Ah! Finally, a good topic. It’s…uh…hmm…well, now…*scratches head*

This is a little harder than I thought. I’ve already written of my love for the story of Beren and Lúthien, and I do not want to repeat myself here. Plus, while it is an amazing and romantic story, it is told in the myth format, and thus you do not develop as personal a connection with the characters as you do in a novel. The impact of the story’s most emotional moments is muted because you are not allowed inside Beren and Lúthien’s heads. And for this particular topic, I feel that that kind of emotional connection is important.

However, it is also rare. I don’t read the romance genre at all, and so when a book I read does contain a love story, it is usually tangential to the main plot, and thus does not always get the deepest treatment.

But enough excuses. In my current memory (unstable as it is), there is a clear choice.

The love of Taran and Eilonwy in Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles.

Artwork by Dawn D. Davidson

Unfortunately it has been probably eight years since I’ve read these books, and thus most of the all-important details are hazy in my mind. But what I can say for sure is this: I really cared whether or not these two got together and stayed together. I liked them each on their own merits, and it was a delight to see them in love. Not that they had an easy relationship, what with him being a sometimes pig-headed but noble-hearted Assistant Pig-Keeper, and she a fiery tempered common-and-royal-born young enchantress who spends much of her time being offended by things Taran didn’t mean to say, because they’re both in love but too self-conscious to admit it (until later).

Their dialogue is immensely fun to read, due to Alexander’s sharp and intelligent style. But what really makes their romance work, amidst all the high adventure and magical myth, is the fact that it builds on a foundation of true friendship. More than love each other, they like each other, and those are two very different things. It doesn’t always seem that they like each other, but they do. They complement each other, and make each other stronger. We saw them both grow steadily over five books (and Alexander has some fantastic character development skills), and the result is a romance with real substance.

(Plus they don’t have to die and get maimed like Beren and Lúthien!)

It is apparent that I really need to reread the series soon. SOON.

10 thoughts on “Book Meme Day 20: Favorite Romance in a Book

  1. I started the Chronicles of Prydain a long time ago, but never got through all of them. I need to re-read them and properly finish them this time. The promise of a satisfying romance is always a good incentive, too. I’m a romantic at heart, and thus love a good romance in a story, but I like stories in which the romance is a part of a greater adventure, and not the sole focus. You get a better rounded story that way, I think.

    For the record, I think my favorite fictional romance is Faramir and Eowyn. At least, off the top of my head.

    1. In turn, I suspect that once I do reread The Lord of the Rings, I shall agree with you on Faramir and Eowyn. In concept their romance has always been more touching than most others, but I just don’t recall it in enough detail.

      1. Never mind the rest of LotR; I’ve been known to go read a favorite chapter just on its own! 😉 Book 6, chapter 5: “The Steward and the King.”

        1. Heh, aye. I love Taran and Eilonwy, but Faramir and Eowyn rank higher, for me. It’s an interesting romance, and built very briefly, but as one knows the characters so well by the time they meet, it works. It plays so well off the darkness of that part of the book, too.
          I am not sure what my absolute favorite would be, but it might be Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth from Persuasion. Seeing characters fall in love is wonderful, but seeing a love that persists through years of doubt and hopelessness is powerful.

  2. Yay! I truly loved the Chronicles of Prydain, especially the last book. I did not see the ending coming at all, though in hindsight I guess it’s somewhat obvious. And Taran and Eilonwy were great.
    But I have to agree with the above comments, the chapter between Faramir and Eowyn in Lord of the Rings is one of the book’s best parts…

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