Just so we’re clear: fantasy books in general make me happy. However, there are just a few tropes and standards that I love a little more than all the others. Things that keep me coming back for more!
1. The “Prince Hector” archetype
I’m sure it has another name, but I associate this with characters like Wilek Hadar, Chaol Westfall, and Torian Ahlen. “Prince Hector” is the dutiful son, usually of nobility, with a strong sense of loyalty and morality. He values his people, his family, and his honor above life and how can you not love everything about that?
2. Redemption Arcs
There is something beautiful in watching characters redeem themselves after being evil. It reassures me that no one is ever too far gone and there is always hope.
3. Magical Beasts
I don’t think I need to explain this one.
4. Outlandish Cultures
While I have been known to rant over logistically/anthropologically implausible societies, I do like meeting new and exciting communities between the pages. It gives us a taste of possibility, of what the world could be like with magic, a certain technology, a curse, etc.
5. Earth Magic
I mention earth magic apart from regular magic because to me, it has its own unique charm. The very idea of tangible unity between oneself and one’s environment has a kind of enchantment. It serves as a reminder of how dependent we are upon the world we live in.
6. Dark Sorcery
Converse to earth magic, dark sorcery in books represents the fearsome side of people, the side we would rather keep hidden. Our destructive and self-serving tendencies. The description itself is pretty darn dark, but I appreciate how it explores such a deep-seated aspect of our humanity.
More specifically, lifelong marriages. I mean, the way things are going, this is becoming more fantastical than anything I’ve mentioned so far. The idea that people can fall in love and stay in love forever is just too good to pass up.
I love military history in general, so combining that with all the above? Yes, please!
Tied to redemption is the idea that it’s possible for people who have been wronged to forgive even when the other person isn’t sorry. It is truly a massive part of healing and moving on.
What are some of your favorite things in fantasy books? Or just your favorite genre? Books in general? Let me know in the comments!