We all have them… Guilty pleasures. A candy bar we shouldn’t eat. A TV show we deny watching but can’t get enough of reruns on Hulu. Books, and more specifically tropes in them, are the exact same way.
My favorite guilty pleasures in the fantasy genre are…
Seriously, I mean, really, who doesn’t like elves? They’ve been a staple of human literature since Norse mythology (sort of), Victorian, and Middle Age folklore (again, all in different capacities). What is it we love about these eternal magical beings?
I think I just said eternal magical beings, didn’t I? They’re like the vampires of the high-fantasy world and there’s SO MUCH guilty goodness that can be crammed into the story-line of someone who’s loved a hundred times and lived a thousand years.
There’s something about a castle that I just love. Big castles, small castles, unconventionally shaped castles, they’re all good. Even if they’re not called a “castle” (I’m looking at you again Tolkien) we know what we are. And come on, who didn’t squeal when they first saw the Game of Thrones opening for Kings landing?
Speaking of George R. R. Martin, gotta give him a big shout-out for bringing dragons back to vogue. Dragons are to fantasy what cyborgs are to sci-fi, they are as right together as peanut butter and jelly. They’re like everything we want in a pet, fearsome, near indestructible, fire-breathing, and you can RIDE them. (Okay, everything a fantasy lover wants in a pet)
Also, big shout-out to How to Train Your Dragon on this one as well. I LOVE those movies.
Whenever I read a fantasy where magic isn’t a primary element of the story I feel a bit disappointed. Magic to me is what takes a fantasy from an otherworldly fiction to fantasy. It’s the ultimate wish-fulfillment tool. The fact that anyone, no matter how big or strong they may be physically could be able to harness a power that could change the world. Or, at least make their lives a bit easier.
I’m still waiting on my letter to Hogwarts, for the record.
Only you other high-fantasy geeks will appreciate this one. But I LOVE maps. I love opening a book and finding a map inside. It gives me hope about the depth of the world and the thought the author has put into it. I also love seeing how much there is that we may never get a glimpse of from the main character’s point of view. [Image: Throne of Glass]
Well, there you have it, my personal guilty pleasures with fantasy. Give me a book with any combination of these things and you know I’ll LOVE it. I can say that the Air Awakens series will have 3 out of these five. But… which three? You’ll have to find out when the book is released on August 27th! Pre-order here: http://j.mp/AirAwakensPreorder