Fantasy Fiction: Themes, Subgenres & Examples in Literature

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Fantasy fiction is counted among the the most read genres and if you are thinking of writing a fantasy novel you must know the themes, subgenres and examples of fantasy before start writing your own fantasy story.

Related: 100 Fantasy Story Ideas

Now lets understand the basic of fantasy-

What is Fantasy Fiction?

Fantasy fiction is the genre that showcases imaginary magical worlds containing elements of magic and supernatural beings and things. The stories of this genre are often inspired by mythology and folklore.

Fantasy fiction is also regarded as one of the best genres in allowing the writers to take their writing creativity to limitless boundaries where the writer’s imagination can bring anything into the story and no real-world logic is required in creating anything as we do in science fiction and some other genres.

fantasy genre themes, subgenres and examples in literature

Common Themes in Fantasy-

Below is the list of common fantasy themes found in fantasy genre. Use these as theme ideas for your fantasy novel, books and stories.

1. Good vs. Evil

2. Magical realism

3. Coming of Age

4. Man vs. Nature

5. Quest

6. Betrayal

7. Fate vs. Free Will

8. Death

9. Love

10. Heroism

11. Friendship

12. Power

13. Greed

14. Desire

15. Honor

16. Courage

17. Vengeance

18. Immortality

19. Wisdom

20. Acceptance

21. Sacrifice

22. Struggle

23. Family

24. Rebellion

25. Transformation

26. Leadership

27. Justice

28. Judgement

29. Storytelling

30. Society

31. Epic Journey

Related: Fantasy Words List

Now lets explore the popular fantasy fiction subgenres along with the popular examples of the subgenres.

6 Popular Subgenres of Fantasy Fiction-

1. Epic or High fantasy

fantasy subgenres
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Novels of the epic or hard fantasy are set in a fictional world with their own sets of rules and physical laws showcasing a single hero-driven plot with an epic story.

Examples of Epic fantasy-

2. Low Fantasy

fantasy subgenres
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The story of low fantasy is set in the real world with some magical elements and events included.

Examples of Low Fantasy-

3. Dark fantasy

fantasy subgenres
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Dark Fantasy contains a blend of fantasy and horror following a dark story tone.

Examples of Dark Fantasy-

Related: 40 Dark Fantasy Story Ideas

4. Sword and Sorcery

fantasy subgenres
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The story plot follows a sword-wielding hero or character engaging himself in great adventures along with elements of magic and witchcraft.

Examples of Swords and Sorcery-

5. Magical realism

fantasy subgenres
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Magical realism crosses over low fantasy. The plot follows a location setting in the real world with magic integrated into the modern society, showcasing ordinary people comfortable with an extraordinary life.

Examples of Magical realism-

Watch the below informative video by Ted-Ed on how to build a great fictional world for your fantasy story.

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a young adult fiction writer and children’s book author. He is a literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honors in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. His magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.