December 09, 2019, 01:25:21 PM

Author Topic: Young protagonists in adult fantasy  (Read 4363 times)

Offline RandomCamel

Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« 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?

Offline Raptori

  • Barbarian who does not use the Oxford comma and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
  • Total likes: 2111
  • the prettiest kitty cat in the world
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #1 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...  :-\
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Justan Henner

  • Barbarian who pronounces are, our and hour all the same way
  • Writing Group
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1063
  • Total likes: 595
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2015, 09:23:50 PM by Justan Henner »

Offline Titus

Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #3 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.

Offline Raptori

  • Barbarian who does not use the Oxford comma and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
  • Total likes: 2111
  • the prettiest kitty cat in the world
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #4 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. Completely forgot about Rain Wilds!

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.  :)
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline RandomCamel

Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Justan Henner

  • Barbarian who pronounces are, our and hour all the same way
  • Writing Group
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1063
  • Total likes: 595
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #6 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. Completely forgot about Rain Wilds!

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.

Offline Rostum

Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2015, 09:50:44 PM »
Joe Abercrombies Half a king may fit the bill.

Offline Raptori

  • Barbarian who does not use the Oxford comma and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
  • Total likes: 2111
  • the prettiest kitty cat in the world
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #8 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. Completely forgot about Rain Wilds!

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
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4587
  • Total likes: 3529
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #9 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*
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Ryan Mueller

  • Needs a Cheesy Quest Fantasy baa-aadly
  • Writing Group
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1077
  • Total likes: 262
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Ryan W. Mueller
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #10 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.

Offline Doctor_Chill

  • RPG Ringleader and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3700
  • Total likes: 776
  • Gender: Male
  • You've been pugged.
    • View Profile
    • Acerbic Writing
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #11 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.
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline Elfy

  • Writing contest regular
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 7210
  • Total likes: 762
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Purple Dove House
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #12 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.

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4587
  • Total likes: 3529
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2015, 07:10:48 AM »
Smooth Elfy. Very smooth.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 11295
  • Total likes: 6523
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Young protagonists in adult fantasy
« Reply #14 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 :-[ ::)
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams