Zombies are fairly common in today’s pop culture. We see them in movies, tv shows, video games, and even books. In fact, they have risen to immense popularity over the last several years. It doesn’t seem like they will be going away anytime soon.
Fantasy is a genre in which we don’t usually expect to see zombies. They are much more common in horror, contemporary fiction, and even comedy. But zombie fantasy is a genre that takes two worlds and combines them into one interesting and unique story. If this sounds like a genre that interests you, keep reading to find out more about it.
Zombies are probably not the first creatures you think of when you think of fantasy. But they can certainly be considered part of the genre. Zombies make a great addition to the fantasy genre for many reasons. Not only are they creepy and mysterious, but they also have a large amount of lore surrounding them. There are many ways that zombies can come into existence and many ways that they can be killed. This means that authors have a lot of freedom in how they choose to depict zombies in their novels.
Zombie fantasy can take place anywhere and in any time period. It can be rather jarring to read about zombies fighting medieval knights, but that is part of what makes the genre so unique. It is common for zombie fantasy to also cross over into urban fantasy, but that is not a requirement, by any means.
Zombie fantasies can also include any number of other creatures, such as elves, vampires, or giants, but it is fairly common for them to be the only mythical creatures in the story. Zombie or monster hunters are common in this genre, and supernatural occurrences abound. Necromancy is also common in zombie fantasy, but it is not a requirement of the genre.
No matter what the story is, what other supernatural beings exist, or how they came to be, you know that zombie fantasy is going to be a dramatic and captivating genre. These novels are often full of horror and darkness, but they are always entertaining to read.
Examples of Zombie Fantasy
Zombie fantasy is a genre with an endless amount of stories to tell. Authors have a lot of freedom in how they choose to depict zombies and incorporate them into a fantasy world. It is common that we will see elements of dark fantasy within zombie fantasy novels. It is just the nature of the genre. We know that the setting, time period, and storylines can vary greatly between zombie fantasy novels, so there is always something new to read. Check out these zombie fantasy novels and series below and get started on your journey into this interesting and creepy genre.
Dirge is a 2015 novel by Tim Marquitz. This is a rather short novel at only 120 pages, so it can also be classified as a novella. This novel crosses over into many genres other than just zombie fantasy. It contains elements of horror, dark fantasy, and action, as well. The main premise of this novel is unique, making it a great starting point for trying out zombie fantasy.
This novel follows Kallie, a young girl who is tasked with using her special powers against an undead invasion. She is reborn as Dirge and sets out to protect her world from the undead. She faces many challenges and obstacles and must choose her allegiances. This novel is full of revenge, magic, assassins, and, of course, zombies. If you are looking for a quick read to give you an idea about what to expect in a zombie fantasy, Dirge is a great place to start.
The Scourge is a trilogy of zombie fantasy novels by Roberto Calas. This trilogy is relatively new, and the publication dates for these novels range from 2012-2014. Set in a “traditional” medieval fantasy setting, this series is an excellent choice for those who are looking for zombies thrown in with the classic elements of the fantasy genre. This series covers many different genres such as historical fantasy, dark fantasy, and science fiction, along with zombie fantasy.
In the novel, 14th century England has been taken over by a mysterious plague that has trapped those who contracted the plague in eternal madness. The dead rise and seek out the living, while the living try to keep themselves and their families safe. This novel mainly follows a man named Edward who goes on a journey with his two knights to find the woman he loves. They face several zombies, sorrow, and horror on their journey, but Edward keeps pushing forward.
This series has some very dark and mature themes, but it is balanced out with a bit of humor, albeit dark humor. The traditional fantasy elements of this series such as knights, kings, and medieval technology are an interesting contrast with the zombie apocalypse war that is raging. For readers looking for a series that will scratch the itch of both traditional fantasy and zombies, The Scourge is certainly the series to pick up.
Sir Banion and the Quest of the Black Plague
Sir Banion and the Quest of the Black Plague is a 2015 novel by T. H. Strickland. Much like The Scourge, this novel contains many traditional fantasy elements alongside the existence of zombies. It is a fairly short novel with much to enjoy, so all kinds of readers will be able to appreciate its unique and interesting storylines.
In this novel, a plague has taken over Ireland. Sir Banion and his knights venture out to face the zombies and all of the horrors they bring along with them. These young knights must warn the entire country of the plague and the resulting zombies if they have any hope of seeing Ireland prevail. As they face the zombies across the country, they are faced with much evil.
Though Sir Banion and the Quest of the Black Plague may seem to have a similar storyline to The Scourge, the two novels are quite different. Each of these writers has taken this premise and added their own flair and their own twist to an already interesting storyline. Sir Banion and the Quest of the Black Plague has fewer historical elements to it and more magic than The Scourge, so this is definitely the novel to choose if you are looking to get completely lost in a fantastical world full of evil zombies.
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!