Adult Fiction, Behind the Books, Book reviews and recommendations, Young Adult 16+

Fantasy Series – A Closer Look at the Genre – Part 10

Romantic, Fantastic Romance, Alternate History and High Historical.

By Elaine Patterson, Newbridge Headquarters.


This sub-genre blends both fantasy and romance elements, so relationships are an important part of the plot and the story. The degree of magic, plot, violence and characterisation can be low, but this varies from story to story. 

Related fantasy subgenres are coming-of-age, epic, heroic, fantastic romance and paranormal fantasy.

 The following are examples:

Fantastic Romance

Fantastic Romance is romance where the love story  is at the centre of the tale and the ending must be emotionally satisfying and monsters such as vampires or werewolves are the love interests.  Books in this genre tend to be light reading with events exaggerated in some way or another. The level of magic and characterisation varies from story to story. The plot tends to be simple while the degree of sex and violence is high. 

Related fantasy sub-genres are romantic fantasy, paranormal and fables.

Examples are below:

Alternative History

Stories in this sub-genre take place in an alternate version of history where for instance, something important was never invented or a historical figure never existed. These novels are set in a recognised period of history such as the Dark Ages.  The difference between alternate history and historical fantasy fiction is that alternate history is set in a place where actual history has deviated from current historical accounts, and magic is present.  Historical fantasy fiction, on the other hand, takes place during our own history with fantasy elements or magic. A low degree of magic will be present while the level of violence will depend on what time period the story takes place in. Characters can be well-developed and plots can be quite complex in alternate history stories. 

A related fantasy sub-genre is political fantasy. Examples below:


High History

High historical is different from historical fantasy in that it has aspects of high fantasy. Books in high historical fantasy have a high degree of historical detail. The level of magic, characterisation, plot complexity and violence are high. 

Related fantasy subgenres are celtic, arthurian fantasy and wuxia. Examples are below:

Check out all the examples above on BorrowBox or request them via our library catalogue.


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