From Book Riot, this post: A beginner’s guide to Gothic fantasy.
Well, it’s nearly Halloween, so why not, right? Here’s how this post defines Gothic Fantasy:
Gothic literature emerged in Europe in the late 18th century from the romantic literary movement. It’s characterized by passionate emotion—pleasure and terror alike, darkly lush scenery, macabre elements, and an eerie atmosphere. Gothic fantasy is a sub-genre of both gothic fiction and fantasy, and a strict definition is difficult to pin down.
Oh, interesting. Passionate emotion! I hadn’t thought of angst as an important criterion for this subgenre, but maybe it is. That does fit Catherine’s personality in Northanger Abbey. Sure, I can go with this whole definition.
I’ve never actually read ANY of the books on this list, which is perhaps because I’m not that into horror, don’t particularly lean toward macabre elements, and possibly because I’ve very definitely not into angst. Eerie atmosphere is fine, though as is darkly lush scenery.
This one sounds almost like something I might like:
HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS BY ERIN A. CRAIG
“In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.” A creepy retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses comes alive in this gothic young adult fantasy with teenaged Annaleigh and her sisters. In a manor by the sea, Annaleigh lives with her dad, stepmother, and sisters. One by one, the sisters are dying in increasingly tragic and untimely deaths. Annaleigh’s nights are disturbed by strange visions and ghosts, and when she finds out that her sisters have been sneaking out of the manor at night to attend mysterious balls, she isn’t sure whether to join them or stop them. Annaleigh must figure out who her sisters have been dancing with and the meaning of her ghostly visions before the curse claims her next.
I particularly like the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale, but a version where many of the sisters die increasingly tragic deaths might not be quite what I would prefer. Still, this one does sound like a possibility.
I listened to this as an audiobook, a form it fitted pretty well even for me, and the slow pace of an audiobook doesn’t always work for me. I found the style quite appealing — lush and eerie, just as the definition above suggests.
A Gothic fantasy might be fun to read for Halloween. If anybody has a recommendation that fits the form, drop it in the comments, please!