Fantasy novels, like science fiction, take place in another reality. And while the two are often grouped together, they are really quite different. In science fiction there is always a technical explanation for what is happening, even if that technology has not yet been invented; however, in fantasy, that explanation always lies in some form of magic or enchantment.
Fantasy novels are based in magic, myths, legends and fairy tales. They take elements of the familiar and mix them with elements of the fantastical; as a result, they are filled with fairies, magic, sorcery, dragons and enchantments of various kinds. Fantasy novels also usually involve some variation of good against evil— or the light against the dark. In fact, Barbara Hambly’s Darwath trilogy (beginning with the Time of the Dark) takes the concept of light against dark quite literally. Part of the appeal of fantasy is not only the escape from reality they provide, but also that good generally triumphs over evil.