High fantasy or epic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, defined either by the epic nature of its setting or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, or plot. The term “high fantasy” was coined by Lloyd Alexander in a 1971 essay, “High Fantasy and Heroic Romance” (originally given at the New England Round Table of Children’s Librarians in October 1969).
High fantasy is set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than the “real” or “primary” world. This secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy is characterised by being set in the primary or real world, or a rational and familiar fictional world with the inclusion of magical elements.
The romances of William Morris, such as The Well at the World’s End, set in an imaginary medieval world, are sometimes regarded as the first examples of high fantasy. The works of J. R. R. Tolkien—especially The Lord of the Rings—are regarded as archetypal works of high fantasy. Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is another example of a high fantasy series.
Many high fantasy stories are told from the viewpoint of one main hero. Often, much of the plot revolves around their heritage or mysterious nature. In many novels the hero is an orphan or unusual sibling, often with an extraordinary talent for magic or combat. They begin the story young, if not as an actual child. In other works the hero is a completely developed individual with a unique character and spirit.
The hero often begins as a childlike figure, but matures rapidly, experiencing a considerable gain in fighting/problem-solving abilities along the way. The plot of the story often depicts the hero’s fight against the evil forces as a bildungsroman.
The progress of the story leads to the character’s learning the nature of the unknown forces against them, that they constitute a force with great power and malevolence.
1 Icicles Like Kindling is a glimpse into Meira’s life before the events of Snow Like Ashes that was originally going to serve as the prologue to the book. In it, you will get a taste of the kingdom of Autumn, meet some of Meira’s fellow refugees, and get an introduction to the wicked danger that will soon plague them…
2 This is a companion story to ICE LIKE FIRE, the sequel to SNOW LIKE ASHES. It parallels the beginning events of ICE LIKE FIRE.
"She was part of Summer, and Summer was part of her, and this land wouldn't abandon her too."
Ceridwen Preben, princess of Summer, has spent her life plotting against her brother, Simon, the Summerian king. Simon has embraced the ruling family's reputation for using their conduit to keep their subjects in a state of bliss, and has spent his reign slowly driving Summer into ruin, filling everyone with carelessness and letting them turn a blind eye to Summer's rampant -- and deadly -- slave trade. But Ceridwen refuses to let her kingdom disintegrate, and with the help of her fellow rebel-in-arms, Lekan, she hopes to undo Simon's lethal dealings.
But when Ceridwen uncovers Simon's deadliest plot yet, she starts to realize just how deep magic runs -- and that even though her kingdom is one of sunlight, with light, there always comes shadows.
3 Theron's point of view for FROST LIKE NIGHT!
Please read this only if you’ve read all the books in the series. And since they are novellas I’m not introducing the main characters.
Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.
Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.
As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.
About the book
Please read this only if you’ve read the first two books in the series. And since it is the last book I’m not introducing the main characters.
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
About the book
Please read this only if you’ve read the first book in the series. And since it is the second book I’m not introducing the main characters.
Second book in the series called Snow like Ashes of which I reviewed the first book last year. 3 months have passed since the liberation of the Winter people from the work camps in Spring and since the death of the Spring’s King Angra, but the situation isn’t good and simple. Queen Meira has debts with Cordell and Autumn which helped her getting her people back, so she can’t say that Winterians are completely free. Moreover King Noam (Cordell’s King) wants access to the magic chasm which is know to be inside Winter’s mines.
Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she's far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she's no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she's told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia's suspicions about the Red Church's true motives begin to grow.
About the book
The heavens grant us only one life, but through books, we live a thousand.
Godsgrave is the second book in the series written by Jay Kristoff which began with Nevernight. Mia Corvere, trained by the Red Church, is now a Blade, one of the most feared assassins of the Republic. She still has her objective, kill who murdered her “familia” even if for now she needs to obey to the Church’r rules. Moreover she is a tenebris and with her, inside her shadow, there are a cat and a wolf which accompany her in her vengeance. Mia can play with the shadows, but she doesn’t fully understand what she is and she’s trying to find out at the same time as she is completing the Church tasks.
Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister's life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. Yet danger lurks on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor's volatility to grow her own power—regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows that the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. During the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. However, in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender—even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.
About the book
A Reaper at the Gates is the third volume in the series that began with An Ember in the Ashes and continued with A Torch Against the Night. In this third and penultimate book we find a world at war, with a crazy emperor and with a Commandant even crazier than him.
To hold the reins of the empire is Helene, now a Blood Shrike, right arm of Emperor Markus, who tries in every way to stop the Commandant’s intrigues as well as the invasion of barbarians from all sides. The order to find and kill Elias has been forgotten and she is now facing an even more powerful enemy.
Meanwhile Elias gets lost in the role of Souls Catcher and will his love for Laia be his undoing? And Laia? Will she be able to understand where her powers come from and help the Resistance against the empire?
All my book reviews are and will be 100% honest. I don’t get paid to write them and I don’t get “gifts” to write a good review so what I write is what I think. If I love a book, I’m going to say that, if I don’t like a book, I will write why I don’t. My critics aren’t an attack to the author, they are just how I feel about a subject or a style. See more in my Review Policy.