January 2021: The Hero’s Journey

Happy New Year!

Time for adventure!

Winter is such a great time for fantasy. I love drinking tea and wrapping myself with a blanket just before I dive into some great world-building. Dragons are also a bonus. 

One of the more popular plotlines in fantasy is the ‘hero’s journey’. The farm boy is called to action and goes on a quest that lands him in a better position by the end of the story. Honestly this trope is so popular we’ve already read (or seen) it multiple times.

With these stories I prefer to follow a protagonist that really has the chips stacked against them, whether it is due to who they are or to circumstances. I believe I found three books that really illustrate this and what I love about this subgenre. 

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison

Swordheart – T. Kingfisher

Here we have a hobbit who would rather be at home, an unloved exiled half-goblin who must become a ruler, and an ill-used widow trapped by her relatives. These are the type of characters that I’m drawn to the most on this side of fantasy. And I can’t wait to talk about their journey with you.

Separately I read Dune and was going to write a review for December, but I was surprised to find that it is the antithesis of what the three books above focus on. I know it’s sci-fi but has a lot of similar themes and tropes as high fantasy and fits right into this hero’s journey discussion. 

Now, are we ready for the epic adventure ahead?

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