Fantasy and the 7 Senses
You know the five senses that we all use.
And we explore fantasy adventure with all of them: Sight, scent, taste, hearing, touch. (Inside our minds, of course.) And of course intuition, the 6th sense, is never far from reach in a great fantasy story.
But I think there is one more sense.
Fantasy brings together the six senses into a whole and creates a 7th. The seventh sense is one you can discover often if you dive deep into fantasy realms and keep your eyes open.
The greatest fantasies create at moments a unique experience, a kind of sense not to be found anywhere else in the universe we can see. Except in bits and pieces; a kind of joy-filled truth caught in goodness or day dreams or dreams of the night, where odd things that strangely fit are often found.
This 7th sense grasps gleaming facets of truth that we could not see before. It touches them, tastes them. Not first examined by our reason, but felt deep in the actions and reactions you experience while captured within fantasy characters. Inside the kind, the evil, the young and the old, the weak and strong men and women and creatures of fantasy. It happens without your noticing it, while you are enthralled by the hero or heroine you find in many hearts, sometimes growing from a single weak seed. It makes you revolt against evil, also often growing unseen, battling within.
We are so often blinded by our familiar world it usually takes a moving deed, a circumstance, or a state of being in an unfamiliar setting or against a stark backdrop for us to see truth clearly. Such clearness can be startling.
Such was the case for me. Not long ago, I was moaning that there were not very many good fantasy fiction books from the faith sector of our world. Not that I dislike general fantasy, far from it, I admire their authors’ skill very much. I only wish more of us imitated the high bar of storytelling without deserting high moral quality.
I was shown how wrong I was to moan. Patrick Carr’s Shock of Night, Anna Thayer’s Knight of Eldaran Trilogy, Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga, C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters (a novel delightfully re-read) all kept me up late into the night. Sure, there is definitely room for more faith-based fantasy where adventure is never sacrificed, but I’ve discovered treasures everywhere over the long years—from epic fantasy to dieselpunk and beyond. If your heart is hungry . . .
I want to share my otherworldly discoveries on my lifelong venture into best fantasy novels with you.
Join the quest, and find your next adventure! There will be at least 70 posts in this series, and who knows what we may find?
If you don’t want to miss a single grand adventure, sign up in the side bar, where special treasures are reserved for those who seek them.
We’ll venture into worlds unseen where your heart will beat fast at necessary sacrifice, thrill with the triumph of downtrodden hearts against overwhelming odds, and draw lines of right and wrong in blood. You will laugh in side-splitting humor, cry with loss, fight against evil and rage against its seeming victory. But in the end you will come back to peace, hugging gems to your breast. And for those who can see, there is a light going before you.
Let no wall of ignorance, busyness, or other unworthy reason bar you from your next journey to unearth . . . what, I cannot tell. Prepare to use your seven senses.
Crossover: find the Eternal, the Adventure.
Here’s a minute taste of one journey waiting for us on my best books shelf, seeking its place in future posts like The Romance – Exploring Treachery and Trust.
From Victoria Hanley’s The Seer and the Sword:
Torina looked at the boy, at his heavy curling hair and remote, wild eyes.
“If he is my slave,” she asked, “does that make him my own?”
“All your own.”
“I can do whatever I want with him?”
The king nodded.
The princess shivered. “What is your name, son of a king?” she asked.
“Landen.” The boy’s manner, still that of a prince, contrasted oddly with his dusty rags and bruises.
“Vesputo,” Torina said.
“Cut his ropes, please.”
The commander looked to his king, who inclined his head. A blade was drawn. Vesputo severed the ropes carelessly, trailing fresh blood. Landen rubbed his wrists as Torina stepped closer to him.
“My father fought your father.” She said it very softly, speaking as if no king or soldiers looked on. For her, they must have been forgotten.
Landen looked at the ground. A pulse in his neck beat, like the heart of a newly hatched bird.
“Landen,” she whispered. “I never had a slave.”
The boy stood quietly.
“And I never will,” she continued, lifting her chin. “Papa,” her voice rose. “You gave him to me. I set him free.” . . .