The best traveling fantasy romance books

The Books I Picked & Why

Mystic and Rider

By Sharon Shinn

Book cover of Mystic and Rider

Why this book?

Shinn is a master of crafting compelling, powerful female characters who battle the world around them while dealing with their own traumas. (Which I can relate to, all too well.) The magic system in this world is breathtaking, and the main character, Senneth, is one of my all-time favorite heroes. This book features her traveling with a band of misfits, one of whom she shares a romance with, and their relationship develops as they journey. Senneth’s bonds with the others in her group also deepen into a beautiful found family. Plus, there are lots of cozy campfire scenes! (The best part of travel through Fantasyland.)


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Swordheart

By T. Kingfisher

Book cover of Swordheart

Why this book?

This is the first T. Kingfisher book I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. The main characters, Halla and Sarkis, hooked me right from the start. Halla, in particular, drew me in because she’s not the usual heroine for a fantasy romance; she’s a widow in her thirties, a little sheltered, but brimming with curiosity about the world she’s never really seen. But because she’s not a child, she’s got a good head on her shoulders and a wonderful perspective. Her relationship with Sarkis, a warrior trapped in a magic sword, is delightful, and their time together on the road brings them deliciously close. Harrowing travels make for fabulous romance!


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Phoenix Unbound

By Grace Draven

Book cover of Phoenix Unbound

Why this book?

Although this book does feature some heavy themes (CW for mentions of rape), it’s a powerful story about dealing with trauma – and moving on from it, to the life one wants to live. Draven’s characters simply breathe. They feel fleshed-out and real, with all the contradictions of real people. Although the book is part of a series, the story feels complete on its own; the worldbuilding is lush and interesting. I love books that feature travel because being on the road is a great way for characters to connect with each other, as they must rely on one another for safety and survival. Phoenix Unbound features two very different characters who come together in a way that feels real – and beautiful.


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A Thousand Pieces of You

By Claudia Gray

Book cover of A Thousand Pieces of You

Why this book?

Okay, so this one isn’t quite as “fantasy” as the others I’ve recommended, but since it features travel through dimensional space, I’m including it. The pseudo-science isn’t too heavy, so if you’re into hard science, I might give this one a pass. But if, like me, you want to swoon over romance that spans not just a planet, but multiple dimensions, Gray has got you covered. There’s something so powerful about finding love that can stand through not only different realities but different iterations of the people involved… It just hits me square in the chest. Gray’s writing is also gorgeous; I’m a big fan of her work in general.


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Blade & Rose

By Miranda Honfleur

Book cover of Blade & Rose

Why this book?

Y’all, I’m a sucker for mages & anti-mage warriors trapped together on a perilous mission and fighting their budding romantic feelings for one another. So how could I not love this book? Add the fact that Honfleur’s writing is lush and vivid, the magic system is beyond cool, and the antagonist is exactly the kind of villain I love to hate, and ding ding ding! We have a winner! I was immediately hooked with the setup and the main character, Rielle. For me, Rielle is the perfect blend of badass warrior-mage and vulnerable person with a traumatic past. I also appreciate how we get more points of view than just Rielle and Jon (her love interest), which isn’t common in a lot of fantasy romance.


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