August 6th, 2010, 08:05 PM
Novels that best illustrate tropes or the Fantasy Tropes Oscars
First time poster, long time reader. I am interested to start a discussion on which novels epitomize certain tropes. I had this idea because I read a fair bit of fantasy and equally as many reviews for potential new reads. I've noticed that a lot of reviews for new books that are "good" have a statements like: So and so author provides many twists on traditional fantasy tropes. or So and so author takes familiar fantasy tropes and turns them on their head.
But what does this even mean? It's practically become a reviewer trope to compare any above average fantasy book to GRRM ASOIAF like it means something. What about the books that made these ideas into tropes in the first place?
So what about a list of 'classic' novels that defined the tropes we know and love and perhaps additionally the ones that have recently performed them the best. I'll start.
Old "Magic School / Wizard Education" - a wizard of earthsea. New: Harry Potter
Best "Overbearing master with eager apprentice" - Not sure for old. New: Durzo / Kyler - Night Angel, or Kelsier / Vin - Mistborn.
It's a lot harder than I thought to think of them. But what are the classic stories that made the cliches we know and love? And who is redefining them best? As I sometimes get the feeling that I've read all the good fantasy books, I constantly think of the ones that I loved and where to find other books with those ideas. Right now I'm big on magic systems and can't find any new books that have them well developed. Sanderson's have been the best that I've read recently. Any suggestions?
August 18th, 2010, 06:02 PM
I can think of maybe an overprotective warrior-type, looking after his physically weak, but-helpful-in-others-ways-and-basically-detremental-to-the-storyline tag along?
All though there's a whole ton of these and most of them are some whiney 'White Priestess' of 'Super Healing' and her swordsman boyfriend.
Ooo, we need the 'Chick is the KEY to EVERYTHING EVER' trope. ;D
Is there a trope of clothing mishaps? I swear to--- You get those smutty fantasy books that are basically erotic fantasies if anything, where the main female goes to fight some bandits and get's.. Well, you know? But I mean in mainstream fantasy, and in a scene that has nothing to do with sex at all.
Like, I was reading GRRM the other day again and Dany was speaking with Jorah. In mid conversation her garment randomly fell to reveal a 'supple breat' for no... particular reason.
I've seen it done alot as well in training sequences, where the trainee falls on their back, legs in the air and we all get a good, fully described look...
August 19th, 2010, 04:09 AM
It never entered my mind
if you want to have fun about fantasy tropes check out "Tough Guide to Fantasyland" by Diana Wynne Jones
August 20th, 2010, 07:26 AM
Fantasy based on folk-lore/fairy tale while also commenting on folk-lore/fairy tale:
old: The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle; The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
new(er): Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
Oddly, here the older ones seem a bit more subversive of the form, in particular the Carter.
Fantasy in which a rag-tag group of intrepid warriors form bonds and go a-questing:
new(er): The Innkeeper's Song by Peter Beagle
Beagle manages to write such a novel while implying a certain kind of society, uncovering the humanity behind each character and withholding a narrative surprise that casts a different light on much of what we've read to that point. And, best yet, he does all this in one volume, and a slim one at that.