I’ve previously written on why everyone should read a fantasy book at least once. But today, it’s all about the High Fantasy, why it’s brilliant, and why you should definitely be stocking some more on your “To Read” lists on Goodreads.
What is High Fantasy?
High Fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy, which is based around an epic, secondary world and/or by the epic nature of it’s themes (good vs evil).
As opposed to your Low Fantasy settings, which have a magical element based in the “real world”, High Fantasy worlds are a completely different world, with different political systems, geography, and of course, magic systems.
What’s so good about it?
It’s imagination as it’s limits. Unlike science fiction (which is another genre I do love), it takes a step beyond what could actually be possible and comes up with the craziest, impossible creatures, worlds and magic systems.
And the best bit? You completely by it. Done well, High Fantasy takes you to a different world and makes you really work your imagination to create the monsters and magic that inhabit it.
Not only is it good for the worlds, it’s also a great medium to take grand themes and really analyse them. Not just the traditional “Good vs Evil”, but can very real world topics like diversity, disability or race, and make you think about them in a new light. How jarring does it read to be abled, when the world you’re reading is designed around a particular disability?
Why I’m writing a High Fantasy story.
I’ve grown up reading High Fantasy, and if I’m honest, it’s the genre closest to my heart. It has the most potential to create a world, with all of its complexities and problems, and then take your reader through a journey in that world.
And whilst they’re on that journey, you get the opportunity to add in themes that matter to you, and show the reader why you’re passionate about it. My particular brand of passion is about feminism, specifically female heroines, which is why my story features so many of them.
I want to write a story that can join the ever-growing space of female-led characters in fantasy. I want to write a story to show that to be a hero, your gender doesn’t matter. That to be a hero, the only requirement is you are unashamedly, unequivocally, yourself.
Want to read some Fantasy?
I’ve linked some of my favourite High Fantasy reads below – these are only the few that I can see on my bookshelf. There are hundreds of authors out there, indie and traditionally published, with great stories ready for you to read – so have a go! See what worlds you can travel to.
The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)
The Magicians’ Guild (Trudi Canavan)
The Elf Queen of Shannara (Terry Brooks)
The Eye of the World (Robert Jordan)
Photo Credit: Photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash