When someone says “do you read romance,” what medium do you think they’re talking about? If you assumed the question meant “do you read romance books,” you wouldn’t be alone. After all, I do this too.
Of course, there are other ways to read romance. Over the past year, I’ve personally become hooked on the Webtoon app. My current obsession? Fantasy romance.
If you’re like me and you love comics, here’s a list of five fantasy webtoons to check out.
Note: All of these series are ongoing/unfinished, so the HFN/HEA endings can’t be vouched for.
1. The Remarried Empress, by Alphatart and Sumpul
Love Interest: Rival Prince/Emperor
Heat Level: Sweet
The Remarried Empress has the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat. In fact, if it hadn’t started off with a far-future prologue reassuring the audience of a HEA, I wouldn’t be confident in recommending it on Frolic.
A rich, politically complex fantasy that is centered around the “second chances” trope, The Remarried Empress follows Navier: a beautiful, elegant, mature woman who has been trained to be the Empress from birth.
Navier is currently married to the Emperor, but her happy life comes crashing down after her husband starts an affair. Unable to leave him due to politics, Navier tries to deal with her unfaithful spouse as best she can, all while his mistress seeks to usurp her throne.
Eventually, Navier’s only way out of the mess is to find camaraderie with the handsome, womanizing prince of a rival empire. Unbeknownst to her, this rival prince wants to (re)marry her. He’s also a magician who can secretly turn himself into a bird.
The Remarried Empress is great because it examines the scorned woman motif. While the husband’s mistress can be upsetting to read with her actions towards Navier, you also can’t help but empathize with her, given her background. She’s really fleshed out as a character.
Content Warnings: Cheating spouse, infidelity, miscarriage, mentions of sexual slavery.
2. Your Throne, by SAM
Love Interest: Love Triangle/Quadrangle
Heat Level: Sweet
Lady Medea is an evil woman. Well, that is what society has decided she is, due to her intelligence, her ambition, and her pride.
After Medea’s marriage to the crown prince is called out, her family is thrown into disgrace. The person who takes her place at the crown prince’s side is her former friend, Lady Psyche: a soft, gentle, woman who used to idolize Medea.
Driven to extremes by this betrayal, Medea seeks vengeance upon Psyche, aided by her longtime, ruthless friend, Helio Niccolo. When Medea attacks Psyche, however, a magical event switches their souls into each other’s bodies.
With their souls trapped in their enemies’ skin, Medea and Psyche must work together to reverse the spell. If they don’t, they’ll be killed by the backstabbing, conniving royals around them.
Your Throne is more of a “fantasy with a romantic subplot,” but I’m recommending it because the story is one of the best webtoons series that I’ve ever read. There’s polyamorous subtext threaded throughout the comic. The deep, devoted love that Helio feels for Medea is exhilarating to see, and Medea’s unwavering resolve to not hide her intelligence is a delight.
Content Warnings: Child abuse, domestic abuse, gaslighting, multiple attempted suicides.
3. Suitor Armor, by Purpah
Love Interest: Enchanted Suit of Armor
Heat Level: Sweet
Looking for an utterly enchanting, delightful story that knows its tropes and uses them well?
In Suitor Armor, Lucia is a lady-in-waiting. While she’s good at this job, she carries a secret. She’s actually a fairy, and in a kingdom where magic is shunned and faeries are “bad,” she’ll be seen as the enemy. As such, Lucia fears for her life.
Trying to keep a low profile, Lucia completes her duties faithfully. During a jousting tournament, however, she falls head-over-heels-in-love with a dark, brooding knight. The only problem with this knight? He’s an enchanted suit of armor, designed to kill faeries like herself.
Learning hard into the “forbidden lovers” trope, Suitor Armor is a feel-good webtoons romance, and perfect for anyone looking for some classic fantasy vibes.
4. Winds of Spring, by nikbi
Love Interest: Mortal VS God
Heat Level: Unknown
I feel like I’m taking a risk by recommending a webtoon so soon into the start of the series. That said, Winds of Spring is labelled category romance and it’s excellent so far. It follows Turul, a minor goddess who can shapeshift into a hawk.
Desperate to take her place among the heavenly pantheon, Turul is excited when she is given three magical tasks that will take her to the mortal world. If she succeeds at these tasks, she’ll rejoin the pantheon. If she fails, she’ll be cast out.
When Turul leaves the heavenly realm, however, she meets a handsome hunter. Her meeting with this human kicks off a deadly prophecy, and if they aren’t careful, it could spell ruin for them both.
Gorgeously illustrated with an emotionally vulnerable main character, Winds of Spring shows a ton of promise. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
5. Atnomen, by ilustrAriane
Love Interest: Demon/Gargoyle
Heat Level: Hot
The Atnomen webtoon falls more along the lines of historical fantasy, but it’s definitely a romance. Featuring a striking black-and-white art style, it follows Lena: a young woman living in a patriarchal village dominated by a quasi-Catholic church.
Reeling over the recent death of her father, Lena is desperate to avoid an arranged marriage to the local religious leader. To do so, she takes sanctuary in the only place she feels safe: an old, abandoned building sitting on the edge of the town.
In this building, there is a statue of a gargoyle. Lena takes comfort in the statue, and thinks of it as her guardian angel. What she doesn’t realize is that the statue is actually a demon frozen by a curse, or that this demon has romantic feelings for her.
Atnomen is definitely the most “out there” comic on this list, with a full-on flesh-eating demon as the romantic hero. That said, it’s perfect for monster-loving fans.
Content Warnings: Gore, domestic violence, threatened sexual assault.
A Webtoons Romance List That Reads Like a Fairytale
Webtoons are great because the online format means they’re more accessible. The Canvas feature on the app (always a great source for new series) allows independent artists to release unique stories, too.
If you’re already super familiar with the app, however, and you want to learn more about the most famous webtoon of them all, here are ten ways that Lore Olympus’ Hades is basically Mr. Darcy.