Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke And The Bookish. This one is a random pick from their list of previous topics. Okay. Not so random. This is obviously ALL me.
Fictional couples, eh? This is tough…
- Viola and Todd Hewitt from Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness. These two bring out the best and the worst in one another, they fight for one another, they are strong for one another and they are completely independent of one another. Mutual respect and love, disagreements, jokes and hardships. This relationship rocks.
- Sabriel and Touchstone from Garth Nix’s Sabriel (the Abhorsen Trilogy). I think I love this coupling because it is so slow to build up – and, on an adventure such as this, romance is sort of at the back of everyone’s mind but there is true love here and it needn’t be drawn out or said, it just is. Wonderfully written.
- I know it’s a T.V. show but I really like Zoe and Wash from Firefly and here’s why. They aren’t Captain Mal and Inara who dance around their feelings and let drama sweep them up. These two incredibly distinct characters start the series in a strong relationship full of banter, romance, cheese, full on arguments and well.. it’s just a real relationship which is so uncommon in science fiction or fantasy television and literature written for any audience.
- I am fairly partial to Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship from The Lunar Chronicles. For one they, like Zoe and Wash, don’t really dance around their attraction to each other. It’s there, so they deal with it. Within the span of one book the relationship between these two characters is more solid and believable than that of Cinder and Kai (who haven’t even spent much time together, it’s more like an attraction than a relationship, so far anyway) or of Cress and Thorne (I think this is because Cress is so naive and Thorne such a player, they need more time to work this out).
- Alanna and George from the Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series. This romance is a little unconventional as George is quite a bit older than Alanna, but given that their romance is a slow build – they are friends and comrades first and romance flourishes from there. Also, given their world and supposed time period (and the depth of their relationship) when reading the story the age difference is very negligible. I would Alanna and George are partners in all things and I really like this sort of relationship.
See, this is why I should pick TTT topics more often: I never knew Steph shipped Warlet. (That is their ship name, right? I just made it up.) Also, I second that mention of Sabriel and Touchstone. Cuties. Anyway, here are mine:
- Skybright and Kai Sen from Serpentine: No ship is more doomed than this one and no ship currently means more to me.
- Angela and Holly from The Lynburn Legacy: I mean. Obviously. I just wish SRB would write a few short stories dedicated to just them. I’d buy those.
- Lady Fire and Prince Brigan from Fire: I mean, they have their ups and downs but in the end they prove they are worthy of each other and respect each other greatly. I loved seeing their relationship evolve. I am almost tempted to re-read Fire just for them.
- Sierra and Robbie from Shadowshaper: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a romance emerge so naturally in a YA book before. It’s so nicely done. And they are so wonderful together. I am still rooting for a sequel just so I can read more of Sobbie. (Okay, fine, also the mind-blowing magic.)
- Magnus and Well Pretty Much Anyone The Bane Chronicles: I obsess over headcanons and fanfiction about Malec, but the more I re-read TBC (which is more often than I care to admit) the more I realize that the fun of reading about any of Magnus’ relationships is, for me, this stupid, shiny warlock who I shouldn’t care so much about seeing as he’s fictional. So yeah, I adore Malec but! I also enjoyed Magnus/Camille for the drama. Magnus/Imasu had such great chemistry and their story was so funny, even when they broke up. Magnus/Etta was such a wonderful ship, I’m secretly working on fanfiction for them. And most of all, Magnus/Fashion is a ship that will always make me squee. Basically, Magnus Being Magnus around other people does it for me.
This is going to be a rather spoilerific list: if you don’t want to know anything ahead of time, read Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, “Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case,” Howl’s Moving Castle, Year of the Griffin, Hexwood, Deep Secret, The Merlin Conspiracy, the Queen’s Thief series, and A Coalition of Lions before you read my list.
- Steph mentioned it, Yash seconded it, but I’m going to say it again anyway because this was the first couple I thought of when I saw this week’s topic: Sabriel and Touchstone from the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Their relationship begins with a lot of exasperation, as Touchstone is struggling with his memories, his beliefs about himself, and the reality of the current state of the Kingdom, and Sabriel really just wants to rescue her father so she can go back to Ancelstierre and pursue higher education, but a solid, trusting companionship develops. I think that’s what makes it for me – the shoulder-to-shoulder-walking-into-battle unassailable sort of companionship.
- *** Hey Yash, read Lirael, Abhorsen, and a certain Old Kingdom short story before you can read this one, okay?*** With that degree of trust in mind, Lirael and Nick from the abovementioned stories. Nix is really excellent at holding back the romance and giving the adventure full rein; later, once the world is saved, non-familial relationships can be worked out. There are a few moments of tenderness – Lirael feels stirrings of attraction to the sadly abused Nick – but compassion and attraction do not deter her from the higher purpose of saving the world, or rather, all worlds. Why do I like Nick, when he is Orannis’s mouthpiece for most of the story? For one thing, he unwittingly becomes a pawn only because he is determined to save his closest friend in particular, and all of his friends in general. For another, he’s endearingly devoted to science despite the evidence of what sense he has possession of. Finally, when he is able to resist possession he does so using his unique tools: his scientific, analytical mind; his honour (“Word of a Sayre”); and his earnest desire not to let Lirael down, even when his body is failing. And, well, there’s really no way to not love a couple so thoroughly approved by the Disreputable Dog, is there?
- Sophie and Howl would be the obvious choice for a couple from Diana Wynne Jones’s books, particularly as they remain so completely themselves even as they learn to fit together – yet I can’t pass up this opportunity to mention a few others. Blade and Claudia from Year of the Griffin are sweet, though their relationship is still barely surfacing as the book ends. I admire how liking the other doesn’t make either of these two very compassionate characters hesitate before saying things that need to be said, or standing on their own. Vierran and Mordion from Hexwood are another favourite. The Bannus – and maybe also the Wood – uses them to teach the other where he or she is going wrong in their thinking, and to reshape them both for its ends. If that sounds creepy, the story isn’t. And is. Just read it. And (harkening back to Sophie and Howl) speaking of conflicting characters with complicated relationships, how about Maree and Rupert from Deep Secret? Maree can’t stand Rupert and writes highly unflattering things about him in her journal, while Rupert is horrified by Maree and writes her off right away. And yet. Their clashing perspectives are downright funny, and together they make a very formidable couple. I am eternally amazed at the deftness with which DWJ takes two characters with defects noticeable and unnoticed, and has their perspectives on themselves, the other, and events remain utterly distinct. And while the sparks fly – and I mean that in terms of temper, not attraction – they manage to cobble together a working agreement. They don’t lose their selves to anything or anyone, even as, and, yet, they change.
- Gen and Attolia, alias Eugenides (Attolis) and Irene from Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series. Oh my goodness, those two. Complicated does not begin to describe the depths – very deep, terrifyingly, entrancingly deep – of this relationship. Eddis (Helen) and Sophos (Sounis) also, for their very different, sweet and practical courtship. Oh, the tangled threads and maneuvering of these four’s lives. Just. Read. I can’t do them justice.
- Goewin and Priamos from A Coalition of Lions by Elizabeth Wein. Politics, honour, love, and grief enmesh this determined pair as they try to serve their respective kingdoms and carve out a tolerable existence. Goewin is steadfastly set on ruling her own fate; Priamos must prove that he is not a traitor. What can I say – I like kind, honourable men and intelligent, courageous women, and these two have all four qualities in full measure.
- Finally, from non-children’s literature, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion, and Agnes Grey and Edward Weston in Agnes Grey. Elizabeth and Darcy because relationship with the other causes each to confront his/her failings and mature, and in maturing they find themselves well suited; Anne and Captain Wentworth because they, having suffered and matured apart, learn to appreciate the other and communicate beyond misunderstanding; and Agnes and Mr. Weston because they are dear-hearted, gentle, resolute characters who, having endured the company of vicious, selfish, and/or coarse persons for so long a tenure, find companionship and balm in each other, and work together for good.
Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
- Ren and Kyoko from the Skip Beat manga by Yoshiki Nakamura. Fans of the manga will agree with me but we’ve been waiting YEARS for this ship to sail and there is a finally a glimpse of this happening. At least, the anchor has been pulled. Fair sailing, my fellow fans.
- Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games. Hah, I’m so glad that this is the pairing chosen in the end. I did not like Gale at all.
- Kate and Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Adult urban fantasy does SO right. My friend Teng will agree.
- Madeleine and Elliot from The Colours of Madeleine by Jaclyn Moriarty. A slow burning romance complicated by very many things but SO good. Argh, the final book in the trilogy cannot come soon enough for me.
- Cat and Andevai from The Spiritwalker trilogy by Kate Elliott. Their romance, too, is slow burning and so very complicated by issues of class, colour, and power which makes reading about the romance very interesting.
- Eona and Kygo from the Eon duology by Alison Goodman. Once again, this is a complicated romance which is my favourite kind of romance.