Lust, greed, wrath, envy and pride. Does the genre of fantasy make topics that are difficult to swallow more palatable?
Yes, I think it does. We may read fantasy books, watch fantasy movies and play fantasy games as a means of escaping the real world but this doesn’t mean that all princesses want to be saved from the fearsome beast by a more often than not handsome, fair headed prince. Loves true kiss, living peacefully in the Shire, sipping a mug of butter beer with a good friend and the journey of the brave, valiant hero is all good and well but sometimes we just crave an ending that isn’t so clean-cut and dry.
Adult fantasy proves that among the sunny, green pastures filled with flowers and butterflies there is the dark and gritty but no less enjoyable world of raw human emotion. In adult fantasy - whether it be epic, urban or romantic - we as readers, viewers and gamers seem to thrive on the princesses who are devious, manipulative she-wolves and the princes who are murderers, cheats and power hungry fools. The beasts of these stories are not only made up of flesh and blood but come in the forms of emotional turmoil from deep within a characters soul. Look closely and these adult themes even pop up in the classic fairy tales we loved so much as children. Dig deeper and the story of Cinderella is about a girl who has to change everything about herself before Prince Charming even looks twice at her.
Well, stories that explore the dinner-table-taboo topics of sex, war, depression, racism, prejudices and morals- to name a few - give us a way of dealing with these real world issues while being able to loose ourselves in our favourite genres at the same time. Story lines are made more believable and characters are far more relatable when they are thrown into situations we often face on a daily basis. Human adversity is a strong driving force behind adult fantasy and the very idea is that if our beloved characters can get through the difficulties life deals them, then so too can we.
Adult fantasy is a reminder that the world we live in isn’t fair and that life sometimes doesn’t leave us feeling gooey and warm with emotions of the happily ever after. But all of this is all right because in the end it’s so much more rewarding to see a character, good or evil, overcome obstacles and emotions in their way - defeating the physical and the emotional daemons they face.
We cry when they fail and fall, we cheer when they are able to get up once more and we will continue to stand beside these characters and their stories no matter what happens in the end. For this reason alone, adult fantasy has slayed the dragon of hard topics, turning the nitty gritty of being an adult into so much more.
Megan Futcher's Mini-Bio:
People and cultures have always fascinated me and I enjoy thumbing through heavy books on anthropology and archaeology. My novels and novellas dive into an unknown world before recorded history and I love asking the 'what if' question while I share online and write the 4 born, a fantasy spin on human evolution and freedom exploring strength and beauty of multiculturalism.
Wind and Fire Synopsis:
In a world where the four elements rule as gods, the Gaias of Wind, Fire, Water and Earth determine the existence and fate of every man and women. Threatening this seemingly perfect world is the Fourborn – a yet to be identified baby born of all four races and the only one who has the power to set mankind free from it's elemental shackles.
Divinely chosen in the pending chaos is a guardian from each race. With the words of an ancient prophesy as their only guide, they must find and protect the Four born at all costs or risk losing everything they hold dear.