There’s been a lot of interesting posts and comments around the blogosphere of late.

Jane talks about Urban Fantasy.

Since I have become more fully immersed in the urban fantasy and cross over books, I find myself becoming increasingly impatient with books directed toward the romance reader that are really fantasy-lite.

Great comments there too. In fact, one comment by Janine was so wonderful I wanted to quote it:

Here are my thoughts on world-building. While I think consistent rules are certainly more helpful to suspending disbelief than inconsistencies in the world-building, I also don’t think it’s the explanations for the superpowers or the mythology that makes a world more convincing — to me as one reader, at least. You can poke holes in any world’s mythology and any character’s parnormal abilities, including Shakespeare’s.

So I think it’s the use of detail, and the mixing of realism amidst the fantasy. For example, in Ursula K. Le Guin’s YA fantasy novel, A Wizard of Earthsea, which I love to bits, she creates a seafaring world. And for me, it was the little details of the physical labor of sailing, the physical strain of the main character’s muscles, the sweat that formed on his skin, that made me believe in that world as much as anything.

In today’s Romancing the Blog, Angela T. discusses the hero-centric romances and heroine-centric urban fantasies. It’s an interesting post and gives one possible reason for the rise in popularity of UF. Certainly many covers code for this, with romances displaying male chests and urban fantasies showing tattooed women. All that said, I felt that the last romance I read, The Spymaster’s Lady, was heroine-centric although the hero did hold the balance of power–which doesn’t happen so much in UF, I think.

Oyceter’s Alpha Males post touches on some of the above issues, i.e. hero- and heroine-centric books. She also discusses alpha heroines.

My issues with the alpha male and with the romance genre as feminist lie in the prevalence of the alpha male and the lack of other types of fantasy…. I have no set conclusions, except that someone needs to write me a romance with an actual alpha female and a hero in distress, in which all the codings of a traditional alpha male romance are followed, only gender-reversed.

And the comments remind me that I am getting all excited about so many good historical romances coming out. Loretta Chase’s Your Scandalous Ways sounds awesome. I also have to pick up Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas (all that good buzz), The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran (because, if I understand correctly, India and part-Indian hero), another Joanna Bourne novel, My Lord and Spymaster, comes out in the summer, and, hey, I still have If His Kiss is Wicked to look forward to. Plus, in fantasy romance, must read Lord of the Fading Lands. Too much to read! Too little time!

6 thoughts on “Linkage

  1. I like it when romances involve magic, but no urban fantasy has ever caught my interest. One of these days I need to give urban fantasy a serious try.

    I agree with Janine’s comment. It’s the vivid details, not the meticulous mythology, that make me like a fantasy story.

  2. Details, and the right details, are so incredibly important.

    Have you tried Patricia Briggs’s Moon Called? It’s the beginning of one of my favorite urban fantasy series.

  3. I think I misunderstood the term “urban fantasy”. Do you consider any of your books (including Joely Skye books) to be urban fantasy? Maybe I’ve been reading urban fantasy all along but didn’t realize it.

  4. I consider all my books to be paranormal romances—well, except for HAVEN which was a contemp.

    Urban fantasy often has romantic elements, but the focus is more on the heroine (or hero), the world and, often, some kind of mystery or problem to solve. The romantic relationship is often not resolved.

    That said, I’m sure there are books that blur the lines between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. But I don’t think mine do.

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