Guest Author Post: My Top Five Authors who combine fantasy and romance by Elizabeth Vaughan
Elizabeth Vaughan’s Top 5 Authors Who Combine Fantasy and Romance….
Oh man, ask hard questions why didn’t you? Please understand that these are not in any particular order.
1. Mercedes Lackey: The Last Herald Mage Trilogy. Want to see me weep over a relationship, this is the one. All the Valdemar stories have romantic elements, but these books? I cry every damn time. Because they are perfect. Not a traditional romance, and yet it is, over the course of the three books.
They also involve a relationship between two men, and they were first published in 1989. Ground-breaking, innovative, fascinating. Even more, I really admire how she handles one of the main character’s grief over certain events and the healing process.
2. Dennis McKiernan: Not the Mithgar series, although they are wonderful and have romance in them. Especially Dragondoom, although it is not a romance in the sense that . . . well, I refuse to ruin a wonderful book for you. Go read it.
Dennis is a romantic at heart. What gives that away is his ‘Once upon a Time’ Series. Wonderful books based on traditional fairy tales. Sure, there are heros and heroines and monsters and adventures, but there is also love. There are five books, four based on a different fairy tale, and then he brings them all together in the final book of the series in a way that only Dennis can do. The series starts with ‘Once upon a Winter’s Night.’
3. Suzette Haden Elgin: These are not in any sense traditional romance novels. But at the heart of the story is a relationship between a man and a woman that affects the entire world. Add magic and an Ozark flavor that is one-of-a-kind and you will not be able to put the book down. It’s called the Ozark Trilogy, but there is a fourth book as well ‘Yonder comes the other end of time’. The main character, Responsible of Brightwater, is dear to my heart.
4. Elizabeth Peters: Okay, I am cheating here a bit. There is a tiny fantasy element to these books. But the adventures of Peabody and Emerson set in Victorian England and Egypt as so wonderful I have to mention her. The relationship between the hero and heroine is warm, romantic, competitive and so much fun. The quote I love the most is from the ‘The Mummy’s Curse’: “Marriage, in my view, should be a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.”
The first book in the series is ‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’.
5. Wendi and Richard Pini: ElfQuest, which is a series of graphic novels. I am in awe – it’s hard enough to write a wonderful story, much less draw it. But their skills are amazing. Even more amazing are the various romances scattered within the over arching story. I love these books. I love the art, and the colors, and the characters. Don’t ask me to pick out a favorite.
6. Gonna cheat again, and mention another favorite. Girl Genuis by Phil and Kaja Foglio, a web comic that I adore. You have to start at the beginning, but it’s well worth the time and effort of watching the heroine of this wonderful steampunk adventure deal with the various men who are winning, and losing her heart. I am still not sure I know who I want Agatha to end up with, but if I were a betting woman . . . no, no, going to keep that tidbit to myself.
It’s odd, you know. I run into many readers who say ‘oh, romance, I don’t read that genre’. And yet, at the heart of a lot of great fantasy lies a romance. While the plot may not end in the traditional romantic mode of a happily-ever-after, you are still in for a helluva good read!
About the author:
Elizabeth A. Vaughan is the USA Today bestselling author of the Warlands Chronicles series. She loves fantasy and romance novels, and has played Dungeons and Dragons since 1981, both table-top and the online game. Her most recent book, WarDance, comes out on April 11. You can learn more about her books at www.writeandrepeat.com.
Spring returns to the Plains, and with it, the Time of the Challenges, when warrior fights warrior in a contest for rank and status. For Simus of the Hawk, now is the time to raise his challenge banner, to fight for the chance to finally become Warlord.
But his deadliest challenge does not come from other warriors, or even the sundered Council of Elders. For on the first night of the Challenges, a mysterious and deadly pillar of white light scorches the night sky—instantly changing everything for the People of the Plains.
Now a warrior-priestess, Snowfall, stands before Simus, who dares to speak of peace, of reconciliation. Her knives are sharp, her tattoos alluring, and her cool grey eyes can look through Simus and see…everything.
Now Simus and Snowfall must solve the mystery of the pillar of white light, and protect their people from all the destruction and chaos it brings. Snowfall fights for her place beside Simus, despite resistance from friend and foe.
The warrior-priests have abused their power for many years. Can Simus face the challenge of trusting Snowfall with his honor? And perhaps . . . with his heart?