Dragon lovers: extract from Julie Kagawa’s Rogue

One of the things that fascinates me while researching paranormal romance is the insight into the creation development, and interaction of genres. This genre itself is a mating between the monstrous (masculinised?) genre of Gothic horror and the feminine romance fiction, mirroring its central plot device of love between human and sympathetic other. Its relative newness allows us to observe its birth and progress quite closely, giving insights into the nature of literature itself. And, even in a short time, it has shown a remarkable ability to evolve by absorbing or being modulated by other genres than the primary couple. Thus many adult urban fantasy (the labels themselves are still fluid) is often modulated in terms of tone and plot by noir detective while keeping the essential plot of the romance with the demon lover. Other incarnations take on science fiction or classic epic fantasy, or fairy tale or the older form of romance itself (as in the mediaeval heroic narrative). Often, this seems motivated in part by commercial forces; thus, the waning popularity of the YA vampire romance, caused by the advent of Suzanne Collins’s dystopian Hunger Games led Holly Black and Julie Kagawa to fuse the two genres, reinvigorating paranormal romance in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series. Both of these writers had already played with genre (fairy tale, notably) in clever ways, and both are excellent writers. Now Kagawa is experimenting with the popular dragon narrative of epic fantasy, humanising that monster and involving it in romance. Here’s an extract from the second of her new series, Rogue, the sequel to Talon (though I haven’t read this yet, I must confess). It looks very appealing and very exciting!

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