If you’re someone who loves both romance novels and fantasy, you may want to give high fantasy romance a try! But what exactly is this lovechild of fantasy and romance, and what can you expect?
High fantasy romance is a blend of high fantasy and romance, where romance isn’t just a sideshow, but a key focus. From their high fantasy side, these stories include epic stakes, plots, and characters. In addition, they also feature strong supernatural elements and an optimistic tone or themes (as opposed to dark or cynical).
They often involve a couple falling in love in the process of an epic quest or a journey. In terms of sexual content, high fantasy romance novels can range from sweet and chaste to intense and explicit.
High fantasy romance is becoming a very popular genre. If you want to know more about high fantasy romance books, check out this article.
What is ‘High Fantasy’?
We all know what the romance genre is, but what can we expect fro ‘high fantasy’?
In high fantasy, the story in question is set in an imaginary world, has a conflict with world or kingdom-impacting stakes, and a generally idealistic tone or conclusions. For instance, good triumphs over evil instead of the opposite.
Compared to other sub-genres of fantasy, high fantasy has the highest presence of magic or the supernatural. Classic high fantasy plots include some sort of mission or quest.
Another aspect of high fantasy is that it’s generally accepted that the technological level should resemble a ‘medieval’ era rather than a modern or futuristic one.
Famous high fantasy books include The Lord of the Rings or The Sword of Shannara.
Examples of High Fantasy Romance Books
Stories we typically think of as fairy tales often fall into the high fantasy romance genre, for instance. Think of movies like The Princess Bride and books like The Well at the World’s End.
High fantasy romance books also tend to come in a series. There may be angels, demons, and witches; however, there may also be all or some of the following:
The following includes some examples of high fantasy romance books:
The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
C.L. Wilson’s The Winter King is an epic high fantasy romance that keeps you turning the pages. It is the story of a man named Wynter who seeks revenge against the king for his brother’s death. He does so by taking one of his daughters, Khamsin as his bride. Without even realizing it, Khamsin begins to fall in love with him.
The two embark on a passionate love affair, becoming entangled with one another. A betrayal puts their love story to the test. The book is addictive, and you cannot help but fall hard for the characters in the story.
After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea’s king by taking one of the man’s beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter’s battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother’s death, rages on.
Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father’s palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig’s icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom — and her first taste of overwhelming passion.
As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin’s wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter’s passion — she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
This book is by Margaret Rogerson. An Enchantment of Ravens is another high fantasy romance with a touch of humor. The main character is Isobel, who is a painter who falls in love with a faerie prince after she inadvertently puts his life in danger.
Something goes wrong in the kingdom when he goes back to stand trial. That is when the romance begins. The story is engaging and a pleasant and refreshing love story.
Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust.
They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron — Rook, the autumn prince — she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes — a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious, Rook spirits her away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously wrong in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending on each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, then love — and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws.
Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh
Lord of the Abyss, written by Nalini Singh, is a sensational book about a blood sorcerer who conquers a kingdom and the king and queen attempt to save their children.
The only thing that connects them is a magical timepiece. As the condemner of souls, the dark Lord, Micah is feared by all. Liliana believes that there is goodness in him.
She longs for him, and it is a battle to get to his good side. It is a very complex and fascinating read from start to finish. You will not be sorry for picking up this book!
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…
As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows — the daughter of his enemy.
Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember.
Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.
It’s been ten years since Princess Aurora’s mother, the Sleeping Beauty, sacrificed her life to give her daughter her magical powers. Aurora knows that magic is never free. The price for hers is that she will never know romantic love.
Prince Niklaas is living on borrowed time. Unless he is able to convince a princess to marry him before his eighteenth birthday, he will meet the same terrible fate as his ten older brothers.
When Niklaas and Aurora meet under unusual circumstances, they must race to prevent the fulfillment of an ogre prophecy foretelling the end of human life. But will they be able to break their curses?
The book is a compelling read, with characters that are multi-layered and fascinating.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
This novel by Rae Carson is unique and engaging. The Girl of Fire and Thorns, the opening book of the best-selling trilogy. It is centered around a character named Elisa, who is “the chosen one.” She is the youngest of two princesses, and on her sixteenth birthday, she becomes a king’s bride. Much to the dismay of the newly married couple, evil lurks around.
Their enemies perform dark magic against them. If the prophecy is fulfilled, and if she finds her inner power, she can conquer all this evil. The book is extraordinary and a must-read.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king – a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.
The Well at the World’s End by William Morris
Indeed, The Well at the World’s End, was the initial of its kind. It is a high fantasy romance that William Morris published in 1896. It is a colorful and passionate story, as it artfully mixes high fantasy with an old-fashioned fairy tale.
The book is set in a fictional land called “Upmeads.” The story revolves around Prince Ralph, a prince of a tiny country, as he disobeys his fathers wishes and runs away from home to adventure in the world, and seek out the fabled Well at World’s End, said to grant eternal youth to those who drink from it.
There are many epic battles and some magic and romance. Full of gorgeous imagery and animation, the book was way ahead of its time.
The next time you are in a bookstore or a library, ask someone to show you where the high fantasy romance books are. You might go home with a massive pile of stories to read!