Love can raise us up. Love can tear us down. It can be our strength, our weakness, and everything in between. And inevitably, love makes fools of us all.

While we all enjoy reading a good romance, a love story is rarely just a love story. It has so many other uses within a narrative. One of the most common uses of romance in a narrative is motivation. And though we would really like to see the fridging of women as a trope DIE, it can be used effectively. But how else do romance subplots work to serve the greater narrative? How do authors – and their characters – use love to their advantage?

Joining us in this episode to discuss the power of love is an author who has made me cry, throw books across the room in frustration, and get rather hot under the collar while quietly sitting in my living room: Tasha Suri.

Highlights from the episode include me doing the audio equivalent of a sexy wink, a guest appearance by Tasha’s cat, sending Tasha spiralling into an existential crisis about the meaning of love, and more…

Tasha’s latest novel, The Jasmine Throne, is out now from Orbit books.

Texts mentioned in this episode include:

  • Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, we know we shouldn’t love Joss Whedon but his work has often been excellent… and a huge team goes into creating shows like this, not just one man!)
  • Malice by Heather Walter
  • Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell
  • The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Over the Moon
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
  • Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
  • She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
  • X-Men
  • Shadow and Bone
  • The Untamed
  • Star Trek: The Original Series

Tasha Suri
Image © Shekhar Bhatia

Tasha Suri is the award-winning author of The Books of Ambha duology (Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash) and the epic fantasy The Jasmine Throne. She is an occasional librarian and cat owner. She has won the Best Newcomer (Sydney J. Bounds) Award from the British Fantasy Society and has been nominated for the Astounding Award and Locus Award for Best First Novel. When she isn’t writing, Tasha likes to cry over TV shows, buy too many notebooks, and indulge her geeky passion for reading about South Asian history. She lives with her family in a mildly haunted house in London.