Tough Travelling“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!

This week’s topic is FORBIDDEN LOVE:

Even in Fantasyland parents are not always happy with their children’s choice of partners.

YES FINALLY!!! If you know me at all then you probably know that my ships are very important to me, and SFF has some of the best ones. Although I will say that I’m constantly disappointed by how few queer ships there are in SFF, especially adult SFF. Say what you will about YA, but those books are definitely bringing it in terms of representation.

These Broken StarsLilac and Tarver – These Broken Stars by Amie Kauffman and Meagan Spooner


A classic case of the haves and have nots, Lilac and Tarver are separated mostly by class. While there were a lot of things that didn’t work for me in THESE BROKEN STARS, I have to admit that Lilac and Tarver made a pretty adorable couple. Too bad Lilac’s corporate space-titan daddy doesn’t agree…

Saga Volume 1Alanna and Marko – Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples


Is anyone not including this couple? I mean, they are as close to literal star-crossed lovers as I’ve ever encountered. Some couples have to deal filial expectations or even national duty, but there are multiple planets invested in keeping Alanna and Marko apart. A truly epic romance.

Daughter of the ForestSorcha and Red – Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marilier


What could possibly be more forbidden than a romance between the young daughter of an Irish lord and the (significantly older) lord of a Briton region? *crickets* That’s what I thought. Sorcha’s brothers are none too happy about the relationship either, but tough cookies. Sorcha gave up enough for those guys so they just have to deal.

Darkest Part of the ForestBen and Severin – The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black 


You may be thinking it’s forbidden love because they’re dudes, but these crazy kids have WAY bigger problems than small town bigots. I mean, how does a regular human guy introduce his faery prince boyfriend to friends? He has horns for crying out loud! And, you know, his dad the fae king is also trying to kill all the humans in the area. Minor obstacle.


    • Lynn Williams

    • 7 years ago

    Alanna and Marko sound great and they keep cropping up on these lists. Eventually I’ll see the light and go and read Saga.
    The Marillier and Black books I already have and will definitely get to soon(ish).
    Lynn 😀

    1. Alanna and Marko are the best! I love their love. 🙂

      Yay, can’t wait to hear your hoeught on them! Especially the Marillier, since I know how much you loved Dreamer’s Pool.

  1. *snort* MINOR obstacle, indeed. I have to read this Black book. Do humans in general know that fairies exist in this book?

    And I’m not reading that bit about Daughter of the Forest, sorry, I spoiled myself today for another book I want to read so I’m taking NO CHANCES, especially since Daughter is due to arrive any day now and I’ll probably dig right in! 🙂 Then we’ll talk 😉

      • Maraia

      • 7 years ago

      Haha, I just saw this and you should probably not read my comment on your blog, then. I don’t think it’s at all spoiler-y, but I don’t want to risk you thinking it is. 😀

    1. Haha yeah, things are tough for them. Not everyone knows about then Fae, but everyone who’s a local knows.

      Oh no!! Accidentally spoiling yourself is the absolute worst. What was the book?? Can’t wait until I can hear your thoughts Marillier!

    • Maraia

    • 7 years ago

    I agree about These Broken Stars. Definitely not my favorite book, but I did like the ship. 🙂

    You haven’t read Son of the Shadows yet, right? Juliet Marillier does not make things easy for her characters. 😉 (Although Simon may be the most heartbreaking part of the entire series. He guts me every time.)

    1. Yeah…I didn’t really get the hype about that one, tbh. The big ‘reveal’ was just too weird. But who can resist a cute enemies to lovers romance? Not this girl! 😀

      No, I haven’t read any of the other Sevenwaters books aside from Daughter of the Forest. Gaaah you’re too right about Marillier, she’s not kind to her protagonists. I’ve heard that Robin Hobb is similar in that regard, but I confess I haven’t read anything by her yet.

      At about the 100 page mark on Daughter of the Forest, I was sure that I knew how Simon was going to end up in this…couldn’t have been more wrong.

  2. Sorcha and Red are such a great pick and I had completely forgotten about them. It’s been eons since I read the book and I just remember I loved it and the romance was lovely – had forgotten it was all forbidden and stuff.

    I really need to pick up the Saga series like yesterday – especially to find out what planets have to say about people snogging and making babies!

    I have The Darkest Part of the Forest out from the library right now partially because of your recommendation! I’m looking forward to diving in and see what it’s like dating a guy with horns.

    1. I just love their love! I wasn’t sold on it at first because I was pretty attached to the idea of Simon/Sorcha, but by the time they were on Red’s lands I was a total shipper.

      YES STEPHANIE, get on Saga immediately! The planets have a *lot* to say about who can make babies with whom, let me tell ya.

      Oooh I hope you enjoy it! I always feel a little nervous recommending books to people in fear that they will hate them. :/

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 7 years ago

    Ha ha! I kinda figured to see Alana and Marko over here. I just had to include them because they were perfect 🙂

    1. Aren’t they, though?! Although after the gut-punch that was Volume 4, I need some happier times in Volume 5. Hopefully BKV and Fiona Staples hear my plea. 🙂

  3. If I hadn’t stuck with just YA, Saga and Daughter of the Forest would have totally found themselves on my list 🙂 How good to know though that there’s a forbidden love in the Holly Black book. That’s the one by her I mean to read first!


    1. There’s actually more than one example of forbidden love in The Darkest Part of the Forest, but the example I chose is the juicier – and more forbidden – of the two, imo. I really hope you like it! Holly Black definitely has a way with words.

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