Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View! In the days before my looong blogging hiatus, I never missed a week of participating in Follow Friday, so I figured it was time to rejoin the fun and discover some new blogs. This Friday the featured blogger is Diane @ Diane's Book Blog. The post prompt is:
"What are ten reasons why you love your favorite genre?"
My answer: Er, so I have to pick a favorite genre? I read a lot of different genres, but according to my shelf cloud on Goodreads, I have read the most books belonging to the fantasy genre. So,
here are the top ten reasons why I love fantasy:
1. Escapism: It may be a cliché, but fantasy novels do provide the ultimate escapism to readers. We can immerse ourselves in a fantastic world where almost nothing resembles our day-to-day lives and escape from mundanity and our troubles. That's not to say that works of fantasy cannot draw on powerful themes relevant or even allegorical to our own world (even the zany Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was partially a political and philosophical statement), but a little escapism never hurt anyone.
2. Complexity: Fantasy is a very immersive genre, and the world-building tends to get a little complex. Try explaining the world of His Dark Materials to someone who has never read the books. As the popularity of Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) have proven, readers actually seem to love being immersed in a complex world with lots of characters and warring factions--I know I definitely do!
3. Novelty: I once read and reviewed a YA fantasy about a highly successful eighteenth-century pirate who was reincarnated into one hundred different dogs and then into a teenage girl determined to dig up the treasure she had hidden so many lifetimes ago. Great book! With fantasy, anything goes as long as it's well-written and features good characters. Unlike other genres, it does not rely on the same tired old tropes...
4. Familiarity: Or does fantasy rely on the same old tropes? The wise old wizard, the orphan boy who turns out to be a magical hero, the evil queen...yeah, many of these stock characters are familiar. And there is also something comforting about the familiarity of these characters, as well as an eagerness to see how the writer switches up the tropes. For example, Quentin from The Magicians seems like a classic "chosen one," but unlike Harry Potter, he doesn't have the strongest moral compass in the world.
5. Variety: Not the same thing as novelty at all! Here I mean that fantasy has a whole umbrella of fantastical sub-genres. There's urban fantasy, epic or high fantasy with dungeons and dragons, steampunk, historical fantasy, dark fantasy, I could go on. There's something for everyone.
6. Mythology: As a huge mythology geek, I love seeing how fantasy writers build upon and transform beings and creatures from mythology from different cultures in their work. (There is a limit, now. Vampires probably shouldn't sparkle.) I particularly love the Percy Jackson series and the new Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan. If you haven't read Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, it is REALLY good.
7. My Childhood: Fantasy was the first genre I really got into reading, which is probably why it dominates on my Goodreads shelf cloud. The books we read in our formative years really shape us as readers and as people.
8. Humor: the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. Enough said. Er, written.
9. Harry Potter: As is the case for many people, these books were the ones which made me into the voracious reader I am today. I have never succeeded in the quest to read a book as magnificent as Harry Potter, but that never stopped me from trying.
10. The Lord of the Rings: Another of my favorites, and also a source of inspiration for most every fantasy author who has written since Tolkien. These books have a way of shaping the way you perceive the world.
I hope you enjoyed reading about why I adore fantasy, and please, if you feel so inclined, leave a link in the comments so I can follow you back at your blog!