Apr 122024

Paste Magazine: The blending of speculative fiction with romance is an old concept. One could argue that its roots lie in Gothic fiction, where innocent maidens ran through the darkened corridors of crumbling castles, and the monsters within were thinly veiled metaphors for rampant desire. What are fairy tales if not a blending of the fantastical and romantic? The modern and sturdier blending of the two could be found in ’90s fantasy classics like Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels saga, a high-fantasy series about a prophesized ruler who will wield unstoppable power over a matriarchal society. Bishop’s series, which released its 12th installment last year, has long been celebrated for its dark sensuality and focus on female characters in a genre that was and is still pretty male-dominant. These books weren’t necessarily marketed as romance-focused and were shelved as fantasy but they remain crucial foundations of the romantasy genre and paved the way for what followed.