Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
Hello, loves! This year, Wyrd and Wonder is offering a Fantastic Top Fives series, answering topical prompts with your top five answers. The next one I’m participating in is Top Five Subgenres of Fantasy. Which I think will be really fun to discuss and see how much the answers have changed from when I started reading practically two decades ago, to what I read now.
Let’s check it out!
Top Five Subgenres
So, you know how, in my last top five post, I discussed how it’s always hard for me to narrow down anything? Well, in the case of my top five subgenres, it…actually wasn’t that hard. Perhaps it’s because I am just very sure of what I enjoy or because I don’t read as widely as I should (?), but this list was pretty easy to come up with.
I’m curious to see what you think about it!
This is, by far, my favorite subgenre to read. Which isn’t surprising, since I grew up loving Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. But, I love sweeping stories that are grand in scale and scope, with large casts of characters, sweeping landscapes and complex magic and political, cultural and religious systems. The more dragons, the better.
Okay, so I originally selected medieval fantasies, since this definitely used to be a thing. I have no idea where my love of medieval fantasy came from. Since I was a kid, I was always fascinated with King Arthur and his court. However, I was struggling to come up with any recent examples I have read, yet I had some others (Nordic fantasies, for example) that were from specific time periods. So, I felt having period fantasies as a blanket subgenre would work. So, ta da!
Aside from epic fantasy, this is one of my top genres, not only as a top five subgenre, but also as another genre I read. If I’m not reading a fantasy book, the chances that I’m reading a romance book is very high. While this started with historical fantasies, once I realized that romantic fantasy was a thing? Game OVER, friends.
Non-Western Inspired Fantasy
I have the wonderful book blogging community to thank for this. While I have always loved fantasy, I used to only read one type: the kind penned by old white men. How utterly dull and outdated. Glibness aside, I missed out on so many wonderful books and authors by unconsciously limiting myself. Once I noticed I was doing that, I immediately shifted and became much more purposeful in diversifying my reading. And I’ve never looked back, nor regretted it once.
Admittedly, this is the genre out of this list I read the least of, but definitely not one I’m the least interested in. I do enjoy reading science fiction books, though I read them much less than I want to (and probably should). A blend of science fiction and fantasy together just makes it that much sweeter and easier for this sci-fi noob to digest, honestly.
Examples include: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (TBR), The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood (TBR) and A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White
Okay, talking about my Top Five Subgenres as part of Wyrd and Wonders Fantastic Top Fives was way too fucking fun. Especially because it’s a great reflection of how much my tastes have changed. When I first started reading, this would have been filled with urban and portal fantasies and YA galore. Obviously, that’s not the case anymore. And look at all the stellar books I’ve gotten to read because of it!?
What about you? What are your favorite subgenres of fantasy? Have you read any of the books on my list above? Or, any books within these subgenres you must recommend? Let me know in the comments!