Happy April Fool's Day everyone—and what better time to talk about fabulous Fantasy courtships and people being "fools for love!"
Two posts got me thinking about good, old-fashioned courtships in Fantasy during the last month. One was my own 1 March post where I talked about High Romantic Fantasy in the context of my novel The Gathering of the Lost—and then Kim Falconer came along and upped the ante with her fabulous "16 Things About A Kiss" post. (Great post, Kim, btw—loved it!)
So what elements, I thought, can make High Fantasy romantic as well? And why are kisses so important—and what, with one reflection leading to another, are the great Fantasy courtships
You know the sort: where girl/boy sees/meets boy/girl and sparks fly across crowded ballrooms, or market squares, and then they want to see each other again, sometimes despite obstacles, and maybe—just maybe—they fall in love. There may even be dinners, and candlelight, and dancing—and gifts.
In the end, fewer actual courtships than I'd hoped sprang to mind, but there were still more than enough to share with you today—hurrah! So without further ado, I give you some of those great Fantasy courtships:
Sharra and Diarmuid in Guy Gavriel Kay's "The Fionavar Trilogy":
'And now, in the morning light, amid the busy square, a figure suddenly pushed through the gathered crowd and began a purposeful walk toward her father. Sharra felt herself growing red. ...
"Supreme Lord of Cathal," ...Tegid stopped directly in front of her father ... "I am sent here by a lord of infinite nobility, whose virtues I could number until the moon rose and set and rose again. I am sent to say to you, in this place and among the people here gathered in concourse, that the sun rises in your daughter's eyes."'
Madrigal and Akiva in Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone":
'His head bent toward her, his mask muzzle brushing her ear. In his nearness, there was an aura of warmth. He said, "I know who you are. I came here for you."... His face was only inches from her own, his head tilted down so that now she could see into his mask.
His eyes blazed like flames.
She whispered, "You." '
Catherine (Cat) and Vai in Kate Elliott's "Spirit Walker" series:
He pinched a spark of cold fire out of the air and stretched it and wove it to become a golden flower dappled with life as with dew, and then a chain of such flowers like a necklace hammered out of light.
I stared open-mouthed, for it was the most astonishingly lovely vision. "Ought you to be doing that in public?"
"Who will know," he said, bending closer to pretend to loop the chain from my shoulders low along the swell of my breasts, "if you do not tell them?"
And there is courtship in my own Wall of Night series as well:
They had walked together in woods that were faintly misted with green, the first shy flowers peeping above the snowdrifts. He had stood, bare headed beneath the birch buds, dragging his leather gloves through his hands, and asked her to leave her home and her kin and her beloved Winter Country. He had not spared her the truth of what a Derai keep was, or the Wall and the surrounding Gray Lands in all their grimness, but he had still asked that she come and live with him there.
And she—she had stood in the midst of her own world and looked up into the infinite layers of the sky and wondered if she could bear to leave, or bear to forgo his love, one or the other.'
So there you are, four Fantasy courtships — but how about you: what makes a great Fantasy courtship for you? And do you have a favorite fictional courtship? (Fantasy preferred but not required. ;-) )