Thursday, October 6, 2016

12 Noblebright novels for 99 cents if you preorder

Thought I'd share a limited-time offer on Amazon that Sherwood Smith is involved in. Because it's a bit of a no-brainer. Even if I don't end up liking any of the novels I won't feel gypped! Since I haven't heard of any of the authors except for Sherwood Smith, I assume this is a way to get publicity for relatively new writers. Seems like a great idea—if I like any of them I'll happily review them on Goodreads.

The Sherwood Smith novel included is Lhind the Thief, one I already have, alas. I'm still hoping for more books set in Sartorias-Delas—she's given tantalizing hints that there are more to come, but she seems to be working on different things these days. (Darn those authors who don't cater to my every whim.)(Her historical books are great, too, though.)

I can't say I'm a fan of the descriptor "noblebright," but the sub-genre it describes is probably my favourite type of book. Rachel Neumeier has a recent post talking about it, and here's Sherwood Smith quoting C.J. Brightley (who chose the 12 novels in the bundle):

Noblebright fantasy has at least one important character with noble, idealistic motives who does the right thing out of principle. The character is flawed, but his or her actions are generally defined by honesty, integrity, sacrifice, love, and kindness. The story upholds the goodness of the character; the character’s good qualities are not held up as naiveté, cluelessness, or stupidity, but rather shown to be worthwhile. Good characters can make a difference. Noblebright characters can learn and grow. They can deliberately choose to be kind when tempted to be unkind, they can choose generosity when it hurts, and they can influence their world and other characters for the better. In a noblebright story, even villains are not without hope; their stories may have a redemptive ending, or they may have some kind of conversion experience (religious or not). It’s not guaranteed, of course, but in a noblebright story, it’s a possibility.

Noblebright fantasy is not utopian fiction. The world of a noblebright story is not perfect, and indeed can sometimes be quite dark. Actions have consequences, and even good characters can make terrible mistakes. But a noblebright story is generally hopeful in tone, even if there are plenty of bad, grim, dark things going on in the world.

What do you think of the term? And what have you read that you would call [word that's better than noblebright]?


  1. My friend Amy (rockin' librarian) sent me this link, and I'm so glad she did! I love this concept, though I agree, the name is a little ... off. For me, the name conjures up Geoffrey of Monmouth's King Arthur, knights in shining armor and Romanticism. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with those! But that's not this concept. I think a name that conjures up the idea of hope, or deep joy, or even integrity, would be more fitting. Not that I can think of a specific name, of course! But something that encompasses those concepts.

    Whatever the name, though, I do love this. Give me "noblebright" any day over grimdark or anti-heroes or dystopia, please!

    1. Integrity! Yes! But how do you put that word into a clever moniker? I was trying to describe noblebright verbally to a friend and she kept saying "boring," even though I know that's the kind of books she mostly reads. But she was interpreting it as characters who always make the right choices for the right reasons, and that's not it. It's not boring when Jane Eyre says no to Rochester. (Not that I'd call that book noblebright, but that's always my go-to example of integrity in a character.)