The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué The crown is her strength. The crown is her weakness. Princess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother’s matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule […]

The Firethorn Crown – Lea Doué

Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the […]

Sunbolt – Intisar Khanani

The words grimdark and noblebright arose as technical terms in the gaming world. There’s a certain amount of dispute about the exact definitions there, with a tendency to paint them in black and white terms (such as the slur that noblebright is all about rainbows and unicorns and flawless heroes). […]

Grimdark vs. Noblebright

The Lord of Dreams by C. J. Brightley When a fairy king grants a human wish, there’s more at stake than dreams. Claire Delaney has a good life, despite her adolescent angst. But she wants more. In a moment of frustration, she wishes to be “the hero.” What she actually […]

The Lord of Dreams – C. J. Brightley

Fellow indie author Bethany Jennings recently discovered the term noblebright and wrote a lovely blog post about it here. Please click through and read the whole thing. Here’s a snippet to entice you: There are the stories where there is no hope, no meaning, and no lasting joy to human existence, […]

Noblebright News!

Wolfskin by W.R. Gingell ‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’ At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest. She thinks it will be all […]

Wolfskin – W.R. Gingell

Fire in the Blood by W.R. Gingell A princess in a dragon-guarded tower. The prince who is to rescue her. The prince’s ensorcelled dragon. And one enchanted keep that might just be enough to kill them all… It’s widely known that Princess Kayami Koto is held captive in the Enchanted […]

Fire in the Blood – W.R. Gingell

  A Keeper’s Tale: The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon by JA Andrews Tomkin Thornhewn, youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell, has a problem: he’s not heroic. Regardless of his aspirations, the bookish, untrained young man is better suited to recording the deeds of heroes than being one […]

A Keeper’s Tale: The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon ...

A Threat of Shadows by JA Andrews Once Alaric was a Keeper. He protected the land with his knowledge and his magic. He advised the queen. Once he was a good man. Until, in a futile attempt to save his dying wife, he delved deep into dark magic, betraying everything […]

A Threat of Shadows – JA Andrews

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi […]

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil ...

When I think about the term ‘Noblebright Fantasy’, I tend to imagine knight-in-shining-armour type characters. Think Brienne from Game of Thrones – who, for myself at least, was one of the dreariest POV characters in the books. I found her constant preaching about nobility boring and out of place with […]

My Favourite Character in Fantasy

When I wrote the first post about noblebright fantasy, I got a comment from author L. Jagi Lamplighter (isn’t that a wonderful name?!) about the superversive literary movement. I’ll post more about that later, but I thought I’d start with this lovely essay about why she writes fantasy (reprinted with […]

Why I Write Fantasy: All About the Wonder

Much of this post originally appeared on my blog at cjbrightley.com. I’ve added reviews by other authors where possible. A while ago I wrote an overview of noblebright fantasy, which you can find on my site and here on Noblebright.org. I want to make noblebright fantasy a recognized subgenre of fantasy the way […]

Light in the Darkness: A Noblebright Fantasy Boxed Set – ...

As I was recently wrapping up the fourth book in my historical fantasy series, I had the sudden, horrible feeling that I had just written grimdark. Not that I’m totally opposed to grimdark-some of my favorite fantasy authors probably fall into that category. But in general, I’ve made an effort […]

Can Tragedy be Noblebright?

stock photo of explosion, CC0 licensed
Everything written here is my own opinion. I hope you find some portion of it helpful; as for any portion you don’t find helpful — discard and disregard. My purpose here is not to dictate to the world what “noblebright fantasy” is, or how its heroes should behave; but rather, […]

War in Noblebright Fantasy

Tension. It’s that thing that all stories need to have to propel the reader forward. Without it, you have dullness. Drabness. Blahhhhh. But what most people don’t realize until they think about it is that there are two kinds of story tension, and they’re not all that similar. In fact, […]

Anticipation Versus Dread: The Two Types of Story Tension

C.J. Brightley gives me a certain amount of credit for noticing, and drawing attention to, the phenomenon we’re now calling “noblebright fantasy” – the deliberate opposite of grimdark. Accordingly, I thought I’d write a few words about one of the earliest places I encountered it: the works of the late […]

Finding Noblebright in the Works of Terry Pratchett

This post originally appeared on my author blog here.   Several years ago I was fortunate enough to connect with another indie author, Mike Reeves-McMillan, who wrote a lovely review of The King’s Sword, which he described, tongue-in-cheek, as “cheerybright.” He meant that the world wasn’t perfect, but good characters […]

Noblebright Fantasy: An Overview