Whenever the small voice at the back of my mind tells me that I should read more classics novels, it is quickly silenced by the roar of dragons or the clash of swords. So I thought I would explore why this is.
Probably the greatest and most obvious point is the number of possibilities available to fantasy books. Most fiction involves ordinary people who are exposed to extraordinary circumstances. It is, for the most part, escapism. I consider fantasy to be the ultimate escapism because these circumstances are no longer limited to the realm of the possible. The scope broadens.
The worlds we find ourselves in are different to our own at the same time as they are similar. We see new cultures and new worlds with new rules. Our characters face challenges we never could, overcome obstacles that do not exist for us. They are often able to do this because magic is a great leveller. Our scrawny young heroes are no longer outmuscled, because now it is intelligence that gives them strength, or skill, or practice, or strength of will. Harry Potter didn’t defeat Voldemort (spoilers) because he was the toughest kid on the playground.
To me, fantasy transcends the label of a genre. It often isn’t what the book is about; it is the setting for characters to interact in, and for the plot to unwind in. A fantasy novel can also be romance, action-adventure, mystery, crime, heist, horror, tragedy. The feel and focus of the Discworld series is as different to the Broken Empire series as it is to a James Patterson novel.
We fantasy fans are not limiting ourselves, as many of the uninitiated may think. We are exploring possibilities not available to our friends, the fans of mainstream fiction.
Thank you for reading. Speaking of Discworld and Broken Empire series, we have reviews/articles of both if you would like to take a look. We have also written our own fantasy fiction, so why not check out The Walk of Shadows: Footsteps, The Vox, The Yesterday Key, and our series The Demons’ Cry.