Genre Romance – Fantasy

Fantasy has always been my first love. Growing up, if I had my choice, every book would have been set in a magical world with knights, dragons, a few good thieves, and lots of wizards. But then I actually reached a point where I had read ALL of the fantasy available in both my school and town libraries, and my family refused to drive the four and a half hours to get to a decent bookstore. And, while do I love to reread favorite books, I was in the mood for something new. So, I was forced to finally branch out a bit into a new genre — romance!

Fortunately, I soon discovered that this was a case of having my cake and eating it too. After all, magic and romance go so well together, and there is no shortage of fabulous fantasy worlds that have plenty of room for a love story or two! Here’s a few favorites from my keeper shelves:

The Blue Sword - Robin McKinleyThe Hero and the Crown - Robin McKinleyRobin McKinley’s Damar books are YA fantasy classics with a solid core of romance. My favorite is The Blue Sword. Poor Corlath, in the middle of war preparations, is forced by his unpredictable magic to kidnap Harry Crewe (an Outlander!), only to discover that she might be his people’s best hope of survival — a situation ripe for romance. While the prequel, The Hero and the Crown, tells the story of how Corlath’s legendary ancestor, Aerin Dragonslayer, won her awesome title, saved the kingdom, and even had time for a love triangle!

And for fully developed fantasy world with lots of adventure and romance, you can’t go wrong with Tamora Pierce‘s various Tortall series. My favorite is the Immortals quintet — although I’ve reread it so many times, it’s impossible to be sure, I’m fairly certain I started shipping Daine and Numair very early on. Meanwhile, my brother loved Alanna, the kingdom’s first female knight from The Song of the Lioness quintet. I distinctly remember arguing with him about whether or not she was going to end up with the handsome Prince Jonathan or the charming Rogue George.

Graceling_coverI could go on and on — Pamela Service, Patricia C. Wrede! But, one of the best things about YA Fantasy Romance is how many wonderful new books I’m finding in the genre. If you haven’t read Kristen Cashore, rush out and grab her books immediately! Graceling is just amazing. I LOVE Katsa and Po, so, so much — and there is writing like this:

“…she fought against the gold and silver lights that shone in his eyes, and lost. When he spoke, his voice was soft.

Crown of Midnight - Sarah Maas‘And now I’m wondering,’ he said, ‘how it is you don’t realize your eyes ensnare me, just as mine do you. I can’t explain it, Katsa, but you shouldn’t let it embarrass you. For we’re both overtaken by the same–foolishness.’

A flush rose into her neck, and she was doubly embarrassed, by his eyes and by his words. But there was relief for her, too. Because if he was also foolish, then her foolishness bothered her less.” Swoon!

And finally, I managed to snag a galley of a Crown of Midnight, book two in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, and I can’t wait for the next one!

What fabulous YA fantasy books have you been swooning over?

Author spotlight

Holly West

Senior Editor at Swoon Reads and Feiwel & Friends. Giant geek. Dedicated fangirl. Half-Elven Rogue Cleric. Also answers to That-Girl-Who-Reads-A-Lot.

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