Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Magic in Stories for Children: Part Seventeen - Paying the Price

Sometimes a being bestowing power on the hero of the story may be anything but benevolent, when a verse carved on an ancient tablet can be recited to summon a demon, which will then grant a mortal some kind of magical powers. In this type of story however, the acquisition of powers usually carries a dreadful price, such as the possession of one’s soul, the death of a loved one or something equally drastic, which the demon will return and claim as his fee.

More often, magic is an innate talent that requires training. In the Harry Potter series, Harry’s schooling forms the central part of the series, although wizard education also features in Le Guin’s Earthsea novels. At the onset of the series, Harry Potter casts spells both accidentally and badly before he learns how to perform magic properly, honing his talents at Hogwarts. Sometimes wizards have their talent from birth, but do not realize it until they hit their teens, with or without special schooling. Even an accident or other event can trigger the powers, although the person needs to be taught how to use their powers correctly by an older mentor, who may have been quietly observing them for years, wondering when their ability would first manifest itself.

Learn more about The Alchemist's PortraitThe Sorcerer's LetterboxThe Clone Conspiracy,  The Emerald CurseThe Heretic's TombThe Doomsday MaskThe Time Camera and my many non-fiction books on my website.

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