We’ve talked before about the Law of Conservation of Magic: the idea that nothing comes from nothing and therefore everything must come from something. That is to say, well-written magic should come with some sort of cost. From the Equivalent Exchange of Fullmetal Alchemist to the consequences of fairy bargains everywhere, this concept is ubiquitous in magic-related fiction.
If you try to transmute a human, you’re gonna have a bad time.
But what if the exchange is always terrible? How can you justify using magic if you have to pay an awful price for it? The answer to that question can make or break the writing of a story. Continue reading →
I oftentimes come to this column with some fantasy book or series from my childhood that changed the way I thought about fairy tales or gender roles or storytelling, and this week is no exception. I’ve been meaning to review this series as a Throwback for ages, but I kept putting it off because I am, if nothing else, lazy, and reading four books for a review is a lot more work than reading one or rewatching a movie. Sitting down to do it, however, ended up being both entertaining and a much easier task than I was expecting.
Turns out that reading a thousand or so pages written at an elementary reading level is not that trying.