I’ve been following with interest the increased number of fantasy books currently being published by LDS writers. Though most of these novels list themselves as middle grade or young adult fantasy, like the popular Harry Potter series, their fans include large numbers of adults as well.
According to Wikepdia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy) the definition of fantasy is as follows:
Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting. Many works within the genre take place on fictional planes or planets where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three (which are subgenres of speculative fiction).
Looking over the many popular fantasy titles, I’ve found that they tend to be loosely grouped in one of three categories’. The first I’ll refer to as Girl Fantasy. In Girl Fantasy there is an element of romance associated with the adventure, intrigue and magic. Here are a few examples that have been published this year.
In Princess of the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George, twelve beautiful princesses are caught up in an evil curse that threatens their health and their sanity. When Galan, an ex-soldier and apprentice gardener falls in love with the eldest daughter of the King he becomes determined to figure out the mystery and free his beloved before it is too late.
In another Girl Fantasy, Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry, Lucinda has been forced to live with her Aunt after her parents are killed while attending a ball. With the use of her quick wits, charm and magical power, she is out to free herself, avenge her parents death and perhaps win the heart of a prince.
Janette Rallison’s book My Fair Godmother is touted as a YA romance, but there is certainly enough magic to qualify it as a Girl Fantasy. It’s been a rough year all around for Savannah. First, her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister. Then when the powers-that-be intervene and send her some magic help, Chrissy shows up. Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar is Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Chrissy, who is only fair as a Godmother, turns Savannah’s life upside down with one misguided wish fulfillment after another.
Wings by Aprilynne Pike, tells the story of a common girl who’s life becomes complicated when tiny wings begin to grow from her shoulders and she discovers that her destiny may be in the faerie realm. This Girl Fantasy has been picked up by a major studio to be made into a movie.
Next week, Other World Fantasy....