A Romance of Two Worlds
Marie Corelli's first novel, published in 1886.
A Romance of Two Worlds is an urban fantasy that doubles as a religious treatise on Corelli's form of spirituality -- more or less a blend of Christianity and spiritism. Corelli's Author Avatar is afflicted with debilitating depression and anxiety and takes a sabbatical in Cannes to try to lift her spirits. Here, she encounters an Italian artist named Raffaello Cellini, who seems to possess some bizarre power that is gradually improving her health. Cellini refers to her to a mysterious man named Heliobas for further treatment, which begins her journey into finding the truth about the nature of life, God, and the heavens.
Hint: It involves lots of electricity.
- Author Avatar: Say, Marie Corelli was a half-Italian improvisational pianist, too. Hmmmm...
- Beauty Equals Goodness
- Dogged Nice Guy: Prince Ivan
- Flat Earth Atheist: Even after being killed by Zara and brought back to life by Heliobas using spiritual electricity, Prince Ivan still doesn't believe in it?
- Gorgeous Period Dress
- He-Man Woman Hater: Heliobas, to some extent.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: The narrator and Zara, at least they would have been.
- Informed Attribute: Heliobas' kindness. He usually comes off as a bit of a Jerkass.
- Les Yay: The narrator and Zara, so much that the fact that they aren't soulmates seems like a cop-out.
- Lightning Can Do Anything
- No Hugging, No Kissing: None of the main characters' soulmates exist on Earth in the story, so they all remain single in a corporeal sense. There's still plenty of hugging and kissing, but only between the narrator and Zara.
- No Name Given: The narrator.
- Older Than They Look: Zara, who looks 17 but is really 38.
- Purple Prose
- Red String of Fate: According to Corelli's doctrine, every soul is destined to be with one other and him or her only. Any other relationship is doomed to fail. If your soulmate happens to be dead, you'll only reunite with them in the afterlife, so you're pretty much stuck being asexual here on Earth.
- Science Marches On: Suffers badly from this. The novel tries to assert that the moon doesn't exist but is really an elaborate hologram and that Jupiter and Saturn are inhabited by advanced humanoid races.
- Self-Insert Fic
- Take That, Critics!: Happens a lot.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Zara
- Tragic Keepsake: Zara's gem.
- Victorian Britain: Although much of the novel takes place in Paris.