Tales of orcs and dwarves and dragons in worlds from the imagination of the author. Fantasy books take us to magical places with wonderful creatures and tell stories of adventure and quests and great battles.
Fantasy fiction books have similar themes running through them. They are normally set in a world very different from our own and will often be inhabited by dwarves, elves, orcs, goblins and humans. It's very common that there is some form of magic and wizards or witches wielding this power. The author draws you into this world with great descriptions allowing us to build up the picture in our minds.
Expect a hero or a group of heroes fighting for good against evil and journeys across dangerous lands to find magical items. There will be bold actions and sacrifices to be made all in the name of the quest.
Fantasy fiction can be traced back to the mid 19th century but didn't really stop being considered a children's book until later in the 20th century. The 1960s was the time when fantasy started to grow in popularity.
One of the great examples of fantasy stories is the work of JRR Tolkien. In particular his Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit are fantastic pieces of work made famous by the blockbuster movies of recent years. They contain all the classic elements of a fantasy novel but with a depth of detail and wonderful description. There are quests and elves and halflings, dwarves, wizards, kings and queens. Orcs and goblins are the suitably evil soldiers of the dark lords for our band of outnumbered heroes to valiantly fight against.
In modern times a fantasy series that was considered for children but read by many adults was the hugely successful Harry Potter series from J. K. Rowling. There was a time in the 2000s when it seemed like every person on the train to the office was reading one of the Harry Potter books. And the successful Hollywood movies increased the appetite for fantasy works.
An alternative to the classic fantasy book is where fantasy and humour have been combined. Terry Pratchett achieved this with his Discworld series building tales in a crazy over the top fantasy world and poking fun at our real world. A world that sits on a disc atop four elephants, in turn standing on the back of a turtle that swims through space and time. There are wizards, witches, gods, luggage with feet and an array of unlikely heroes.
More recently the epic Game of Thrones TV show has made the A Song of Ice and Fire series (George R. R. Martin) hugely famous and really brought the fantasy genre into the mainstream. Choose a fantasy novel at obooko and take yourself off to a far away land and fall under the author’s spell. Fight alongside the elves against the dragons and travel through the dark forests. When you get to the office remember you're not really wearing a cloak of invisibility and carrying a broadsword!