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Deities in Fantasy Romances Like To Cage a God by Elizabeth May

These god-centric romances offer intrigue and high stakes.

Collage of Romantasy Books Featuring Deities, Including Mistborn and To Cage a God

Finding love and keeping it is an extraordinary challenge under the best of circumstances. The current romantasy trend that has exploded over the past few years, due in large part to BookTok and smash hits like Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses, have served to complicate that love by adding courtly intrigue, conflicts, and long-standing grudges to the mix.

We've fallen in love with relationships between humans and the fae, vampires, and werewolves. In Travis Baldree's Legends & Lattes, we even found ourselves invested in an orc's love life. However, few characters in all of fiction can raise the stakes like gods do when they enter the fray. Whether they're playing favorites or playing games, gods can push our protagonists together or apart, depending on their mood.

The characters in this list have to contend with the immortals themselves to keep their romances alive, and on a day like Valentine's Day, what could be more romantic than that?

To Cage a God by Elizabeth May

To Cage a God

By Elizabeth May

The romance: Vasilisa and Galina

The premise: Galina and her sister Sera aren't just influenced by the gods: Their mother actually grafted gods into their bones. The god within Galina thirsts for power, but it's that very power that proves to be the trouble. Both sisters have been raised from an early age to use their power and overthrow an empire. 

But what happens when Galina infiltrates the palace and finds, to her great surprise, that the princess Vasilisa is far more than a tyrant? What happens when her sister sides with the rebels? Will they be caught on opposite sides of a bloody war or find a path forward together?

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller

The romance: Achilles and Patroclus

The premise: If you thought your partner's mother was intimidating, imagine if she were a goddess. That's the trouble Patroclus finds himself in here: Thetis is a sea goddess dead set against the romance between the two men, and she does everything she can to keep them apart.

Worse still is the godly influence within Achilles himself. Not quite a god but just on the precipice, Achilles must decide for himself whether love or glory matters most in Madeline Miller's modern retelling of the Iliad.

hard fantasy books that are both magical and logical


By Brandon Sanderson

The romance: Vin and Elend

The premise: The work of the gods within Brandon Sanderson's original Mistborn trilogy is often subtle as a whisper, but the puppeteering behind the scenes (best seen in Mistborn: Secret History) plays an essential role within the plot and the romance between two of its protagonists. 

In the first book of the series, Vin infiltrates the ruling class in an attempt to take down a brutal dictator. Doing so means using Elend Venture, a member of the elite who would rather read his books than partake in the endless, frivolous events his fellows seem to enjoy. Their bond is tested throughout the series as their challenges and opponents only grow more complex, more devious, and more powerful over time.  

the thief

The Thief

By Megan Whalen Turner

The romance: Eugenides and Irene

The premise: The romance for this Newbery-winning series really begins in the second book, The Queen's Thief. Eugenides isn't just named after the god of thieves, but he's gained the god's favor, as well. 

That favor, however, presents itself in all sorts of forms throughout the series. Sometimes, it seems more like a curse than anything else. While the series lacks the spice you might see from some of these other works, there's no doubting the heartfelt romance between two people who seem like total opposites. 

best fantasy books

Gardens of the Moon

By Steven Erikson

The romance: Crokus and Apsalar

The premise: Talk about challenges. Crokus and Apsalar (originally known as Sorry) were first introduced in Gardens of the Moon as puppets of the gods. Attempting to break free of their influence is not easily done: The arc of their love is a heart-wrenching, moving tale that moves across a huge portion of Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

By Sue Lynn Tan

The romance: Xingyin and Prince Liwei

The premise: Xingyin isn't just beloved by the gods, she's the actual daughter of the Chinese moon goddess. In fact, she was raised on the moon. When she is forced from her home, however, Xingyin disguises her identity and takes up a place beside the son of her enemy, Crown Prince Liwei. Sparks fly as the pair learns archery and magic together.

However, despite the love she feels, Xingyin hasn't forgotten her mission: She must free her mother. In the first entry of a two-book series, Xingyin is swept up not only in romance but also into a sweeping adventure of the immortals, as well.


Spinning Silver

By Naomi Novik

The romance: Mirnatius and Irina

The premise: Both marriages in Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver seem ill-fated from the very start. However, as one might expect from a Novik story, the truth is always more complex than it appears at the beginning. Cursed to host a vengeful god within himself, Tsar Mirnatius might be a sympathetic figure were it not for the danger that he causes to those around him—especially his new bride Irina. 

Meanwhile, in a parallel series of events, Miryem is abducted and taken to marry the king of the Staryk, a grim fey creature as cold as winter itself. Both women struggle to find a path forward in a contest against the immortals.