“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”
No, it is quite difficult to narrow down a list! I do have a specific favorite though. I’ll reference my favorite literary couple, Phedre and Joscelin, from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series. This is a bit spoilery here. I like them in their own trilogy; they get a bit more boring in Imriel’s. It’s hard to say why exactly they are my favorite. For one I think they have quite a believable love story going on. They’ve been through so much together over the course of the books that it’s very diffiult to imagine them not forming such a bond. Furthermore, they will go through anything just to be with one another, particularly Joscelin (Phedre is a bit more concerned with saving Terre d’Ange). All of that would fall flat if the emotion Carey portrays wasn’t so true to love, but it is. This fantasy series is far beyond a love story but without that love story it would lose a lot of its emotional appeal. I think another thing that I love about them is that they are not perfect. Of course they are typically beautiful, but they have distinctive, screwed up personalities of their own that are, to me, completely believable. Maybe Joscelin is the best warrior ever, but he’s been trained to be the best warrior ever and it’s genuinely interesting to watch him combat the philosophies imparted with his skills when he falls in love with Phedre. Similarly, Phedre struggles with monogamy because she was brought up to embrace love in all its forms. Besides that, they are both exceedingly stubborn. In other words, they feel human to me, and that makes their love much more real. They may appear to be perfect on the outside, but I like that the books reveal extra dimensions to their characters.
Finally, I think another reason that I am biased towards this couple in particular is the fact that their epic, passionate, believable love story is something that doesn’t often – or ever – happen in real life, and that sort of escape that I can believe in is one of my requirements for the fiction I just adore. This couple does it the best.