The True Spirit of Fantasy Fiction


When you think of fantasy fiction, what comes to mind? The first place my mind goes is down the list of my favorite authors and books such as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, pretty much anything by Brandon Sanderson, Stephen Lawhead’s Paradise Wars books, Sharon Hinck’s Sword of Lyric trilogy, R.A. Salvatore’s Saga of the First King series…oh, the list could go on and on. I have way too many favorites to list here.

By Vassil (Own work) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The second place my mind goes is to the spirit behind fantasy — that special thing that draws me into these fantastical worlds of swords, horses, chivalry, good versus evil. That last one is the clincher for me. Good versus evil. I think that’s the one thing that keeps me coming back.

You see, my faith in God runs deep and what is Christianity based on? Good versus evil. The redeeming power of God in the face of an adversary who seeks to destroy mankind. I love to hear stories of good conquering evil, of hope to be found in dark, oppressive lands, or battles that can be fought — and won — in the face of ultimate evil.

I see fantasy fiction as an illustration of the unseen spiritual wars that influence all of our lives, wars that we become involved in all the time. To me, the good forces found in fantasy fiction provide a light. They remind us that there is good, that there is a God, the true champion of the human race. I believe that if we follow the true spirit behind this light, we will eventually find our way to the feet of God.

I recently received an email from one of my blog followers with a link to an article he and his brother (James Lang and Anthony Lang) wrote for Notre Dame Magazine. The article, entitled Flights of Fancy, explores the perceived good and bad of fantasy fiction. Does it enlighten or corrupt mankind? What do you think?

I found the article to be an interesting discussion of themes that I hold dear to my heart and, I’m the first to admit, the Lang brothers have expressed their thoughts on this topic much more elegantly than I ever could have. As such, I want to provide you a link and I encourage you to check it out.

Flights of Fancy
BY JAMES M. LANG ’91 AND ANTHONY F. LANG JR. ’90
Notre Dame Magazine, Autumn 2011 

What about you? What do you love about fantasy fiction? And science fiction too, for that matter. I think the same applies to this genre as well. Leave me a note in the comments section and let’s talk. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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