Thursday, December 7, 2023

Romantasy - My Favourites

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

 So it looks like Romantasy is the new hot thing. If you're like me, this is a subgenre you've been avidly reading for years, called fantasy romance or romantic fantasy or fantasy with romantic elements and you're excited at the idea of the genre taking off.

So what is Romantasy? Romance + fantasy, obviously, BUT I think it's important to make a distinction between romantasy and both urban fantasy and paranormal romance. What's the difference? Paranormal romance and urban fantasy are set in a contemporary-ish setting. Technology levels are generally compatible with current life in North America and Europe (though tech like cellphones may be magic-based) and will often share the same history. Romantasy IMO refers to novels set in a secondary non-Earth world with magic. There is, and always will be, wiggle room for things like historical fantasy or post-apocalyptic worlds with fantasy which may have the same "feel" as secondary world fantasy.

Without further ado, here are some of my favourite romantasies.

1/ Bonds of Magic and Renegades of Magic by Jeffe Kennedy - Jeffe writes a lot of romantasy (I'm also a fan of her long-running Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms/Heirs of Magic series) but this series is currently my favourite. Set in a dark world where wizards "bond" familiars and the Convocation Academy hunts down anyone who dares rebel against its rules. Wizards and familiars may be of either gender and there is hot sex magic. Bonds of Magic is a trilogy starring Gabriel and Nic while Renegades of Magic features Jadrian and Gabriel's sister Selly. Book three of Renegades just released giving them their HEA and promising a new trilogy for Nic's sister Alis.





2/ The Saint of Steel series by  T. Kingfisher (a pseudonym for Ursula Vernon). Delightful voice and world-building. Premise: the Saint of Steel died leaving his berserker paladins (both male and female) stranded and despairing, adopted by the White Rat (a god of lawyers and good works). Book four, Paladin's Faith just released and I finished reading it last night. These books are so much fun!

3/ Romances of Arquitaine duology by Lilith Saintcrow. Set in a fantasy-version of the decadent French court, book one The Hedgewitch Queen is from the heroine's POV and book two is from the heroes. I adored how gone Tristan was on Vianne. 





4/ Wraith Kings series by Grace Draven. Lovely, sensual writing. Book one, Radiance, features a political marriage between a human woman and a Kai man, but what is supposed to be political and convenient soon develops into a genuine love-match.

5/ A Gathering of Dragons series by Milla Vane (AKA Meljean Brook). If barbarian warlords are your thing, try these. I've been waiting impatiently for  book three for awhile now.

Honorable Mention: Chronicles of the Warlands/Epic of Palins series by Elizabeth Vaughan, Kingston Cycle by C.L. Polk

What are your favourites? (I'm writing this post in a rush and am certain I've forgotten some...)

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