This is a continuation of the Science Fiction / Fantasy Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.
What is Heroic Fantasy?
Heroic fantasy centers around the tales of heroes and their conquests. Like sword and sorcery, heroic fantasy is often driven by action and violence. The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, though heroic fiction has fewer negative connotations.
- Legend by David Gemmell
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
- Heroic Fantasy @ TV Tropes
I’ve seen every sort of book listed as heroic fantasy. It seems to be a term used more loosely than some of the other subgenres we’ve looked at here. Perhaps the issue is that in modern terminology ‘hero’ is sometimes used to mean ‘protagonist’. If that’s the case, most stories are therefore ‘heroic’? What kinds of books come to your mind when you hear the term heroic fantasy?