Characters like Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister are guided (and misguided) by prophecies, resulting in a series of events that make a rollercoaster seem like a leisurely drive through the countryside.
Sands of Prophecy: The Wheel of Time
Robert Jordan’s sprawling epic, ‘The Wheel of Time,’ offers a fascinating study of prophecy guiding the characters’ actions.
The Dragon Reborn, Rand al’Thor, is the central figure of many prophecies in this series.
His future actions, which are prophesied to either save or doom the world, act as significant drivers of the plot and character decisions.
The Hidden Destiny: The Belgariad
In David Eddings’ ‘The Belgariad,’ the protagonist, Garion, grows up unaware of the prophecies that predict his role in overcoming the dark god Torak.
The series showcases how prophecies can be intertwined with the protagonist’s coming-of-age journey, providing both external conflict and internal growth.
The Prophecy of Elan: Mistborn
Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Mistborn’ series presents a unique twist on the prophecy trope.
The series’ characters believe they are acting according to a prophecy to overthrow a tyrant.
Still, as the series progresses, they realise the prophecy has been manipulated, leading to an unexpected outcome.
This series beautifully illustrates how prophecies can be used to introduce surprising plot twists and explore themes of power and deception.
The Witch’s Oracle: The Witcher Series
Andrzej Sapkowski’s ‘The Witcher’ series includes a prophecy involving the protagonist’s adopted daughter, Ciri, who is destined to cause a catastrophic event known as the Time of Contempt.
This prophecy influences several character’s actions and alliances throughout the series, illustrating how prophecies can impact not only plot but also character relationships and political dynamics.
A Prophecy Unfolds: The Chronicles of Narnia
In C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’ the prophecy that two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve will rule Narnia and defeat the White Witch drives the entire plot of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’
The prophecy not only foretells the outcome but also provides motivation and validation for the characters’ roles, demonstrating the power of prophecy in establishing character identity and purpose.
The Purpose of Prophecy
So, why does prophecy get such a good gig in fantasy?
Well, it’s a nifty tool for foreshadowing, creating tension, and driving the plot.
But it’s not just that.
Prophecy also explores the complex interplay between fate and free will, the nature of time, and the reliability of perception.
The Prophecy Paradox
Yet, there’s a paradox in prophecy—if the prophecy is going to come true, can the characters do anything to stop it?
This is where authors often get creative.
They may use deceptive wording, dual meanings, or self-fulfilling prophecies to keep us on our toes.
Prophecy in fantasy is as integral as a cuppa to a good British morning.
It adds layers of complexity to the plot, deepens character development, and keeps readers engaged.
So the next time you crack open a fantasy novel, keep an eye out for the prophecy. It might just foretell the adventure that awaits.
Explore the appeal of princess protagonists in fantasy fiction, their diversity, and 10 compelling novels featuring royal heroines.
Once upon a time, in a realm not so different from our own, a certain type of heroine began to emerge from the realms of fantasy, turning heads and capturing hearts.
With a wave of a magic wand and a flick of a quill, the princess protagonist was born. Since then, it’s been “happily ever after” in the land of fantasy fiction.
But what’s the real fairy dust behind the appeal of princesses as in fantasy stories? Is
it the glittering tiaras, the brocade gowns, or the limitless supply of chocolate from the royal pantry?
But let’s dig a little deeper and you’ll see it’s not all about pumpkin carriages and glass slippers.
Stories are About Change
First and foremost, there’s the notion of transformation.
Everyone loves a good makeover story, right?
From ragged Cinderella to radiant princess, it’s the oldest trick in the book.
Even if the transformation is less literal—say from timid princess to fearless leader—it’s always satisfying to witness a character’s growth, especially when they end up with a crown on their head and a kingdom at their feet.
Next on the docket, we have the “royal package.”
What we’re talking about is the complex weave of royal drama, intrigue, and power dynamics.
These elements offer a deliciously rich broth of plot possibilities, from cloak-and-dagger conspiracies to forbidden love stories.
It’s like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get (unless, of course, you’re a princess. Then you probably have someone to pre-sort your chocolates for you).
Desire Verus Duty
Then there’s the matter of responsibility. With great power comes…a lot of paperwork, apparently.
The princess protagonist is not just a lady of leisure. She is a ruler-in-waiting, and with that comes the weight of the world.
The conflicts and challenges she faces allow us to explore themes of duty, sacrifice, and leadership.
It’s the perfect recipe for character development and stirring storylines.
It’s the Setting, Darling
And let’s not forget the glittering royal backdrop.
Who wouldn’t be mesmerised by towering castles, enchanted forests, or even a bit of dragon drama?
These fantastical settings provide the perfect stage for our princess to strut her stuff, and a healthy dose of escapism for us, the humble reader. It’s like a holiday without the hassle of packing.
The Diversity of Princesses
It’s worth noting that princess protagonists are not stamped from a single mould.
We have a delightful assortment of princess personalities, each adding their own unique sparkle to the narrative crown.
Let’s meet some, shall we?
1. The Reluctant Royal
In the annals of fantasy fiction, this princess would rather go barefoot in the park than be corseted and courted.
She’s a free spirit, often uncomfortable with the pomp and circumstance of royal life.
Aerin from Robin McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown” is a fine example.
Despite being a princess, Aerin has no interest in the royal court’s intrigue and instead becomes a dragon-slaying hero.
2. The Warrior Princess
Don’t let the royal title fool you, these princesses are fierce, independent, and not afraid to take up arms when the kingdom’s at risk.
Ever heard of Princess Cimorene from Patricia C. Wrede’s “Dealing with Dragons?”
She refuses to be a damsel in distress and runs away to live with dragons, learning magic and sword-fighting along the way.
3. The Strategist
This is a princess who uses her wit and cunning to navigate court politics and protect her kingdom.
Take Kelsea from “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen.
She’s more likely to be found with a book than a sword, but her knowledge and intelligence make her a formidable ruler.
4. The Undercover Princess
Sometimes, our princess must hide her identity for the sake of safety, intrigue, or a good plot twist.
“Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas gives us Celaena Sardothien, an assassin who *spoiler alert* doesn’t reveal her true royal identity until later in the series.
And when she does, it’s a game-changer.
5. The Born Leader
These princesses are destined to rule, showing leadership skills and an innate sense of justice from an early age.
In Tamora Pierce’s “Song of the Lioness” series, Alanna of Trebond disguises herself as a boy to train as a knight.
Her journey is not only about personal achievement, but also about becoming a leader who can inspire and guide others.
10 Fantasy Books with Princesses as Main Characters
Whether they’re battling dragons, solving royal mysteries, or navigating the treacherous waters of court politics, these princesses truly rule the roost.
Here are some fantasy books with princesses as main characters:
1. “The Hero and the Crown” by Robin McKinley
As previously mentioned, our protagonist Aerin is an unconventional princess who’d rather slay dragons than sip tea at courtly gatherings. A Newbery Medal winner, this novel is a must-read for lovers of adventure and strong heroines.
2. “Dealing with Dragons” by Patricia C. Wrede
In the first book of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Princess Cimorene finds her royal duties terribly dull. So, she runs away to live with dragons, and along the way, manages to turn the princess stereotype on its head.
3. “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen
Kelsea Raleigh must reclaim her deceased mother’s throne and rebuild her kingdom. A gripping tale of power and politics, this book combines elements of fantasy and dystopian fiction.
4. “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena Sardothien is an assassin, but she’s also a princess in hiding. This thrilling series is filled with action, romance, and plenty of plot twists.
5. “Alanna: The First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce
In this first installment of the Song of the Lioness series, we meet Alanna of Trebond, a princess who defies the gender norms of her time to become a knight.
6. “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik
In this loose retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, we follow the journey of Miryem, a moneylender’s daughter who gets entangled with the icy Staryk king. Though not a princess from the start, her story is worthy of royal status.
7. “Daughter of the Forest” by Juliet Marillier
Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, must undertake a perilous journey to save her brothers. While not explicitly a princess, Sorcha’s story is deeply embedded in elements of classic fairy tales and fantasy novels.
8. “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore
In the Seven Kingdoms, some people are born with a Grace—a unique, often supernatural, skill. Katsa, niece to the king and thus a princess of sorts, was unfortunately graced with killing. Rebelling against her royal role, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and epic adventure.
9. “The Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale
A retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, this novel follows Crown Princess Anidori-Kiladra of Kildenree as she’s betrayed by her own people and must become a goose girl to survive. It’s a captivating tale of resilience and reclaiming one’s identity.
10. “The Priory of the Orange Tree” by Samantha Shannon
In this sweeping epic, we follow several characters, one of whom is Queen Sabran the Ninth who must conceive a daughter to protect her realm. Meanwhile, Ead Duryan is a lady-in-waiting with a secret mission to protect the queen. It’s a tale packed with dragons, magic, and a unique matriarchal society.
Each of these books adds a unique dimension to the idea of a princess protagonist, breaking the conventional mould and serving up some hearty, unforgettable adventures.
Be prepared for some late nights—these books are hard to put down!
Inspired by the Sino-Japanese War and the opium crisis in China, ‘The Poppy War’ is a fantastical reimagining of historical events with a hearty dose of shamanistic magic.
The conflict between Nikan and Mugen mirrors the historical tension between China and Japan, and the Third Poppy War alludes to the Second Sino-Japanese War.
A history lesson wrapped up in an epic tale of magic and warfare—what more could you ask for?
‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ may feel like a modern mythology playbook, but it’s a reflection of the cultural melting pot that is the United States.
From ancient Norse gods to African deities, it’s a wildly imaginative exploration of immigration and cultural assimilation.
It’s a bit like a history textbook, but with more gods, spirits, and an undead girlfriend.
‘The Broken Empire Trilogy’ by Mark Lawrence
Lawrence’s dark and gritty trilogy could be seen as a case study on the fall of the Roman Empire, with a dash of necromancy thrown in for good measure.
The Broken Empire, like the historical empire it’s modelled on, is marked by internal conflict, external invasions, and a general disregard for the wellbeing of peasants.
It’s the Roman Empire, just with a marginally higher body count.
‘The Powder Mage Trilogy’ by Brian McClellan
McClellan’s epic fantasy series is a brilliant blend of magic, politics, and gunpowder.
The series is set in a world that vividly resembles the French Revolution era, complete with its own versions of the guillotine and political upheaval.
The struggle between the privileged classes and the common people, the rise of new political ideologies, and the tension of a society on the brink of radical change all mirror the tumultuous times of late 18th-century France.
‘The Lions of Al-Rassan’ by Guy Gavriel Kay
Kay’s standalone novel is a romantic and tragic tale set in a world that strongly resembles Moorish Spain.
The novel’s three main characters come from distinct religious backgrounds, akin to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and their interactions provide a deep dive into the complexities of religious tolerance, cultural assimilation, and the societal challenges posed by the Reconquista.
‘The Grace of Kings’ by Ken Liu
‘The Grace of Kings’ is the first book in Liu’s ‘Dandelion Dynasty’ series.
It’s an epic tale of rebellion, politics, and unlikely friendships, and it’s steeply rooted in the history and philosophy of the ancient Chinese Han Dynasty.
Liu’s story of Kuni Garu and Mata Zyndu parallels the rise of Liu Bang and Xiang Yu following the fall of the Qin Dynasty, offering a unique blend of history and fantasy.
‘River of Teeth’ by Sarah Gailey
In ‘River of Teeth,’ Gailey spins a fascinating alternate history where an actual, but failed, 19th-century American scheme to farm hippos in the Mississippi River is a reality.
This adventurous tale of cowboys, outlaws, and ‘hoppers’ (hippo riders) provides a wild, imaginative take on American frontier life, offering a unique perspective on the era of western expansion.
‘The Golem and the Jinni’ by Helene Wecker
Wecker’s novel is a tale of immigration, combining elements of Jewish and Arab folklore.
Set in New York City in 1899, the story follows Chava, a golem brought to life by a rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni released from a flask by a tinsmith.
As they navigate the bustling immigrant communities of the city, the novel offers an engaging exploration of the immigrant experience in America at the turn of the 20th century.
So, there you have it. Who would’ve thought that traipsing around in our fantasy favourites could double as a history lesson?
It’s a bit like finding out your favourite pub serves a cracking Sunday roast. A pleasant surprise, to be sure.
Discover the thrilling world of assassin fantasy novels. From intricate plots to memorable characters, delve into a realm of deception, danger, and deadly missions. Perfect for fans of well-crafted stories. #AssassinFantasy #BookRecommendations.
For fans of fantasy novels, there’s nothing quite like a well-crafted story that features assassins.
These novels offer a thrilling journey through a world of deception, danger, and deadly missions.
Whether you’re new to the genre or a seasoned reader, you’re sure to find something to love in these page-turning tales.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Set in a richly imagined world of magic and political intrigue, “Assassin’s Apprentice” is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy. The novel introduces readers to FitzChivalry Farseer, a young man who is trained in the art of assassination.
As Fitz navigates the complex political landscape of the kingdom, he must also grapple with his own personal demons and his loyalty to his mentor, the ruthless assassin Chade.
With its memorable characters, intricate plot, and rich world-building, “Assassin’s Apprentice” is a must-read for fans of the genre.
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
In “The Way of Shadows”, the orphaned street urchin Azoth is taken in by the assassin Durzo Blint, who teaches him the deadly arts.
As Azoth becomes the skilled assassin known as Kylar Stern, he must navigate a dangerous world of power struggles and political intrigue, while also grappling with his own personal demons.
With its intricate plot and memorable characters, “The Way of Shadows” is a must-read for fans of assassin fantasy.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
In the world of “Nevernight”, the powerful Mia Corvere is determined to seek revenge against those who murdered her family. To do so, she must become a deadly assassin and navigate the cutthroat world of the Red Church, where she will encounter a cast of unforgettable characters, including the masked Ghost and the charming Tric.
With its fast-paced action, deep world-building, and intricate plot, “Nevernight” is a standout addition to the assassin fantasy genre.
Assassin by Andy Peloquin.
In “Assassin”, the nameless protagonist is an assassin without a past. With only his deadly skills and a thirst for revenge to guide him, he embarks on a journey of discovery, facing off against a cast of dangerous enemies and uncovering the secrets of his own past.
With its fast-paced action and intricate plot, “Assassin” is a thrilling addition to the genre.
Free the Darkness by Kel Kade
In “Free the Darkness”, the skilled assassin Tyvian Reldamar is double-crossed by his employer and forced to embark on a dangerous mission to retrieve a powerful artifact.
With his life on the line and a cast of deadly enemies hot on his trail, Tyvian must navigate a dangerous world of magic and political intrigue, while also grappling with his own personal demons.
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
“Red Sister” is the first book in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy. Set in a richly imagined world, the novel follows the journey of a young girl named Nona, who is taken to a convent to be trained as an assassin.
As she navigates the dangerous world of the convent, she must also grapple with her own personal demons and the complex political landscape of the kingdom.
A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish
In “A Dance of Cloaks”, the skilled assassin Thren Felhorn is embroiled in a dangerous game of political intrigue and deadly missions.
With his life on the line and a cast of dangerous enemies hot on his trail, Thren must navigate a dangerous world of magic and politics.
Age of Assassins by R.J. Barker
In “Age of Assassins”, the young assassin Girton Club-Foot is sent on a dangerous mission to protect the future king. As he navigates the complex political landscape of the kingdom, Girton must confront a cast of dangerous enemies and uncover a deadly conspiracy.
Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
In “Across the Nightingale Floor”, the young assassin Takeo is sent on a dangerous mission to protect the future emperor.
With its fast-paced action and memorable characters, “Across the Nightingale Floor” is a standout addition to the assassin fantasy genre.
The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
In “The Hogfather“, the assassin Teatime is hired to eliminate the beloved holiday figure known as the Hogfather. With its fast-paced action and memorable characters, “The Hogfather” is a must-read.
If you love fantasy with assassins, you can get my novel Birth of Assassins for free as part of the Ravenglass Universe starter library.
Embark on an epic journey with ‘Blades of Wolfsbane,’ a high-stakes prequel to Jon Cronshaw’s Ravenglass Legends. Dive into a world of honor, secret fighting styles, and family legacies, now available as a free audiobook.
Welcome to the immersive world of Blade of Wolfsbane, a high fantasy novella prequel to Jon Cronshaw’s Ravenglass Legends.
This captivating tale, now available as a free full audiobook, is an unforgettable journey into a vibrant universe filled with courageous heroes and electrifying sword fights.
In the heart of the story, we meet Ragnar—a chieftain’s son yearning for his father’s respect. Secretly honing an unorthodox fighting style, he grapples with a choice: reveal his prowess in the imminent boys’ tournament and risk family disgrace, or submit to defeat. This epic tournament, a secret to safeguard, and a legacy at stake, sets the stage for a story that will ensnare your imagination.
Fans of rich world-building and high-stakes fantasy will feel right at home in the expansive Ravenglass Universe.
Embark on Ragnar’s epic journey today. Dive into the world of chieftains, warriors, and ancient traditions. Experience the thrill of the tournament, the weight of a secret, and the struggle for respect.
Don’t miss out on this exciting journey! Listen to the full audiobook of Blades of Wolfsbane for free right here on YouTube.
Remember to like, share, and subscribe for more immersive audiobooks. Enjoy the adventure!
Dive into the magical world of British fantasy TV! Explore top series from ‘Doctor Who’ to ‘The Worst Witch’ and embark on epic televisual adventures.
Whether you’re a wizarding world devotee or a chronicler of Narnia, if you’re in the mood to mix a bit of televisual magic into your high fantasy diet, you’ve landed in the right place.
Here’s a list of ten British fantasy series that are as alluring as a freshly brewed cuppa.
This one’s older than your granny’s favourite rocking chair. With a time-travelling alien who changes faces more often than your favourite Instagram influencer, it’s a must-watch. And with so many Doctors to choose from, you’re bound to find one that tickles your fancy.
This retelling of Arthurian legend gives us a young Merlin, a younger Arthur, and more royal drama than you’d find at a Windsor family reunion. It’s a bit like Harry Potter, but everyone’s got a posh accent, and there’s significantly less homework.
A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost sharing a flat—it’s like a supernatural version of Big Brother, but with more existential crises.
This BAFTA-winning series introduces us to Paul, a bloke who sees spirits of the dead, known as Fades. It’s a bit like the Sixth Sense but with more British weather.
His Dark Materials
Based on Philip Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy, this series is perfect for anyone who’s ever looked at their pet and thought, “I wish you could talk and also shape-shift.” It’s got parallel universes, armoured bears, and an alarming lack of dark materials, honestly.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Magicians in 19th-century England? Sign me up. It’s a bit like Pride and Prejudice meets The Prestige. There’s more magic in this series than in a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.
An angel and a demon team up to prevent the apocalypse. It’s like a buddy cop film but with more celestial beings and fewer doughnuts. David Tennant and Michael Sheen’s performances are more delightful than finding an extra biscuit at the bottom of the tin.
In The Flesh
This one’s a bit of a tear-jerker. It tells the story of treated zombies, known as PDS sufferers, reintegrating into society. It’s like Downton Abbey but with more brain cravings.
A group of young offenders develops superpowers after a freak storm. It’s a little bit like The Avengers, but with more community service and less spandex.
The Worst Witch
This is perfect for when you want something light and fun. It’s a bit like Harry Potter, but Hermione is the main character, and Ron’s a talking cat.
So, there you have it— ten British fantasy TV shows that will transport you to magical lands, alternate realities, and the occasional shared flat in Bristol.
So, next time you’re in need of a break from the pages, why not switch on the telly for a spell?
Just remember to return to your books afterwards; they get frightfully lonely without you.