Last week, we posted upcoming Fantasy Romance books, that hit our radar, so this week is the turn of our all time favourite books in this genre.
Starting off is the Warprize trilogy by Elizabeth Vaughan that features: Warprize, Warsworn and Warlord. Although there are hardly any hints of magic in this trilogy, this series is set in a faraway land where cultures clash and war looms, but two people at the heart of this can stop the war and bring their people together.
Xylara is a Daughter of Xy, brought up to do her duty to her country, her king and her people. Her father, the Warrior King Xyron, is dead and her incompetent half-brother Xymund is on the throne; she has chosen to serve her people as a healer, until she is needed to make a marriage of alliance. But the once-great kingdom of Xy is threatened by the Warlord and his barbarian Firelanders, and her brother Xymund is forced to surrender. The terms are fair: the kingdom will remain under Xymund’s control, and the taxes and tithes are reasonable. All prisoners and wounded are to be exchanged unharmed. There is just one thing more: to ensure a true peace – no pillaging, no looting, no raping – the Warlord has claimed tribute. He claims Xylara, Daughter of Xy, to be his Warprize . . .
The Black Jewels trilogy that features: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness.
The Black Jewels trilogy/series is one of the best dark fantasy books I have ever read, and is a firm fave with my co-bookpushers. The world-building and setting is rich and imaginative with well drawn out and memorable characters – although it can get pretty dark and violent. There is a lot of emotional poignancy and humour at its heart.
Even so, she cannot stand alone. Somewhere, long lost in the madness of the Twisted Kingdom, is Daemon, her promised Consort. His unyielding love for Jaenelle will complete her Court and secure her power. Yet, even together, their strength may not be enough to stave off their enemies.
In the end, only Jaenelle’s greatest sacrifice will be enough to save those she loves…
Crystal Flame by Jayne Castle
Albeit this is not a traditional fantasy and is more futuristic, this book was the first fantasy romance I had read and it was definitely one of the first in the romance genre. The heroine was so strong and well developed, and she was a great foil to the hero. It’s being re-released and although it may look like it’s not original with its premise and setting, at the time it was groundbreaking and it was like a flask of water in a desert where there was hardly any books in this subgenre when it was released.
Tairen Soul series by C.L Wilson that features: Lord of the Fading Lands, Lady of the Light and Shadows, King of Sword and Sky, Queen of Song and Souls, and Crown of Crystal Flame.
When I read the first book in this series, I was instantly hooked! This was one of the first fantasy series that I felt that combined epic tradition fantasy elements with a strong romance really well. And for a romance and fantasy junkie like me, it was a fantastic way to introduce either romance or fantasy newbies to each genre!
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate.
Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King-the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful-and dangerous-Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul-will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it’s too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?
Pati Nagle’s The Betrayal which is the first book in the series. The second book, Heart of the Exiled, comes out Jan 2011.
The noble and magical aelven were riven by war when a rogue clan embraced a forbidden source of magic: the drinking of blood. In the bitter fighting that ensued, the vampiric Clan Darkshore were cast out of the aelven and driven across the Ebon Mountains. Stripped of their various clan colors, they were thenceforth known only as “alben,” hated and shunned. An uneasy peace now holds over the land, but it is whispered that Shalár, the beautiful and bloodthirsty queen of the alben, is readying a surprise attack to win back all that was lost–and none can say where or when she will strike.
The fate of the clans will depend on two young aelven lovers, Eliani and Turisan, who are blessed with a legendary gift: the fabled power of mindspeech. But this ability comes with great risks. Time is running out as the alben mount their attack–and their ultimate betrayal.