Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday 5 - Fantasy Worlds

1. Narnia

The world created by C.S. Lewis is both fantastical and unique. During every trip taken to Narnia something new is discovered or time has passed so long there that the land and inhabitants have changed. This is the type of world where anything can happen as long as the traveler has the chance to come back and see how the world has progressed. Every trip a new part of the land is discovered or new inhabitants take key roles in the development of the world, and for the most part, as long as forces at work in Narnia aren't overpowering, Aslan let them figure out their own solutions.

2. The World of Harry Potter

The World of Harry Potter really isn’t that much like our own world at first glance. But, that’s the point. J.K. Rowling created a magical world that wanted to keep its existence a secret. Underneath our logic and scientific explanations, the real reason for the way things happen are explained using magic and disturbances in the magical world. Wands, creatures, and peoples are all hidden under a veil of ignorance that gives the curious muggle the goosebumps (the good kind).

3. The World of the Wheel of Time

Robert Jordan’s world in The Wheel of Time is one of prophecy, magic, nightmares, and evil all wrapped up in a medieval/renaissance world that at times is filled with wonder and other filled with a sense of doom. Ogier, trollocs, the green man, myrddraal, and many, many more find their home in this world. Nations that are hundreds of years old spread out across vast plains, forests, and wastelands. And, who can forget about the Aiel, some of the most fearsome fighters in the whole world. Together they complete this world as the protagonists of the story fight against evil that rivals only one other antagonist to ever exist in my mind (Sauron). The Dark One is evil on that level and is intent on reshaping the world in his image and stopping the wheel from turning.

4. The World of the Malazan Empire

The World of the Malazan Empire is a world of gods and magic, of dwindling nations and a growing empire. The Malazan Empire sprawls across the known world dominating all in its path. Gods fight an ever growing battle for their own survival drawing in human pawns for their own purposes. Armies march, fight, and die all across this world. Medieval fighting mixes with magic and an ever growing knowledge of incendiaries. The sapper is the turning point in Malazan battle strategy. This world is ripe with forces of good, neutral, and evil all struggling for power and the ability to turn the tide.

5. The World of Shannara

Shannara is an ever changing world that, much like Narnia, changes with time. In many of the books that aren’t finishing a story from previous books, the main character is a descendant of the previous protagonist. The story often takes place generations later. The world of Shannara has gone from one of purely medieval technology to one of airships and growing technology as magic seems tos begin a dwindling descent into oblivion, only to arise once more to drive the story in some way. Shannara has many of the original species associated with Tolkien fantasy:  elves, trolls, and man, with a few extras thrown in for good measure. Magic in this world appears to be genetic and passed along by magic users in the families’ pasts.