“Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.” (Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb)
Those of us fantasy lovers who have reached at least our thirties yearn for books that don’t just talk about teens. Sure, teens are relatable (we all were there once), but those years are not necessarily the ones we’d like to relive when we’re seeking a good escape from our normal lives. Where are the fantasy books that focus on older characters, instead of just inserting them as mentoring secondary figures? Where did all the books go that claim those of 35, 40, or even 50+, can still change the world for good?
Fortunately, Robin Hobb has taken up our cause, publishing a trilogy with a main character of 35, who claims to be 42. Although she does, strangely, talk about him as though he were an old man, constantly complaining about his scars, aches, and pains, she also makes his everyday problems relatable to those in their thirties: children turning into teenagers, how to navigate relationships, and how to come to terms with your past. And, it turns out that we can still change the world – even though we might complain a bit more while doing it.
Buy – Borrow Now – Borrow Sometime – Avoid
Length: 2,320 for whole trilogy
Incidental Learning: Magic systems, dragons,
Further Reading: Well-written fantasy with mature characters are tough books to find, and I have found few in my reading life. Although much more literary, I’d still recommend Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.