Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Magic Still Rules

Rules, What Rules?

As I've noted in my last post on Magic, it's important that, in order to maintain a sense of integrity in a fantasy, the rules the author sets up must be followed.

Readers of fantasy need to stay in a state of "willing suspension of disbelief." What that means is that anyone reading a fantasy is ready to believe in the fantasy world, and decides to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the story and all its "made up stuff."  It's up to the writer to stick to the rules and keep the world consistent so readers will not stop believing in its fantastical elements.

For instance, if one of the rules is that Magic is that a Sorcerer cannot heal himself, it's important that never happens in the story. Otherwise the reader will suddenly lose patience with the fantasy. "What? How did he do that? That's impossible."  Disbelief is no longer suspended and the basic premise of the story fails.

Magicians in Magic can never use Magic directly on themselves. They can create illusions around themselves to change their appearance, but they cannot really change themselves. Nor can they Heal themselves in case of injury or illness.

One of the interesting exceptions is the ability to fly, a skill Jarien shows in "Master of the Clouds." Master Magicians are able to lift their horse's strides through the air, but they themselves cannot use that same Magic on their own bodies. Or can they?
Illustration by David Melanson

Clearly, Jarien proves that wrong. But there is a mystery there. He is not an ordinary boy and while his story is not essential to the plot of the larger novel, the riddle of his unique ability lingers. He longs to take to the clouds with a belief so strong that somehow it works for him until the moment he is told it's impossible. Then, he falls.  Something strange is at work.

I have to leave it there because the essence of that mystery is revealed much later in the Saga. Needless to say, Jamus himself will encounter the riddle. As the Rivermaster, all riddles belong to him in the end. His Magic flows in the deepest currents of the River and is quite extraordinary in all of Magiskeep's legends.

Early on in the Saga, he proves again and again that he can do what others have called "impossible" even in the face of such powerful Sorcerers as Sagari.  Both Whim and Simen are proof of that.

The River's waters flow at his command. As the Saga unfolds, their deepest secrets will reveal themselves.  And in the end, all the riddles will be answered.

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