The books chosen by this week’s Fantasy readers show a couple of clear trends and a case of “and everything else.”
The first and most obvious trend of the week is that of Paranormal Romance themed books. This is a niche that is bound tightly to the other most popular trend of the week, Magical Academy Books, in that there is rarely a Magical Academy Book set anywhere other than a Paranormal Romance world. However, there are other trends popular in Paranormal Romance. Bounty Hunters, Fae, these are both popular tropes in the chart this week. One of the most interesting trends seems to be that book series set in a single setting, which is functionally the home base or whatever you want to call it, seems to be expanding beyond the Magical Schools, and is now including plenty of Magical Bars and Pubs. This is a more adult twist on the trope of a series with strong setting ties to a single place.
Also popular this week are anthology books centred around a single theme. The new The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy book has come out and it has been edited by multiple award winning author N.K. Jemison, so it is perhaps not a surprise that it has done very well and is being read by thousands of people. Also showing up is the Sword and Sorcery Anthology, edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacob Weisman. Which leads us rather neatly into the next trend doing well.
Fantasy books with a focus on quests, adventures, and yes, Sword and Sorcery. Evil rulers abound in these books, magic is every day, and a curse is a valid excuse for odd occurrences. Amy Harmon’s, The First Girl Child, has all three and the story is set in a setting reminiscent of Northern Europe in the Medieval Age. There are also plenty of older books to back the newer ones up, Tolkien is everywhere, as per usual, and there are lots of other authors trying their hand at this style of Fantasy too.
LitRPG or GameLit is also picking up in popularity this week, a couple of books have made their way onto the chart. A lot of these books also have a definite setting similarity with the Sword and Sorcery books. If anyone is interested they could likely get a lot of attention if they broke away from writing in this setting and moved instead to any other part of the world at all. It’s lucky these are all set in secondary worlds or else people would be tripping over each other.
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