My beef with modern fantasy fiction

Triggerfish Writing
2 min readMay 17, 2024

(Non-members can read it here)

(Image from Wikipedia)

OK let me start off by saying that the title might be a bit misleading. I have started reading fantasy fiction after a very long time and I went with Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, so I am primarily using this as an example.

I’m a third of the way through, and I am not engaged at all. I have yet to come across a fully developed female character, which brings me to my question: Is all modern fantasy fiction set in a male oriented medieval world?

I pick up this book and after a few words, I go back to reading the thousands of positive reviews, hoping to find one which gels with mine. And I am surprised to find that I’m in a minority.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few reviews that have mentioned the lack of a storyline but I’ve only found ONE that has actually mentioned the lack of female voices.

Failing in my attempt to read it once again, I have put it aside to instead come here and rant.

I am all for basing stories in some kind of a sword wielding protagonist’s world. I suppose we haven’t evolved to a point where strength, power, and bravery can be achieved beyond the manly use of obsolete weaponry. So, if that rocks your boat, go for it. I’m still going to judge you though.



Triggerfish Writing

I write on science, history, nature, climate change, feminism, religion & politics. My members only stories on science & history are free on