Friday, March 8, 2013

Magic in Stories for Children: Part Twelve - Fatal Weaknesses

Magical stories can feature beings that are able to access the mind of their adversary to determine their deepest fears to learn what really scares them and thus immobilize them at a crucial moment. This may not necessarily immobilize physically, but mentally render someone incapable of any resistance. Sometimes this is only for a limited time, giving the hero precious time to escape and replenish his energy or allowing the villain the chance to slip away to fight another day. Another common weakness exists in magical powers that are ineffective against a particular thing or in a particular situation. This can be something simple or commonplace, such as water, fire, certain colours and so on.

Another device commonly used is magical books from which the hero or villain derive their powers. In this case, the power actually comes from the spells in the book rather than from within the person’s body, so power can be restricted, if only temporarily, by denying the person access to the books. Of course they may have studied hard to memorize the enchantments, but a story of this type is usually a classic quest tale where the plot revolves around the plan to steal the book or destroy it to finally vanquish the villain.

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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