One of the great challenges of teaching Fantasy Literature is that most fantasy works tend to sprawl across a range of very thick books. In the middle of a semester, when there are countless books to be read, notes to be taken and studied, this just isn't feasible. However, that is just one aspect of fantasy. Fantasy is an incredibly varied genre in which you can read Fforde side by side with Hobb. Nevertheless, the heart of fantasy remains the great quest with someone riding into danger.
In The Guardian, there is a series on reading all the winners of the British Fantasy awards. This might be one of the 'cheat's' ways of getting a grip on the genre!