What in Fantasy stories do you LIKE? 🔮



That’s right. What do you like to see in Fantasy stories? We have so many threads about what people hate or dislike. It’s time for some positivity in here, people!

I like well thought-out worlds – especially high-fantasy ones :smiley: Give me all the fantasy creatures, races, and lore you can


I LOVE when a huge world is built, if you get far enough, when you talk about it you can even get to the point where if someone isn’t a fan you are telling about it, they don’t understand, then YOU get to explain to them or say “go read this book, then come back”


In no particular order…

non-Europenian settings

More specific timeframes, not ‘generic medieval’ more specific weaponry etc (ie not just Sword)

unusual creatures/monsters, species

characters that make me want to love or hate them.

The ugly mighty female warriors

Unpredictable outcomes of the predictable plot kernels

Sense of humour

Engrossing Plot


ugly, mighty female warriors?


Yeah, like Monza, Thorn and Brienne


Not one of those three ring a bell


Monza from Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold, Thorn from Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea and Brienne from the Song of Ice and Fire

I have one of my own, of course, Deserving Du (formerly That Other Du, because she was named after a semi-legendary Empress renown for her beauty and wanton ways).


Isn’t Abercrombie some sort of popular clothing brand?
(This probably shows how much I know of what you’re talking about)


Yes, but it is also a name of my favorite author Joe Abercrombie. The First Law Trilogy, a few stand-alone books and a Shatterd Sea Trilogy. He is brilliant.


Good ol’ humour, for all genres really, but it feels as though in the fantasy world where everything is about ancient gods and holy vows and mead, the humour is either non-existent or bland. I get the story’s supposed to be serious and grandiose, but realistically there can’t be a world where no humour exists. When an author does throw in the genuinely funny moments (and at the right times), man, they’ve got me. Makes it feel so natural and realistic, like a breath of fresh air.


I’m actually really glad to hear that people in this thread like fantasy works having a sense of humor! I’ve always been self-conscious that it’s out of place when I include it in mine or that it will detract from the big, serious, grandiose plots I try to write, so this is encouraging.

For me, it’s:

  • Interesting, relatable characters. Those are expected in every genre, but fantasy is the only genre where I’ll meet a moonbathing vampire with anxiety or a time-traveling witch who loves cats.
  • A world that feels well-developed and is easy to slide into. I want to get some idea of the culture there–religions, dress, beliefs, food, political system, social classes–and geography–complete with a general idea of the weather, biome, and borders, maybe even a map.
  • I like big, epic plots with high stakes that would only work in fantasy. Evil sorcerer trying to resurrect a dead god, fantasy war between demons and angels, two immortals deciding the fates of kingdoms behind the scenes, that sort of thing.
  • Hard magic systems???
  • I’m a big fan of several common fantasy tropes, I’ll admit it. I LOVE mysterious characters with unclear intentions where who may help out the MCs, but you don’t really know what side they’re on in the end, big scary fantasy religions, and lots of nobility/royalty.


As long as it’s timed right, humour can never be out of place! Humour is also really good for getting the reader to like/connect more to a character. At least for me, if a character is funny, I fall in love. It makes me want to keep turning the pages because I know a scene will never be dull with them around. When everything is all seriousness all the time, it gets kind of tiring. It’s one of the reasons why I end up not finishing a book/series.

I’ve been reading a series that’s thriller and not fantasy, but the plot is centred around really dark themes and serious threats to humanity. The author was so good at integrating humour into the appropriate moments, it made everything feel more real and the characters more rounded. I was chuckling to myself just as much as I was on the edge of my seat nervously biting my lip, and it never felt odd.

  • Other Worlds/Alternate Universes
  • Creatures (such as unicorns, fairies, elves, et cetera)
  • Engrossing characters (that either make you love them or hate them as well as plot
  • Magic
  • Lore

Take The Black Jewels Trilogy (series) by Anne Bishop as an example. It has all the above and more which is why it’s one of my favorite book series of all time! :blush:


I love magic systems that have a logic to them. Like, people have to study it, and understand it has applications and strengths and weaknesses. That’s far better than all powerful deus ex machina abilities whenever a character needs something.


It makes the plot so much more interesting too! No cheat way out. A few years back I decided to write a story with just 3 characters and everything would be explained with “because magic.” Immediately flopped :joy:


The same problem can happen with science fiction. The later seasons of Star Trek TNG began to suffer from this. All you needed was a tricorder, combadge and a transporter and you were basically invincible :confused:

‘Because magic’ is as bad as ‘because science’, or ‘because love’. There’s probably a ‘because…’ to avoid in most genres.


I couldn’t even type my first page because while the idea of an all-out ridiculous story with no rules seemed like fun to make (up until that moment I had been going probably too far in fantasy world “rules” structuring and wanted a break), I had absolutely no grounds to start. It was an entertaining moment of me wondering “Why isn’t this easier??” and then realizing “You can’t make something make sense if you didn’t intend for it to make sense” :joy:


Honestly, “because magic” is an awesome reason. Add a few bits of lore, and it makes sense :3


Haha, the problem with my vision was that “because magic” was meant to explain literally everything and every possible plot hole :joy: Why didn’t that guy die? Because magic. Why did this non-magical thing happen? Because magic. Why doesn’t magic make sense?? Because magic. Why didn’t the enemy do an all-powerful magical thing to obliterate everyone in the first place, because they can obviously do it??? Because magic. The only lore I wanted was that magic is a thing that exists :joy:


Now I want to write a book called ‘Because Magic’ and have that explain everything :slight_smile: