If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, or even popped by on and off, you might have found it no surprise that I read a bit of everything. From contemporary fiction to high fantasy, I like to almost keep myself guessing, depending on what I pick up next.
Over the last year or so, I’ve found out how much I enjoy fantasy books, both YA and adult fiction. It was a big surprise to me, in the best of ways, to found that I loved losing myself in such deep worlds. I even know exactly what book it was that started me off on this adult journey of loving fantasy: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood.
Oddly enough, I had never heard of Sarah J Maas before. I was drawn to Crescent City because of the synopsis and the stunning cover, without ever having heard of A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass, her long established and very well known series. So when a friend gifted me Crescent City from my birthday wishlist last year, I just fell in love. From there, I moved on to other Sarah J Maas books, but also so many other books and authors that I had previously missed out on.
So today I’m going to talk about why it is that I love reading fantasy, after finding out I do, and sharing a few links to reviews of just some of the fantasy books I’ve read in the time since.
One of my favourite things about reading fantasy is the fact that the rules are only the ones the author makes. You want immortality? Sure! Wings? No problem. Talking animals? On it. It’s like taking the instructions and scribbling them all out, only to write your own. The amount of freedom in that, both for author and reader, is wonderful.
On top of that, having this freedom makes plotlines possible that wouldn’t always be so without fantasy being involved. Having characters that are hundreds or thousands of years old, who are super powerful, who have healing abilities… All of these things allow plot points to take place that are far beyond that of “reason”.
It turns out, I love these things. I love watching rules be broken, only to be stitched back together with the author’s imagination and the readers encouragment. I love knowing that people can fly, change their appearance, and are fighting secret wars to keep the human population safe. I love books that take myths to inspire them and twist them into their own form, so there is a familiar foundation to some of what is happening, and I also love books where whole universes are created within the pages with no link to outside it.
Finding how much I loved fantasy was a surprise for me. Beyond reading Harry Potter as a child / teen, I’d spent most of my time reading classics, historical fiction, and history text books. In a way, Crescent City made me let go of the worries that were holding me back; that I’d look foolish, that fantasy was for children, that we have to be grown ups at all times. But that’s the wonder of books where you can escape into them; you don’t have to be anything that you don’t want to be.
Even books where the fantasy and magic is more believable, with things like Rivers of London, where magic is going on right inside the police force under strict guidelines it not be seen, a well written magical world that is plausible can be even more fun. It can make you just wonder, if only for a moment, if it is happening, and you’re missing out.
Fantasy has fed my creative soul, my wandering soul, right from the corner of my sofa. I love other genres, too, and I’ll talk about some of them on other days, but fantasy has captured my heart, and I’m in no desire to rush getting it back.