Top Ten Tuesday 46 - Fantasy subgenre recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme: Freebie!
 Top Ten Fantasy Subgenre recommendations

Remember that sci-fi subgenre flowchart that I made for Sci-Fi November 2014? It had such a great response that I was inspired to make one for fantasy too. It just hasn't happened yet.

Today I'm taking a step towards actually making that flowchart by listing different subgenres of fantasy and some of my recommendations for them. These are both if you're new to the genre entirely or are looking for good books in subgenres you don't usually read. I've attempted to list a classic and a contemporary novel for each, but I don't think I've read quite enough to be able to fill out all of the categories. This list is by no means exhaustive!

Here goes!

 Epic Fantasy
 Urban fantasy
Sword & Sorcery
3 518848 
 Portal Fantasy
170609 14497
 Magical Realism
17675462 7597
 New Weird
 Heists, Cons, and Thieves (you got me, I made this subgenre up)
 Folklore/fairy tale retellings77368 6363322
 Alternate History/Historical fantasy

Did I leave off one of your favorites? Let me know so I can include it in the actual flowchart!

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  1. Jolien @ The Fictional ReaderJanuary 20, 2015 at 4:15 AM

    I LOVE this post! Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and I love getting recommendations. Heists, cons and thieves is one of my favorite subgenres, thay just make for epic stories.

    Some of these I have read and adored -The Lies of Loke Lamora, a Song of Ice and Fire, Grave Mercy, The Raven Boys, Harry Potter, The Final Empire and the Lord of the Rings- others I didn't like as much -The Mortal Instruments- and the ones that are left are either already on my to-read list, or I have added them now.

    I love this list! :)

  2. Jessica @ a GREAT readJanuary 20, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    OOOoh great post!! I love fantasy as well! Never really thought to break it down like this! I just know fantasy, and Urban Fantasy. And sometimes whether the fantasy is light or hardcore! LOL! Great picks too!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  3. You missed ALL my favorites =) Ok, maybe I will just add one per category.

    Epic - The Black Company by Glen Cook
    Urban - Generation V by M.L. Brennan
    Sword and Sorcery - Eldric by Moorcock
    Portal - Na, keep Neverwhere because I hate most portal fantasy
    Realism - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norril by Susanna Clark.
    GRIMDARK - Eisenhorn by Dan Abnett (sci-fi, but I am on a roll)
    New Weird - Unwrapped Skies by Rjurk Davidson
    Heists - Eli Monpress by Rachael Aaron
    Folklore - Dreamer's Pool by Julliet Marillier
    Alt History - Cold Magic by Kate Elliot.

  4. Fantasy is and always will be my all-time favorite genre. So, that means that your TTT rocks and your picks made me smile ear to ear: Way of Kings, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Narnia, Raven Boys, Mistborn and Grave Mercy (my current read) = ♥♥♥♥♥ And well clearly, Sabriel, Lies of Locke Lamora, The Golem and the Jinni, ASoIaF, and Gaiman are ALL on the tbr shelf :D Fantasti picks^^

  5. Thanks! Yes, how can you resist those lovable rogues? :D
    I'm glad you liked this list! I love most of these except I have a love-hate relationship with ASOIAF and I'm kind of ambivalent towards MI.

  6. Oh dear! I've only heard of a handful of these but I will definitely look into them! Thanks for the additions/recommendations :)

  7. Yes! So glad my list made you smile :D
    That TBR needs to start shrinking FAST because you're missing out on so much great stuff! I expect immediate updates when you start Lies of Locke Lamora :)

  8. Ooooooooooh, I think I've finally figured out what I do and don't like! I apparently am not a fan of grimdark, just a bit too dark for me. Does that also usually include the minimal magic and emphasis on court intrigue or is that just Game of Thrones?

  9. I must have some recommendations for Grimdark

    The Broken Empire trilogy by Mark Lawrence (this is the newhot thing... 500.000 sales in the UK alone)
    The Prince of Nothing trilogy by R. Scott Bakker (this is the epitomy of grimdark, a bit underrated but very highly praised in Goodreads and book globs)
    The Red Queen's War trilogy by Mark Lawrence (thisis sweeping the blogs and Goodreads, even more popular than The Broken Empire... book 3 is not out yet)

  10. I LOVED your sci-fi flowchart - I still have it saved, so I can reference it and I recommend that post to people sometimes when I see people who are asking about sci-fi. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  11. I'm not sure if that's part of the definition, but I have noticed minimal magic and more politics in both Game of Thrones and Joe Abercrombie's books. It's just a lot grittier, and the characters are very flawed and morally ambiguous.

  12. Thank you! I'll be sure to add these to the full flowchart. I didn't realize Mark Lawrence counted as grimdark!

  13. Yay! If you ever lose the bookmark, you can always find it on the SF/F subgenre flowcharts tab :)

  14. Oh Mark Lawrence is the new king of grimdark these days. His works are quite original, bone chilling and enthralling!

  15. Well, grimdark is not necessarily minimal magic. Both R. Scott Bakker's and Mark Lawrence's works have far more magic than the Game of Thrones/Asoiaf and not as much palace intrigue. R. Scott Bakker's trilogy has epic levels of political intrigue and a very different concept of magic. Both Bakker and Lawrence have several levels of darkness over The Game of Thrones. In fact they make it look like a Disney cartoon, if I must be so bold. I love both magic and court intrigue, but I am a huge fan of shamanic and elemental magic, and I didn't quite find all of those together in any book I've read so far so I'm writing my own trilogy. It's not exactly grimdark, since there's humor and cuddly fluffy cats, but otherwise it's about as dark as The Game of Thrones in general.

  16. I've heard a lot of high praise about the Mistborn series, can't wait to read it! The Gentlemen Bastards (Locke Lamora) is high up in my TBE, I will get to Mistborn once I read that.

  17. I second the Elric Saga. It's a classic!

  18. If you love thieves and heists, I have to recommend The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist. It's a frantasy fiction classic first published in the 80's, well it's a portal fantasy, not exactly heist but it features the father of all fantasy thieves: Jimmy the Hand. The Thieves Guild concept in those books inspired so many video games and other books. The parts about the thieves guild and Jimmy the Hand are precious if you are into the heist stuff.

  19. Almost forgot, the ultimate recommendation for portal fantasy: The Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. If features an epic kickass strong female main character, too.
    It's one of my all time favorites, in fact I am planning to re-read it soon.


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