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As a style, fantasy has a popularity for tremendous lengthy books. A number of years in the past, The Guardian ran an essay entitled “Fantasy Should Shake Off the Tyranny of the Mega-Novel.” In the event you take a look at the work compiled by The Fantasy Inn on phrase counts of among the longest SFF collection, effectively, it’s a bit staggering (we’re speaking a number of tens of millions).
If we rely books as an alternative of phrases, we will begin small: three books in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, seven in The Chronicles of Narnia, eight in The Darkish Tower collection, ten in The Chronicles of Amber, 41 in Terry Partche’s Discworld collection. You get the image, proper? This isn’t even starting to get into among the heftier single-volume tomes on the market.
Some even argue that good fantasy novels have to be longer than non-fantasy novels as a result of worldbuilding takes time (and phrases). For the file, I disagree with this attitude, despite the fact that I respect high quality worldbuilding as a lot as the following avid fantasy reader.
Put merely, not all good fantasy is chonky. In actual fact, a few of it’s downright quick. And I’m not simply speaking about flash fiction. There are some unimaginable fantasy novels and novellas on the market, which is good news for readers who aren’t able to learn an epic novel or collection proper now.
Unusual Allure by Emily Bergslien and Kat Weaver (94 pages)
Bergslien and Weaver’s humorous novella facilities on lovingly rendered younger associates, Julia and Simon, who reside in a magic-infused alternate Nineteen Twenties London. Julia returns residence after being expelled from college, whereas Simon is quiet and deeply invested in finding out magic. Julia’s mother is Simon’s trainer, and the 2 teenagers develop a friendship fairly shortly. As Julia struggles to grasp her fraught relationship together with her mom and Simon’s magical powers (that are intertwined together with his Jewish religion) develop, the pair discover themselves with a thriller on their palms — one involving Julia’s mom. You’ll burn via this one shortly, however its memorable characters will stick to you.
The Return of the Sorceress by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (96 pages)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s fantasy all the time delivers on magic and grit, and this quick e-book isn’t any exception. The magic on this story world is bloody and has ties to Nahuatl figures and ideas. Protagonist Yalxi has, er, dedicated some fairly darkish deeds in her time. That’s how she got here to be Supreme Mistress of the Guild of Sorcerers…and misplaced to her traitorous lover. His betrayal units her on the trail of revenge that kinds a lot of the story. Her quest forces her to revisit her previous in actually attention-grabbing methods, and if she needs to regain her highly effective place, she’ll must get her palms a bit soiled.
The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw (112 pages)
In the event you’ve ever learn Cassandra Khaw’s work, you’ll be supremely unsurprised to be taught that this e-book is a bloody darkish fantasy with parts of horror. Like their different works, this one is unquestionably not for the faint of coronary heart. The important thing characters are a badly wronged mermaid in search of escape from her captivity and a plague physician who’s grappling with their very own traumatic previous. The obstacles they encounter as every aids their very own and the opposite’s escape are, let’s assume, disturbing and mysterious. That is no kids’s fairy story; it’s a fantastical work of physique horror that can hang-out you for a very long time.
The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo (128 pages)
This one’s a novella, however it’s additionally e-book one in all 4 in The Singing Hills Cycle. Fortunately, the books actually kind a cycle, so you possibly can learn any of them on their very own or a number of volumes in no matter order you please. This specific quantity begins with information of Empress In-yo’s dying, uncovering particulars of her life as empress via a cleric’s analysis and a girl named Rabbit who as soon as served In-yo. What involves mild via the pair’s interactions is a story directly feminist, queer, empowering, and uncooked.
As soon as Extra Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi (144 pages)
This novella is delivered via exceptionally written and enjoyably humorous prose. By means of a intelligent mash-up of two fairy tales, Chokshi creates a completely new fairy story (assume: princess from story A meets prince from story B, leading to story C — this e-book). Imelda and Ambrose fall in love and get married inside days, however when Imelda eats a poisoned tomato throughout their wedding ceremony feast, Ambrose consents to sacrifice their love for each other to a witch so as to save Imelda’s life. After a yr and a day of loveless marriage, the witch returns to ask a favor and to plant a seed that simply may lead the sad pair to a more true happily-ever-after.
The Archive of Alternate Endings by Lindsey Drager (168 pages)
That is greater than only a retelling of a fairy story. Drager’s novel is an interesting reimagining of “Hansel and Gretel” via characters in several eras who have interaction with the story ultimately. Whether or not that’s the 14th-century siblings behind the characters, individuals who write or illustrate or learn variations of the story because it evolves throughout the centuries, or the story’s continued circulation two centuries from now, every fragment of this uncommon e-book brings focus to a special facet of the story and its potential relevance.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia (176 pages)
For such a slim quantity, Jamnia’s novella certain covers quite a lot of floor! Training blood magic is harmful, which is why queer protag Firuz has to flee for his or her life amidst a horrible plague. Firuz manages to flee to Qilwa as a refugee and begins a brand new life for themself. Sadly, the security they’ve begun to construct crumbles once they use their blood magic and discover themself the goal of worry and misunderstanding as soon as extra. It’s a compelling story that raises vital questions for modern readers.
The Method House by Peter S. Beagle (224 pages)
This one might sound a bit lengthy for a novella, however that’s as a result of it’s truly two novellas referred to as Two Hearts and Sooz. In the event you liked The Final Unicorn, then you definitely’re in luck as a result of these novellas are each set in the identical world. The beforehand revealed Two Hearts provides readers a brand new character to take pleasure in within the younger Sooz. Once we meet her, she’s making an attempt to avoid wasting her village from a griffin. Some previous favorites (anybody else keep in mind the lovable Schmendrick?) come to her assist, and Sooz catches up together with her years after the occasions of Two Hearts.