a relationship that got off to a rocky start. But forced to go on the run, with only Nathaniel believing her story of a conspiracy threatening the magical libraries across the realm, the two eventually fall in together and from there it’s just a swoony romance that I was Here. For.
Meg and Simon – THE OTHERS by Anne Bishop
I will never write a list about romances that doesn’t include Meg and Simon on it. It’s an inviolable rule of nature. Meg’s a sheltered human with the gift of prophecy who’s been abused for years at an institution that exploited her gifts. Simon’s a wolf-spirit that can take human form who generally believes humans are only good for eating, but he’s in charge of the Courtyard that acts as an embassy between humans and supernatural creatures so he has to behave. The two develop an unlikely, awkward romance over the book series, as they both to try to figure out what works for the two of them.
Alessandra and Kallias – THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by Tricia Levenseller
Who knew a romance between two bad guys could set my heart aflutter? Described as a “Slytherin romance,” Alessandra is trying to woo her way to a seat on the throne, and fully plans to murder the Shadow King once she has power in hand. As for Kallias the Shadow King? He’s got his good traits but is fully willing to put down rebellious populations and make examples of leaders. The author manages to walk the line of not having these two do anything TOO dark, but in any other book they would be the villains. AND YET, watching those two admit their eventual feelings and weaknesses for each other…*happy sigh…*
Sancia and Berenice – THE FOUNDERS by Robert Jackson Bennett
There are many things I like about FOUNDRYSIDE and SHOREFALL, and one of them is the quiet but perfectly content relationship between Sancia and Berenice. The two are very different in personality and approaches to situation, but have come to realize that their skills complement one another. It’s not a flashy relationship, there’s very little drama and angst, and honestly, I think we could use more of that in books. Give us nice steady happy relationships please!
Elle and Darian – GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston
I’m stretching my fantasy definition here, as this is a contemporary YA book, but the romance is between two teenagers who are heavily invested in a particular fandom, and that makes it fantasy adjacent enough for me! This book is such a wonderful piece of happy fluff. I admittedly am a sucker for anything that steals from the premise of THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER – that is, two people who bicker all the time in person without realizing they are ardent pen pals and have a ton in common if they could just get over the initial first bad impression. In this case, Elle and Darian end up in a text message conversation without knowing who the other is. You know exactly where this story is headed, and it is wonderful every step of the way.