November 2, 2010

Fantasy Genres

I found this easy breakdown of Fantasy Genre's on under Fantasy Books:

Subgenres of Fantasy
The fantasy fiction is divided into many branches.
Fantasy is very popular nowadays, so it's no wonder it has many subgenres. They are hard to define clearly, so most are just a matter of agreement. You can find most prominent ones and their descriptions below.

Contemporary fantasy

Fantasy of this subgenre is set in the real world in current times, but with added fantasy elements. Probably the most famous example would be the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.

Dark fantasy

Dark fantasy refers to the stories which represent the medieval brutality, or has horror elements. A good example would be the Black Company series by Glen Cook.

High fantasy

High fantasy usually tells the story of epic struggle between clearly distinguished sides of good and evil. A classic example would be the Lord of Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Low fantasy

Low fantasy is the opposite of High fantasy. It usually contains realism and a cynical world view; also, it tends to have characters which can be called neither good nor evil. A good example would be Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard. Such fantasy often overlaps with other genres, like Dark fantasy.


Such fantasy is often set in Victorian or Edwardian eras. Like the name suggests, the steam power is widely used in steampunk worlds, but other fantasy or science fiction elements are present as well. It's really a cross-breed between sci-fi and fantasy; an example would be Last Exile anime.

Historical fantasy

Historical fantasy might tell the history of an alternate fantasy world, similar to ours, or our own world, with added fantasy elements. A great example would be A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.


  1. I have just recently discovered dark fantasy books. I was a little hesitant at first, but then picked up "Blood Soup" by Kelly A. Harmon and was hooked!