What Sets Fantasy Apart from Other Genres and Why Is It So Popular?

What Sets Fantasy Apart from Other Genres and Why Is It So Popular?

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December 6, 2018

When it comes to fiction, everyone has their favorite genres. As the fourth most popular genre behind romance, action, and science fiction, fantasy always tends to fall within the top 5. While some critics lump sci-fi and fantasy together, fantasy is in a world of its own because of the magic everyone wishes they possessed. Both sci-fi and fantasy put readers in another world and usually another time, but always with the understanding that there is nothing commonplace about what you are about to read. So if you are wondering what sets fantasy apart from other genres, even most sci-fi, light your bookish candles and sit back for a trip into a magical realm.

Magic Is a Must

While other genres dabble in mystery or the unknown, fantasy always has an element of magic. That is the leading element that sets it aside. Without magic, it just wouldn’t be fantasy! In the real world, you can’t conjure up a potent spell to cast aside demons and evil wizards, but in the world of fantasy, there is a spell for everything. Looking to cast the gnomes and trolls out of your realm? It’s easy if you live in a world where there is magic.

Good vs. Evil

There is something quite wonderful about living in a fantasy world where good eventually overcomes evil. Again, it wouldn’t be fantasy if all your dreams couldn’t eventually come true and most often that involves overcoming all the evil in your life that keeps you from realizing those dreams. From greedy lords of the manor to evil kings and queens, the magical knight or warlock always triumphs in the end. Fantasy sets you in a place where you can have hope for the future because few stories, or series as the case may be, ever end with evil triumphing over good. It just doesn’t happen in fantasy land.

Vicarious Living

There is another element of fantasy that makes it so popular: its ability to offer the reader a chance to live vicariously through the heroic protagonist. In life, we don’t always win our battles, and rarely ever overcome huge obstacles without a plethora of blood, sweat, and tears, but in the fantasy realm, sometimes all it takes is a wave of the wand and all your troubles vanish in the blink of an eye. In the world of fantasy, the lovely chamber maid always wins the heart of the prince and the prince always slays the evil dragon. With twists and turns, you eventually get what you want and so those who truly enjoy this genre are living vicariously through the many exploits of their heroes.

With so many truly wonderful authors stepping forward, creating magical worlds for their readers, the genre just keeps getting better and better. Yes, fantasy rises and falls in popularity, but you will always find this genre near the top of the list of favorites. Are you looking for magic in your life? Pick up the latest fantasy best seller and you’ll be taken away to a land of enchantment.

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