Was watching a news channel report the last 10 years as the "decade of fantasy". What irked me about the report (NDTV, if you want to spread some hate) was that they put Harry Potter above Lord of the Rings. And they totally left out Narnia. Now LOTR kickstarted fantasy, everyone who writes fantasy draws some inspiration from LOTR. In fact, most fantasy writers went through college reading LOTR. Rowling was one of them, another was Salvatore, this is a picture of his book, Icewind Dale triology. Beggening to read it just to see how it goes. Spotted what looked like Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli on the cover.
Now there is a lot of fantasy out there that does not have a middle-earthish feel. The works of Moorcock for example, is all sword and dragon fantasy, but it takes things to a totally diffrent level. There are black Hitlers and the dragons have to sleep a hundred years for one day of activity... and many of the Heroes are what people would call "bad." Untolkeinish to only a little extent are the Chronicles of Narnia. Most of the splendor seems to be invested in Aslan's breath, but I took to reading the series in the past few days to kill time, and because I saw the trailers of Prince Caspian and wanted to read the book.
The book is horrible. Got over in like four hours, is tiny, has no real story to speak of, and Peter and Susan are wasted in the last time they get to go to Narnia. Hated it - but I decided to give the Voyage of the Dawn Treader a chance, and it was wonderful. Read a few things new to fantasy (there are dragons), and Repicheep, a talking mouse that shows up in Prince Caspian, is one of the best chars in fantasy - can give Legolas a run for his money. The Dawn Treader would make a great book as well. Eustace grew on me, and the Silver Chair is up next for reading.
Took the whole fantasy thing in my head right in the middle of the final exams, btw.