Rustic Fantasy – an Explanation

Somewhat flippantly I included in my Twitter profile the expression “Rustic Fantasy” and I’ve been  surprised by the number of people asking me to explain exactly what it means. Firstly of course it was an attempt to differentiate my work from those many novels described as “Urban Fantasy.” Not that there’s anything wrong with Urban Fantasy, but anyway by Rustic Fantasy I was referring to what is primarily a British tradition of books set in a rural location with an “Otherworldly” element. I don’t mean ghost stories, or rural crime stories such as “the Famous Five”, or jolly japes like “Danny the Champion of the World.” However I do include time slip stories, and the long tradition of tales and novels in which something from an old legend is awakened. Basically, instead of being set in some kind of fantasy Middle Earth world or parallel universe, these stories are located in the British countryside, but the normal order of things is disrupted by a fantasy/magical element. I’ll finish with some examples:


The Legend of King Arthur (Traditional)

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) – Alan Garner

Stig of the Dump (1963) – Clive King

Earthfasts (1966) – William Mayne

Catweazle (1970) – Richard Carpenter

The Dark is Rising (1973) – Susan Cooper

The Lyonesse Stone (1991) – Craig Weatherhill

Shadowmancer (2003) – G P Taylor


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Excalibur (1981)

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (2007)

TV Series

Robin of Sherwood (1984-1986)

Merlin (2008-2011)

I don’t claim any originality for this, indeed it seems the NYT bestselling author Ilona Andrews got there a couple of years before me.

And in fact Robert Trow-Smith was using the expression back in 1954!

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This entry was posted in Brandon Mull, Brandon Mull Books, brandon mull echo mccool, Brandon Mull Fablehaven, Dust Blood, echo mccool, echo mccool outlaw through time, Fablehaven, G P Taylor, G P Taylor author, G P Taylor Dust Blood, g p taylor echo mccool, g p taylor roger k driscoll, G P Taylor Shadowmancer, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Nancy Springer, Nancy Springer Books, nancy springer echo mccool, Nancy Springer Echo McCool, Nancy Springer Rowan Hood, Rowan Hood, Shadowmancer, Tracy Beaker and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Rustic Fantasy – an Explanation

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