Have you ever read a book that completely re-kindled your love for a genre you thought you’d moved on from?
When I was younger, I read a lot of epic fantasy. It was my preferred genre. I couldn’t get enough of it. But somewhere along the line, it started to feel a bit stale and tired. The tropes felt too tropey. The things I used to love became obvious and cliched…
I think this happens when you become too familiar with any one genre or sub-genre. Sometimes you just need a break, even from the things you once thought you couldn’t do without.
Well it’s been years, and my love for epic fantasy has never really come back to me.
I have been trying!
Part of me feels like I just don’t have the mental capacity for long, slow world building and massive series now that I’m an adult. Home ownership, having small children, being self-employed… it all takes up a lot of head space.
But I think the sad truth is I just haven’t been able to find a lot of writers who push the boundaries of expectations enough to keep me interested while still retaining that classic, epic fantasy “feel” I originally fell in love with.
Fortunately, Fate intervened on my behalf and put me in the path of this book…
I just finished reading Heroes Road by Chuck Rogers and I am absolutely blown away by how much I loved it.
I was hooked in the first chapter. It’s familiar in all the right ways, and yet completely unexpected and fresh feeling. I loved that Rogers blended historical fiction with fantasy in a completely different way than I’ve ever seen before.
Rogers’ action scenes are relentlessly paced and yet perfectly grounded. His characters are well-rounded and hilarious and build a fantastic group dynamic. Each character has believable strengths and flaws and grows throughout the book. You will root for them and pull out your hair and sometimes want to throw things at them, and in the end you will be satisfied. What more can you ask for in a book?
So, while I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same reading epiphany I had while reading Heroes Road, I do highly recommend it to all fantasy readers, especially to those who fear they might have outgrown the genre. This is epic fantasy done right. I can’t wait to read the next one, Heroes Road: II.
For you audiobook listeners, there is a dramatized series done by Graphic Audio based on these books, too!
If you’ve read HEROES ROAD I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If not, what are your recommendations for epic fantasy books that shake up the genre?