[DWJ] short complete quest fantasies

Mark Allums mark at allums.com
Sat Jun 20 11:04:39 EDT 2009


Does it have to be (a) book(s), per se?

I can only think of movies, e.g., The Labyrinth.

Mark Allums

deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:
> I'm calling on the brilliant list hive mind for help with my
> fantasy syllabus. I'd really like to assign my students one
> entire epic quest fantasy from beginning to end, in which a Boy
> (who is potentially a girl) leaves his humble beginnings, gathers
> together a troop of Companions, hits every place on the Map, and
> defeats the Dark Lord. I'd like to assign that entire thing in
> one week, and realistically I can't ask them to read more than
> three books in one week unless they are very brief (i.e.
> picturebooks, easy readers, or early chapter books). But I'm
> finding that most of the complete quest fantasy series I can
> think of are pretty long. Can you folks come up with any decent
> quests that are three books or less? One book would be even
> better. :-)
> Here's what I've come up with and rejected so far:
> * Prydain: five books
> * Pellinor: four very long books
> * Eragon: actually, this is perfect, but it's bad, and I don't
>   want to make them read it
> * Dark Lord of Derkholm: I do assign this one, but one of the
>   reasons I would like them to read an entire quest fantasy is so
>   they understand what Dark Lord is parodying
> * The Hobbit: I assign this one as well, but it's not really the
>   same thing. It's a precursor, really.
> There are lots of fantasy trilogies that aren't high fantasy
> quests (e.g. Abhorsen, His Dark Materials, Borribles, any Tamora
> Pierce). And there are some single books which come close to
> getting across some of the ideas. I've thought of Wizard of
> Earthsea, but that book is already a response to the classic
> quest fantasy, so it doesn't work as an introduction. The Hero
> and the Crown kind of works, I suppose, but it's too much a solo
> adventure.
> *sigh* I know what I want them to have read before they ever come
> into the class: the Belgariad or at any rate the Lord of the
> Rings. It's surprising how little decent straightforward quest
> fantasy there is in children's lit.
> Any ideas?
> -deborah
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