So Im working on a fantasy novel and I originally planned on making it medieval-like, similar to a majority of fantasy novels. However, as I began writing and sending my first few chapters to proof readers, I noticed that people kept saying they were happy with the lack of castles, dragons etc. I originally wanted to eventually include some more of the tropes associated with medieval fantasy, but noticed that there wasn't really anything that forced me to go that route story wise. I actually began looking into European history and found that I now want to set my story in an Iron Age like world where weapons smithing was largely imperfect, knowledge of disease was non-existent and the threat of barbarian invasion was common.
That brings me to my question. Why is it that a vast majority of fantasy worlds use the medieval tropes when it seems like there are a lot more interesting eras and empires to explore? There also doesn't seem to be many modern fantasy novels with the exception of Dark Tower (That I've noticed.), nor industrial era or renaissance. What about medieval era knights and castles style worlds make them conducive to epic fantasy stories? Also why do so many novice fantasy writers choose to use orcs/elves/etc when there are deep and rich mythologies to pull from? Just want to hear thoughts on this.
Source: reddit post