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Alison Gowans
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Feb. 5, 2024 – In honor of Valentine's Day, Materials Librarian Allison Zordell put together a list of books in the quickly growing and wildly popular "romantasy" genre.

"The romantasy term is a fast-growing trend on social media (yay #booktok!) that describes books that combine epic fantasy and romance, where romance is the driving force of the plot," she said. "Some of the most popular books in this genre are Rebecca Yarros' "Empyrean" series and books by Sarah J. Maas and Jennifer L. Armentrout. Of course, there are sub-sub genres of romantasy, such as historical romantasy ("A Marvellous Light" by Freya Marske), dark romantasy ("The Hurricane Wars" by Thea Guanzon), or cozy romantasy ("Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries" by Heather Fawcett). You certainly don't have to have to be an avid fan of fantasy to enjoy romantasy!"

Browse the book list below, and click covers to put titles on hold in our catalog. Some of these part part of larger series; be sure to look up the rest of the books in the series, too! Book descriptions are taken from the catalog and information provided by the publisher.

"Iron Flame" by Rebecca Yarros (2023); part of "The Empyrean" Series

First you survive. Then you fly. Dont miss the explosive new sequel to Rebecca Yarros' bestselling hit, "Fourth Wing." Violet has survived her first year at Basgiath War College for dragon riders ... but the dangers just beginning.

"House of Flame and Shadow" by Sarah J. Maas (2024); part of "The Crescent City" series

Bryce Quinlan never expected to see a world other than Midgard, but now that she has, all she wants is to get back. Everything she loves is in Midgard: her family, her friends, her mate. Stranded in a strange new world, she's going to need all her wits about her to get home again. And that's no easy feat when she has no idea who to trust. Hunt Athalar has found himself in some deep holes in his life, but this one might be the deepest of all. After a few brief months with everything he ever wanted, he's in the Asteri's dungeons again, stripped of his freedom and without a clue as to Bryce's fate. He's desperate to help her, but until he can escape the Asteri's leash, his hands are quite literally tied.

"From Blood and Ash" by Jennifer L. Armentrout (2020); part of the "Blood and Ash" series

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy's life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers. The entire kingdom's future rests on Poppy's shoulders, something she's not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden. Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

"The Serpent & the Wings of Night: A Crowns of Nyaxia Novel" by Carissa Broadbent (2022); part of "The Nightborn" duet

Oraya, the adopted human daughter of the Nightborn vampire king, must fight to survive the Kejari, a legendary tournament in which she must partner with the vampire Raihn to win over warriors from the other vampire houses.

"Daughter of No Worlds" by Carissa Broadbent (2020); part of the "War of Lost Hearts" series

A life in slavery taught Tisaanah how to survive with nothing but a sharp eye, a quick mind, and a touch of magic. But the night she tried to buy her freedom, she nearly paid with her life. Instead, she murdered the most powerful man in Threll. Forced to flee, she has only one chance at saving those she left behind: pledging herself to the Orders, an organization of magic Wielders strong enough to destroy her former masters. To earn her place, Tisaanah is forced into an apprenticeship with Maxantarius Farlione, a handsome and reclusive fire Wielder who despises the Orders. He has no interest in helping her. But as the Orders' grip tightens around them both, his bloody past may be the key to her future ... or their downfall. Under looming war, Tisaanah must master her magic and survive the Orders demands. And as her feelings for Maxantarius deepen, she is forced to decide how much she is willing to trade away for revenge. The Orders have bigger plans for Tisaanah. Darker plans. But Tisaanah will stop at nothing to save those she abandoned. Even if it means forfeiting her freedom and sacrificing her heart. Even if it means wielding death itself

"Assistant to the Villain" by Hannah Nicole Maehrer (2023)

With ailing family to support, Evie Sage's employment status isn't just important, it's vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn's most infamous Villain results in a job offer – naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. Don't find evil so attractive, Evie. But just when she's getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat ... and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain – and his entire nefarious empire – out. Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work ... and ensure he makes them pay. After all, a good job is hard to find.

"The Hurricane Wars" by Thea Guanzon (2023)

The heart is a battlefield. War has raged for a decade in Lir, and orphaned soldier Talasyn has learned to keep her powers hidden to survive. As the last known Lightweaver on the continent, she can create radiant weapons that cut through the invading Shadowforged warriors' dark magic. But all that changes when she is forced to reveal her abilities on the battlefield to defend herself from the Shadowforged prince himself, Alaric Ossinast. In a clash of light and dark, their magic combines to create a new force the likes of which has never been seen. This rare power could be the key to saving many lives – if Talasyn and Alaric don't destroy each other first. Pushed together into a fraught political engagement, the two adversaries find themselves pawns in a much bigger game between conflicting nations. Neither is pleased by the arrangement, but when a new threat emerges, necessity forces the pair to confront the secrets at the heart of the war and find, in each other, a searing passion – one that could save their world, or end it.

"Throne of the Fallen" (2023) by Kerri Maniscalco

Sinner. Villain. Wicked. The Prince of Envy has never claimed to be a saint. But when a cryptic note arrives, signaling the beginning of a deadly game, he knows it will take more than a hint of sin to win and save his falling demon court. Riddles, hexed objects, anonymous players, nothing will stand in his way, though none of his meticulous plans prepare him for her, the frustrating artist who ignites his sin like no other …  Virtuous. Darling. Liar. The trouble with scoundrels and blackguards is that they haven’t a modicum of honor, a fact Miss Camilla Antonius learns after one desperate mistake allows Waverly Green’s most notorious rake to blackmail her. To avoid a ruinous scandal, Camilla is forced to enter a devil’s bargain with Envy, little expecting his game will awaken her true nature .... Together, Envy and Camilla must embark on a perilous journey through the Underworld – from glittering demon courts to the sultry vampire realm and beyond – while trying to avoid the most dangerous trap of all: falling in love.

"A Touch of Darkness" by Scarlett St. Clair (2019); part of the "Hades x Persephone" series

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring in title only. Since she was a little girl, flowers have only shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hoped to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. All of that changes when she sits down in a forbidden nightclub to play a hand of cards with a hypnotic and mysterious stranger. Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world, and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible. But nothing has ever intrigued him as much as the goddess offering him a bargain he can't resist. After her encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead, and his terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone's failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows – a love that is both captivating and forbidden

"A Promise of Fire" by Amanda Bouchet (2016); part of the "Kingmaker Chronicles"

Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. The smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her power-hungry mother. But when an ambitious warlord intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm discovers her secret and captures her, she may not have a choice ... Tied to Griffin at the hip with a magic rope, Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny. She has no intention of being dragged into the middle of a war that will shape her world forever ... but the godstouched never could outrun their fates

"Sanctuary of the Shadow" by Aurora Ascher (2024); part of the "Elemental Emergence" series

Harrow was born during a war between two of the five capricious Elemental Queens. It's a war of fury and attrition, and exacted its price in blood. In one grim night, almost all of the water Elementals – the Seers – were killed. All but Harrow. Years later, she's taken refuge in anonymity, hidden within an unusual circus run by a centuries-old Enchanter. No one can know who she really is or about the magic she wields. Now the circus has acquired a new 'attraction.' A creature dark as night, with wings, and inky black eyes that dance with fire. An Elemental with no recollection of who he is. Some think he's a monster. Others think he's a myth come to life. But Harrow's magic knows he's something else ... if she can unlock his memory

"A Marvellous Light" by Freya Marske (2021); part of "The Last Binding" series

"A Marvellous Light" unfolds in an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies. Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He's struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents' excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what's been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he's always known. Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it – not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else. Robin's predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they've been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles – and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.