Top 10 Favorite Fantasy Tropes

A couple of weeks ago I put up a list of the things I’m sick of reading about. Today, perhaps in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to flip that around. I don’t care if they’re tired. I don’t care if they’re cliche. There are a few things I just plain like, and I’ll keep liking those things for a good long while. I’m not saying I will never have my fill, but these things are just plain cool:

10. Everyman — I’m actually seeing less and less of this one in recent years (or maybe I’m looking in the wrong places), but I really enjoy becoming engaged with a fantasy tale from the perspective of someone like me. Or at least, someone who is as awestruck by the magic as I am. It really helps me ease into the story.

9. Shape Shifters — These ARE incredibly popular right now, but that works for me!

8. Attitude and wit — I doubt I’ll ever get sick of clever characters with a wry sense of humor and a certain flair.

7. Swords — They are so much cooler than guns, even if they are a bit less practical.

6. Cats — Anyone ever notice that there are a lot of cats in fantasy novels? Not nearly so many dogs. As someone who has *mostly* overcome a childhood phobia involving dogs but who still just tolerates the beasts, cats will always be my preferred pet.

5. Series — Maybe not the ones that go on and on and on with no end in sight, but honestly, I do like to spend a few books with characters I come to like. I particularly like to do this when the characters grow and change over the course of those books.

4. Fae — So much more interesting than Tinkerbell.

3. Long-lost relatives — Tell me I’m not the only one who has a soft spot for this plot device. (I will make an exception for the specific discovery that the bad guy is your father. Star Wars pretty much killed that one.)

2. Ridiculously good looking men — Sorry ridiculously good looking women, I can’t say the same for you and I don’t care if that’s a double standard. I like what I like. 🙂

1. Superpowers — Enough said!

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5 Comments

  1. I like your post Christine. I laughed in agreement with some of your “likes”. I’ve never really got into the “fae” thing though. Do you remember the a book you read that a fae “character was memorable? It’s possible I’m misunderstanding the term. I’m exhausted, or I’d look it up right away. I’m trying to participate in Nanowrimo this year, and I am using this program that makes me write forward which is good, except when I got up the punishment part of the program ate all my words! Awwggg! There has to be a “recovery file” somewhere–I hope.

    • I like the fae in Butcher’s Dresden Files series and in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. No, I don’t think they stand out as individual characters because they’re too alien, but that’s what I like about them — at least in those stories. I have not read a book in which I cared for a fae hero or heroine at all. (I didn’t care for Laura Hamilton… couldn’t even finish a book.)

  2. Great list. I gotta agree with the ridiculously good looking men line item. I mean, guys are better in books 🙂 I’m not so much into the Fae but I do like cats in books, especially cat shifters!

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