A list of “influential” fantasy

Toral Delvar

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https://bookriot.com/most-influential-fantasy-books/amp
I’ve read most of the earlier ones. The more recent ones may be interesting, but a book published in 2020 is certainty not influential.
So, what are the most influential?
Tolkien obviously, I’d also put the Sword of Shannara up there as it showed there was a big market for basically the same tale, and Magician because it showed a market for very different stories (even if it kept the elves and goblins)
 

Aduiavas Ida

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I'm sorry, I know Rowling is really unpopular, but no Harry Potter on the list? Is that because it is classified as YA, or even children literature? Because I fail to see how some of the books on that list is more influential than Harry Potter has been...
 

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I didn’t think of that. How much influence did they have? Certainly there are a lot of “magic school” series that almost certainly would t have been published if not for Harry Potter
 
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Harry Potter was most certainly influential. Most of everyone knows about Harry Potter and at least some its plot. While I don't think it was groundbreaking, it was massively popular and therefore influential.
 

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It opened the way for many of us now in our 20's and 30's to the genre in general. I'm not sure I would have read Tolkien if it wasn't for Harry Potter, certainly not WoT...
 

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I never heard of Potter before it was popular. But I'd still say it should be on any list
 
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Glad to see Howl's Moving Castle on this list but I really wish they would have included The Priory of the Orange Tree because in terms of I guess modern fantasy Samantha Shannon has really hit a vein of gold with Priory. Or I think so anyway since it was unlike any fantasy novel I'd read before and brought some newness to the table
 

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I'm reading that now. took a lot to get going, and reading the Sabran parts was difficult because she is so unpleasant. So far though, it doesn't seem to be particularly novel (but I think that can apply to many of the other books)
 
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Priory was great for POC and LGBTQ+ representation.
 
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Priory was great for POC and LGBTQ+ representation.
It was and this is one of the many many reasons I love the book and also highlights mental illness openly when we learn Sabran has periods of depression and clearly suffers from anxiety. She does behave unpleasantly at times but I've always taken this as her putting up a front because she's a queen. She's been taught to live and behave a certain a way regardless of where she is mentally while also having this enormous pressure put on her to produce an heir with no one really caring how much that frightens her. Sabran isn't given a lot of agency by her own advisors and has been treated with kid gloves by her ladies in waiting whether they realize it or not they have sheltered and coddled her. They do care for her and her well being but are also just doing what they've been taught to do. Anyway, I could ramble about her all day long and how the progression of her relationship with Ead is incredibly well written. I stand by what I said because Priory is influential
 
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It was and this is one of the many many reasons I love the book and also highlights mental illness openly when we learn Sabran has periods of depression and clearly suffers from anxiety. She does behave unpleasantly at times but I've always taken this as her putting up a front because she's a queen. She's been taught to live and behave a certain a way regardless of where she is mentally while also having this enormous pressure put on her to produce an heir with no one really caring how much that frightens her. Sabran isn't given a lot of agency by her own advisors and has been treated with kid gloves by her ladies in waiting whether they realize it or not they have sheltered and coddled her. They do care for her and her well being but are also just doing what they've been taught to do. Anyway, I could ramble about her all day long and how the progression of her relationship with Ead is incredibly well written. Actually, I could ramble about the whole book all day. I stand by what I said because Priory is influential
 

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Wow...I can see that I need to add a number of books to my reading list. Thank you all for the comments, they have been fantastic.
 

Toral Delvar

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Well, I think we’ll need to wait to see if has been influential, but that is a good argument for it being important. I didn’t notice the LGBTQ+ representation because it isn’t something that is important to me and didn’t notice the PoC representation because unless there are pictures of characters on the cover, or they constantly describe people, I tend to pay little attention to physical descriptions
 

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:look:

Where is Mercedes Lackey?

I believe she was the first fantasy author to have a main LGBTQ+main character in her Magic's Price trilogy back in the 80's.
:tug:yoda
 
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Dracula should probably be on there, for creating basically all of modern vampire fiction. The Witcher series is also quite influential (and much more so among Eastern European authors in the genre). Stephen King for The Dark Tower. As shit as it is, Sword of Truth is relatively influential. If we want to stretch our timeline back several centuries and expand our geography, there’s absolutely no more influential work of fantasy in Asia than Journey to the West.
 
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The list is for fantasy so I suspect that's why Dracula isn't on there since it's more in the horror/gothic category and I would disagree with it being on this list anyway since I personally wasn't impressed by it plus it being predated by Carmilla written by Sheridan le Fanu as a much earlier published work of vampire fiction that was pretty revolutionary for it's time by having an openly lesbian character without portraying that as negative regardless of her being the antagonist of the story. I would agree with Stephen King being influential since he did things for his genre that nobody else had done at that time and bringing interesting ideas to horror.

If anyone should be on this list it's Mary Shelley since she is the mother of science fiction as a genre and some of these books listed are scifi/fantasy. Why is she not listed? Looking at this list again I think Twilight should have been excised since popularity doesn't equal influential and those books aren't even particularly well written and riddled with problems to begin with
 

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Oh, I think Twilightbwas influential. There are dozens of YA werewolf/vampire type novels or series that wouldn’t be around without it.
 
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Vampire Diaries was written well before Twilight but I guess in a way if Twilight can be considered influential it brought a revival of that particular YA genre back to the forefront that had a stranglehold on the genre for quite some time and probably will again because things are often cyclical
 

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To be fair to the list, I think the article is more providing a couple of influential options from various time periods and not attempting to give, like, a comprehensive list of all influential fantasy books.
 

Toral Delvar

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I think there is also a question of what is influential? So many fantasy series have "the Dark One/Lord" is rising as a central or secondary theme, but does that mean they are influenced by Tolkien, or is that just a long standing concept - it's also kind of biblical, and probably other mytholgies. Even books like SoIaF and Malazan, while they lack the "simple folk go on a quest and save the world" narrative, so have the "the bad guy is back and wants to do someting bad" plot
And how important is it who came first? The "Worst Witch" series predates Harry Potter by decades in the "Child goes to magic school" genre, but the impact Harry Potter had is far greater. If that series inspired JKR to write her own, does it get influence points by that?
 
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