Fantasy of Manners / Mannerpunk

“The protagonists are not pitted against fierce monsters or marauding armies, but against their neighbors and peers; the action takes place within a society, rather than being directed against an external foe; duels may be fought, but the chief weapons are wit and intrigue.”

“A typical fantasy of manners tale will involve a romantic adventure that turns on some point of social punctilio or intrigue.”

– Quotes taken from Wikipedia ‘Fantasy of Manners’

So, I write dark fantasy. And in most ways it falls under fantasy-of-manners/mannerpunk. It usually starts with some sort of romance, and political issues, and then because of said complicated scenarios the plot unfolds. I do weave in more fantasy/fairy-tale elements than others in this subgenre, with a bit of epic-fantasy here and there as well, but at the heart it’s usually a love story gone… interesting.

Larkspur- princeling meets old childhood friend, the comte’s daughter, falls in love. … But has to deal with his other love, a personification of death, and his secret/illegal practice of necrocræft.

There’s also the mortal who falls in love with the King of Nightmares in a land where dreaming is punishable by imprisonment (and the problem of nightmares and dreams not getting along among themselves either).

The three brothers set to marry their loves, three sisters, when word arrives that the virgin-hungry dragon is on his way.


And it’s more than just the love stories. It keeps going- I work in generations more often than not, histories and grand scales of time. The protagonist’s parents usually have their own story of interest, and often the children do as well. The interplay between family, friends, and social issues, work together interestingly and nicely.

That’s what I write and what I want to bring to modern fantasy.

One thought on “Mannerpunk

  1. You learn something new every day. I had certainly never heard of ‘Fantasy of Manners’ before. I called my own book a ‘fantasy biography’, not knowing how else to term it, but now I wonder if there’s a better description. I shall have to do some research.

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