We're familiar with the medieval fantasy theme of knights in shining armor riding their horses with their lances, broadswords and shields. We're also familiar with the hobbits, elves, orcs, crown-wearing kings and queens with bearded wizards leaning against their magical quarterstaff wearing conical hats and long robes. Well, thanks to Arthurian legends, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games and books, and more recently, George R.R. Martin, these fantasy images are now etched in popular culture especially to a broader audience beyond books and into television shows and film.
Yet, what about fantasy novels with secondary worlds that do not draw on these medieval Western European or Arthurian images? What about stories and myths that draw on the folklore of the Russian rusalka, the Polish story of Rokita and Boruta, the Middle-Eastern night hag or baxtak, the king of goats or takam, or the myriad of stories from Asia from the Chinese Jade Emperor and superstitions to the Japanese yokai. Well, thanks to the Chicago Public Library, they've compiled a list of 13 fantasy novels that draw on these inspirations here. Let's take a look at what they're about.
About the Creator
Terry Astrial is an alias I'm using for this website & our social media channels (yep, it's not my real name). I'm born & raised in Asia.