Sory darlin’ –you’re absolutely right. Kate Daniels really hasn’t garnered that spot under the Gothic Heroic archetype yet–she’s still an American Romantic. And, of course, the ‘having sex’ thing is an oversimplification–what the sexual relationship represents (in this case) is the door to complete personhood that allows a hero/heroine to fall. Until women got their all-access pass into human vice, they really weren’t able to compete in the grand and important ‘human-of-noble-weight’ virtue department. Just because the American Romantic archetypes haven’t fallen doesn’t mean they don’t weigh in–but having a wider variety of behavioral options really does seem to give some characters a carte blanch to turn their lives (and the lives of others) into a great and tasty F.U.B.A.R. salad.
So Kate Daniels isn’t Gothic–but even if she was, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
And as for love? Well, it matters (trust me–if you’ve read my stuff you know I believe that’s the truth!) But the yardstick I’m using was written by men, for men–love doesn’t factor into this particular assessment strategy. That’s not to say I don’t think it should, or that the assessment isn’t outdated– but the archetypes are male archetypes (even the ones I used to identify the women are male driven models). Masculine models tend to discount love in favor of power. So sex becomes an instrument of power and not of love. Of course, that’s in archetype land–not in the land I know and write about, and obviously not in your beautifully constructed world either. I’m only talking one facet of literature here–not the whole caboodle, and not the facet I prefer to write to. But it’s always important to see where a literature fits in the old standards–it’s one sure way to know if you’re setting those old canons on their ear. It also gives the pnr/ucf genres some legitimacy-and I love these genres and I would DEARLY love to see them achieve the same respect as traditional science fiction, fantasy, or romance–taking a look at how they work within traditional formats helps that to happen.
So sorry, Ms. Andrews–I didn’t mean to offend!