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  1. #1

    Most ROMANTIC fantasy books?

    Hello all...

    I consider myself fairly well read in the fantasy genre (Jordan, Martin, Hobb, Goodkind, Weis/Hickman, etc etc) and I'm looking for a particular kind of fantasy book. Namely, one filled with high romance.

    I just finished Wizard's First Rule for the second time last night, and thats about as good as Ive seen. The love story between Richard and Kahlan was wonderful - totally heart-wrenching as you learned more and more about them. The whole concept of forbidden love was quite powerful and hit me hard; tugged at those heart strings, y'know?

    Well, having read the Sword of Truth novels, I am turning to you guys to help me figure out what to read next. I'm looking for a fantasy (I'm not a big SciFi fan...) book with an awesome love story in it. I'm looking for something that someone could really relate too...[a while ago someone suggested that I read Clive Barker's Imagica...the back cover mentioned something regarding "forbidden passion" so I thought I would give it a try...I was terribly disappointed to read about a bunch of immoral, utterly sexually perverse characters having relations with hermaphrodites, etc.]

    Any suggestions on a new book/series you could recomment would be met with the utmost appreciation. Thanks for your input and for checking out this thread!


  2. #2
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    The love story between Richard and Kahlan was wonderful - totally heart-wrenching as you learned more and more about them. The whole concept of forbidden love was quite powerful and hit me hard; tugged at those heart strings, y'know?
    Heart-wrenching? BWUAHAHAHAHAHAH! *Falls over laughing*

    Heh. Sorry, but I couldn't help myself. The romance between Richard and Kahlan was completely hollow and contrived. But then, that's Goodkind for you.


    If it is romance ye seek, please make it a point to seek out Guy Gavriel Kay's Sarantium Mosaic. The character drama there extends far beyond the pedantic and cliched romance so many other novels sport these days.

    But don't stop there. You can do even better: The Odyssey by Homer. Throughout the novel, all Ulysses wishes to do is reach his home in Ithaca to see his wife and son. The way the entire novel is structured makes this all the more endearing due to what he has to suffer at the hands of Poseidon and Calypso.

  3. #3
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    ULysses? James Joyce and Homer were contemporaries?

  4. #4
    You thought Richard and Kahlan was good? Ha!
    If you want a better example of a fun clichéd love you hate you romance of that sort try The Rose of the Prophet Trilogy by Weis and Hickman. If I recall their names correctly Khardan and Zorah were far more funny and at odds with each other and they had a sidekick to boot.

    I also agree with Qin when he says that Guy Gavriel Kay does the romantic thing pretty well too though his are imbued with a touch more drama and somewhat less frolicking in nature as the above.

    Oh Mithfanion please, Ulysses (a.k.a. Odysseus) originally hails from Ithaca and I'm not talking New York. Methinks you know but still....

  5. #5
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    I have to join the ranks here on Richard and Kahlan. If this is what you consider the apex of romantic plotting, I probably amnot the best person to give advice on what to read next. But I will anyhow.

    Melanie Rawn writes some rathergood love stories. Of course they don't always end up living happily ever after (or in the Richard/ Kahlan case, until the next book comes out).

    Jacqueline Carey portrays an interesting love story that is a bit bittersweet in Kushiel's Dart. Butthis storyline is far from over so I am not sure if it will turn out as cozily as Richard and Kahlan the super sex-set always do. Somehow I do not think that Carey will end up as trite as Goodkind in her treatment of these particular characters.

    One love story that you might like is the one in Anne Bishop's Jewels trilogy. This think borders on early teen soft porn and the love story should be in a police evidence room filed under 'blunt object'. Though Bishop is rather gleefully explicit, much in the way that a seven year old is upon finding out what the words penis and vagina mean. So if you find Barker to be woefully lacking in good taste by not keeping his nipple licking between the handsome hero every woman wants and the beautiful woman who was strong and able until she got a gander at the wonderful Richard (and now is a pathetic little rag who only rises to the occasion when the chance to jump her man's bones arrives -- or a chance to supposedly end all chances of their endless love by just not telling him what is going on.... geesh!). You might want to skip Bishop. She seems to find herself incredibly clever at being able to incoporate teh male sexual anatomy into her magic system. But only in a way that seems half-teen fantasy and half-gimmick.

  6. #6
    Leisure time optimizer Moderator Nimea's Avatar
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    What about Sharon Shinn's novels? I enjoy them very much, easy reading and wonderful romance.
    Or Freda Warrington's Blackbird-Cycle. Out of print, unfortunately, at least in my country.

    Even Janny Wurts has heart-rending love stories - whatever you say about her style of writing. (My curiosity forces me to read on and on, even though I doubt an end is in sight before I turn 30. Ha, I am not going to tell you my age!)

  7. #7
    Fanboy Extraordinaire! Warewolf's Avatar
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    Guess I'm in the minority here...I also like the romance between Richard and Kahlan. Of course, I love Goodkind's work, so...

    I'll have to second JohnH's recommendation for Rawn's stuff. Relationships play a big role in her stories. Specifically, the first Dragon Prince trilogy and especially the second book in her Exiles trilogy, The Mageborn Traitor (read the first book first, of course )

    Can't really think of anything else off the top of my head, though...

  8. #8
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    Goodkind does not get any respect on this forum these days, eventhough he is a fine writer. The problem is that he is not defined as a romatic fantasy author. Oddly enough there is such a thing. I saw a listing for romantic fantasy books somewhere, I will write in again with the URL for the web site if and when I find it again.

    Romantic fantasy litterature tends to be a bit like romance litterature except that there is bit of fantasy sprinkled in there. Sort of like a Danielle Steel with a few dragons and elves walking around. They can also be a clasaic romance novel between eleves or Kender.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Giarc's Avatar
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    Don't mind the noisy rabble, Lukaspriest. I too enjoyed the romance aspect of Goodkind's work. I guess some folks here have forgotten the concept of being polite

    However, don't let their uncouth manner deter you from the authors they are recommending. I can vouch for Guy Gavriel Kay's work, and it really is a step beyond Goodkind. Sailing to Sarantium (and the sequel Lord of Emporers) is great. You might like the Song for Arbonne, since the romance aspect is fairly central to the plot (and hides a twist). Tigana and the Lions of Al Rassan are also fantastic works that include strong romantic aspects, although not as central to the plot as Song for Arbonne. However, if you're looking for explicit scenes you might be better advised to look elsewhere.

    Cheers,
    Craig

  10. #10
    Giarc, methinks there is a difference between holding a contrary opinion and expressing it with a little gusto and being impolite. One of the great joys of being among friends I would think is the freedom one feels in being able to express one's thoughts without too much inhibition. One should be as free to swoon over Richard and Kahlan as to hold it in contempt. If one holds strong justified convictions on the matter, I do not see how disagreement from another quarter is going to change one's views that easily. Moreover I see no overt sign of malicious intimidation going on. Actually I see people giving recommendations on a matter that was solicited and the reaction towards Richard and Kahlan can be considered a general barometer of relative merit the one giving a recommendation feels his/her suggestion has in relation to the example of Richard and Kahlan. Anyway if this is upsetting lukaspriest in some way I'm sure he would be able to inform us or give us a clue as to how he might be feeling. It is my view one could take umbrage more easily at the inference that one is being deliberately rude than the charge that one is being overenthusiastic.

  11. #11
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    >>Sort of like a Danielle Steel with a few dragons and elves walking around.

    Wow. You just managed to describe something that sounds worse than Goodkind. I trust this is still on the drawing board? Now let's just all be quiet and not tell anyone about it and maybe the idea will die a quick and painless death.

  12. #12
    All right, All right...

    First off, no worries...I havent been offended by any posts regarding my topic and the lambasting of Terry Goodkind...opinion is fine with and most eagerly encouraged by me!

    I will certainly admit that the story presented within Goodkind's work is NOT the "apex of romantic plotting"...I said only that I enjoyed it. Yeah, it may be cliche, but I recall feeling bad for Richard upon the realization of the fact that his relationship with Kahlan could not be. Granted, other aspects of Goodkind's work are less than stellar, but as far as romantic elements found within fantasy novels Ive read thus far, its the best I've seen. Fitz' relationship with Molly was pretty good in the Farseer trilogy. I read first 500 pages or so of Dragon Prince (Rawn) and somewhat enjoyed Rohan and Sioned, but the remaining story was less than Impressive.

    In response to JohnH, I am in no way offended by sexually explicit material (I ADORE George R R Martin), I'm only put off when it is absolutely bizarre and gratuitious to boot. (I thought Richard's brief romp with Kahlan in the Spirit House to be quite entertaining) Especially when I dont give a damn about the characters. Relationships with beings possessing shape-shifting sex organs (Pie 'oh' Pah) and almost sickening detail and description of a man's penis is less than enthralling to me. In works like that, the sexual aspect of the story becomes more important than the romance; loses feeling, and would be better off being branded as eroticism.

    Anyhow, I'll definitely look into your suggestions, and I appreciate all your advice. Even the cackles.


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    Unfortunatly the cats out of the bag on this one already. I saw somewhere there is more than a few romantic fantasy novels. I saw somewhere a book about romance between two dwarfs. I saw a tale sort of like West Side Story just set in a fantasy realm. The tale was a love story beween two Elfs whose families hated one another.

    Sorry llama, this one is out already. Let's all get down on our knees and pray that this one dies a slow painful death. <starts praying on his knees>

  14. #14
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    Fitz' relationship with Molly was pretty good in the Farseer trilogy

    I'll put my voice to that one Wonderful relationship, unforgettable in fact. I wonder what will happen in the future.

    In response to JohnH, I am in no way offended by sexually explicit material (I ADORE George R R Martin), I'm only put off when it is absolutely bizarre and gratuitious to boot.

    One of my few niggles with Martin is (and this is certainly the biggest) is his overuse of sexual descriptions. I could really have done without a full scale description of Tyrion's penis for instance. And there are more of such cases (as most here will know, though some have no problems with it), thought that one struck me as the most gratuitous. Oh yes, the description of Jon and Ygritte was over the top as well, for me. I could have done with "and there they made love"


    [This message has been edited by Mithfânion (edited February 19, 2002).]

  15. #15
    Definately Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince/Dragon Star books if you want romance. Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon is very romantic. There's some good romance in Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders series. Mercedes Lackey writes some tales with romance in her Valdemar series, although they are kind of (oh geez how do I put it) light(?) stories.

    Now I just read a series that is actually shelved in the Romance section but its a time travel thing and if you want romance this is it! Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

    Oh yeah, and theres a rather good romantic entanglement in Mickey Zucker Reichert's Renshai Chronicals.

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