I love fantasy books.
I’ve started and stopped this blog post several times. I was going to attempt to write why other people don’t like the genre as it would provide me with a starting point to outline, why I’m fascinated by it.
Then, I realized, I can’t do that. I’m not those people. I don’t have access to their thoughts and understanding of the world as to why they feel the way they do towards a particular genre of books. I have friends and family who have told me why they don’t enjoy these types of books; but unless I’ve recorded their conversation and gained their consent to write about their views, there’s no guarantee I would correctly represent their thoughts and ideas in this blog post. A mind is a faulty machine, and time whittles away and bends truths once told to us.
So, let’s forget that.
Here are my reasons why I adore fantasy novels. Fantasy allows me to be swept away to a completely different time where trees may grow upside down and a child might have a two-headed labrador retriever. Unconstrained by our current world and what we already know to be true, the author can commence building their world; a world that is only limited by the author’s imagination. You can create a dark world where “Sluaghs” rule the world and live in black clouds. High up in the clouds, Sluaghs whip chains from above against the humans on earth, and they don’t care what gets caught in the whip on the way down. They randomly kill whales in the sea, trees in their way, and flowers in their path when a Sluagh’s wrist bends forward with the whip to strike anyone or anything below. The more damage they do, the happier the Sluaghs are.
Every person in the world is destined for hell, because they’ve given up and refuse to fight those who are above them.
There is no hope.
Except, then the story turns when a man, Jackson, marries a fairy named, Prydem….
From there, a long history can be created that links families together. The history of the new world can be long and complicated. But as the Reader flips back through the tangled web of alliances forged and then broken, it becomes clear how what happened before, created the world and problems humanity now faces. When reading such passages, I’m instantly mesmerized by the author’s detail in describing the new world or people, and I can’t help but wonder: Wow, how did they come up with that?
Battles are fought both on large and small scales. That’s the beauty of fantasy: it’s the twisted, unexpected turn of events that keeps us belted into our chairs and hanging on tight as we bounce, swerve, and bump along the fantasy ride.
Of course, there’s some familiarity in the creation of fantasy novels with dragons, knights, witches, and wizards but you’ll have absolutely no idea how it will be used because a huge part of the genre is with the use of magic.
With magic, anything is possible.
But here’s the real reason I love fantasy: life is hard, unpredictable, and challenging. Except, when it’s not because there’s a garden to weed, grass to cut, and floors to be swept and mopped. But when I open a book, I love diving in deep and being swept away to another place, far from anything I’ve ever known or expected. Whether the book is four hundred pages and change, or six hundred, if I open a fantasy book, I am transported to another time and place, where a bigger and more unpredictable adventure awaits.
That doesn’t mean I don’t read memoirs, thrillers, or mystery novels. I have, and most certainly, I will continue to do so and those to can transport me to another time or place. But there’s something about reading a well-created new world that stokes my mind and my own imagination. For me, for a few days or weeks, I’ve found a place to hide that’s completely different from anywhere I’ve ever been, and where almost anything, is possible.