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Fantasy Literature. An overview. High Fantasy.

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Fantasy literature
Fantasy Literature

An overview

High fantasy
High Fantasy

  • The type of fantasy that most people expect when they regard “fantasy” as a genre. Includes lords and ladies, medieval styles and settings, kingdoms and castles, and dragons and knights. High fantasy, while generally rooted in classical mythology and medieval European legends, focuses its themes on Good versus Evil. Sometimes called "Epic fantasy.” Often plotted to encompass three or more books.

Heroic fantasy
Heroic Fantasy

  • Fantastical worlds with an almost 'middle-ages' feel, peopled with wizards and sorcerers, communing with dragons and riding pet unicorns to tame a battalion of wild orcs and goblins. Heroes are generally muscle-bound sword-wielding types, determined to rescue a true damsel in distress. Magic is an accepted part of life, although the workings of such are usually left unexplained within this sub-genre.

  • Often overlaps with High Fantasy

Examples of high heroic fantasy
Examples of High/Heroic Fantasy

  • Lord of the Rings trilogy-J.R.R. Tolkien

  • A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones)-George R. R. Martin

Sword and sorcery fantasy
Sword and SorceryFantasy

  • Rollicking tales of high adventure in almost medieval settings. Designed to follow the exploits of the 'hero' as he battles to overcome all the bad guys by use of his trusty sword and some really huge muscles.

  • An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural. Unlike works high fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters.

Sword and sorcery examples
Sword and Sorcery Examples

  • Conan the Barbarian

  • Princess Bride

Young adult fantasy
Young Adult Fantasy

  • Fantasy works with young protagonists that deal with coming of age issues

  • Examples

  • Harry Potter series-J.K. Rowling

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Science fantasy
Science Fantasy

  • Hybrid with elements of science and fantasy

  • Example:

  • Dragon Ball

  • Another type of science fantasy hybrid is superhero fantasy

  • Example:Comic book heroes such as Batman, etc.

Dark fantasy
Dark Fantasy

  • Fantasy with horror elements

Dark fantasy examples
Dark Fantasy Examples

  • Anything by Stephen King

  • Neil Gaiman

    • The Sandman series

    • Coraline

  • Anything by Anne Rice

  • Pan’s Labyrinth

Dark fantasy examples1
Dark Fantasy Examples

Pan’s Labyrinth


Contemporary fantasy
Contemporary Fantasy

  • Fantasy set in the modern world

  • Urban fantasy

    • Defined by setting-must be set in a city

Contemporary urban fantasy examples
Contemporary/Urban Fantasy examples

  • Greywalkerseries-Kat Richardson

  • Mercy Thompson novels-Patricia Briggs

  • Dresden Files series-Jim Butcher

  • Southern Vampire mysteries- Charlaine Harris

  • Rachel Morgan books-Kim Harrison

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Contemporary fantasy examples
Contemporary Fantasy EXAMPLEs

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Comic fantasy
Comic Fantasy

  • Spoof of an existing classic or a light hearted adventure in a fantasy setting

Comic fantasy writers
Comic Fantasy writers

  • Terry Pratchett

  • Piers Anthony

  • Douglas Adams

Comic fantasy examples
Comic Fantasy Examples

Warm Bodies


Fairytale fantasy
Fairytale Fantasy

  • Heavy use of motifs and often plots from folklore

Fairytale fantasy examples
Fairytale Fantasy Examples

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

  • Labyrinth (1986)