The genre of fantasy is massive. It is full of countless stories, interesting characters, and magical worlds. Because of the sheer size of the genre, it can be helpful to break it down into sub genres that are more specific and niche.
These subgenres can become very narrow, and that is a great thing for fantasy readers. Whatever your interests are, you can find likely find a specific genre that will suit them. Fantasy featuring an eclipse is a subgenre that is quite specific and appeals to a narrow group of people. It is, however, a fascinating genre that has much to offer. Keep reading to find out more about the interesting aspects of this genre and learn about why it is a genre you may want to look into.
What is an eclipse?
You are probably familiar with the term “eclipse”. But to clarify, an eclipse is an event when something is temporarily obscured in one of two ways. Those two ways are either by passing into the shadow of something else, or having another body pass between it and the viewer. This may sound complicated, so let’s simplify it.
The two main eclipses that we know on our planet are solar eclipses and lunar eclipses. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the sun. This creates a moving shadow on the Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon. This creates a shadow on the moon.
Eclipses can also happen with another astronomical object. This could be a meteor, a space station, a piece of debris, and so on. As we will see below, fantasy authors often use other objects and planets in their novels to create an eclipse. An eclipse is an astounding astronomical event and it makes for a great plot point in a fantasy novel.
Fantasy Featuring an Eclipse
While fantasy featuring an eclipse may seem like a small and specific genre, it is actually quite broad. An eclipse can be the main story aspect or it can just be a small feature. So many novels can feature an eclipse without the entire story revolving around it.
Though an eclipse is a real event, it can be fictionalized for the sake of fantasy. As we will see below, there are fantasy novels that feature eclipses involving multiple moons or multiple suns. Fictional planets are often involved, but the eclipse still remains.
The eclipse that is featured in a fantasy can be a lunar eclipse or a solar eclipse. It can happen once every 1000 years, or it could happen every month. No matter what the case is, an eclipse is a great plot point. Some novels revolve entirely around the eclipse. Eclipses may hold special magic or they may cause fantastic things to happen. Characters may have a huge, life-changing reaction to an eclipse, or it may just be something inconsequential that happens every now and then.
The important aspect of a fantasy featuring an eclipse is just that; it features an eclipse. The background or situation surrounding the eclipse is not necessary to know before a novel can be in this genre.
Because of the general vagueness of this genre, it is wide open for interpretation. Authors can do so much with a genre that only requires one thing. There is room for creativity and creation. Naturally, it can encompass many other genres. Fantasy featuring an eclipse can fall into any other sub-genres of fantasy, but some of the most common you may see are urban fantasy and high fantasy.
Examples of Fantasy Featuring an Eclipse
As we are aware, fantasy featuring an eclipse is a pretty broad genre that can include just about any other element of fantasy. Because of this, the recommendations on this list are all quite different. You will see various mythical creatures, storylines, and other fantastic elements. No two books in this genre are the same.
The novels and series below each bring something new to the table. They are all unique and interesting in their own regard. If you haven’t ever read a fantasy featuring an eclipse, check out the recommendations below and dive in.
The Second Sons series is a trilogy of novels by Jennifer Fallon. This is a fantasy series that features an eclipse, but it also falls into the genres of high fantasy and science fiction fantasy. In the world of this series, the planet Ranadon is perpetually light. There are two suns that shine brightly on this planet, so there is never any darkness.
This series follows several different characters as they deal with political unrest, rebellion, and wars. When an eclipse covers the planet in darkness, the world is launched into chaos and frightening magic. The eclipse in this series is a major plot element. A planet that is covered in light at all times being suddenly in darkness is certainly something worth mentioning, and it, understandably, creates problems and intrigue.
Second Sons is a great series to check out if you are a fan of high fantasy, especially high fantasy that has an intense plot and interesting characters. This series is a trilogy, but the second and third novels are the ones that fall into the fantasy featuring an eclipse genre. Though this is a fantasy featuring an eclipse, there is so much more to it than just that. It has a unique storyline and a beautiful world that you are sure to fall in love with.
The Black Opera
The Black Opera is a 2012 novel by Mary Gentle. It is a fantasy novel that takes place in 1820’s Italy. It has a very interesting premise, and it is certainly unlike the series above. This novel is a standalone, making it a great quick read without the necessary commitment of an entire series.
This novel follows Conrad Scalese, who is a libretto in a very interesting world. The alternate world of Naples, Italy is home to some fascinating magic. It is a world in which music has the power to influence the natural world. Some music causes volcano eruptions, other music causes eclipses. Some music has the ability to heal the sick, but opera is the most powerful music in the world.
Throughout this novel, readers will discover a fascinating story premise that is grounded in history. Though it is more of an alternate history than historical fiction, the setting and the time period really ground the novel. Gentle does an excellent job of writing characters who are believable interesting, and magical. Watch for the eclipse in this novel because it will bring about a twist that you won’t see coming.
I hope this article has helped clarify what this genre is all about and given you some ideas of books to read in this subgenre.
And if you want to read more about unique fantasy subgenres on this blog, check out:
Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another fiction-literature-related topic!