- has a created world with territories and kingdoms and often includes a map of the imaginary landscape
- the heroes travel across an exotic land
- happens in the past (medieval times with feudal structure and and medieval technology)
- there are castles and knights
- involves politics and wars
- battle between good and evil
- black and white concept of moral
- world with own sets of rules and laws
- magical creatures, especially evil ones like dragons, elves, goblins, etc.
- wizards and queens
- features the end of the world the hero has to save
- magic encompasses huge spectacular feats of the unimaginable
- terrifying dark lord
- large cast of characters
- the exile or voyage changes the protagonist deeply
- characterization is high because we focus on the hero's choices
- made up culture with sometimes made up religion and language
- 100,000 words or more
Differences between Epic and High Fantasy:
- In high fantasy, the cope is narrower
- It is focused on the needs and desires of an individual hero
- It is focused on one singe villain with personal needs and desires (in epic fantasy it is more about a cataclysm that upsets the order of the world)
- At the end of the story, the world is mostly unchanged while the hero has achieved his goals
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
The last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Sword of Shadows by J. V. Jones
Farseer by Robin Hobb
Recluce by L. E. Modesitt
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (epic)
The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind (epic)
Earthsea Series by Ursula K. Le Guin (high)
Majipoor Series by Robert Silverberg (high)
"The Never Ending Story"
"Dungeons and Dragons"
"The Chronicles of Narnia"
"The Golden Compass"
"The Secret of Moonacre"
Best Fantasy Books. <http://bestfantasybooks.com/>