October 27, 2011

Where is my High Fantasy?

It kind of surprised me in a good way the overall reaction of the YA-blogosphere & YA-twittersphere to Kristin Cashore's BITTERBLUE's cover and release date announcement. I guess I did know the popularity of Cashore's books before, but the amount of people over-excited about this upcoming companion was overwhelming.

Now, I have to wonder, since I'm such a HUGE fan of High Fantasy--if this genre works and people like it, why is there so little of it? I dont think I can even come up with many book titles in YA that are High Fantasy. Aside from my favorites, Graceling, The Seven Realms series and Finnikin of the Rock, I can barely name more. I can't even recall any, besides The Gray Wolf Throne (book 3 in the Seven Realms series), that have been published this year. Please, enlighten me if I'm wrong. But the fact is that this is definitely THE most underrepresented sub-genre in YA. And that NEEDS to change. I mean, seriously, there's nothing quite as exhilarating as opening a book and finding a map!

Based on the recent popularity of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series and HBO's magnificent adaptation into the show Game of Thrones, I would say, there's no better time than now. Yeah those are adult books and a fairly mature-targeted show, but still. This is a genre that tends to be hand in hand with gorgeously well-thought writing, richly layered world-building and intricately brilliant plots... and geez, how I wish it became as trendy as three-nippled sparkly vampires. The world would be a better place.


  1. Witchlanders by Lena Coakley was released in August and it a high fantasy novel! Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns is another recommendation too. There aren't as many YA fantasy novels to be found, but hopefully, we'll see more in the future! :)

  2. Cindy Pon's series is high fantasy, and Tamora Pearce, but you're right, no one writes high fantasy. It is really hard! You have to set your own parameters for your world and while you're at it, build that world from the ground up. I wish more authors were ready and willing to take on the challenge.

    Well, that's not true; I simply wish Cashore could put out a book a month! :P



  3. I think people WRITE high fantasy. I just don't think it's good, and thus doesn't get published. It's hard to do world building and write good high fantasy.

    That said, I WANT MORE. <3

  4. I love high fantasy, but it takes a lot of skill to write it. I think that's why we don't see as much of it.

    But I'm writing a high fantasy novel, and hopefully one day you'll be able to enjoy it as well!

  5. I LOVE high fantasy....I really, really love it. I could always use more of it. (I REALLY need to read Chima's books! Can you believe I haven't!?)


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