Behind the Books, Book reviews and recommendations, Educational

Fantasy Series – A Closer Look at the Genre – Part 1

There are many fantasy fans among our readers in Kildare Libraries so Elaine in Library HQ has taken a look at this genre in depth. This will be a series of interesting articles on the various types of fantasy writing, appearing on this blog once a week.

Part 1 – Introduction

I thought I would do a series explaining most of the various sub-genres in the fantasy genre, seeing as it is a very popular genre that pops up practically everywhere in video games, literature, films and television series. 

So, first of all, what is fantasy? Possibly the best definition is that fantasy is set in a fictional universe or world without referencing real-world events, locations and people and containing imaginary or unrealistic things such as magic and yet is also similar to our own world. So basically, anything with fantastical elements or an imaginary world is termed fantasy. A few examples would be Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, the Twilight Saga, myths, fairy tales and legends. Consequently, the fantasy genre is not a definite genre unlike crime or historical fiction, being instead a mish-mash of different elements, which allows for enormous diversity in fantasy fiction. And in recent decades fantasy’s popularity has exploded, resulting in a bewildering variety of choices. 

So why is fantasy so popular? There are a variety of reasons why. First of all, fantasy can be a gateway to other worlds, allowing the reader to briefly escape from reality to explore or experience immersive worlds which may evoke a sense of wonder (Richardson, 2014). Another reason is that fantasy tends to be easy to read and character-driven, although this depends on the author (NMDL, 2015). Finally, fantasy offers the freedom to explore the human condition, ideas and themes and can also serve as an antidote to cynicism which is a large part of its appeal (ROR ) 

Keep an eye out for Part 2 Coming of Age, Young Adult, Children, Comic and Anthropomorphic Fantasy coming next week to the Kildare Libraries Blog.

References

Why Read Fantasy? The Power Of World Building – Jill Richardson, 2014

Why Is Fantasy Such A Popular Genre?  Niles-Maine Library staff 2015

Fantasy Why Is It So Popular     – Ripping Ozzie Reads, date unknown

Fantasy Subgenres Guide – Bestfantasybooks.com

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