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Hi, Fluffsters! Happy Thursday!
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a bit of a fantasy fanatic. There are few things better than curling up with a good fantasy novel. (Except possibly for curling up with a good fantasy novel and a mug of hot cocoa on a stormy night, under a nice fuzzy blanket.)
The trouble, of course, is finding a truly excellent novel. There are lots of fun books out there. Some of them are fantasy. But some fantasy books are not that great. Unfortunately.
But good fantasy, oh, that’s highly addictive. Excellent fantasy novels can transport you to a different world or time period for a while. They spark the imagination.
There are a few things that all good fantasy novels have in common.
1) They need to be not-poorly written. That’s pretty obvious… And the better written they are, the more likely they are to be good books. C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series and J. R. R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, for example, are two examples of well written fantasy. They also have other good things going for them, which contributes to the serieses being good fantasy.
2) Strong characters. At the very least, the characters need to be believable and consistent. This will potentially make or break the story. Inconsistent characters are just confusing and detract strongly from a story. Some books, however, can be completely saved by strong characters. Now, that’s not to say that characters can’t change or grow. On the contrary, they almost need to. But the characters should do so naturally, for the setting.
The book “Sorcery and Cecelia”, by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, for example, was a delightful work of fantasy. It didn’t have too much of a plot, but it had great characters. It was actually kindof like a Jane Austen book, but set in a fantasy world. It was really fun. Its lack of plot made it good, not excellent.
As an alternative, Dragon Champion (by E. E. Knight) did not completely succeed at this. Don’t get me wrong- it was a fun book. But from what I remember (it’s been a bit since I’ve read this book) some of the characters were not entirely consistent. That detracted from the tale. Especially since I remember there being some inconsistencies with the main character. (Again, don’t ask me for specifics.)
Well, I’m going to pause here for right now. Tune in tomorrow for the next part of what makes excellent fantasy!