There is a push in Fantasy this week away from the traditional, Faux Medieval Europe idea of Fantasy, and more towards Contemporary settings and other more varied settings. This is being helped by a lot of new voices in the Fantasy chart, plus lots of Magical Academy books, Paranormal Romance, and LitRPG/GameLit novels.
For example, in Yangsze Choo’s, The Night Tiger, the setting is 1930s Malaysia. The story features curses and magic, shape shifters and quests, and truth be told I’m writing down the name to find it later and read it myself because it sounds really good. America is also a popular setting for fantasy novels, with the omnibus edition of Kevan Dale’s, The Conjuring Trilogy selling well this week. It is set in 1700s Boston, and features a genre of fantasy known as Flintlock Magic. So clearly, there is a market for books that are set outside of the Contemporary or Faux Medieval dichotomy that Fantasy tends to fall into.
Elsewhere, there is an abundance of Magical Academy books, which tend to follow a fairly rigid formula. The world has magic, not everyone has it, but going to a magical school is an intrinsic part of either learning how to use it or getting it at all. The main character is usually a young woman, she is generally not popular with the other students, this is not because of something she did, most of the time, but because of a misunderstanding or a prejudice in the society. Red hair is astonishingly common. As are Love Triangles and, in books targeted at an older audience, Reverse Harems. There is typically a mix of world threatening magical disasters on the way, or a war, and more usual stresses for school settings, like exams and mean teachers.
Paranormal Romance is also popular this week. Like in previous weeks there appears to be a rise in humorous romances in this niche, and they can usually be picked out from the other books in the genre by their pun filled titles and cartoon-y covers. There has been a return to werewolf fiction this week, plus a surprising bump in the number of books featuring vampires who had been almost entirely lost. However, the clear winners on this front are the Fae and Elves who are taking up a lot of the chart this week.
LitRPG and GameLit is a tricky genre to explain, if anyone out there has a one sentence explanation for what it is please leave it in the comments! However, trickiness of explaining what it is, aside, the books are going from strength to strength on the chart this week. This week the stories seem to be very focused on Fantasy based settings, and Fantasy tropes like the Chosen One, or the single fighter against an evil empire who can bring down the entire thing. Surprisingly, there appears to be a real lack of books featuring group or found family tropes which are usually very popular in this genre. Some of these series are into the double digits, so clearly this isn’t having a big impact on their sales! But it is interesting to see the change.
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