Blood ties : and 'Kings. what a good idea' : monarchy in epic fantasy fiction

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The thesis Blood Ties is a novel in the epic fantasy tradition. It is intended to be the first of The Castings Trilogy. A synopsis of the second and third books of the trilogy is also included. The exegesis, “‘Kings. What a good idea.’: Monarchy in epic fantasy fiction”, examines some of the reasons writers from democratic countries may choose to use monarchical political structures in epic fantasy novels. It considers evidence from folktale research, primate behavioural studies, literary traditions, both ancient and modern, and the effect of religious doctrine and history on the symbolic role of the monarch. Folktales are found to have had very little effect on the role of kings in epic fantasy, which has been influenced by a combination of literary traditions, including the Arthurian saga and the historical romances of Sir Walter Scott. More profoundly, the meaning of the king’s role has been influenced by the Christian mythos in two ways: the king is a Christ surrogate who sacrifices his own safety for the good of the body politic and, in being successful against evil, restores a version of Paradise/Eden for his people.
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