One thing I long for as a reader is more epic fantasy blended with a strong, satisfying romance. No "fantasy lite" for this reader. I want all the things I love about epic fantasy: deep, rich worldbuilding, larger character casts, intricate story arcs that stretch over several books, and epic battles between good and evil.
But I also want more than the typical "romance lite" with a minor little love interest plot too. Yeah, I personally like my romance steamy. *sheepish* More importantly, though, I want all the emotions of a really good romance. If the book can make me cry or laugh out loud, all the better. I'm not a patient reader. I don't want to read thousands of pages of sweet longing and maybe a kiss, darn it. I want the whole glorious onslaught of seduction and pleasure, please!
Please give me a strong, formidable heroine, not a cookie-cutter medicine woman Mary Sue who only does good while taking care of Bambi in the woods. *headdesk* I want to remember this heroine, live and die through her eyes, suffer through her choices, and feel her fierce victories.
Give me dark, violent, gritty, and real scenarios. I promise I won't flinch away.
I'm more forgiving of Romancelandia no-nos in a good fantasy-romance blend. e.g. I adored the polyamorous relationships in Gail Dayton's Compass Rose series. The darker elements in Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels series didn't bother me at all. Even the death of characters -- yes, even the major ones! -- ala George RR Martin doesn't bother me, as long as I have a promise of a larger overall happy ending. If the characters are united in some way at the end -- like Arthur, Jennifer (Guinevere), and Lancelot at the end of Guy Gaveriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry -- I'll be teary-eyed and giddy and love you forever, I swear.
Can you recommend more great epic fantasy romance blends? I'd love to find them!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Where's the Epic Fantasy Romance?
Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
Joely Sue Burkhart has always loved heroes who hide behind a mask, the darker and more dangerous the better. Whether cool, sophisticated billionaire, brutal bloodthirsty assassin, or simply a man tortured by his own needs, they all wear masks to protect themselves. Once they finally give you a peek into the passionate, twisted secrets they’re hiding, they always fall hard and fast. Dare to look beneath the mask with delicious BDSM in a wide variety of genres with Joely.