Articles, Blog

Good (and BAD) Romance in Fantasy [CC]

February 20, 2020

okay so, today we are going to be talking
about romance. Specifically, romance in non romance
books. I do have a video coming where I will talk a little bit about romance
books, because I have a video about books that I liked that are outside of my
normal reading taste. But that’s not today,
no sir. Today we are specifically talking about books in let’s say the fantasy
genre. I think there are other genres on this list – I’m actually not sure – that
have somewhat of a romance in them, and we’re gonna talk about the ones that did
it really really well, in case you’re looking for a really sweet romance
within your books. And we’re also going to be talking about the books that did a
really bad job at it, because it’s the internet and you guys eat that stuff up.
So I have five books that did romance great and I have five books that did it
pretty awful. So we’re gonna start off with a good book and we’re gonna just go
back and forth, and we’re gonna start with the book that I have not talked
about in a while and that’s an unkindness of magicians. So this – when I
first read it was a standalone fantasy, short fantasy book, but it’s actually now
gonna be a series.The next book – should be out this year I think. This is kind of
described as the adult Harry Potter which I see but don’t agree with. So this
follows – okay I’m gonna attempt to do it without
reading the description even though it’s been a minute since I’ve read this this –
follows a the unseen world which exists apart from you know the muggle world.
They don’t use the word muggle I’m being dumb now, and in the unseen world there
are a series there there are a bunch of houses within the magical community and
everybody belongs to a house and every so many years there’s a house war that
goes on where they pick one representative to represent the house,
and everybody dukes it out with their magical abilities to try to be the one
that’s in charge. And whoever wins is the head house and that’s kind of a big deal
because they set the rules of the unseen world. And there’s also a lot of darkness
involved in this world the way that they use their powers is pretty horrifying
and I love it – I don’t love it it’s horrible but I love that this book went
there because whoa it’s a really short fantasy book and I
have no idea what cat Howard is gonna do with the sequel cuz it felt pretty well
contained but I’m interested to see anyway. I forgot what this video is about.
Okay romance – so 100% the focus of this book
is not romance, in fact it’s a very minor minor minor thing that happens on the
sidelines. However I loved the way it turned out. So if you’ve hung out with me
for very long you probably know that I I don’t know don’t have a heart and don’t
really get on board with most romances, I just don’t really care if they exist
within a book or not, and if they do and much prefer for them not to be much of a
focus. And usually I just I don’t I don’t – I don’t get invested but every now and
then a romance is written in a way that I’m like oh I’m so glad that was here it
was really cute and I was invested in it in it. And this is a book where that
happened where it was not a focus at all but the little moments that it had I
loved. Now first on my list of books that now first on my list of books that maybe
did a terrible job, and I’m gonna be clear that on this list this is not
these are not books that are supposed to have been of whirlwind romance, I’m
talking about books that had a little bit of romance in them and it was really
bad. And I’m sorry my sweet friends, but the romance in this in this series so
far is – oh man it’s bad stuff. Now I’m gonna be really clear, this is not
supposed to be some swooning amazing heart-throbbing romance, it’s supposed to
be normal people – actually they’re not normal at all, it’s supposed to be really
messed up people trying to figure out their lives. Okay so this is not meant to
have a healthy or beautiful romanced romance in it it’s just supposed to be
characters that happen to be in love amongst all the other things that
they’re doing. However people tend to hate the way it goes because our main
character Locke is very very very in love with a woman who is just really bad
at relationship. She’s very closed off and she’s very not trusting and it it
leads to a lot of a lot of frustrating scenes where it’s it’s
very one-sided but also very strung along and it’s not supposed to be
romantic but it does frustrate a lot of people people oftentimes end up hating
Locke’s love interest because of all that. And I don’t I don’t – I don’t hate
her. I actually really like her um but she’s
really – she’s really bad at having emotions.
Korey really doesn’t like her. Next is letters to the lost. Julia and Declan
let’s make sure I’m right, Juliet and Declan, so this is a
contemporary. It’s one of those hard-hitting contemporaries, we’re
talking about grief, we’re talking about abuse, we’re talking about forgiveness,
we’re talking about a lot of stuff in this duology but specifically letters
for the lost, but I like them both. So it’s a hard-hitting contemporary but it
also does have a focus on romance, so maybe it doesn’t belong on this list but
hey it’s my list so I’m doing it. And this is one of the few books where it is
about something heavy but romance plays just as big of a role and I loved it it
was just really really cute the way the relationship pays – it plays out the way
they fall for each other get to know each other. It’s just sometimes an author
writes relationships in a way that connects with you and bridgid Kemmerer
seems to be one of those authors for me. Okay let’s go on the same theme, I have
some books that actually did try to have a cute romance and they failed, but let’s
just go with the same theme as lies of Locke Lamora first because let me tell
you even though this isn’t supposed to be healthy cutesy beautiful romance
there is a romance in it and oh my golly is it bad. So this is kind of a similar
situation where Kavothe is just like ridiculously in love with this woman and
she has issues, so she plays this sort of cat-and-mouse game with him where she
strings him along and expects him to stay on the hook but she’ll give him
nothing. And much like the relationship in the lies of Locke Lamora,
if if Kavothe does anything mildly wrong or says anything mildly wrong, she’s gone.
But she’ll eventually come back because she wants him on the hook it’s not
supposed to look romantic but it is a romance sort of happening within the
story and it’s terrible and I would just love for it to end. Now it’s true that
kavothe does go through this evolution where every single woman in the story
throws herself at him, as seems to be pretty typical for a lot of fantasy books
with the male protagonist, but she’s always around,
she’s always his main squeeze, and she’s always horrible.Again I feel like I need
to reiterate I know that the author wasn’t trying to make this a beautiful
romance, I’m just talking about – there is romance in the book so I’m talking about
it dadgummit. Alright next I’m gonna talk about a current read and that is rage of
dragons, at the time that I’m filming this video I’m halfway through the book
at the time that you’re watching it I may already be done because I have not
devoured a fantasy book like this in a long time I love this book so much and
if it lets me down I will riot. So I don’t know how the romantic relationship
in this book is gonna play out I have no idea if it’s gonna stay cute or if it’s
gonna be one of those things where he finds someone different because it is – oh
it is an impossible situation. It’s beautiful. This is actually a
relationship that starts at the very beginning of the series they are already,
they already have somewhat of an attraction to each other before the
story even begins which is not something that a lot of authors do and it works so
well in this book and it’s just like I said before I tend to be the type of
reader that I I don’t really care if there’s any kind of love romance in my
books and if they’re there I usually don’t care about them, but in this one,
man from the very first scene with the two I just thought that they were so
cute together and I love their interactions and I love
their relationship as of the first half of the book. And I feel for them and
their dilemma in their situation and I just – every time they get a scene
together I’m eating it up which is so uncommon for me and I love it and when I
get this feeling I love it when a couple connects with me on this level that I
look forward to when the couple is together.
Let’s talk about another recent read and that is the starless see. So the starless
see one of the subgenres for this book is romantic fantasy, romance fantasy, fantasy romance. And let me tell you how bad the romance is in this book.
I really wanted to like it because I really liked the love interest and if
you’ve heard me talk about this book ever then you already know that the main
character is the most bland of all blaned bland bland bland that ever did
bland. That phrase is gonna be a bugger to try to close caption. Anyway so it’s
not just that I only cared about one half of the couple in this book but it’s
also the fact that it was such a big case of insta-love.
They meet, they partner up, they’re in love in this detrimental, will die for
you , must have you sort of way. In such an abrupt way it was like this this love
interest was an insignificant character and then all of a sudden we would die
without them and I really really like the love interest so I wanted to like
this coupling but I didn’t because it was the most abrupt nonsense in the
world I didn’t get a chance to love them together. Okay this is a weird one I may
change my mind because I’m gonna be rereading this series really soon but
this is one that grew on me and I’m not gonna do spoilers but I would like to.
But if you don’t want to know anything about the Stormlight archive then move
forward but Dalinar and his love interest, at first I didn’t really have
opinions on it it was kind of a weird setup and I didn’t really know how I
felt about the two together. I kind of felt in neutral but when
we got some backstory and when dalinar started having a rough go, he started
struggling a lot internally and regressing as a person because of
everything that he was going through. The way she stepped up was beautiful and
made me fall in love with them as a couple. When things got hard
they got stronger instead of things got hard so we had a miscommunication trope
or something like that, but there is a line that she says
is essentially things are hard for him right now and he’s not doing okay and I
wish he was helping me more and everything wasn’t on my shoulders but
that’s just the way it is right now and I’m gonna step up and I’m gonna take all
the responsibility and someday down the road
I’ll need him to do that for me and I know he will and that’s okay because
that’s just what it is being a couple. I really paraphrase that but man I loved
that line. Okay moving on to another fantasy series that has some romance in
it. Wheel of Time. have read seven of these books and there’s a lot
that I love about these books and there’s a lot that I don’t and one of
the things I happen to not love is romance and there’s a lot romance. It’s not
something that Robert Jordan makes any attempt to be good at in my opinion but
it still is something that he incorporates a lot in his books. He
really likes his characters to get together and be deeply and madly in love
but he doesn’t like writing it it seems, so he just makes them together.
Characters are just abruptly in love with each other and someone will declare
their love and I’m just like, where did that come from? And the die-hard Wheel of
Time fans – I happen to be buddy reading this series with someone who is a
die-hard fan – and the diehard fans will tell me every time I say that was abrupt
and uncomfortable, will tell me no there are scenes that led up to it, you just
have to really really really look for them. And I guess if you’ve read the
series through a couple times and you know the relationships are coming then
you can kind of see those subtle things, but honestly it’s not enough. It seems
like there’s only one couple in this entire series and this is a massive cast,
there’s only one couple that I’m actually invested in and they get the
least page time. And then everybody else I’m just like. I don’t like this pairing
it didn’t make sense to me that they got together what is happening right now?
There’s a lot that I love about this series but also romance ain’t one of
themT his next one is gonna be a little bit controversial and I’m gonna need to
do another spoiler tag so if you haven’t read. or are tired of hearing about Harry
Potter jump to this point.There are a lot of relationships that I don’t love
the series Lupin and Tonks didn’t make sense to me. but I accept that because
they were supposed to develop off page so it’s fine that I didn’t watch them
develop. Hermione and Ron, I know a lot of people don’t like that I don’t like them
together, but I don’t like them together. I don’t like them as a couple.
However we are in the relationships I liked section of the video and I liked
Harry and Ginny. I know a lot of people say that they were abrupt and didn’t
make sense but hard disagree. I know Rowling changed her mind and she
initially didn’t plan on this pairing and decided to do it later on and I
think that that does show. I wish that we had more build-up than we had I wish
that they had started liking each other in book 5 and then got together in book
6 but despite it being a little bit more rushed than I wanted, I still really
liked them together. We got to see them as friends and really used to being
around each other and it was a really sweet friendship and Harry got used to
having her around and he really liked her, we also saw Ginny come alive and
become this awesome character that I loved so much and honestly I think that
they work really well together. I think that their personalities compliment each
other quite well and I really like this pairing. I know that a lot of people say
that it was it was abrupt and came out of nowhere but I actually thought
despite me wishing that it started earlier and we got more buildup,
I think the build-up was executed really really well and I liked it. And we are
going to end this video on another, this one’s not controversial it’s just very
split down the middle, and that’s gonna be a curse so dark and lonely. So this is
a Beauty and the Beast retelling, Harper’s an average gal, the prince is
trapped in this curse and then his right-hand man, head of his guard is
trying to help him break that curse. It’s ia wild ride. t was cute and I really
enjoyed it, oh my golly I just realized that this is
the same author that wrote letters for the lost and this was on the good list
and you know curse so dark and lonely is gonna be on the bad list. This is
something that readers seem to be super split on, this was actually one of my
patreon books and half of us loved who Harper ended up with and half of us
hated it. I personally felt like Harper had way
more chemistry with someone else in the book than the one that she ended up with.
This is one of the few situations where I was actually really invested in the
romance and I shipped the wrong ship and I’m still mad about it.
So there ya go, there’s a whole bunch of books that did romance; Some of them did
it well and some of them did it poorly; I intentionally did not talk about books
that actually have romance as a focus, I just talked about books that happen to
have some romantic subplots and how did they do. Some of them I liked, some of
them I didn’t. I know that this comment section might be a little bit chaotic
because we’re talking about opinions here, but please feel free to chat with
me about what you agree on, disagree on, and books that you want to add to the
list. Just keep it spoiler free or at least
use the spoiler space space space tag, I’d love to keep chatting with you about
these in the comments, I post videos every Sunday Tuesday Thursday and
Saturday I’ll see you guys again soon


  • Reply Gabrielle Brown February 14, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Juliet and Declan are the sweetest!!

  • Reply Erin Hash February 14, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Uprooted by Naomi Novik had a really disappointing romance for me. Maybe it's because I heard amazing things about the pairing but it really came out of nowhere for me and was just not good. It was a smaller part of the book than I thought it would be so I think this fits with the books you mentioned.

  • Reply Ana Clara February 14, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Hey Merphy! I love your videos! I just have a tiny request. When you talk about a book, make sure to mention the title out loud. I was struggling trying to read the title of the books you were holding, because you hadn't mentioned it, until you said Locke and I worked out what you were talking about. I'm sure you just forgot, because you usually don't do this. But it might also be frustrating for people who are only listening to videos while doing other things, and obviously to people with visual impairment.

  • Reply Cup Cake Unleashed February 14, 2020 at 2:32 am

    A story I've been planning for a while now (the second in a trilogy) kinda focuses on a romance.

    Having videos like this to let me think on it more is really helpful.

  • Reply AJ's Journeys February 14, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Could you recommend any books with good gay or lesbian romance? I get so tired of straight romance because it's everywhere.

  • Reply ridingwilding760 February 14, 2020 at 2:56 am

    I like a good romance but I want it to still have a plot. The 10% plot with 90% sexy time aren’t worth my time. Having said that I get frustrated when a books of another genre that has romance but seems to distract from the story adding to the plot in a positive way. I think you might look at a few of these series.

    Jim Butcher’s Alera Codex, a great fantasy with an interesting magic system, that just happens to have an enjoyable romance as well.

    Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels Urban fantasy series. A great mix of world building, action, with a relationship that is eventually significant to the plot but not immediately. The relationship eventually becomes more pivotal to the story line but not in a distracting amount.

    Anne Bishops Others Series another Urban fantasy. The romance is VERY slow in developing, which makes it that much more realistic.

  • Reply Pale Ranga February 14, 2020 at 3:41 am

    'Boo' XD There's spousal support right there

  • Reply Isaiah Harbison February 14, 2020 at 3:45 am

    Team Ginny

  • Reply Lila Janick February 14, 2020 at 3:51 am

    Excited for the romance recs! Love you Merphy!

  • Reply Lexi N February 14, 2020 at 4:11 am

    "She's really bad at having emotions" I relate so hard

  • Reply Lindsay's Lovely Library February 14, 2020 at 4:34 am

    The movies didn’t do the Harry and Ginny pairing justice.

  • Reply terriblegamer February 14, 2020 at 4:36 am

    HUGE disagree with you on Harry and Ginny lol There was absolutely no build up to their relationship until the book they go canon in and even then the build up wasn't even that good nor thought out (and there were hardly any moments of JKR showcasing their friendship that I can't even think of any off the top of my head). It was like JKR suddenly forgot to pair Harry up with someone since Cho didn't work out for him and by marrying him off to Ginny that would make Harry "officially" apart of Ron's family ( he was already a part of their family, he didn't have to marry one of them to make him a part of it). The inner dialogue of Harry's thoughts about Ginny before they get together is the most cringe-y-est thing I have to read in the whole series. And, to me, it seems like JKR kind of made Ginny into a Mary Sue so she could be "good enough" for Harry, because no where in the books until book 6 do I ever remember Ginny be described as really beautiful, or popular, or being super talented in Quidditch like Harry, like she wasn't perfect for him before so JKR literally made her "perfect" (which I have a problem with, but that's a rant for another day).

  • Reply Rezkel February 14, 2020 at 4:51 am

    Personally i really loved the Romance in the Codex Alera books by Jim Butcher. They Never really say the words but they are always there for each other.

  • Reply Olivia Hamilton February 14, 2020 at 4:54 am

    Team Grey all the way 😌
    If Bridget had made the him a slow burn endgame I feel like the series would’ve became much more popular. Alas…

  • Reply Joel Katumba February 14, 2020 at 4:57 am

    Harry and Draco have more of a dynamic than Ginny. I've always thought Harry as bisexual with the way he describes men; he over highlights features. And if he tries that with a girl, there is little vibrancy in the way sees women.

  • Reply Federico Jimenez February 14, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Okay I thought you were gonna go for the other romance in oathbringer and I was about to disagree

  • Reply Michael Inman February 14, 2020 at 6:30 am

    I'm so happy. I thought I was the only one that doesn't like Ron and Hermoine together. Hermoine and Harry seems worse though. I like Hermoine with Krum.

  • Reply Kiryn February 14, 2020 at 6:32 am

    See, the thing about Harry/Ginny is that I'm fine with the IDEA of them as a couple (even it's not my favorite ship for either of them), and I did like the moments they got in OOTP especially. But my problem was the execution of the writing of the moment when Harry fully realized his attraction to Ginny. Three words: Harry's chest monster. It just….that entire…..thing….makes me cringe so hard, and it makes those moments in HBP insufferable for me to read about (and it's also nearly single-handedly is the reason why HBP is my least favorite book in the series XD), and I always dread those parts. (And the movies did this couple zero favors as well.) So…..I guess what I'm saying is that I enjoy Harry/Ginny if it's anyone but JKR or Steve Kloves writing them. XP

    Hmm……as a massive Wheel of Time fan, I do agree that the romances are pretty rough, especially in the beginning for pretty much all of them. There's not a lot of foundation and build up until they just sort of….get started, and then it goes from there. Plus, some of them are just….always hot and cold with how much I enjoy them (Perrin's romance in particular), there's a few where I like their platonic relationship, but don't much care for romance between them, and one that I downright hate (don't think I want to say which this one is atm, bc where you're at in the series, it was still just annoying, and you haven't gotten to the parts that made me hate it, and hate the love interest in question). But there are a few relationships where, even with the rocky starts, I truly think they matured into great romances, and I love the ships to pieces. Plus, in one particular situation, there's just such a refreshing lack of rivalry between the main female characters, where they ultimately refuse to let a man come between their friendships, and I adore that to pieces, and so that fondness kind of ends up rubbing off onto the romances in question. But I do get where you're coming from. The couples can definitely be an acquired taste, and you're right that romance was not Jordan's forte.

  • Reply Gaëlle D. February 14, 2020 at 7:34 am

    I feel like in the Gentlemen Bastards' and the Name of the Wind, it is not so much a badly-written romance than a dysfunctional one

  • Reply By Ivy February 14, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Spin the Dawn had one of the best romances I've read in fantasy in recent years.

  • Reply Kim Barbeau February 14, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I like Isabella and Jacob in A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. It's not the main point of the book, but he is a good man, so supportive. Book boyfriend material.

  • Reply Noku S February 14, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I know this is YA. But The Raven Cycle had such beautiful relationships and love dynamics. Which is saying a lot because I personally hate when people date within the friend group

  • Reply Jade Enright February 14, 2020 at 9:24 am

    I agree that I like Harry and Ginny and dislike Ron and Hermione, but in general I feel the romance in the Harry Potter was badly written. The only one that even kind of had a good build-up was Harry and Cho, and then they just fell out of nowhere essentially of misunderstandings that weren't really believable. It was the kind of exaggerated stupidity I"d expect in an 80s sitcom, not any kind of 21st century novel that wants to take itself seriously

  • Reply Anna Stańczyk February 14, 2020 at 10:13 am

    A Heart so Dark and Lonely: 1st time reading it – I was definitely shipping the wrong ship. Reread in January – the main romance MADE SENSE and grew on me and now I kind of like it. Weeeeeird.

  • Reply Zoe Wheeler February 14, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Regarding the King Killer Chronicles, in it’s defence, Kvothe is very young, as is Denna, teenagers are forgiven for being bad at relationships, especially those going through trauma or abuse, as the two of them have been or are still going through. We still don’t know who is the Patron of Denna and why she is so messed up, we think she is being physically abused. Kvothe isn’t mature enough to understand fully just yet.

  • Reply Quinn Brekker February 14, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I love this video and this idea pls do more parts 🥺💜

  • Reply Liz Ibbotson February 14, 2020 at 11:30 am

    A curse so dark and lonely… I also shipped the wrong ship

  • Reply BomimoDK February 14, 2020 at 11:49 am

    You just made me decide to re-read all of Harry Potter when i'm done with The FInal Empire. Used to read Potter all the way through several times a year as i was really caught up in it all when growing up, but it's been nearly 8 years now… It is time!

  • Reply Nonetheless Zero February 14, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    The WOT romances are so bad because RJ's women all think men are stupid and the men think women are stupid. So it's all power games and disrespect at the base of the relationships. Most the relationships are complicated by characters being Ta'veren and warping reality around them (thus Rand with his quasi-harem). Only one relationship in the series works well (I think) once you are stuck in those boundaries. It'll be interesting to see what you think of it when you get much further in the series and see it.

  • Reply Monique Bernic February 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for talking about Letters to the Lost. I feel that book needs way more attention than it seems to get. It’s one of the best YA contemporary novels I have ever read.

  • Reply A GRAY February 14, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Please read Fire by Kristin Cashore! And then let me know what you thought of it.

  • Reply 27in27 February 14, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    But what about Jean and Ezri??!?!?

  • Reply readwithjulie February 14, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I completely agree with a curse so dark and lonely! I haven't read the second book yet, but I have a feeling that this will be rectified!

  • Reply Linda Penttinen February 14, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Females throwing themselves in male Mc in fantasy? Not mine, my Mc is one-woman's man and other females know to respect that. Some cases they are not happy with it but they has to accept the fact as there could be consequences if one tries to get between a couple (whetever they are dating or already married). Some consequences may be grim…

  • Reply Shadow Blackheart February 14, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I can't comment on the other books since I haven't read them yet, but I completely agree with you about the HP couples.

    I never liked Ron and Hermione together (or Harry and Hermione, and James and Lily, for that matter). Didn't care about Remus and Tonks. Harry and Ginny, though, I love. And lately, I really like Fred and Hermione.

  • Reply nomar Dinkleberg February 14, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    The beast in Harry’s belly still scares me lol

  • Reply Casey O'Neil February 14, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Die österreicher Harry Potter!

  • Reply Blackbyrd February 14, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    One of my personal problems with so many of these romances is that the protagonist is usually the recipient of affection and we follow them processing it and figuring out what they want. Can’t relate!! I don’t have a trail of boys thirsting after me, I can’t relate whatsoever to “processing my feelings” and being indecisive. I rarely read stories where the protagonist wants someone and struggles to express it. I’m all about that yearning.

  • Reply jennifer February 14, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Is outlander considered fantasy? If so… best romance ever!

  • Reply Rhendali February 14, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    I hate the Ginny/Harry pairing sooooooo much. Ginny always seemed like such a boring, personality-less character. She shows no development she just randomly goes from the awkward fan-girl to a gorgeous, witty, intelligent, athletic girl that everybody wants. Though I didn't find her witty at all, I thought she was just rude. She was straight up cruel to Ron and Fleur and Luna. She was suddenly the best quidditch player and we never saw her actually do anything smart, we were just told that she was. She was practically a non entity until book 5. The whole relationship seemed like nothing more than convenience and I hate it.

  • Reply iNezumi February 14, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Did you read The Witcher? If you did, do you like Geralt and Yennefer?
    I kinda think they are a great and bad couple. Like, they are two people with issues and they form a couple with issues but I love it? And it also makes sense because <vague SPOILER> the fact that they are drawn to each other is caused by magic. </SPOILER> So even though they hurt each other, and they try to break up they always end up getting back together. They are complicated, but I also ship them so hard.

  • Reply Justine Rial February 14, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    You have me super pumped about reading the Rage of Dragon!!! I watched this video and another video where you just started it and now I'm itching to go get it after work! Keep posting great and terrible reads!!!

  • Reply Sophee D February 14, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    I agree with not being a fan of Ron and Hermione together. I love them individually as characters, but was just never a fan of them as a couple 💁‍♀️

  • Reply janae lovely February 14, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    Doesn't she look a lot like Linda Cardellini or is it just me?

  • Reply NovelistDienne February 15, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Completely unrelated but I like how your hair is cut where you can part it anywhere and it's layered beautifully.

  • Reply John Todd February 15, 2020 at 12:54 am

    Major major spoilers for Rage of Dragons!!!! finish it before reading the rest!!!

    OH MY GOSH ITS SO FUCKING TRAGIC AHHHHH. Zuri is the only person in Tau's life that gives him a chance to grow beyond his hate and his quest for revenge and she's taken from him :(((((((

  • Reply Alyson Serena Stone February 15, 2020 at 12:56 am

    The movie didn't do Ginny any justice. They cut so much of her character out.

  • Reply DaveLH February 15, 2020 at 2:16 am

    1:10 — Because some would argue that HARRY POTTER is "the adult Harry Potter".

  • Reply Almighty Kue February 15, 2020 at 2:28 am

    I didn’t know Ginny and Harry was a last minute thing on the writers part. I always felt they came out of no where to the degree they suddenly liked each other. I liked him admiring her and him trusting in her skills but it was like suddenly he was in love with her and that just felt so out of place. My head canon has been love potion was involved.

  • Reply DaveLH February 15, 2020 at 2:28 am

    I don't like Lupin/Tonks because she lost all her personality when she fell for him. In "Phoenix" she's buoyant and sprightly and maybe the best thing about the fifth book, and then she becomes a love-sick Eeyore in book six, and positively tragic (in the Shakespearean sense of the word) in DH.

    I like both Harry/Ginny (for the reasons you say) and also Ron/Hermione, just because I like them both and think they complement each other.

    I know these two are based totally on JKR interviews, which are not canon (to most people), but I have no opinion on Luna/Newt Scamander's grandson, because we really don't know anything about him. I'll just say it would be understandable I think if Luna reminds him of Great Aunt Queenie. And Neville and Hannah Abbott…?? That one really seems to have come out of left field!

  • Reply N. Astorga February 15, 2020 at 3:38 am

    A romance I really liked in Harry Potter was Fleur and Bill. I do like Harry and Ginny even though I do wish we had more build-up for them for I can see where people come from when they say it was just for the sake of having couples. I would have loved for everyone to grow up their high-school-sweethearts and marry someone else, especially Ron and Hermione.

  • Reply Matt Krause February 15, 2020 at 8:41 am

    The "romance" in the Kingkiller Chronicle is almost my life.
    Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

  • Reply Afaf Al K February 15, 2020 at 10:11 am

    You should do a Dear Authors on book descriptions. I've had books recommended to me that were great but the description would be meh.

  • Reply Supernorry February 15, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Harry and Ginny wasnt abrupt, you could already see small things in the 5th book when they decided to finally give Ginny more page time.

  • Reply Thea February 15, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    I have not read most of the books you mention and I hard disagree about Harry Potter, but I like listening to you be salty about things 😀

  • Reply Kimmuryiel February 15, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    can we add to bad romances the trope of them absolutely loathing each other and then somehow that turns into love?

  • Reply JillyMae89 February 15, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    I can notttt believe Scythe didn't make it onto the bad list. I feel like its a pretty universal opinion that the romance in that book made absolutely zero sense and was so badly written that it was painful. Am I wrong? lol

  • Reply stardusted reads February 16, 2020 at 2:37 am

    I loved the romance in the Starless Sea! It's the epitome of Gay Yearning and it just really worked for me

  • Reply Marina Metzger February 16, 2020 at 3:11 am

    Didn't like ANY of the pairings in Harry Potter. Hermoine should have ended up with Krum WHO NOTICED SHE WAS A GIRL IMMEDIATELY. Ginny and Neville should have gotten together. Harry and Ron weren't emotionally mature enough for anyone during that series, imho.

  • Reply Aubrey Sida February 16, 2020 at 3:59 am

    Have you ever thought of talking about fictional religions and/or fantasy stories that handle religion well and isn't in your face but is a part of the main points

    (I'm not religious but trying to find inspiration for a character more than just Lord Frollo 😂🙈)

  • Reply Mark Parker February 16, 2020 at 8:47 am

    – when it comes to fantasy with romance as an aspect of the overall plot, the flag bearer for me is Baru's romance in 'The Traitor'. . .

  • Reply sweeneyuk1 February 16, 2020 at 9:18 am

    I have almost ordered The Rage of Dragons a hundred times then stopped myself but I finally did it. Between you and Greene praising it so much I couldn’t resist!

  • Reply Sanna E February 16, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Omg the romance in wheel of time… so awkward.

  • Reply Cailey Rose February 16, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    I also really like Harry and Ginny! I think they were a great match and I was super rooting for it in the sixth book.

  • Reply Mystical Archives February 16, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    I actually found Ginny to be boring

  • Reply Feraye K February 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    I think Harry and Ginny could have been a cute couple but it was just badly written and I felt like they had like no scenes together were they really connected over something except on the quidditch pitch but like there was always the whole team around and than suddenly they kissed and were a couple and they never really talked about their relationship and how they felt about each other until the moment at Dumbledore‘ s funeral and it was their break-up talk. I just think it had potential but JK really doesn’t write good romance

  • Reply Glo Mar February 16, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    I'm a sucker for romance, I feel like something is fundamentally missing when there is no romance, but that's just me.

  • Reply TheRebelPrince February 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    I like Harry and Ginny in the books, not so much in the films.

  • Reply Mrbigfrog February 16, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    I have trouble reading. I pick up a book, read 20 pages and then lose interest, even if its interesting. I just dont care what happens to heathcliff or moby, it doesnt move me in the least.

    How do i know what kind of books suits me? What am i doing wrong?

  • Reply Joseph Morrison February 16, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks that she looks really similar to Naomi Scott?

  • Reply Griff Glowen February 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Very excited to hear your review of Rage of Dragons – I also devoured the book but still not sure how I feel about the ending

  • Reply Dawnshade 49 February 16, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    In one book series I've read, it is a fantasy series with a lot of romance weaved into the story and it is done great. All the characters who end up in a relationship have been shown how the relationship has been created. For example, one couple doesn't get together until the end of the last book, but it is a beautiful moment between the two who have had a really close friendship for all of the books. Another pair get together during the second books out of four, and it shows them growing in their relationship and dealing with all the obstacles of their lives.

    Also, they are all gay which is awesome.

  • Reply Maria Munoz February 17, 2020 at 12:01 am

    what is the name of the books she pulled out at 3:43 ?

  • Reply Kam February 17, 2020 at 2:06 am

    My favorite love story has to be Korey and Merphy. When she was like "👌thanks husband 👌", it was just so sweet!

  • Reply Mark Jones February 17, 2020 at 4:35 am

    @MerpyNapier So, you gave us a list of good and bad, and left us to extrapolate what was bad. I thought you did well in explaining Stormlight Archive and it was easier to see why that relationship was good. However, there are more than one relationship types. Dalinar and Navani are in their 50's, it is supposed to be a relationship of wise people who have been through relationships before and don't make the rookie mistakes.

    What was your take on Mistborn romance? I liked it and thought it worked really well.

    Anyways, your videos are well done and I appreciate the content.

  • Reply HarenaVA February 17, 2020 at 10:13 am

    An example of romance in a non-romance setting that I personally really enjoyed was in the criminally underrated series by Henry H. Neff, The Tapestry.
    I won't go into spoilers at all, really, save for one thing: The relationship between the protagonist and his perceived love interest.
    The main character, Max, has a crush on a girl who seems to reciprocate his feelings. Partway through they do end up getting together, but they break up partway through the series as well. Later on, Max ends up with another character entirely, and I find the dynamic between Max and the second partner to be much more organic and realistic than Max and who is basically his high school sweetheart. The relationship in question though, it isn't really shown to develop, it mostly happens through implications and is just kind of stated later on and Max is like "Oh okay," but the context behind that makes up for it for me. I love the two of them together a lot.
    I say realistic, barring the fact that this entire series is heavily based in Gaelic myth.
    The romance is also never really a focal point, except for the kind of expected "Oh that girl's really cute oh no I havE A CRUSH OH NO," subplot, and even that's not really a massive focus. It's mentioned I feel just enough to be remembered but not enough to draw away from the actual plot.
    But yeah.
    The Tapestry by Henry H. Neff.
    Five book series. It's disgusting how underrated it is. Highly recommend.
    Combines sci-fi, mythology, fantasy, and a couple other things. Starts off feeling like a weird mix between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but by the second book it really takes off into its own thing and becomes a really well done story in a world that actually eases you into a very odd mythology that not a lot of people know about. Mum is best girl.

  • Reply TheLibrarianofAlexandria February 17, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    I agree on the last one. Though I was dissapointed in the book overall. (I have a rant on it on my channel).

  • Reply Helgacabbage February 17, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Super agree about Ron and Hermione. I didn't like their relationship at all. I never understood the attraction between them, they just didn't fit as a couple to me.
    I didn't mind Ginny and Harry, but I really would have preferred Hermione to have a partnership that made sense to me, and I felt that she would have had that with Harry, and he with her, so I was a bit down on it for that reason. (Also I felt that the way they got together was the same way he got together with Cho, so that was annoying).

    100% agree about the relationship in the Lies of Locke Lamora series, and also in The Name of the Wind. Is there some kind of fascination for male fantasy writers with women who treat them like shit? Or is it that they mistake strength in a female character with being so aloof and independent that they give no shits about anyone else? Whatever it is, I don't like the female love interests at all in those books. BOOO! for sure.

  • Reply arthurtheaardvark13 February 17, 2020 at 7:04 pm


  • Reply Claire Meehan February 18, 2020 at 7:05 am

    Kvothe and Denna is the worst book relationship I've read in a long time. OK I can see how as a young man he is captivated by her, but as time goes on, he gets older and she messes him around so much it is not realistic for him to still moon over her as his ego is sufficiently robust to walk away from such a messed up relationship (after all he is one of the only men to have Felurian and walk away – ego boost or what).

  • Reply Oh hey it’s Emma RV February 18, 2020 at 7:13 am

    Man I need to start The Wheel of Times series! 🙈

  • Reply Lena Ni February 18, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    I said YES out loud when you pulled out The Name of the Wind because that's exactly what I was thinking of when you talked about Locke's romance 😅

  • Reply Victoria Calvert February 18, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I completely agree with the Harry and Ginny points. To me, it didn't seem like it came out of no where because of how Ginny felt about Harry. We know from the second book that Ginny has a massive crush on him. I'm happy that we got to see them as friends first though and only later did their relationship develop. I wish that it would have started in the 5th book though or maybe even the 4th. I just wish that we got more of them on page

  • Reply Rania Matouk February 18, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    tu parle de quoi?

  • Reply Rania Matouk February 18, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    c pour une appli de rencontre?

  • Reply Rania Matouk February 18, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    ma gui fi

  • Reply Helene Trøstrup February 18, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    When it comes to the romance in Harry Potter, I have never really invested myself in it. Many felt weird or abrupt, so I just stopped bothering. 😆
    If I ship anyone in Harry Potter, it's Luna and Neville. I think they're really cute together. 🙃

  • Reply Taragon Leaf February 18, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Jordan is bad a romance. The thing I found more odd about the whole series is the apparent lack of children. Not that there are no child characters but that there are almost no children. If a character is a parent, their child is already an adult. The only times I remember children are Olver, and when we first see some families at the Black Tower. For me (I've been surrounded by children my whole life) the apparent lack of children is immersion-breaking.

    "Jordan's world felt so real,"

    Except for the fact that this world has no rising generation.

  • Reply Mrunaal Jadhav February 18, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    I think Harry and Ginny are so boring. Harry and Hermione would have been so much better.

  • Reply Patrick Skramstad February 19, 2020 at 6:38 am

    As a writer… Romance is a BIG weakness. I can see my subplot romance as bad on your list. But, maybe you can critique it better for me when its done 🙂

  • Reply ShipBeano Studios February 19, 2020 at 7:17 am

    I LOVED the romance in the Harry Potter books, Mainly because it was interesting and somewhat refreshing. But in the movies…they fucked it up.

  • Reply Nick Rahmig February 19, 2020 at 8:04 am

    the author of republic of thieves was getting a divorce when he wrote the book.

  • Reply tea pot February 19, 2020 at 11:01 am

    I kinda feel like sometimes authors add in romance sub plots just because everyone expects them to, not because it’s an authentic and touching addition

  • Reply Kiddy Binz February 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I do actually think Ginny is good for Harry. Despite the fact that it was abrupt, their relationship is really healthy, and really understanding. They were friends at first, which eventually turned to love. Also, most of their development as a couple did happen after the events of the seventh movie, which might have been why it seemed abrupt to people

  • Reply Brittany Diamond February 19, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Ditto on Ron and Hermione. I understood (and even enjoyed) the way it developed, but towards the end of the series it became way, WAY too obvious that their differences were just differences and not Opposites Attract, and they were destined to make each other miserable. (Not to mention the obvious 'all these kids were teenagers and each others' first loves and even two of the pairings being endgame would have been ridiculous let alone ALL OF THEM' thing.)

  • Reply Pretty Bitchy Bee February 19, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    PLEASE do a review of The Rage of Dragons when you finish…if you've finished. I want to read it but i like getting your insight on books i'm interested in before i have a go at it.

  • Reply Stacy Rodriguez February 20, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Please do a review of Hitman: Enemy Within!

  • Reply Vincent Rando February 20, 2020 at 1:58 am

    So was the one Wheel of Time couple you actually liked Rand x Min or Perrin x Faile?

    Personally I'm into Arangar x Graendal Kappa

  • Reply KelceyChan 622 February 20, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I loved the Dalinar romantic subplot! 😍😭


    and I’m wondering if something is going to happen with Kaladin and Shallan bc of specific lines and situations? 🤔 even with the ending of Oathbringer?

  • Reply I am Nobody February 20, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    SPOILER FOR INHERITANCE CYCLE: Very new to the fantasy genre so I’m not sure how relationships are normally handled, but I pray that it’s not an occurring theme for relationships to be like how Eragon’s and Arya’s relationship played out. Paolini is a very intelligent author in my opinion, and this unfortunately shows in how he strings along their relationship THE WHOLE SERIES JUST TO HAVE THE WORST KIND OF RESOLVE ON THE FINAL PAGE. I’ve seen the argument that it’s understandable what Arya did, but I disagree only with how strongly Paolini threw Eragon at Arya with literally no introduction to a potential side-ship. Hell, unless it was the crux of the character’s development to have a successful shipping in general, EVERY character got shafted except Roran and Katrina

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