Being epic fantasy, you might think that romantic moments and The Wall Of Night series do not go hand in hand.
So here are five moments from The Wall Of Night books that are all about two people coming together, from unexpected encounters, to loves that can never be, as well as the moments or relationships that can.
from The Heir of Night:"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."
The second book in The Wall Of Night series has more than one romantic moment. Here are two of them:
from The Gathering Of The Lost
"Kalan and Jarna had crossed to a booth selling midsummer fruit and Malian saw Jarna smile as Kalan hung long-stemmed cherries over her ears. They swung when the girl moved her head, glowing richer in the lanternlit dusk than any jewels worn by the great ladies of the Emerian court. Kalan leaned close, saying something, and Jarna ducked her head shyly, but she was still smiling. Malian, watching, was conscious of a pang that she had not felt before. ... She bit her lip as Jarna glanced up again, the young knight’s feelings written all over her face for anyone who happened to be looking."
"Her fingers freed another braid, unraveling its full length as he had unbound her queue. She had loosened enough of the braids now that his chestnut hair was a fall of silk, heavy down his back. She smiled, thinking how it would sway as he moved, following the line of his spine—and swing around them both, shutting out the world, as their bodies came together. He was smiling, too, as she leaned forward and kissed the hollow of his throat."
from Daughter Of Blood
The recently published third book in the series also has its romantic moments ...
"A single step closed the gap between them again. When she did not move away, Ilkerineth brushed his fingertips across her hair, much as the wind had done. “I asked you to marry me because I love you.” Pain roughened the softness in his voice. “I will release you from that bond if you wish it—because you wish it—but not without a plea. We have lost our son, must we lose each other as well?” ...
Nuithe’s arms slid around his neck and her lips met his ... Ilkerineth savored its edge against the softness of her mouth, their kiss lengthening ..."
"Curiosity replaced the navigator’s surprise. “You know, I think Rayn may be right about you.” Her tone was reflective. “You’re not like any other Blood warrior I’ve met.”
“You’ve met a lot, I take it?’ he replied coolly, although his heart had begun to hammer.
Che’Ryl-g-Raham’s smile glinted. “Enough to decide that you’re a puzzle.” The smile deepened as he kept his expression impassive, and she spoke softly, leaning forward so that her lips almost—but not quite—brushed his ear. “Don’t let it trouble you, Blood warrior. I like puzzles.”
I'm not going to to tell you which are the loves that can never be, though, or those that can ... Because of you don't know already, that would spoil the process of finding out.
However, I do hope you'll agree that just because a story is epic fantasy doesn't mean it can't include romantic moments—because clearly, The Wall Of Night series does.
Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, interviewer and blogger whose first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. Her second, The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. The sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Daughter Of Blood, (The Wall Of Night, Book Three) was published on January 26, 2016. Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, occasionally on SF Signal, and is also on Twitter: @helenl0we