I love fantasy. I always have, really. Being able to read about another world with people who go through similar or more difficult trials than we do in real life is always fun, and reading about the creatures that are often placed into fantasy books always draws me in, as well.
Fantasy isn’t just constricted to high fantasy though, a term that means that it’s set in a whole other universe that there are few similarities to our world, and can include magic, mythical beings, sorcery, etc.
There is also low fantasy, which includes a tale written in our own world, but includes some form of magic or some other telling aspect that makes it fantasy.
There are more sub-genres of fantasy, but let me focus on those two for now.
High fantasy is my preferred story to read. Not only do I get to read about the characters in that setting, I get to imagine that world that the author created and built from the ground up in their minds. It’s incredible to think about. Imagine having to come up with your own system of magic, landscape, society, culture, etc. It’s mind blowing and it makes me feel kind of giddy inside.
Some books that I would recommend that involve high fantasy are:
- The “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J Maas. This is a six book YA fantasy series in which the first three books are out. It involves a kickass female assassin named Celaena Sardothian, an evil king, the king’s son, a royal guard, and lot of forbidden elements that fit into this world of no magic. “What? No magic?” It was banished by the king and as you read you find out why it was banished and how. It’s my favorite series to date, so why would I mention it?
- “The Ice Dragon” & “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin. As very popular books, it only fits to mention this series and a companion novel. Set in a world of royals, peasants, kings, and lots of blood and sex, this series is definitely high fantasy. Not only does it include swords, political intrigue, lots of fighting, etc, it includes creatures that are only seen in nightmares, and dragons. Can’t forget the dragons. It’s a very long series, but it’s engaging. I haven’t finished it yet as I’m still working on the first book. I have read and done a review on “The Ice Dragon.”
- “The Lord of the Rings” series by J.R.R. Tolkien. As a modern classic this trilogy is an epic fantasy adventure with hobbits, wizards, elves, dwarves, ogres, men, etc. Though I haven’t read the books in their entirety yet, I do plan to this year. I have seen the movies, though, so yay for references!
There are plenty more series I could list, but those give just an example of what high fantasy can be considered as.
Now for low fantasy, I personally think more of these exist than high fantasy, especially in YA. There are plenty of adult high fantasy novels, but there are also low fantasy ones. A few examples are:
- “The Iron Fey” series by Julie Kagawa. Though the setting mostly takes place in faerie, parts of the story take place in the real world, especially when it gets to the second and third book. It’s a story about faeries, a girl who discovers the truth about herself, love, danger, and more.
- The “Firelight” trilogy by Sophie Jordan. This is a trilogy about dragons and love and the dangers of being a dragon in our world. With the magical aspect of dragons that can change into humans, but are being hunted by humans, it makes for a great low fantasy trilogy to read.
- The “Vampire Academy” series by Richelle Mead. This series is about vampires (duh) that live in our world, but their society is set apart from ours. There are different classifications of vampires and humans and it includes romance, action, and danger. I haven’t finished this whole series, but I figured I’d still list it.
So those are a few examples of low fantasy books, but there are obviously many more books that include many different situations and everything other than what I’ve listed above.
Now I didn’t include sci-fi in this list because I believe that it deserves its own post, which will be coming soon!
I also didn’t include graphic novels or manga in these lists because there are so many different kinds that I wouldn’t know where to begin… Well, except with some of my favorites, but that’s for another post.
Fantasy is one of those genres that I believe will always flourish because there seems to be a need to escape the real world and reach out to ones that don’t (or might) exist.
What are some of your favorite fantasy books? Do you prefer high fantasy or low fantasy? Series, standalones, trilogies? Let me know in the comments!