Do we need Fantasy?

In the upcoming days I will start to post writings about one of my greatest passions in this world, fantasy books. This posts will be up there amongst those of comics and star wars as my favourite and the ones I feel very comfortable talking about since I do have a vast knowledge. Fantasy, even more so than comics or science fiction, has always been my favourite genre and the one I have always been able to escape to more than the others. Fantasy is part of what makes us humans, almost all of us pass our time sometimes thinking about what we could do, imagining things etc… fantasy is the expression of that taken to the extreme.

Let us not kid ourselves, a lot of fantasy is not good. For some time us readers could not find good fantasy books, all of the books that were being written followed the same patter and were not innovating. “The Lord of the Rings”, the genre that created and made popular high fantasy (and my favourite books alongside “The Silmarillion”) were being copied by other authors who were not pushing the envelope further. We would only get small flashes of brilliance, such as “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin, amidst a sea of really bad books. However right now we find ourselves as what can only be described as the golden age of fantasy. Authors like George R.R Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie or Patrick Rothfuss are giving us new and exciting stories. Stories that are well written, worlds that are huge and wonderful, adventures that captivate you and books that are giving us new ways to escape.

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Fantasy is important for one simple reason; it allows us to escape from everyday life. The greatest fantasy books are able to transport us to worlds where our heroes fight evil, allowing us to escape the monotony of our lives or give us a break when we are having tough times. Whenever I read fantasy, if it is good, I am able to go into that world and be captured by it. A good fantasy book will not only captivate you because of the story, but when the world is properly written you will dream about it. I grew up imagining myself walking around Middle Earth, visiting Minas Tirith, reading at Rivendell or walking beneath the shadows of the mallorn trees in Lothlorien. As I grew up I have been dreaming about the shores of Westeros, walking around Two Rivers or Andor or exploring the Shattered Plains. The greatest thing about fantasy is that age is not an issue, the worlds I read when I was younger I now see with a different perspective and they have even become richer.

Fantasy is generally frowned upon by many writers or book readers, proclaiming it is a genre for children and that it is not complex. However those who claim this demonstrate their ignorance. In fantasy books we see difficult moral conundrums, we see a reflection of the world we live in, we learn and develop alongside the characters and I can proudly say that reading fantasy stories, reading about those heroes fighting evil in desperate times have honestly made me a better person.

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Fantasy is my passion, fantasy still to this date captivates me and I honestly believe that it is a great genre that we all need, especially now in this tough times. So I recommend you all sit back, make yourself comfortable and pick up The Lord of the Rings or A Wheel of Time series and loose yourselves in those worlds for a little bit before facing your problems, it. will. do. wonders.

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