I don’t think it’ll be a massive surprise to anyone that fantasy is one of my, if not my most, favourite genre of book. There’s something about losing myself in a completely fictional, made up world that captures my attention and leaves me far more impressed than any other genre.
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In fact, I would go as far as to say that epic fantasy may be the best example of fiction you can read and with the likes of Fourth Wing and Harry Potter pushing those who had never experienced fantasy before into the genre, I think more people are starting to realise why it’s so brilliant.
But it’s all well and good me sitting here suggesting that but why do I say that? So I thought I’d write down some actual genuine reasons that I think people will struggle to argue with as to why it’s the best form of fiction you can read!
The worlds are often so big
One of my favourite things about reading epic fantasy is the incredible worlds and number of places these authors manage to conjure up.
Not only do these sort of books often have drawn, realised maps in the front to help you visualise movement throughout the story but these worlds are often deep in their own cultures and differences.
I’m not sure what comes first in these instances – the story or the map. But either way, there are so many examples where these maps are almost works of art in themselves and the author has still managed to make the story feel like it’s tracking the map perfectly.
To be able to encapsulate all of these varying lands including, sometimes, different climates, cultures, races and more is no easy feat and I imagine requires the author to take notes and keep track of their own fictional places.
The cultures and races involved
Not only do fantasy authors have these complex maps drawn up, not only do they then have to make sure that whenever their characters traverse the world that it aligns and makes sense with the map they’ve created but when they get to these places, they’ve got to have their own individual feel.
In almost every good fantasy novel, the author writes in different cities and smaller towns which have folk who have their own beliefs, religions and ways of life.
Again, like the map creation, this must take a copious amount of note-taking to keep track of. I imagine writing down a new race or new set of people and what they believe and then ensuring that their actions and what they say aligns with these takes real concentration and constant checking.
There’s always some form of politics
Now, in real life politics doesn’t interest me. I note the bigger changes and the things that may affect me but I won’t actively go out of my way to seek latest updates on everything going on the political world.
However, when the politics involve Elves fighting Orcs because thousands of years ago they took their lands from them or something, that very much has me interested.
And then you have the likes of Game of Thrones which focuses heavily on the politics of kings and rulers across a great expanse of land. The delicate choices and words said that can make and break empires, kingdoms and armies. It’s fascinating and makes the books seem so much more real and down-to-earth.
This politics also makes any conflicts or unification in fantasy make sense because without it, you’d just have two cultures fighting or becoming friends for no real reason.
The vast cast of characters
In many other genres, you often have a selection of maybe three or four characters, maybe larger if it’s a more expansive book. But within fantasy, you can sometimes have tens of characters.
Now, this isn’t always a good thing as it can sometimes result in you losing track of who is who. However, when done right, this broadens out the world, creates a greater pool of personalities to choose a favourite from and allows this one novel to tell many different stories.
Again, if done right, it is truly an impressive skill that I feel fantasy writers have to spend a lot of time making sure they refine.
The sweeping stories
As a result of all of the above factors: the deep cultures, the vast cast of characters and the large worlds, many authors then have so much to work with when it comes to the story. How many other genres offer you the chance to experience literally multiple stories in one book, sweeping across different countries, experiencing different cultures and so much more?
In some of the truly greatest fantasy novels you can experience character arcs where you hate and then love them, you can experience stories where you see the birth and death of a beloved personality, you can see the rise and fall of whole cities. It’s a genre that, often due to its sheer scope, can offer you a story like so few other genres can!
So there you have it…
There are my reasons why I think fantasy, and epic fantasy to be specific, is the greatest form of fiction you can read. if you want evidence of this, you only have to look at all of the romance-lovers who thought Fourth Wing was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It offered them such a grander world and so much more imagination than the genre they’re used to.
NOW – I don’t want those reading this for whom romance is their favourite genre to think I’m bashing those who love romance. This isn’t the case. This article simply serves to pose my opinion on how one might consider fantasy the greatest form of fiction and why if you’ve not read tried it, why it may be interesting for you.
Let me know your favourite fantasy books that you think uphold some of the factors I wrote above.