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Classifying Fantasy Subgenres
Many books are classified with the broad term “fantasy” but there are many subgenres within this that need to be discussed. Not every style of writing fantasy appeals to every person so I am going to break down five of the most frequently seen fantasy subgenres plus gives you some required, I mean, recommended reading if you want to try this new genre!
Has fantasy elements but takes place in a city setting, usually more modern. Think werewolves and vampires or magic in a large metropolis.
Our world has a parallel magical world in which a lot of customs and traditions are the same but there is the presence of magic
A new world is created with it’s own sets of rules, lands, and cultures typically different from our own although they may bear some resemblance to our world. There is usually a Hero or Heroine that drives the story forward and a large cast of characters.
Mostly a “catch-all” for everything that isn’t Quest Driven or Hero-centric. This has a changing definition and many people use it as they see fit to describe fantasy books that they don’t know how else to classify. Traditionally it means it has less magic and has more “realness” to it.
Takes place in a historical setting with the inclusion of fantasy elements to tell the history we “know”
Every “fantasy” book can be classified even further but sometimes it is hard to say EXACTLY which each is, as the definition for low fantasy is constantly changing. There are also TONS of subgenres that you can look up and find a whole new world (sometimes literally). I hope this post helps you figure out which type of fantasy you like to read, want to read more of, and even what to avoid!