The Couples of “The Taurin Chronicles”

Happy Valentine’s Day, and welcome to the second week of my Month of Appreciation for All Things Taurin.

This week, I’m presenting you with a very sappy, sloppy post about all the couples in the series. I am not a huge Valentine’s Day girl, nor am I especially “gifty,” so this day is kind of “meh” for me. But since my weekly post feel squarely on Valentine’s Day, I felt the need to be just a little bit sappy…



The “Skip the Preliminaries” Couple

I think it’s fair to notice that Braedan and Igraine didn’t really put a lot of thought into their relationship before it started. They were both instantly attracted to each other, and while they managed to hold off a bit, I think that was largely because he was trying to change his reputation and she wanted to secure some kind of influence without favoritism. Once he asked her to marry him, though, all bets were off. There was basically a “we’re both hot, rich, and powerful–let’s just dive into it” attitude, and then the clothes came off.

The thing about their relationship was… it quickly became one of deep affection and admiration that went beyond physical attraction. Braedan broke down some of the barriers Igraine had erected around her heart, and Igraine pushed Braedan to exhibit some mettle and fortitude. Whatever happened in their physical relationship only served to deepen what they didn’t want to admit existed–a deep and abiding love that could become a “till death do us part” love.

Braedan and Igraine’s love song would be “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” by Frank Sinatra:


The “Made For Each Other” Couple

Hrogarth and Alfrig were always meant to be together. Hrogarth even tells Mairead in Unquickened that Alfrig pursued him from the time she was a young girl. In my head, neither Hrogarth nor Alfrig ever had another love relationship; she even refused to accept the call to become the wisdomkeeper because she thought Hrogarth was more important.

The thing about the lifetime that Hrogarth and Alfrig shared was that it tied Hrogarth to a greater purpose and eternal things. Her death could have pushed Hrogarth into a self-destructive depression, but instead, a lifetime with her imbued him with hope. I think that Hrogarth knew that to do himself harm after her death would have betrayed what she gave him, and in that truth, he found the will to seek out the ravens and serve another woman–Mairead–if in a different way.

If Hrogarth and Alfrig had a song, it would be “Simple Love,” by Alison Krauss:

The “Surprised by Love” Couple

A couple somewhat new to The Taurin Chronicles, Wyll and Letha sort of just stumbled together and accidentally fell in love. As a raven, Wyll was resigned to remaining a bachelor his whole life; he didn’t want to burden any woman with the Morrag, nor did he expect that he’d ever have a chance to build a life with a tribal woman.

And then Letha came along–bold, beautiful Letha who devoted herself to serving Mairead and eyed Wyll with some level of skepticism for quite a while. Somehow, during the time that she was trapped in the raven village with Mairead, Wyll sort of wormed his way into her heart. She softened to the burden of the ravens, and he realized that maybe he could be worthy of a woman’s affection.

Letha and Wyll have a baby on the way, and–spoiler–I see them eventually surrounded by a plethora of little girls, all with their mother’s fierce green eyes. I think Wyll will spend his life entirely bemused at where he ends up, and those little girls might be a bigger challenge than anything the Morrag throws at him.

Letha and Wyll’s love song would be “Bless the Broken Road,” by Rascal Flatts:


The “Second Chance” Couple

Maeve has a long and complicated relationship with humanity. As a Sidh queen raised by a Sidh queen who utterly rejected the world of men, Maeve always found herself pulled toward the Sidh and tempted to close off the human world entirely in her youth. A chance meeting with Culain Mac Niall and Edgar Wolfbrother changed her perspective. She was drawn toward both men, if for different reasons, and she ultimately chose Culain and gave him a son.

I think that when Culain died, Maeve was so utterly devastated that she determined never to open the door to affection again. She was prepared to face a long life without men–to give up her hope of having a daughter to inherit her throne. And then… Edgar waltzed back into her life.

For his part, Edgar always loved Maeve. Culain was a brother of his heart, and he saw Connor as his tribal son, and he never wanted to come between Culain and Maeve, but there was some part of him that always held out hope that she might one day be his. Over the years, he met other women and had other relationships, but no one could ever supersede Maeve, and he finally gave up and accepted that he would just be a single man all his life.

When Maeve and Edgar finally reunite in Ravenmarked, their love is somewhat inevitable. She’s had time to heal from Culain’s death, and he’s had time to realize that he can be a whole person with or without her. They are both mature enough to understand that their relationship can’t be more important than their duties to their people, but they also know that he won’t live as long as she will, and they need to fully embrace the opportunity they’re given.

A good love song for Edgar and Maeve is “Second Chance,” by Trisha Yearwood:

The “Slow Burn” Couple

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great love match of this series–Connor and Mairead.

The hardest thing about writing this couple was keeping them in slow burn mode for most of the first book. The moment these two jumped into my head, their attraction was palpable. It didn’t matter that he had other lovers or that she was supposed to be a chaste, wholesome religious girl–they were destined to be together. Beyond the first book, the struggle has been to keep them from being too happy–to keep some conflict in their relationship, because honestly, it would be super boring and very annoying to have them all mushy and lovey for the entire series.

Fortunately, a whole bunch of struggles have presented themselves to ensure that Connor and Mairead’s relationship is forged in fire. First there was his struggle to quiet the Morrag. Then there was her miscarriage. They lost friends in the battle at the end of Bloodbonded. And then I called him back to Taura for Unquickened, so they’ve been mostly separated for the last book.

But here’s the thing… For some couples, these kinds of challenges and separations would utterly destroy any hope of a genuinely loving future.

For Connor and Mairead, though, these struggles have only strengthened their own personalities and deepened their love for each other into something that is utterly unbreakable.

I know this feeling. I was also one half of a “slow burn” couple. The Man and I knew each other for six years before we dated, and then our dating/engagement period lasted for two more years. We’ve been married for almost 32 years. Being married for that long, raising four children–we’ve certainly been through the fire.

But fire can raze a building to the ground, or it can burn off impurities and forge a stronger alloy.

I feel like–I hope that–that’s where I am with The Man–in that titanium alloy phase of marriage. We will still suffer slings and arrows, and we will likely get dented or scratched, but at this point, it’d be pretty tough to entirely shatter us or burn us to the ground. We’re in this thing for the long haul.

Connor and Mairead are also a slow burn couple–slow to start, slow to settle, but also forged in fire–unbreakable.

Connor and Mairead have a couple of love songs… The first was the “slow burn” song I kept thinking of when I was writing Ravenmarked: “Just a Kiss,” by Lady A:

But now, forged together by the events of Bloodbonded and Unquickened, knowing that they’ll almost certainly be separated on occasion, but totally committed to seeing it all through to the end, their song is “Lucky,” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat:

Are you all in a diabetic coma from all the sappiness? If so, my work here is finished.

Next week, a little discussion about worldbuilding… I’m not entirely sure what form that will take, so I guess we’ll all be surprised.




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