This week on Tough Traveling with Nathan at the Fantasy Review Barn: FORBIDDEN LOVE
Even in Fantasyland parents are not always happy with their children’s choice of partners.
Ahhh forbidden love. Not always my favourite trope – but at least in a couple of examples on this list, done really well! Though I’ve gone in a more sci-fi land direction than fantasyland.
Rupert and Devi, Paradox Trilogy (Rachel Bach)
Devi just can’t stay away from the attractive, mysterious “cook” (who can best anyone in single combat) on the Glorious Fool, in spite of the best attempts of everyone (including him) to warn her away. But when Devi wants something she’s not inclined to give up, and she definitely wants this tall, handsome man with a sexy accent and dark past… and also, who may not be altogether 100% human.
Panchaali and Karna, The Palace of Illusions (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)
Panchaali has five husbands, but only one man she loves – Karna, the sworn enemy of her husbands who they will eventually go to war with. She could have ended up married to him, as well, if she had held her tongue at a key moment in time. Her life would be considerably less tragic if she had .
Marko and Alana, Saga (Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples)
On opposite sides of an intergalactic war, Marko is a prisoner of war and Alana his guard… until they fall in loooooove and decide to hell with the war. Hunted by both sides, they struggle to protect themselves and their newborn daughter. It’s amazing! (Thanks again for the recommendation The BiblioSanctum!).
Genly Ai and Estraven, The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
This might not exactly be forbidden love… but certainly strongly discouraged love at best, since first contact with Gethenians is hardly the ideal time for romance. They start out the book as entirely alien to each other, and grow from suspicious and untrusting allies to respectful companions to genuine friends. Genly and Estraven have my favourite love story ever, and without a single scene of physical intimacy.