Discussion: Why I Read Fantasy

Fantasy the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.

Today is all about fantasy, one of my go to genres. The rise of fantasy is not surprising. From the Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, people have always gravitated towards books that make the impossible possible. There are a lot of reasons people gravitate towards fantasy novels and today I want to highlight the qualities I love the most in a fantasy.

bilbo-hobbit-middle-earth

Adventure

One of the reasons I find we turn to fantasy is for that sense of adventure. With fantasy you can always expect a grand journey. The circumstances vary but at the end of the day we can always count on fantasy books to take us on adventure. It gives us something to root for. We see our protagonist at their highest moments and their lowest. We are with them from the beginning to the end, like a fly on a wall. It’s that struggle and hope that festers within an adventure that keeps us hooked.

An adventure is also an escape. We can step into this world and follow the exhilarating rush that comes with an adventure. In fantasy, these adventures are full of surprises and danger and with that we get to see how characters react to each scenario and also wonder how we’d react to those situations. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s addictive. Once you get sucked into an adventure you find that you simply cannot stop and have to see it to the end.

tumblr_nv1oqhzpcz1sfmnojo1_500

Magic and Mayhem

A key component in most fantasy books. Magic takes a book to a whole new dimension. The effectiveness of magic comes in the way its system is established and when it’s done right it can take the book to a whole new level of epic. There’s a sense of unpredictability that comes with magic. It explores new heights and new limitations. For example, in the Shades of Magic trilogy, magic is an entity of it’s own. Certain characters can harness it’s power or a strand of it but there are limitations. The cause and effect of magic in the Shades of Magic was incredibly thought out. On top of that magic itself becomes the source of conflict for our protagonists. The characterisation of magic in Osaron made it a dangerous foe but that doesn’t mean it was without it’s limitations. Unraveling those secrets about magic and the complexity of such a system brings that otherworldly vibe to the book.

oz-the-great-and-powerful-samme-mejias-7

A Different World

Fantasy also gives us an opportunity to step into a new world. One where anything is possible. We could face a world with elemental magic and otherworldly beasts, a world ruled by destruction and chaos, or simply a world within another world. Within these worlds our characters face different circumstances and it’s always interesting to follow the way a character has been shaped by the world they were raised in. How the desire for magic can turn into greed. How the oppressed can become rulers. With a new world comes a new set of rules and with that our characters are forced to adapt to this world to ensure their survival. It’s fascinating and complex and when you come across a universe rich in it’s world building it makes it so much easier to immerse yourself in the book.

gonegirl

Humanity

Personally the highlight of fantasy books is the way that they explore human nature. Humans are complex creatures. Fantasy books can dazzle us with the adventure and the magic but the way they explore humanity is what keeps them grounded. Take Finnikin of the Rock. This story is about a community of people exiled from their land. Some fled, others remain trapped in their world under the authority of their conqueror. Neighbours sacrificed one another for the sake of their own preservation. With them scattered across the land, we explore that sense of identity. Who are they now that they’ve lost their home? How can they unite after they themselves did horrible things for the sake of survival? How do you find hope? Love? Yes, it’s a fantasy setting and there is magic and wonder, but it’s the characters that steal the show. Exploring the intricacy of human nature in these worlds makes it easier to root for them. We’re invested in these characters and will them to succeed, even those who blur the lines between right and wrong. The allure of the magic, new world and promise of adventure has us indulging in fantasy but it’s the characters that make us stay.

Fantasy Recommendations

Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo:
Morally complex characters. Non-stop action. Rich world building. Squad goals.

Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab:
Intricate magical system. Cross-dressing pirates. Broody, black-eyed prince. Parallel London’s.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta:
An exploration of human nature
. A search for hope in the hopeless. Stunning romance.

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
No magic. A world on the brink of war. Forbidden romance. Brains over brawn.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater:
The search for a dead Welsh King. Incredible character insights and exploration of friendship. The question of fate.

Those are the qualities I love most in a fantasy book.
What do you look for in fantasy?
What are your fantasy book recommendations?

 

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “Discussion: Why I Read Fantasy

  1. I love this post, Lois. I agree with every point of yours. I especially agree with the point about adventures. I love the sense of escape that adventures can give too and I always love exploring new worlds, with new magical and political systems. I think fantasy really speaks to the creativity of authors. And just imagine, there’s SO MUCH that can be explored that still hasn’t been. I’ll admit lately I haven’t been feeling many of the YA fantasy books particularly. They all feel cookie-cutter, but fingers crossed something will come in the near future that’s as amazing as some of the old-school ones you’ve mentioned! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fantasy books are my go-to when I crave to go on adventure when I can’t physically go on one myself. It keeps me sated until I actually book my own adventure haha. I am always awed at the intricacy and details that go into the worlds. The amount of time and research authors must put into them is impressive. That’s the only downside of fantasy, sometimes they can get a bit too generic.

      Like

  2. Such a great post! I wasn’t a big fantasy reader, and then I started blogging, the recommendations came quickly and…here I am, loving fantasy, my second favorite genre after contemporary. I definitely agree with everythnig you wrote here, I love the adventure, the different world and complex world-building there is at times, it is so fascinating!
    Your recommendations are on point! I haven’t read the last book in The Winner’s trilogy yet but I’m looking forward to it. I also need to read Six of Crows someday ahah πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Contemporary and fantasy are my two go-to genres, it all depends on my mood as to which one I go for.
      You must get round to The Winner’s Kiss. Everything comes to ahead in the book!!! How have you not read Six of Crows! You are missing out on the wonder that is Kaz Brekker. Plus it has the best female friendship I’ve encountered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know – I think I’m the only blogger left who hasn’t read Six of Crows ….. I’m ashamed a little bit ahah. But there is a great female friendship?!! Okay. I didn’t know that. I need to get to it really soon now ahah. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, I totally agree with you! Fantasy is such a beautiful genre. Although there are so many classics that I still have to check out–and I will!–I just love entering a fully developed world with amazing characters. Six of Crows was definitely an AMAZING book. I haven’t read its sequel and something just makes me want to leave it like that.. Fear that the finale will somehow ruin something for me. I definitely hope to read Schwab’s trilogy though!! It has been too long that it has been on my TBR!! Great post!!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve not read a lot of the classic fantasies. Does my dad reading the lord of the rings to me as a kid count? Crooked Kingdom personally was an incredible sequel. It has the same elements that made Six of Crows wonderful but the stakes are higher. Shades of Magic is definitely one to check out as well. Hopefully you can get to reading it soon and that you can enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. YAYYYY. Your first discussion post has gone live. :’)

    Fantasy is my favorite genre and the one I reach for by default. (The fact that HP got me into reading might possibly have something to do with that.) Anyway, I couldn’t agree more with your reasons. Aside from manga (and Sarah Dessen or books with with POC and/or LGBTQ+ characters), I think I get bored with contemporary novels too easily since it’s set in the world we live in. But I rarely find fantasy novels tedious unless there’s a lot of info dumping within a short period of time. I also love the imaginative worlds and fantastical creatures. Plus, there’s so many great creative liberties writers have with books form that genre.

    Oh and it pleases me SO MUCH to see A Darker Shade of Magic, Six of Crows, and The Winner’s Curse to be on the recommendation list.

    I know you’ve said that you’re not sure if you want to read any of Clare’s books… but I’m still going to recommend The Infernal Devices just because my bae, Jem, resides in the shadowhunter world. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha my first discussion post this year at least.

      I love contemporary books, it’ll be the next discussion post, but I do think that they can get a bit repetitive and that’s when I turn to fantasy, although I’ve still not read Potter. Info dumping is a major turn off. I can cope with the slow pace when trying to establish the world because it makes it easier to follow.

      haha I know I should read TID but my interest in the Shadowhunter world has diminished for the time being. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be pulled back to it.

      Like

  5. Awesome Post! Fantasy is my favorite genre too! I love living in a fictional place and loosing myself in it. I love the adventure, the magic, the otherworldly creatures, wonderful world building and also the action. I loved six of crows! The Winner’s Trilogy and The Shades of magic are already in my binge tbr shelf. I’ve heard great things about The Finnikin Of Rock but I never gave it a shot.
    For book recommendations, I would recommend Star Touched Queen By Roshani Chokshi, Unhooked By Lisa Maxwell, Caraval By Stephanie Garber, Grisha Trilogy by leigh Bardugo, The Final Empire By Brandon Sanderson, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s just so easy to immerse yourself in a fantasy book. How I forgot to include The Final Empire is beyond me. That series crushed me in every possible way but it was so worth it. The Lunar Chronicles is another favourite and the best fairy tale retellings I’ve come across. I’ve been meaning to read Caraval but I just need to find the time to fit it in.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. GREAT discussion post, Lois! I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said here, and you’ve pretty much nailed MY reasons for reading fantasy too. There’s just something about transporting yourself to another world completely, marveling at one person’s imagination and creativity where they play god and create different governments, schools, continents, creatures, laws of physics, etcetera. It’s so fascinating for me to read. High fantasy is definitely my favorite subgenre – combining non-technological eras with magic is truly such a delight to read.

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m awed by the intricacies that go into creating their world. How people can come up with such creative and complex world is incredible and the attention to detail floors me every time. You can never go wrong with turning to a fantasy book. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ˜€

      Like

  7. Loved this post! I really didn’t read too much fantasy before last year (aside from Harry Potter of course) but I have found myself falling more and more in love with fantasy. I read the Raven Cycle last year and fell in love with the characters & Steifvater’s writing. The Shades of Magic trilogy has become one of my favorite series EVER. I really need to look into The Winner’s Trilogy… I know you’ve recommended it before this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve still not read Harry Potter yet haha. It’s one of those series I have to be in the mood to read. The Shades of Magic series has got to be a favourite of mine as well. The characters are so wonderfully complex and Schwab’s writing is so atmospheric.
      The Winner’s Trilogy is a perfect series to binge read. It has a lot of angst but the political intricacies are incredible and the romance is heartbreakingly stunning.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/10 – 7/16/17

    • I always find I have to be in the right mood to read certain fantasy books and the Winner’s Trilogy was one of them but I am so glad I read them. It has a lot of angst but the political maneuvering and intellectual components of the book was incredible, as was the romance haha.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s