This post was originally posted on S.M. Boyce’s fabulous blog. The post is titled Secret Warriors. You can see it here.
In fantasy, the rules are clear and the tasks are simple: save the universe or everyone dies. There is absolutely no ambiguity. This is a good thing though, as it allows us to escape the shifty edges of human morality.
Slugging your Boss isn’t Allowed, Sadly
When we root for the good guys, it refreshes our view of reality and gives us the strength to go on with our own little lives. Because, as much as we’d like to, we can’t slug our overbearing boss in real life. Bt if we can best a couple of demented demons in a fantasy such as Ambril’s Tale, it feels almost as good.
I’ve been thrilled by the amount of female warriors in fantasy stories. For both women and men, it’s electrifying to see through the eyes of a demon slayer and share the triumph when power is snatched from the hands of the evil overlord, isn’t it? Secretly, I suspect that the women of the world would love to try swinging a sword around once in a while, and fantasize about it whenever they can.
Once more, into the muck
Battles in our reality are done with words and politics. Being shy, I seldom win when I’m forced to stand up in a crowd and speak. When I take up a cause and go once more into the breach, I usually find myself going off a cliff and into the muck…amidst laughter. It’s so humiliating. So I’m one of those secret warriors. Fantasy books allow me to be physically adept and best the bad guys, at least some of the time.
Here are a few of my favorite fantasy books. While reading them, I have always managed to stay muck free, though I can’t say the same for their main characters.
Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith, by Wendy D. Walter
Well it is my blog, so of course I recommend my own book! A look at magical beings struggling with issues of their own making, funny they aren’t so very different from your own.
Dark Lord of Derkholm, by Diana Wynne Jones
Hillarious look at what might happen to a fantasy world if it is enslaved by accountants. DWJ is my favorite fantasy writer.
The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
A look at the power of books in an entirely different way.
The Dirty Streets of Heaven, by Tad Williams
If you’re feeling ambiguous about your after life options, Check out this book.