Lord of the Rings, Shannara, Forgotten Realms, all standard fantasy involving heroes, elves, dwarves, and so on. They’re quite popular. But are you sick of it? Do you prefer other kinds of fantasy?
The Wheel of Time is a pretty typical heroic fantasy. The main character is from a small village and goes on a quest with friends and magic users to defeat the evil overlord. And he’s also got some big destiny waiting for him. That’s pretty typical fantasy there. It’s a long series, too.
A Song of Ice and Fire is the hot thing today. It’s not your typical heroic fantasy. In fact, I’d say there are no heroes at all. It’s very dark and gritty with lots of sex and violence. Many people die. No one is safe. It’s less fantastic, more medieval. It has some magic, and it has dragons, but it’s mostly humans, giants, and the undead.
Malazan Book of the Fallen is another atypical fantasy. It’s quite original in terms of the races. Everything is original about this, except humans, and there are dragons. From the unique magic system to the intriguing god/Ascendant based religions, we have a very interesting world. It’s also very violent, dark, and has a lot of death. And yes, there are dragons, too. No heroes here, though. This is military fantasy.
The Sword of Truth series is another fantasy series, though the races tend to be only humans. But there are dragons! And swordsmen, wizards, and other magic users. And the main character is a typical from-the-countryside-you-have-a-destiny type of hero. This is very typical hero fantasy.
Forgotten Realms, and in particular, the very long series about Drizzt Do’Urden, is another fantasy series with a hero. And here, we have the very standard races, elves, dwarves, and so on. This is about as typical as it gets, to be honest. Drizzt is our hero, a dark elf hero. Not quite typical, as he’s not some naive farm boy. He does grow up to be something great, though.
There are many more examples. So, do you like heroic fantasy? Please answer the poll below, and leave a comment explaining your choice.