Portfolio: Fantasy Romance Book Covers

What Is Fantasy Romance?

Fantasy romance is an emerging genre that combines the fantasy genre with strong romantic elements! “Fantasy romance” can be an umbrella term that also describes paranormal romance, but this section of my portfolio is mainly focusing on the high fantasy and historical fantasy side of fantasy romance! For paranormal romance, please check my page for paranormal romance and urban fantasy book covers.

Quite a number of fantasy romance books combine the genres of fantasy and historical romance. Typically these are fantasy novels set in a world that mirrors the Regency and Victorian periods (“Gaslamp fantasy”) and combine the tropes of historical romance with magic. In fact, that’s a good way to understand fantasy romance — stories that take the tropes and appeal of romance novels and combine them with the tropes of fantasy novels. Not only do readers get swept away by a love story but also by adventure and a whole new world!

What Do Fantasy Romance Book Covers Look Like?

Book cover’s key job is to attract readers and they do that by giving out the right genre signals. Typically this involves visualizing the common tropes and traits of the genre so readers can recognize it as the sort of book they like. In my discussion of fantasy romance covers, I’m focusing on the high fantasy side of fantasy romance.

As with epic fantasy book covers, fantasy romance covers fall roughly into two categories: ones that contain an image of a character and ones that focus on objects, symbols, and typography. I study and collect examples of fantasy romance book covers, and what I’ve found is that while both categories of covers can be used for all kinds of books, there are some trends. Dark fantasy romance is more likely to have a typography based cover. Young adult fantasy romances are also more likely to have typography covers, fitting with the young adult fantasy category in general. I am not going to focus much on typography and symbol covers here since my work is character based.

As with the rest of the wider romance genre, heat level is very important for determining the look of a fantasy romance book cover. Here’s a breakdown in trends for fantasy romance by heat level!

Fantasy Romance Covers and Heat Levels:

  • Sweet, low-heat romance tends to have a solo woman. Often overlaps with fairy tale retellings and involves long dresses.
  • Medium heat or slow burn often involves a couple (either embracing or in “battle couple” poses). You sometimes also see solo women.
  • High heat monogamous fantasy romance typically has a couple embracing.
  • High heat reverse harem and menage has either a woman with multiple love interests OR a solo woman (but with more revealing clothing than the sweet princesses)
  • The close up of a shirtless male chest isn’t as common in high fantasy romance as paranormal romance, but if you see it, it means high heat!

You can think of fantasy romance covers as looking like a cross between high fantasy covers and historical romance, with the costuming and setting of fantasy and the couples, poses, and flowing cloth of historical romance. For gaslamp fantasy romance,  the covers often are literally historical romance covers with some magic in the mix!

If you’re interested in commissioning me to create a cover for you, visit my custom covers page to find out more and contact me! I also have some epic and high fantasy premade book covers available. These are covers where I’ve already created the art but have used a place holdder title and author name, which can be replaced with the name and title of the author who purchases it. You can find my premades here.