Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: RandomCamel on May 09, 2015, 09:00:59 PM

Title: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: RandomCamel on May 09, 2015, 09:00:59 PM
I was wondering if people could recommend fantasy novels with child/teen protagonists but that are aimed at adults.
I'm a big fan of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy, so something similar but it doesn't have to be.
Also if anyone has read the Black Magician trilogy, how does the Traitor Spy trilogy compare?
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Raptori on May 09, 2015, 09:07:01 PM
His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Justan Henner on May 09, 2015, 09:14:30 PM
His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

Liveships and Rainwilds also feature fairly young protagonists, if you count Wintrow, Malta, Thymara, and such. In fact, it seems like most of Hobbs books do. Nevarre starts pretty young in Soldier Son, as well.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Titus on May 09, 2015, 09:18:58 PM
His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

I wouldn't say HDM was aimed at an adult market .. more YA.

Wheel of Time features Young Protagonists, but is very much a coming of age series.  Gormenghast fits the bill .. Titus Groan in a youngster in a very adult oriented series.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Raptori on May 09, 2015, 09:28:43 PM
His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

Liveships and Rainwilds also feature fairly young protagonists, if you count Wintrow, Malta, Thymara, and such. In fact, it seems like most of Hobbs books do. Nevarre starts pretty young in Soldier Son, as well.
Yeah I would've put Liveships but since it's got multiple viewpoints and only a handful are young I wasn't sure they'd count. I hated Soldier Son, wish I hadn't tried to read it. (http://www.redcafe.net/img/smilies/nervous.gif) Completely forgot about Rain Wilds! (http://www.smiley-faces.org/smiley-faces/smiley-face-angel-006.gif)

His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

I wouldn't say HDM was aimed at an adult market .. more YA.

Wheel of Time features Young Protagonists, but is very much a coming of age series.  Gormenghast fits the bill .. Titus Groan in a youngster in a very adult oriented series.
Yeah HDM's target audience is definitely debatable. I never thought of it as YA at all, just didn't get the feel from it.  :)
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: RandomCamel on May 09, 2015, 09:40:59 PM
I've read HDM, it's really great. Also, I do count books with multiple viewpoints, The Black Magician Trilogy had them too.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Justan Henner on May 09, 2015, 09:42:34 PM
His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

Liveships and Rainwilds also feature fairly young protagonists, if you count Wintrow, Malta, Thymara, and such. In fact, it seems like most of Hobbs books do. Nevarre starts pretty young in Soldier Son, as well.
Yeah I would've put Liveships but since it's got multiple viewpoints and only a handful are young I wasn't sure they'd count. I hated Soldier Son, wish I hadn't tried to read it. (http://www.redcafe.net/img/smilies/nervous.gif) Completely forgot about Rain Wilds! (http://www.smiley-faces.org/smiley-faces/smiley-face-angel-006.gif)

His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

I wouldn't say HDM was aimed at an adult market .. more YA.

Wheel of Time features Young Protagonists, but is very much a coming of age series.  Gormenghast fits the bill .. Titus Groan in a youngster in a very adult oriented series.
Yeah HDM's target audience is definitely debatable. I never thought of it as YA at all, just didn't get the feel from it.  :)

Personally, I first read it when I was about 10... I'd say the characterization is YA, but the themes are not.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Rostum on May 09, 2015, 09:50:44 PM
Joe Abercrombies Half a king may fit the bill.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Raptori on May 09, 2015, 10:13:17 PM
His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

Liveships and Rainwilds also feature fairly young protagonists, if you count Wintrow, Malta, Thymara, and such. In fact, it seems like most of Hobbs books do. Nevarre starts pretty young in Soldier Son, as well.
Yeah I would've put Liveships but since it's got multiple viewpoints and only a handful are young I wasn't sure they'd count. I hated Soldier Son, wish I hadn't tried to read it. (http://www.redcafe.net/img/smilies/nervous.gif) Completely forgot about Rain Wilds! (http://www.smiley-faces.org/smiley-faces/smiley-face-angel-006.gif)

His Dark Materials perhaps? Farseer would definitely qualify to begin with, though they cover a lot of time and Fitz is only a child for the first book or two I think.

Can't think of much else...  :-\

I wouldn't say HDM was aimed at an adult market .. more YA.

Wheel of Time features Young Protagonists, but is very much a coming of age series.  Gormenghast fits the bill .. Titus Groan in a youngster in a very adult oriented series.
Yeah HDM's target audience is definitely debatable. I never thought of it as YA at all, just didn't get the feel from it.  :)

Personally, I first read it when I was about 10... I'd say the characterization is YA, but the themes are not.
Yep that'd be a pretty good summary of it!  :P
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Nora on May 10, 2015, 02:07:52 AM
The Road by Cormac McCarthy...  ;D  hey there is a kid as one of the two main characters!!

*runs away*
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Ryan Mueller on May 10, 2015, 02:09:47 AM
Some of the classic quest fantasy features young protagonists. It's pretty common for authors like Brooks, Eddings, and Feist. You could argue that some of their books would be classified as YA now, but they were considered adult fantasy back when they were published.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Doctor_Chill on May 10, 2015, 03:21:53 AM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Prince of Thorns yet. 14 year old psychopath is a pretty adult theme if there ever was one.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Elfy on May 10, 2015, 05:15:52 AM
There's this thing called A Song of Ice and Fire, they made it into a TV show called Game of Thrones, some of you may have heard of it. A number of it's multiple protagonists are quite young. Bran is 7 or so when the series starts, Arya's 9, Sansa is 11, Jon is probably 14 and Dany is 13, I believe.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Nora on May 10, 2015, 07:10:48 AM
Smooth Elfy. Very smooth.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: ScarletBea on May 10, 2015, 09:46:00 AM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Prince of Thorns yet. 14 year old psychopath is a pretty adult theme if there ever was one.
Jorg's never 'young' in my mind.
Funnily enough, the other day I was talking about the 2 series, and for me Jalan was/felt much younger than Jorg, despite there being a good 8 years between them.


There's this thing called A Song of Ice and Fire, they made it into a TV show called Game of Thrones, some of you may have heard of it. A number of it's multiple protagonists are quite young. Bran is 7 or so when the series starts, Arya's 9, Sansa is 11, Jon is probably 14 and Dany is 13, I believe.
;D
(and Robb, you forgot Robb! also 14)

I think the main thing with many young protagonists in adult fantasy is that they start young in the beginning of the book/series, but then they grow up. Actually, no. Almost all the examples mentioned here deny that :-[ ::)
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Elfy on May 11, 2015, 12:19:47 AM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Prince of Thorns yet. 14 year old psychopath is a pretty adult theme if there ever was one.
Jorg's never 'young' in my mind.
Funnily enough, the other day I was talking about the 2 series, and for me Jalan was/felt much younger than Jorg, despite there being a good 8 years between them.


There's this thing called A Song of Ice and Fire, they made it into a TV show called Game of Thrones, some of you may have heard of it. A number of it's multiple protagonists are quite young. Bran is 7 or so when the series starts, Arya's 9, Sansa is 11, Jon is probably 14 and Dany is 13, I believe.
;D
(and Robb, you forgot Robb! also 14)

I think the main thing with many young protagonists in adult fantasy is that they start young in the beginning of the book/series, but then they grow up. Actually, no. Almost all the examples mentioned here deny that :-[ ::)
Yes, poor Robb does often get forgotten, the only reason I didn't mention him is that he doesn't get a PoV chapter. So therefore I don't see him as one of the books' major protagonists.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Roxxsmom on May 11, 2015, 12:55:49 AM
I was wondering if people could recommend fantasy novels with child/teen protagonists but that are aimed at adults.
I'm a big fan of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy, so something similar but it doesn't have to be.
Also if anyone has read the Black Magician trilogy, how does the Traitor Spy trilogy compare?

The obvious one is George RR Martin's work. Several of his pov characters are kids or teens, yet it's definitely written for adult readers.

Someone else already mentioned Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy. Fitz was a kid at the beginning of the first book, though was past his teens by the end of book 1.

Not really fantasy (historical fiction with a touch of magical realism here and there), but Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom starts with the protagonist as a child.

Kameron Hurley's Mirror empire has two pov characters who are teens, but it's very definitely an adult novel.

Jay Lake's Green. The protagonist is a child or teen for much of the story, but again, it's for adults.

Glenda Larke's Stormlords books. The protagonists start out as children and age into their teens, and finally adulthood.

Many of Mercedes Lackey's books have YA protagonists. Some age as the stories progress, while others of her novels stick with them being teens, but while they certainly appealed to many younger readers, they weren't marketed specifically as YA fantasy (contrast this with her more recent Collegium chronicles which seem to be aimed specifically at younger readers).

Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Triad. Tobin/Tamir is a child/teen but it's written for adults.

Jane Lindskjold's Wolf series. I read it a while back, but the protagonist, Firestarter, is a teen at the beginning at least.



Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Nora on May 11, 2015, 02:23:42 AM
I think the main thing with many young protagonists in adult fantasy is that they start young in the beginning of the book/series, but then they grow up. Actually, no. Almost all the examples mentioned here deny that :-[ ::)

Peter Pan! The french comic by Loisel was daaaaaaaaark! And no one gets older!  ;D

(http://a33.idata.over-blog.com/1/35/13/57/BD02/Loisel-peter_pan_couvertures.JPG)
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Elfy on May 11, 2015, 04:43:54 AM
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, they tend to be read by YA's now, but they were initially aimed at adults. The Vanyel series in particular has a teenaged protagonist, although he ages as the books progress. It was one of the first book's I can remember reading that feature a gay protagonist, too.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Nighteyes on May 11, 2015, 06:16:26 AM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Prince of Thorns yet. 14 year old psychopath is a pretty adult theme if there ever was one.
Jorg's never 'young' in my mind.
Funnily enough, the other day I was talking about the 2 series, and for me Jalan was/felt much younger than Jorg, despite there being a good 8 years between them.


There's this thing called A Song of Ice and Fire, they made it into a TV show called Game of Thrones, some of you may have heard of it. A number of it's multiple protagonists are quite young. Bran is 7 or so when the series starts, Arya's 9, Sansa is 11, Jon is probably 14 and Dany is 13, I believe.
;D
(and Robb, you forgot Robb! also 14)

I think the main thing with many young protagonists in adult fantasy is that they start young in the beginning of the book/series, but then they grow up. Actually, no. Almost all the examples mentioned here deny that :-[ ::)
Yes, poor Robb does often get forgotten, the only reason I didn't mention him is that he doesn't get a PoV chapter. So therefore I don't see him as one of the books' major protagonists.

You should become a politician Elfy. We all know you forgot Robb, but you give excuses for Australia!

Once you start thinking about it, it is actually quite hard to think of series without young protagonists. Referring back to Hobb, Fitz is very young in the Farseer Trilogy and both our recent book club reads: Wee Free Men and Magicians both feature young protagonists.
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: RandomCamel on May 11, 2015, 03:01:32 PM
I love Discworld but I've never read the Tiffany Aching books, how are they?
Title: Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
Post by: Elfy on May 12, 2015, 12:20:27 AM
I love Discworld but I've never read the Tiffany Aching books, how are they?
They're aimed at a younger audience, but like nearly all Pratchett's work they have cross generational appeal. They're really quite fun. You have to love the Nac Mac Feegle. Sort of going down that track, although they're effectively written for a younger audience, Cat Valente's Fairyland books are astonishing. Yes, they're children's fairy stories on one level, but you don't have to look too hard to find the deeper meaning behind a lot of it, and the writing is absolutely extraordinary and leaves me shaking my head at how brilliant Valente is with her word and concept use.