Wikipedia defines urban fantasy as having to take place in a city. But as we ought to know by now, Wikipedia is often wrong. If we are to strictly define urban fantasy as having to take place in a city, then we would be leaving out so many great stories, including Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series or Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series. This strict definition has prompted some to coin the term “rural fantasy” to describe books like Harris’s. I don’t think the distinction is necessary.
It’s not about the city.
Good urban fantasy, like any genre, does incorporate the setting as an integral character. It will be flawed, it will change over the course of the novel, the weather will shift to reflect the mood of the story. But as with any genre the setting is not the overriding characteristic of urban fantasy.
Characteristics of urban fantasy…
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