Epic Fantasy - Set in medieval times, these books focus on a good-versus-evil story. Tolkien is the founder of this sub-genre.

High Fantasy - Extremely character-driven fantasy that often focuses on a greater good rather than the well-being of the characters.

Differences between the two
Some would classify Epic Fantasy and High Fantasy together. Others would say that they are separate sub-genres sharing both similarities and differences with each other. I would agree with the latter. After doing some research on books called Epic Fantasy and others called High Fantasy, I have found a few things that distinguish the two.


Epic Fantasy:
takes place in medieval times

often uses good-versus-evil as the central story

usually involves a large cast of characters

relies on sub-plots to advance the story

Average Length: 120,000-160,000 words


High Fantasy:
takes place in medieval or modern times

involves magic

focuses on fewer characters and often relies heavily on character growth

sometimes presents situations in shades of gray, and lets the characters decide what is right

Average Length: 70,000-100,000 words


Am I right about this? It would explain a lot of things, such as why we see 500+ page epic fantasy books when the typical length of fantasy is supposed to be about 70,000 words.