I’m in the mood for some fantasy. Doesn’t happen often, but sometimes that’s what I really want to read. But it’s hard to find something I like because a) there has to be some romance, and b) I’m not super-familiar with the genre. So I thought I’d tell you guys about some books I’ve loved that are still sitting on my favs shelf and maybe those of you who are more familiar could give me some ideas.
I don’t even know that I want to contemplate how long ago it was that I read “The Keltiad” series. In the books, a group of people from Earth (Ireland), were able to travel through space at an insanely early point in history (by magical religious science, I guess). On the planet of Keltia and it’s surrounding planetary bodies, they established a whole new Keltic civilization. Now, well into the future, a small group of Earth explorers happens upon this hidden civilization out in space. To make things interesting, they show up at the beginnings of what will become a big political drama and war.
While there was a bit of romance that pulled me through the books, the strength of these is the amazingly detailed world-building and the development of the main character, Aeron, who is the slightly reluctant though duty-bound Queen of Keltia.
Rhapsody, Prophecy, and Destiny also blew my mind. And the romance in this one was very important in the story. Well, at least to me it was. I could not stop reading these books until the relationship was resolved. And it was AMAZING!!! Basically, character from different times and places who never should have met–do, which changes both their lives. By the time they struggle back to being in the same time and place, they’re so completely altered that they don’t even recognize each other. And then you have to go on reading it, knowing it, and waiting for the moment when they figure it out and all is revealed. ARG! It was awesome reading.
Aside from that, the imagination in this thing! Incredible world-building and description, totally interesting characters, some of whom were incredibly alien and yet very, very real.
The Witches of Eileanan series could be a little uneven in that it didn’t always follow the same characters. It started with one girl, then broke from her to mainly follow another, and then at once point diverged from both of them and a whole book followed a more minor character. But that’s okay, because it was kind of awesome.
If I remember right, witchcraft was outlawed and being a witch was a crime, which was unfortunate because having magic wasn’t a choice. So there was a whole not so secret secret police running around hunting witches, a resistance, all that good stuff. Lots of remarkably heroic yet flawed characters facing all kind of adversity such that I was practically bouncing up and down rooting for them and couldn’t stop reading these, one after another.
One girl definitely had a better love life than the other, and those relationships didn’t drive the plot. But the characters were incredible. The world-building (see a theme in what I like?)! The surprises in the world were a constant source of delight for me. Maybe that’s partly because I don’t read a lot in this genre. Maybe I’m easily impressed. But I thought these books were brilliant.
Wizard’s First Rule is the first of the Sword of Truth series on which the television series Legend of the Seeker is, somewhat loosely IMO, based. Character development here was amazing (I know, I am repetitive and have a limited vocabulary). Richard Cypher will always be one of my favorite characters. In fact, I couldn’t finish the third book or go farther in the series because I just plain couldn’t stand all the torture of poor Richard! Terry Goodkind really knows how to torment a protag.
The romance in this is awesome if you’re totally drawn in by the seemingly impossible relationship. Which I am. And this being fantasy, of course I couldn’t tell how or even if it could possibly work out for these guys. Definitely part of what kept me turning pages. But it’s also that Richard, just a simple, good guy who was just minding his business with no idea he had a destiny, got on board with the world-saving and always chose the right thing even though it was pretty much always the really had thing.
AGAIN, featuring stupendous world-building in addition to the awesome characterization. Maybe it’s the fantastic worlds that make these books stand out in my memory when so many romantic suspense novels just run together in my head.
Okay, so those are some examples of things I’ve loved that I’m in the mood for more of. Anyone have any ideas for me?