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.
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
takes place in medieval or modern times
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.