Fantasy Friday: Boy and girl fantasy?
My cousin recently recommended a series of fantasy books to me called A Song of Ice and Fire. Having not read much fantasy lately and being in the mood, I was pretty pumped and happily accepted the books from him. I then opened up the first book, A Game of Thrones, and immediately had a sinking feeling in my gut. Boy-fantasy, I thought glumly to myself.
I can’t say I thought deeply about my designation in that moment, but the more I pondered it later, the more I came to believe there is actually some kind of divide. As far as I can make out, boy-fantasy seems to invariably be more political or war-torn, darker, and somewhat less magical while girl-fantasy seems to focus more on adventure, the unique talents of the main characters, and plenty of magic and/or enchantment (see our previous discussion of whimsical talking animals).
This isn’t to say that girls can’t enjoy “boy-fantasy” or that boys can’t like “girl-fantasy,” but I think there are definitely books within the genre that appeal to opposing genders. (And then there are book like The Hobbit that no doubt appeal to just about everyone.)
I don’t mean to be controversial with this, but I know some of our readers are fantasy lovers so I wanted to ask you all if you’ve noticed this divide. It was just so disappointing to open this book my cousin raved out and be confronted with something that just did not appeal, in large part because of its oozing masculinity. All the same, I’ll most likely give it a second shot (it came so highly recommended!) and see if I can’t get in touch with the boy side of my fantasy loving self.