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Magic Words, Magic Worlds:  Form and Style in Epic Fantasy

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Magic Words, Magic Worlds: Form and Style in Epic Fantasy

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Author: Matthew Oliver
Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2022
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Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
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Synopsis

While all fiction uses words to construct models of the world for readers, nowhere is this more obvious than in fantasy fiction. Epic fantasy novels create elaborate secondary worlds entirely out of language, yet the writing style used to construct those worlds has rarely been studied in depth. This book builds the foundations for a study of style in epic fantasy.

Close readings of selected novels by such writers as Steven Erikson, Ursula Le Guin, N. K. Jemisin and Brandon Sanderson offer insights into the significant implications of fantasy's use of syntax, perspective, paratexts, frame narratives and more. Re-examining critical assumptions about the reading experience of epic fantasy, this work explores the genre's reputation for flowery, archaic language and its ability to create a sense of wonder. Ultimately, it argues that epic fantasy shapes the way people think, examining how literary representation and style influence perception.


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