Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top Ten Reasons I Love High Fantasy

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

HELLO, my name is Blogger Gillian, and I would like to share with you the most amazing book genre

High faaaantasyyyyyyy! The genre of dreams, the best of the best, the queen of the bookstore (at least, in my opinion). Here's why, to me, fiction set in lands so faraway they don't actually exist will always be the best kind.

1. A Whole New World

The sky is the limit. Sometimes literally. FLY THOSE WARRIOR DRAGONS INTO THE SUN! High fantasy is the genre of pure imagination. I like seeing the kinds of worlds and magic that brilliant minds can create for me, full of visuals and fun twists on reality. BUILD ME A LAND OF DREAMS, O TALENTED AUTHORS. Construct entire worlds with different rules and customs and people with wings and matriarchies and conquering empresses and talking cats and castles in the sky and and ANYTHING YOU THINK OF

bonus points if you add DRAGONS

2. Escapism

The real world is dreary. We have traffic here. And taxes. And cereal made of oats and flax and healthy things. Nobody ever makes Queen Aelin eat flax.

3. Everything is usually deeply terrible

Okay, maybe that makes no sense coming right after "escapism" as a pro, but honestly, people in high fantasies often have the worst lives ever, but at least none of that will ever happen to ME! So it's still escapism! Just the VERY DRAMATIC KIND. Since there is so very little chance I will ever be forced into a competition for assassins or be forced to masquerade as a false princess and be executed should I fail. it's like, take your real life problems but dial them up to eleven and then light them on FIRE.

click BOOM

4. Catharsis

SO MANY PEOPLE ARE STABBED. Stabby stab stab! I can read about fictional people being stabbed so I don't ever end up stabbing people in real life. High fantasy keeps crime rates down, you guys.

yaas queen

5. It's the genre of my youth

It's hard to compete with the things that imprinted on your heart at a young age, because when you're young your heart is basically a big squishy ball of clay, and anything that touches it then makes a very deep and lasting impression. When I was a sprog, I subsisted on two genres: historical (AMERICAN GIRL ALWAYS AND FOREVER) and high fantasies like Ella Enchanted and Tamora Pierce. 


So to me, fantasy will always be the genre of my heart. Every book with a warrior girl or a dragon or a handsome prince or a mighty sword DESTINED TO SAVE US ALL etc etc insert trope here will turn me instantly into that squealing, starry-eyed ten year old who thought Alanna of Trebond hung the moon.

(She does, by the way. Go read The Song of the Lioness. This is your homework.)

6. Romance is always so much romancier with high fantasy stakes!

I love romance in every genre, it is true. I like banterful fluff-fests, and historical hotchacha replete with breeches and petticoats, and even sometimes exquisite contemporary sob-inducers set in the summer time. But I especially love when people are in love while KINGDOMS BURN. Like, that definitely ups the drama factor considerably for me.

7. The covers are GODS DAMN GLORIOUS

Okay. So I'm shallow. BUT HIGH FANTASY COVERS.

8. It's like six genres all tangled together

I'm going to plagiarize myself here because Past Gillian really said it best: "It has elements of all the other genres: it's got a plot like a thriller, it can be creepy as horror, it should have feels like a contemp, cool old timey bits like a historical, and (if you really want to make Gillian very very happy) it should bring the swoons like a romance novel. PLUS MAGIC."

9. Fantasy is getting creative

Obviously I love high fantasy (or else why on earth would I write this post), but I'm not blind to its pitfalls. Like any genre, it has its stock tropes, which means a lot of derivative books are written about young white elf dudes named, like, Shmegolas who must destroy the bling by throwing it into Mount Gloom to defeat the evil Pauron because he is the violet-eyed Chosen One whose birth was was foreseen by the centaurs blah blah blah

But because all that's been DONE, the really good high fantasy writers are twisting the common tropes! And bending the rules! And exploring cultures both real and fantastical that have not been explored before! And they're writing them about WOMEN and POC and QUILTBAG characters and disabled characters and and and ALL SORTS OF CHARACTERS! I would say oh, fantasy, never change, except the best part about fantasy is how it so very much can change.

10. It's simply magical.


  1. I don't read much fantasy however I should since there are LOTS Of YA books that interest me in the genre. I like the sound of some fun escapism and of course, enjoying a new world. :)

  2. I'm definitely getting more into fantasy recently. I agree with your points about it!

  3. I love fantasy and dragons are the best! My favourite is The Game of Thrones which I have been watching on TV and just recently begun listening to the audio books which fill in the gaps the TV show can't include. My TTT

  4. High Fantasy keeps crime rates down. I'm dying. This is a great list!

  5. I actually started Alanna yesterday. I'm doing my homework early. I actually wrote my post today on Pierce's Beka Cooper series.

  6. Everything is just so dramatic in high fantasy - the romance, the issues - everything is life or death - love it too!

  7. YES!!! To all of this. But "High fantasy keeps crime rates down" is definitely my favorite. :)

  8. I agree with every single point on your list. I absolutely love it (and fantasy)!

  9. Great post! I love all varieties of fantasy!
    My TTT:

  10. Recently I've definitely been getting into more fantasy, and this list just makes me want to read even more straight away! Definitely agree about so many of these, particularly the escapism and the romance :)
    Heres my TTT

  11. I love fantasy of all types, whether it's in our world or a different one. I love the fact that anything can happen.

    My TTT list


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