This week in Fantasy, Magic is an important ingredient to any niche and trend you look at on the best seller’s chart.
Magical Academy stories are hugely influential this week on the chart, around two fifths of the whole thing is filled with books that use Magical Schools, Academies, Universities and other places of education, to set their stories. From Harry Potter, to Bella Forrest’s, Harley Merlin series, it’s time to go back to school as long as that school has magic and at least one death threat along the way. A lot of these books owe their allegiances to the Paranormal Romance category as well, and this shows as, once you remove the Harry Potter books, practically everything is led with a female character. Romance is also a major part of the plot of these books, often with a Bully Romance, sometimes a Reverse Harem. It is a mistake to assume that all of these books are aimed for younger readers, often they are for adult readers feeling nostalgic about their school days, or who wish that their school days had been completely different. This is in part why Universities are becoming more popular in this niche.
Elsewhere on the chart Magic and Magical Realism are surging in popularity. In particular, this week there is a lot of interest in books starring witches. Some of these are more along the traditional lines of Fantasy, like Jay Kristoff’s, Nevernight, which also has influences of Steampunk and Assassin Fantasies. But one of the leading new niches of the week is the rising Paranormal Mystery, and Magical Cosy (often spelled Cozy) Mystery in particular. By blending the two popular genres of Paranormal Romance and Mystery, writers have a chance to grab a lot of fans who might be interested in books that overlap those two genres. The main characters in these stories are generally witches, but there are also wizards, vampires, werewolves, and other magical species which often feature prominently. Cate Lawley’s, Complete Series of The Night Shift Witch Series, is selling well, as is Amanda M. Lee’s, To spell With It, which is the fourth in her A Moonstone Bay Cozy Mystery Series.
And again, more traditional Fantasy is also doing well, with Sword and Sorcery novels flourishing on the chart. Jeff Wheeler’s Harbinger Series is selling well with multiple spots on the list, while, Adrian Tchaikovsky’s, Redemption’s Blade, is also popular. Multi Award Winning, Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy, is up for grabs in a box set form and the readers are grabbing. Nicole Evelina is described as having an expansive knowledge of Arthurian Legend, which must surely come in handy when writing a retelling.
Also popular is the blending of Magical Realism and Alternate History, with Marie Brennan’s faux-biology text, A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, which takes place in a world fairly similar to Regency England only there are dragons. Plus, The Ghost Tree is a mystery and family saga story by Barbara Erskine which takes place in Edinburgh and around the world, features ghosts and a cursed family.
So, a lot of variety for Fantasy readers this week, even without counting a lot of the nuances in Paranormal Romance and Magical Academy books, which will be coming up later on in the week.
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