Monday, February 25, 2008

Top Ten Fantasy & Horror Couples

As this is the last week of Romance Month, I wanted to give one last Romance list. Today's list is a bit strange, relying on fantasy and horror more than Science Fiction. Here we have some great love affairs that could not be stopped, even by death, and a number of lovers whose attentions any young lady would shy from...

10 - Harry Dresden and Detective Karrin Murphy - Although Harry and Murphy have yet to discuss their true feelings for each other, it seems plenty obvious where their relationship is going. The problem that stands in the way of true love: a curse that Harry will 'Die alone'. Of course, Murphy would not be the first girlfriend of the Wizard Harry Dresden (she is proceeded by Elaine Mallory and Susan Rodriguez). Check out these books and follow the love affair from the beginning: Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks, Blood Rites, Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, White Knight, Small Favors.

9 - Robin of Loxley and Maid Marion - He is an altruistic Saxon noble who lost his lands and titles, she is a beautiful Norman Lady... well, at least in some versions of the story. Though there are many permutations of this story and these characters, it is in the various modern versions of this fantastic myth that has brought us the love affair between Robin Hood and his Maid Marion (original versions of the Robin Hood mythos had different women or none at all).

8 - Begarion of the House of Riva and Ce'Nedra Borune - When the Belgariad starts, young Garion is a farm boy with few, if any, talents to recommend him, but fate leads the boy to gather strange allies in the most unlikely of places to combat a great evil. One such ally is the daughter of the Tol Nedran Emperor (Ran Borune), and the love that grows between Ce'Nedra and young Garion, who later becomes Belgarion when his talent for magic is revealed, is as inevitable as the eventual defeat of Torak, god of the Angaraks, at Belgarion's hand.

7 - Gareth Radnor & the Lady Cosyra - Chris Bunch's stand-alone novel of piracy and the slave trade in a sweeping fantasy world features the unforgettable love affair between the Corsair Gareth Radnor, a man consume by the desire to destroy the Linyato Pirates, and the Lady Cosyra, who abandons a life of riches and privelege in order to help the man she loves on his dangerous quest. A wonderful story, by a master storyteller, Corsair shows us an unusual swashbuckling adventure and a love story that stands the test of time.

6 - Sookie Stackhouse & Bill Compton - Psychic Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at a crummy diner in Louisiana when she meets the love of her life, Bill Compton. The only problem is that Bill is a Vampire who has recently moved back into local family estates now that the undead have moved out of the coffin and into the spotlight. Funny and engaging, it is great to watch the romance unfold with this truly odd couple (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, Altogether Dead, From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris).

5 - John Taylor & Suzie Shooter - The Nightside is alive and kicking, and the strange relationship between John Taylor and the infamous bounty hunter Suzie Shooter (sometimes known as Shotgun Suzie, and sometimes known as "Run for your life, it's her") is in full bloom. Though the sparks are there from their first meeting in Simon Green's Something From The Nightside, it isn't until later in the series that their love truly comes to fruition. Unfortunately, like everything else in the Nightside, the fruit of their love is bittersweet at best.

4 - Count Dracula & Mina Harker - Another classic couple, these lovers are the stuff that nightmares are made of. Count Dracula loves Mina Harker with all of his non-beating dead heart, and Mina returns that love right up until the end (when Quincy Morris kills the immortal vampire). No matter how many permutations or changes are made to the story, this couple is a definite stand out, no matter what others may say.

3 - Captain Khaavren of the House of Tiassa & Countess Daro of the House of Tiassa - These characters from Stephen Brust's incomparable Phoenix Guards series of books share a life and love set against the backdrop of cataclysmic tragedy and disaster. Khaavren, Captain of the Phoenix Guards under Emperor Tortaalik, first meets his future wife as she is being dismissed from service as the handmaiden of the Empress bare hours before the destruction of the capital city during Adron's disaster. As a retelling of the classic Dumas story of the Three Musketeers, these novels are wonderful in their style and content.

2 - Captains Hawk & Isobel Fisher (a.k.a. Prince Rupert & Princess Julia) - As guards in the city of Haven, this husband and wife team stand for truth, justice, and kicking the ever-loving snot out of villains. Investigators, enforcers, and Captains of the city guard, Hawk and Fisher are the best of the best, and they are given the worst of the worst assignments. From their introduction in the first novel of the Darkwood (Beyond the Blue Moon) as extra expendable Prince Rupert and the distressing damsel Princess Julia, this fantasy couple has cut a swath through their enemies and embraced their love time and again. Simon Green, master of fantasy and horror, gives us one of the best married detective series of all time.

1 - King Arthur & Queen Guenivere - The love of Arthur and Guinevere is epic in its scope, and even in the versions where Lancelot steps between them, their love is still incontrovertible. From The Morte D'Arthur to the modern Hollywood interpretations, Arthur and his young bride are the very definition of romance and love in fantasy.

Honorable Mentions: I am in love with a few romances that I did not get a chance to put in here, and will list them separately. I did want to draw attention to Jackie Kessler's characters of Jezebel, Paul, Daunuan, Lillith, and Lucifer. These are all great romantic characters as are many of the characters in the Anne Rice Vampire novels. The reason that they did not get listed is that there is so much romance and so many couples that it was hard to determine who to list and where.

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