The inspiration for this post came from my recent attendance at the HNS (Historical Novel Society) Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. Fantasy is my passion, in reading and writing, whether it’s urban, epic, or dark—especially dark—but I have a very special place in my heart for historical fantasy.
Think The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray. These are richly vivid depictions of our past, woven throughout with threads of magic that are completely believable. I never doubted the existence of another realm in Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty, or that Tuala was a child of the Good Folk in Juliet Marillier’s The Dark Mirror.
Books like Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, The Smoke Thief by Shana Abé (I don’t care if they shelve it romance, it’s about DRAGONS!) and Chime by Franny Billingsley have captivated me with their vibrant historical settings. There are a number of sub-genres within historical fantasy, like classical (based on Greek and Roman myths–YAY!), medieval, and steampunk, which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I also love alternate histories, like the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey.
Funny enough, I have a WIP I refer to as my steampunk-alternate history-dark fantasy. Which genre of fantasy do you enjoy the most?
Incidentally, I met Stephanie Dray at the conference and she’s absolutely lovely.
Happy reading! Kate