If I could only choose one genre to devour until dawn it would, definitely, be fantasy.
I LOVE FANTASY. I was looking at the books I’ve bought this year and 97.3% of my choices are fantasy novels because I have an addiction and I’m not even sad about it. My first fandom was fantasy. My first bookish love was fantasy. The first book I wrote was fantasy. MY FIRST THOUGHT AS A TINY CHILD WAS PROBABLY “I SHALL GROW TALL AND STRONG SO I MAY READ FANTASY NOVELS”. #legit *
“Okay, Cait,” you say, “chill a second and explain? WHY THE INFATUATION????”
Lucky for you, today’s post is entirely dedicated to WHY fantasy is the greatest thing since the Egyptians gave us cake. ** And by the end you are 100% guaranteed to agree with me because I’m very persuasive and also because I’m right and you want to be right too.
* I actually failed at the “grow tall and strong” part, sadly. I am 5’1, although I consider myself strong because I can lift like 30 books SO THERE.
** Although I confess that Google was somewhat divided as to the true creator of cake. The Egyptians were sweetening their bread, but is that really cake??? The Norse gave us the word cake, starting with kaka because that’s how the cool people say it. And then the Europeans got the bright idea to add in baking powder, bless them, and make cakes round with icing. Doubly bless them. CAKE INVENTION WAS A TEAM EFFORT. GO HUMANITY. WE DID GOOD.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “Ten Reasons I Love X“ and since I don’t love X particularly (I mean, it’s a nice letter and it promises treasure, but I wouldn’t marry it or anything) I decided to insert “fantasy books” there. As you do.
1. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE GARGANTUANLY ENDLESS.
Anything can happy in fantasy. ANYTHING. And the combinations of the possibilities are my favourite part. Do you want krakens and sushi and sword fights and wizardry skills? THERE’S PROBABLY A BOOK FOR THAT. It makes everything so exciting!
2. IT’S SO UNRELATABLE THAT IT IS, IN FACT, ENTIRELY RELATABLE.
Okay here it is: I struggle with contemporaries because I never went to highschool. #HomeschoolerConfessions So basically 90% of contemporaries somewhat TERRIFY ME because it’s like they’re happening on another planet anyway. So I might as well read fantasy, peoples, which feels more homey and understandable.
Plus fantasy has a way of weaving in things I’m very well acquainted with but, you know — ADDING DRAGONS. Like, sure, it’s nice to read a book about an sassy human trying to make friends in a contemporary highschool setting. But that storyline becomes waaaaay more interesting when it’s a sassy human trying to make friends IN A JUNGLE WITH MAN EATING PANTHERS AND OH IT JUST SO HAPPENS EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH WILL DIE.
3. DRAGONS. DRAGONS. DRAGONS.
I’ve mentioned it once or twice already, but I’m going to say it again: DRAGONS. Show me any book ever and I will tell you how it’d be better with dragons.
(By the way, it mildly concerns me about the lack of dragons on the shelves these days. What is wrong with the universe???? SOMEONE PUT A DRAGON IN HERE.)
4. WHEN I READ I GET TO BE THE CHARACTERS, ERGO I GET TO BE AWESOME.
A really really well written book makes me feel like I am inside the book. Ergo why would I choose an average awkward day in reality — WHEN I COULD BE RAISING ARMIES OF THE DEAD AND LEADING THEM TO VICTORY OR DESTRUCTION OR WHICHEVER BECAUSE I’M NOT EVEN FUSSED.
I like to imagine myself with epic fantastical hair with the ability to do backflips on a moving magical pegasus. *
* I mean, obviously I actually haven’t actually tried doing backflips on a pegasus so I’m just making an assumption to the difficulty level here.
5. THERE ARE SO MANY DELIGHTFUL TROPES THAT YOU ONLY FIND IN FANTASY.
Tropes are not all bad! In fact, there are some tropes that you only need whisper very cautiously in my ear and I will sprint across nine galaxies blindfolded with only pistachios for snacks to get to read the book about them.
- FOR INSTANCE…I adore these tropes:
- The lost/forgotten/runaway royalty: I don’t know how fantasies always lose their royalty, but it’s FUN TO READ ABOUT. Although this would be solved with a kiddie leash, honestly. Get it together, fantasy governments. But seriously you say “lost princess”, I say “I’m reading this”.
- Small Sassy Warrior Everyone Underestimates: I love anything with sass, but also when they’re a freakishly fantastic fighter and everyone is like “Go home baby child!” and then — WHAM — seven civilisations have been decimated.
- Assassin All The Things: Provided the assassin is actually an assassin and doesn’t just pretend to be one (because that is the most annoying of ever) this trope is FUN.
- Let’s Gamble For A Kingdom: Or, you know, gambling for anything. Like when wits collided and the stakes are high — me likey.
6. FANTASY IS GENERALLY VERY PRODUCTIVE.
You get like 400-pages basically to:
a) defeat the evil overlord
b) win your true love
c) recover from some massive wound
d) get a talking pet cat probably
e) discover you have magical powers
f) walk 1000 miles and then like like another dozen or so because your map sucks
g) learn epic fight skills in probably 3 days
h) rescue a few people
j) come back to life maybe
k) sit down for at least one nice warm meal of butter and potatoes and pudding
YOU GET SO MUCH DONE IN A FANTASY NOVEL IT MAKES YOU FEEL MONSTROUSLY PRODUCTIVE! And then makes you feel a little guilty that you spent like 3 hours on that one photo for bookstagram, but pfffffft. That’s different.
7. YOU GET TO ADMIRE THE AUTHOR’S HEAD AND BRAINCELLS WITHIN.
Which is…kind of creepy when written out like that. I’m sure, if I ever meet an author, the first thing that’ll bust out of my mouth will be, “HELLO I AM A HUGE FAN OF YOUR HEAD AND THE BRAINCELLS INSIDE IT.”
But do you know how much thinking energy goes into creating fantasy worlds?!? Like sure you get to base it off our world, usually, but creating magic systems? Hierarchies? Creatures? Huge casts of characters? Cultures? Customs? Religion? Geography? History? HOW MANY MOONS IT HAS?????? It all adds up and it’s rather ginormous and impressive.
8. THERE IS MAGIC AND YOU ARE 100% ABLE TO WHISPER TO YOURSELF “YER A WIZARD” AND FEEL FABULOUS.
Magic is awesome. No denying. Reading books about wizards with magic lets YOU be a wizard with magic and you CANNOT LOOK AT ME and say you don’t wish you had magic occasionally. Or all the time. I especially wish I had magic when I’m trying to carry 495849 books home from the library and, heck yes, I could use one of those magical bottomless bags.
9. EVERYBODY IS USUALLY STABBING SOMEONE IT’S JUST DOWNRIGHT EXCITING BASICALLY.
Not that all other genres are all gooey fluffy marshmallow sandwiches, of course. BUT! With fantasy it’s more likely to be death by sword fights or a man-eating-tree or neglected kraken. YOU CAN NEVER TELL. And the stakes are generally higher. There’s no going to prison, ahahahaha, nope. OFF WITH ALL THE HEADS. DOWN WITH THE KING. DEATH TO ALL WHO SAY NO.
(Yes I’m quite fine. Normal even.)
10. IT’S DELIGHTFUL ESCAPISM (UGH, REALITY, GET IT OFF ME)
Sometimes reality is just…ugh. There is nothing more delicious than opening a book and popping inside of it for a while to live amongst pointy knives and crowns and lost princesses and socially awkward wizards.
Plus fantasy is an excellent way of processing reality. Let’s talk about discrimination: but via trolls and hedgehog wars. Let’s talk about the value of education: but via illiterate heroes who want to better themselves. Let’s talk about acceptance: with a fantasy world with no sexism.
I have to put up with reality ALL DAY so ‘scuse me while I want a break and a dragon.