LORE OF THE LETHARN: HIGH OR EPIC FANTASY?

I don’t normally post about my own fiction in this blog, as I prefer to talk about fantasy in general and some of my favorite authors in particular. However, I’ll make an exception today, because my latest book has just been released.

The cover and blurb for Lore of the Letharn, book two of the Raithlindrath series, are shown below.

There’s certainly an old-school epic fantasy feel about the cover, which is exactly what I wanted, although the prose, at least in the latter parts, tends more toward high fantasy.

Whether my readers call it epic fantasy, or high fantasy, I hope they like it. It was a joy to write.

 

Cover Lore of the Letharn

Men hunt him. Magic stalks him. A hero’s heart drives him.

Lanrik’s enemies will stop at nothing to claim his legendary sword. He’ll do anything to keep them from it – until they poison Erlissa and give him an unthinkable choice.

In their hands, the sword will bring mayhem and ruin. But without the cure they offer in exchange, the girl he loves will die. Trapped by a soul-crushing dilemma, he fights back with a daring plan. It offers hope to save Erlissa, and a chance to prevent chaos, but at a price that few would pay.

He begins a quest to challenge fate itself, for it will lead him to the tombs of the Letharn – the very place where Erlissa foretold his death.

But fate and death are not the only powers in the world, nor the greatest. Even as he travels, ancient forces stir, and the land teeters on the brink of destruction.

An epic story spanning realms, empires, lands of beauty and peril, ten thousand years of history, the battles of men, the struggles of light against dark, the striving of courage against despair and the destiny of one man, born into an age when the very powers that form and substance the world vie for dominion. The Raithlindrath series…

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “LORE OF THE LETHARN: HIGH OR EPIC FANTASY?

  1. e94allen

    I am not clear on the difference between high and epic fantasy.

    • I don’t think you’re alone there.

      Even Wikipedia is a mess on the subject. It claims that high fantasy is characterized by its setting in an imaginary world. By contrast, low and urban fantasy are set in the real world. If so, where does the term “high” come from? What does “high” refer to? Their definition makes no logical sense. They even go so far as to say that Lloyd Alexander coined the term “high fantasy” in a 1971 essay, “High Fantasy and Heroic Romance.” That essay is available online, and though the author uses the term there is no indication at all that he coined it. Nor any support for the Wikipedia definition.

      I believe Tolkien gave rise to the term. In a letter to Milton Waldman, providing an explanation of his goals in writing fiction, he said that he aimed to write stories that were “high.” So, it’s the style of writing for which Tolkien is famous, the grand and poetic style of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion that makes fantasy “high”. The same story, written without the “high stye” would be epic fantasy. At least, that’s my opinion, but there are plenty of others.

  2. e94allen

    Epic fantasy to me means really long novels spanning many books. That’s all to it.

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