So, I'm reading "The Last Kingdom" (the first in The Saxon Chronicles) by Bernard Cornwell. Not fantasy. More historical fiction. I loved The Winter King. (And all of his Arthur books) so I figured I would enjoy the Saxon series.
I also thought it would be good inspiration for writing some "realistic" fantasy (there's an oxymoron for you). It got me thinking about fantasy styles.
On the one hand, there is the Tolkien-esque style (exemplified by RA Salvatore). I guess this is "High Fantasy" or "Heroic Fantasy"? I'm not sure of the term, but if the good guy (like Drizzt) can annihilate 50-100 bad guys singlehandedly in combat, then you are in this camp.
Then there is the George RR Martin style or the Joe Abercrombie style where the action is more realistic, but it is fantasy because magic does rear its ugly head and do unspeakable things. Magic in this style is more frightening and rare. Magic in the heroic style is a common tool used by everyone.
Any preferences out there? I am guessing people fall firmly into one camp or the other though most fantasy readers probably dabble in both. I think I am firmly in the "realistic" camp though I do love most Warhammer Fiction and Gotrek definitely stretches the suspension of disbelief a bit.
I guess I love them both, but since George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie top my list of favorite authors, then I guess I have to say "realistic" fantasy (the oxymoron) wins out for my vote.