Fantasy + Romance = Romantasy
Have you heard of Romantasy? It’s a word for romantic fantasy books that have strong elements of both genres. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros is one very popular example. The story is about a 20-year-old named Violet who is ordered by her mother to attend an elite military school to become a dragon rider. She has trained to be a scribe since she was young. This gives her sharp memorization skills and strong knowledge of the laws of the land. However, her physical training is lacking. She’ll fight for her life as she competes for a seat on a dragon amidst alliances, romance, secrets and political intrigue.
It’s a page-turner that makes you care about the characters and root for them to succeed. A sequel, Iron Flame, will be published soon! Place your hold for Iron Flame now. In the meantime, cozy up with a warm beverage and check out these other stories of romance, magic and dragons.
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (#1 in a series)
A Natural History of Dragons is written as the memoir of Lady Isabella Trent, the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. This is a more whimsical and slightly less steamy fantasy romance with dragons at the heart of the story. A pioneering woman challenges the social mores of Victorian society to bring the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science.
Lady Trent risks her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity. Join her on the first in a series of adventures. Cheer her on as she seeks knowledge and romance. The series is available as digital audiobooks with no holds on Hoopla.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (#1 in a series)
Escape into a page-turning, steamy romantasy series with A Court of Thorns and Roses. When 19-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the borderland forest between the human world and the faerie kingdom of Prythian, she unknowingly breaks a wary truce. She must repay the murder with her life. Tamlin, the shapeshifting Fae who comes to collect, offers Feyre a way out: spend the rest of her days on his lands in Prythian.
She reluctantly agrees, leaving her starving family behind for the deceptive luxury of the faerie world. Feyre begins to accept and even enjoy her new surroundings, not to mention the attentions of her host. Then she learns the faerie world is crumbling under a blight that robs people like Tamlin of their magic and lets monsters roam free. Maas draws themes and plot points from several fairy tales, fueling a well-developed world. The series is available as digital audiobooks with no holds on Hoopla.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
This one is definitely on the more cozy side of romantasy, with a sweet romance and none of the super steamy scenes. It’s a good follow up to Fourth Wing for the elements of found family, folklore, buried secrets, and flawed characters. In the early 1900s, a curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town to study faerie folklore. She discovers dark fae magic, friendship and love.
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things. She is the foremost expert on dryadology, the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher writing the world’s first encyclopedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good with people. She could never make small talk at a party – much less get invited to one. Emily prefers the company of her books, her dog Shadow, and the Fair Folk.
When she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hransvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: the dashing and insufferably handsome Wendell Bambleby. He manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of her research, and utterly confound and frustrate Emily.
Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones – the most elusive of all faeries – lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town. She also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all – her own heart.
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey’s books set in Pern are fantasy classics and they are the stories that first brought dragon riders to many readers. If you haven’t visited Pern before, I recommend this trilogy marketed toward young adult readers as a good introduction to the world and concepts.
For centuries, the world of Pern has faced a destructive force known as Thread. Now the number of magnificent dragons who have protected this world and the humans who ride them are dwindling. Fewer dragons ride the winds and destruction is falling from the sky.
Fifteen-year-old Menolly has only one dream: to sing, play and weave the music that comes to her so easily. She wishes to become a Harper. Despite her great talents, her father believes a young girl is unworthy of such a respected position and forbids her to pursue her dreams. So Menolly runs away, taking shelter in a cave by the sea. Miraculously, she happens upon nine fire lizards who could possibly save her world and change her life forever. The three books of the Harper Hall Trilogy are available with no holds as digital audiobooks on Hoopla.