Best Heroic Fantasy

Heroic fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy literature which chronicles the tales of heroes and their conquests in imaginary lands. Stories tend to be intricate in plot, often involving many peoples, nations and lands. Grand battles and the fate of the world are common themes, and there is typically some emphasis on a universal Good versus Evil conflict.
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575 books · 969 voters · list created July 16th, 2008 by Steven Harbin (votes) .
Tags: fantasy, heroic
120 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by I\an (new)

I\an Dron i am a voratious reader and have been reading mainly heroic fantasy for 20 yrs.i am currently writing a novel callede bladedancer.any advice?i also have at least100 fantasy books to let go any suggestrions?
yours in fantasy Ian


Mike (the Paladin) Do people actually READ what's supposed to be on any given list? This is supposed to be HEROIC fantasy. People have stuck fantasy of every stripe onto the list. I suppose they got as far as "fantasy" and didn't read any further.


message 3: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix I thought "heroic fantasy" was the more sophisticated term for good old "swords and sorcery."


Mike (the Paladin) It's generally more "heroic protagonist" type reads. A lot of that here, but also a lot of just, "general fantasy".


message 5: by Artemas (new)

Artemas I love A Game of Thrones but would never consider it Heroic Fantasy. C'mon people.


Mike (the Paladin) No I agree...but most of these lists tend to "muddy up". There are people who put High Fantasy on the Urban fantasy list and so on. I don't know if it's intentional or simple ignorance of the meaning behind the give list's title.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris McGrath The title says "Heroic fantasy" but the description is totally Epic Fantasy. No, a lot of people don't know the difference between one and another, including whoever created this list.


Mike (the Paladin) Well...they asked for a certain type of fantasy. Shouldn't be a problem????


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris McGrath That's the thing though, they didn't.. they asked for multiple fantasy sub-genres.

"Heroic fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy literature which chronicles the tales of heroes and their conquests in imaginary lands."

This part is accurate. But everything else there describes epic fantasy, both high and low fantasy.


message 10: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli In my experience many people who ask for heroic fantasy mean sword & sorcery. Is that what is meant here?


message 11: by Artemas (new)

Artemas I suppose we should be grateful that The Hunger Games or 50 Shades aren't topping the list. ;)


message 12: by Evgeny (new)

Evgeny Artemas wrote: "I suppose we should be grateful that The Hunger Games or 50 Shades aren't topping the list. ;)"

Do not give people the idea... :(


Mike (the Paladin) Well, they specified a "good vs. evil" motif and I think GoT misses that by a mile on several levels, :). Still the point's being made here. we can't agree on what's a heroic novel.


message 14: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli Yeah, well, S&S is characterized by a rather more morally ambiguous effect -- and personal stakes. The description sounds more like epic fantasy.


message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris McGrath Mary wrote: "In my experience many people who ask for heroic fantasy mean sword & sorcery. Is that what is meant here?"

Yes, I recently read a description that basically said "Heroic Fantasy" is the new term for "Sword and Sorcery". I do tend to think it's a slightly better term because most forms of fantasy involve swords and sorcery, while there is plenty of Epic Fantasy, for instance, that might not be said to have any "heroes" in it.


message 16: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli On the other hand, S&S is notorious for its lack of heroic characters. The whole moral ambiguity thing.


message 17: by Chuma (new)

Chuma Koyana I have read David Gemmell extensively. I think Druss, Skilgannon, Tenaka Kahn. He has passed on. What authors in the same genre would you recommend?


Mike (the Paladin) Wow, you know it's hard to recommend someone like Gemmell as in many ways he's one of a kind. He's also one of my favorites.

The Black Company books by Cook has the dark fantasy feel but his protagonists aren't anything like Gemmell's. I like Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion series but it's not really that much the same. I can't think of anyone "like" Gemmell. I'll think it over some more.

Like you he's one of my favorites.


message 19: by Chuma (new)

Chuma Koyana There is a book, I call it my first find of fantasy, called Split Infinity Trilogy, namely Split Infinity, Blue Adept and Juxtaposition by Piers Anthony. The world of magic and the world of science co-exist. Book 1 : Split Infinity needs some warming up....but it is the most real and fascinating, spell binding. I could not find Juxtaposition in all the libraries. So I ordered it at Kingswood College my high school, as a donation and this was the only way to read it.


Mike (the Paladin) Nice of you.


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