Magic: How much is too much?
One of the great things I love about Fantasy is the diversity. Fantasy can encompass things from the traditional medieval Tolkienesque stories, to modern, contemporary settings, like Jim Butcher’s Dresden books. One thing they all share, in one form or another, is magic. Sometimes the magic is overt and prevalent, like in the Harry Potter stories. Other times it can take a back seat and work behind the scenes as in Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice books.
I’ve enjoyed all these stories and more, regardless of the role magic played. The thing that makes them all work though, is the magic has a system, or structure, that is consistent throughout the books. Yes, even something like magic must have some logic behind it. If the hero gets in a tight spot, but is suddenly bailed out by something magical, it had better have some previous basis for it in the story or the reader won’t play along.
How much magic do you like in your Fantasy reading? Do you like to read about wizards throwing balls of fire and warping the very fabric of space and time? Or do you prefer more swords than sorcery? Have you ever read a story where the magic just didn’t work for you? Leave your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!