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10 Things You Won't Find in a Typical Fantasy Novel

  1. A serving maid or kitchen boy who, by the end of the trilogy, has turned out to be exactly who they appeared to be. (Half points given if they only end up as advisor or general rather than assuming the throne.)
  2. A character with dark hair, eyes or (heaven forbid) skin who is not a) a brooding lover, b) a mystical loner, c) the villain. (I would love to be wrong on this one!)
  3. A child (under age 13) who reacts to a frightening situation by being frightened rather than figuring out a clever scheme to inform the hero/trap the villain/steal the important piece of information and escape safely. (Calling Ender Wiggins, your ancestors are on the line...)
  4. A sword that breaks before the final scene. (Unless it's reforging requires traveling to distant lands and making deals with dragons/dwarves/gods.)
  5. A heroine who sleeps around. (All right, there are a few exceptions. I said "typical", didn't I?)
  6. A male warrior who doesn't. (Off stage and in the distant past counts, guys.)
  7. A sexy dwarf or an ugly elf. (Pratchett lovers, unite! And bring your stepladders!)
  8. A villain who can actually resist crowing about his victory long enough to make sure the hero(ine)s are actually dead. (Bonus points given if you can find a villain that actually stays dead after the hero(ine)s kill him. Or her. Or it. Trilogies and series only need apply.)
  9. A rogue who isn't a good hearted type under all that chicanery and weaponry. (This goes especially for any bands of bandits that happen to be roving conveniently near where our hero(ine)s turn out to need an army. For Queen & Country, boys!)
  10. An apology to J.R.R. Tolkien.