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Portal Fantasy Novels

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A portal fantasy novel is a subgenre of fantasy literature in which a protagonist from the real world is transported to a fantastical realm or alternate universe through a portal or gateway. In this type of story, the main character typically discovers a hidden doorway, magical object, or even an old wardrobe that transports them to a different world.


This fantasy world they find themselves in is often a magical world very different from their own. This world may be populated by fantastical creatures, have its own set of rules and laws of magic, and be governed by different social or political structures. The protagonist is usually thrust into a grand adventure or quest, where they encounter various challenges, form alliances, and confront antagonistic forces. This is very much true of Billy, the main character in my own fantasy portal novel, Nowonderland.


The appeal of portal fantasy lies in the contrast between the mundane world the protagonist comes from and the extraordinary world they enter. It allows readers to experience a sense of escapism and wonder as they explore new and imaginative settings alongside the protagonist. Often the main characters are weary of the regular world and long for escape. Although, those that do usually end up longing for home again by the time their adventure is over.

There are several famous portal fantasy novels that have captivated readers over the years. Here are a few notable examples:


1. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll: This classic novel follows Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole and enters a whimsical and nonsensical world filled with peculiar characters.


2. "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis: This beloved series features a group of children who stumble upon a wardrobe that serves as a gateway to the magical world of Narnia, where they embark on epic adventures and encounter talking animals, mythical creatures, and battles between good and evil.


3. "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman: This contemporary fantasy series follows Quentin Coldwater as he discovers a hidden college of magic called Brakebills and is eventually transported to the magical land of Fillory, a world inspired by classic children's fantasy books.


4. "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman: In this enchanting novel, a young man named Tristan Thorn crosses a wall in his English village and enters the realm of Faerie to search for a fallen star, encountering magical creatures and adventures along the way.


5. "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman: This urban fantasy novel follows Richard Mayhew, who slips into the hidden world of London Below after helping an injured girl and becomes embroiled in a dangerous quest to save her.

These are just a few examples, but there are many other popular portal fantasy novels that have captivated readers' imaginations over the years.

Read a book! Have an adventure!

M. C. Gladd

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