As a teenager, you want to feel significant. What fantasy novels do first and foremost, is take young people seriously. They don’t treat them like kids, but young adults. They give them the feeling that one day they will find their place in this world. This is a powerful theme.
I started reading at a young age. All kinds of stuff. My parents used to say, that my interests vary. Although I’m very proud of the fact, I have to admit it all started with this one book. The moment was magical. Ten years old at the time, I walked by a book store in Ettlingen with my mom when we immediately stopped. Completely mesmerized, I couldn’t move. On its cover, the book read: SCHATTENJAGD (Shadow hunt). Three morphing figures were walking high up in the air, over a glowing city . . .
A few days later, in 1997, my aunt and uncle gave it to me as a birthday present. From then on, I read it many times, over and over. It spoke to me like nothing else.
For David, a disabled teenager in a wheelchair, »Shadowhunt« is the best Virtual Reality game ever. He is able to create his own world, where he becomes a glorious knight and a hero of the people. A world in which he can walk. After installing the game on his father’s corporate computer however, the world of the game suddenly begins to expand and take a hold of reality . . .
Developing a taste for the Fantastic
The book was not enough. I continued to read other works by Wolfgang Hohlbein and his wife Heike: »Der Greif«, »13«, »Das Druidentor«, just to name a few. Everything I could get my hands on. Years later, I started writing myself. First short stories and novellas, much later film reviews and screenplays.
Twenty years later, I got the chance to meet Hohlbein in the Filmakademie Ludwigsburg. On stage, Hohlbein talked about his new book »Mörderhotel« (Murderer Hotel), his first crime novel. Someone in the audience asked him how he began writing. Hohlbein answered, that his uncle got him a book by Karl May for his 11th birthday. I couldn’t believe it. After the talk, me and my friends went to talk to him and have my book signed. There I told Hohlbein my story. The writer just smirked, as if he had heard it a million times before . . .
Why Fantasy Novels are great
Despite a lot of fantasy shows, movies and games currently in the works, most fantasy stories are written as fantasy novels. For this story form, the written word is special, because every reader has his own imagination. That’s the reason why books are the lifeblood of fantasy. Reading opens up a whole new world in our minds that can’t be reached by passive media. However, it’s important to note that fantasy novels speak mainly to younger readers.
The Best Fantasy Novels
I already presented you a list of fantasy classics. Here are the best fantasy novels of all time you should definitely check out:
- The Neverending Story
- The Mortal Instruments
- The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
- The Wheel of Time
- The Way of Kings
The Future of Fantasy Literature
The roots of fantasy novels can be found in all kinds of stories. Mythological creatures like Dragons stem from traditional tales that have been told for millennia. From the philosophy of Plato to »The Book of One Thousand and One Nights« or the Romantic Novella »The Marble Statue« by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff – there are a lot of influences.
My feeling is that fantasy novels are here to stay. Many new writers contribute to the genre and it’s growing on a lot of different levels. There are not only YA novels, but more and more stories for adults coming out.
Right now, there are no plans for a Black Forest Witch novel, but who knows what might happen in the future. Would you be interested in reading the chronicles of our witch? Connect with us on Facebook, leave a comment and tell us what you think!