Blog Discussion Challenge – WHY I LOVE THE FANTASY GENRE

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I’m participating in a book and reading oriented discussion challenge hosted by Nicole @ Fed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ Starts at Midnight.

WHY I LOVE THE FANTASY GENRE

Topic of 19th January

I’m a great fan of the fantasy genre mainly because it is something I’ve enjoyed since my childhood. The world building is usually pretty complex if the authors put their mind to it and the end results offer readers more than just one story. Take the large amount of fanfiction set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth for example. The main story may be completed but the exploration of the world is far from over. This is just the first thing I love about the genre.

Fantasy literature isn’t afraid of experimenting with tropes, histories, and cultures. Authors construct elaborate magic systems, religions and philosophies, not to mention the detailed history and genesis stories. Some books just radiate the love of their authors and concern for little details and fantastic backgrounds shows that in the most satisfying way.

A myriad of characters to choose from – at least in the latest decades when we can find characters of colour, amazing heroines, and also different sexual orientations. There are also an amazing amount of mystical beings and creatures that populate these universes making the books even more exciting.

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Invented languages, detailed maps, and illustrations – love, love, love. Blame all those wonderful YA fantasy novels I read as a child and teenager for my obsession with maps. I can’t help myself – lovely illustrations are my weakness.

Fantasy series can be quite long – something that may intimidate but if you’re a fan that is a dream come true. You can be immersed in a universe for years! Even staple trilogies make you anticipate new releases with mounting impatience if you get hooked with the first book. Not to mention that longer books hold a larger character ensemble and therefore greater variety of views, attitudes, and shapes, giving each reader someone to root for.

Antiheroes – modern authors love to experiment with them and that is pretty refreshing after you get saturated with the typical hero characters. I also like that villains get the same treatment as heroes nowadays – no more white/good and black/evil delineation. Some villains get downright sympathetic portrayals, making for a very engaging and shocking read – you can change your mind about a character only so many times before your moral compass gets bent out of shape. But that makes these books so fascinating and exciting.

Numerous subgenres offer so much variety – the old school sword and magic adventures, parodies, urban fantasy, romance, fairy tale retellings, historical… Fantasy can be paired up with almost any other genre or genre element. You can have steam punk elements, aliens, or any other idea paired with more traditional fantasy ideas.

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My favourite fantasy books/series are:

Lord of the Rings, Sabriel, Bastard Gentlemen, His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, Earthsea…

Series I intend to start in 2016:

The Kingkiller Chronicles, Wheel of Time, Chronicles of Shannara…

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