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Warlock Fantasy: A Guide to the Genre (2022 Edition)

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There are so many magical and supernatural beings that exist in fantasy literature. They each have their own powers, motivations, and magic that makes them unique and exciting to read about. One of these magical beings common in fantasy literature is warlocks. Warlock fantasies are very popular and for good reason. They heavily feature magic and adventure, things that appeal to most fantasy readers. Keep reading to find out more about warlock fantasy and the great stories within this genre. 

What is a warlock?

To put it simply, a warlock is a man who practices magic as opposed to a woman who practices fantasy and is called a witch. That is the basic definition of a warlock. We know, however, that warlocks are much more nuanced and interesting than that. Warlocks are also often called wizards or sorcerers. No matter what you call them or how you define them, warlocks practice magic. 

In literature, warlocks are often evil. They practice dark magic, summon demons, and often make terrible things happen. They typically have their own interests at heart, and that interest is commonly trying to gain more power. There are examples of good warlocks in literature, as well, but they are much less common than evil warlocks. 

What is warlock fantasy?

Warlock Witch Fantasy fanart

Warlock fantasy is any fantasy novel that features warlocks as an important story aspect. As we know, warlocks are often evil, so these novels commonly feature dark magic, mature themes, and elements of horror. There are novels out there that put warlocks in a better light, but these stories are less common. 

Warlock fantasies prominently feature magic, and they almost always feature other supernatural beings too. Witches are common, as are demons. Warlock fantasies generally fall into the high fantasy genre, as well, though this is not a requirement. Action and adventure are also staple elements of warlock fantasies. Plus, wars are very common and the battle scenes are often epic and magical. 

Examples of Warlock Fantasy

Warlocks in fantasy novels take many different shapes and forms. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are evil. Regardless, I think warlock fantasy is an exciting genre. Each of the series below has extensive magic systems, courageous characters, and interesting worlds. They feature warlocks in many different ways, and they are full of adventure. If you are searching for somewhere to start in the warlock fantasy genre, you might try out one of the series below. 

Bartimaeus Sequence 

The Bartimaeus Sequence is a trilogy of warlock fantasy novels by Jonathan Stroud, with publication dates ranging from 2003 to 2005. There is also a prequel novel that has a publication date of 2010. This trilogy is for young adults or even children, but there is much to enjoy for adult readers, as well. It is an urban fantasy, set in late 1990’s London. 

This series follows Nathaniel, who is sold by his parents to the government. Nathaniel is raised by a magician, and he becomes this magician’s apprentice. The warlocks in this series are trained to summon demons who do their bidding. Each novel in this series features new and exciting characters who all tie together in the end. There is an abundance of magic, warlocks, and adventure throughout the series. 

Though this series takes place in an alternate reality of late 20th century London, there are elements of history scattered throughout such as the Roman Empire and mentions of the American Revolution. It is a fun take on warlock fantasy as well as urban fantasy. Young readers who enjoy fantasy will probably enjoy this series. Many adult readers will also be able to get enjoyment from this novel, as well. 

Broken Stone Chronicle 

The Broken Stone Chronicle is a series of warlock fantasy novels by Damien Black. There are three novels in this series, which also fall into the genres of high fantasy, dark fantasy, and paranormal fantasy. There are many characters, supernatural elements, and, of course, magic, throughout this series. It is a series that is for more mature readers. 

The Broken Stone Chronicle series tells the story of a kingdom that is in the depths of war. Two witch hunters are determined to stop an evil warlock before he can unleash an ancient evil. This series is full of demons, exorcists, evil magic, and horror. The warlocks in this series are not of the gentle kind. They are set on evil and on taking over the kingdom.

Each novel in this series features warlocks in a different way, and the reader learns more about them and their powers as the series progresses. There are several different points of view throughout the series, giving readers a great look into many of the characters and their experiences. It is a great series that adult readers will certainly enjoy. Though it is only a trilogy, each novel is quite long. It requires some commitment and patience, but it is well worth the effort. 

The Dresden Files

The Dresden Files is a series of novels by Jim Butcher. This series currently contains 17 novels, as well as several short stories, with more to come. The Dresden Files is a warlock fantasy, but it also often falls into the categories of contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, and mystery. 

This series follows Harry Dresden who is both a wizard and a private investigator. The story takes place in modern-day Chicago, which gives the reader a great juxtaposition with the fantastical elements that this series contains. Throughout the series, Harry comes face to face with many different species of supernatural characters, such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and faeries, as well as humans. He works in both the magical realm and the real world working to solve crimes and protect the public. 

There are many different wizards and warlocks throughout this series, but they are all slightly different from one another. They are not all collectively good or evil. They each have their own motivations and secrets to keep. 

The magic in this series is exciting and unique. It is certainly worth a read. Though each novel contains stand-alone plot lines and stories that can be read individually, it is recommended to read the series as a whole. Reading the entire series will give the reader great insight into the magic system of the world and the powers that Harry has. Fans of mystery and detective novels will definitely love this series. It is a detective series with a lot of extra magic. 

Conclusion

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!

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