Wanted to ask this for a long time

I wanted to ask Meilin for a long time if the idea of kings holding the magic of their lands was inspired by the concept of "land-rule" in the Riddle-Master Trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip. Meilin, if the question is offensive, you can remove it. Thank you.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

This doesn't offend me, at all. Smile

I've never read Patricia A. McKillip, or if I have, I don't remember it--I hate to say, "I never read it, ever, no, that's not where it comes from!" only to have someone dig up my middle school library records and say, "Ms Miranda, I have here a list of Patricia A. McKillip books checked out IN YOUR NAME in 1974, and yet you tell this court you've never read them! HAVE--YOU--NO--SHAME at last, Ms Miranda!"

Smile

Short answer: No, I'm afraid I haven't had the privilege of reading them, or at least remembering that I've read them.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

to have someone dig up my middle school library records and say, "Ms Miranda, I have here a list of Patricia A. McKillip books checked out IN YOUR NAME in 1974, and yet you tell this court you've never read them! HAVE--YOU--NO--SHAME at last, Ms Miranda!"

hehe, I can totally picture that scene going down, and it is hilarious. Smile

ETA: I just saw what number post this was for me, and that makes it an ebil post. }:)

Frog Princess's picture

Devotee

"Have you a time machine, Ms Miranda!" otherwise how would you check those books out before they were published }:)
First Riddle-Master book was published in 1976 Biggrin

Frog Princess's picture

Devotee

I asked if it's offensive just in case, because some authors can get really upset if someone suggest that, good forbid, their work resembles something else. To me, the fact that sometimes similar ideas pop up in totaly unrelated works, proves that human minds indeed are connected to some sort of universal pool of inspiration.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

only seven stories that exist anyway, and everything else is just a different set of characters following elements of a classic set of plot lines? Do they still teach it that way? I remember being in an English class in my undergrad and trying to think of a story that wasn't a combination of those seven. Something like tragedy, comedy, overcoming the monster, voyage and return, quest, rags to riches, and rebirth? I'm not sure if they still teach it that way, but I still think it's interesting.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

When I took a creative writing course in college, I remember reading something (I'm 95% sure it was by Margaret Atwood) along the lines of "There are only two stories: 'A stranger comes to town' and 'A person goes on a journey', and those are just different sides of the same coin." So yeah, I know what you're talking about and I got at least some of that in various English/literature/writing classes along the way.

rdehwyll's picture

Devotee

The idea of the health of the land, it's ability to be productive, being held as part of the King or other Ruler's powers is actually quite ancient -- it plays out in several myths, including Arthurian Legend. That there have been several DOZEN authors who have written on that theme in one manner or another only means that they have somewhere heard of the concept, not that they have 'stolen' anyone's ideas. Face it, every basic plot device has been explored sometime in the past, only in different ways -- and anyone who can use such a device in an even slightly different manner only provides new reading material on the same thing.

In other words, it's ALL been done before, so enjoy it.

Pielord's picture

Its certainly something which was alluded to in Celtic mythos, along with some other ancient religions/cultures (Egyptian comes to mind there).

"The King and the land are one" is a staple of many things - though its nice seeing this particular take (that the King is the one who can wield the magic of the land) rather than the more usual link to spiritual health/bounty!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Among many, many, many. Smile I've read a lot of mythology and, uh, like, other stuff.

LaurenF's picture

Petitioner

Tamora Pierce has something similar with the Dominion Jewel and using it to control the land in her Song of the Lioness quartet.

Also, it always makes me really sad when people are like, "Oh whatever you do it's been done before". I understand that in some cases it's true, but often it's never been done quite like this, making it original in my book.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

To read reviews where people compare everything to Harry Potter. Just because there is a school does not make it the same. And really, just because HP was the biggest and most popular doesn't make it the best or the first

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

but now I'm curious. What do you think should be considered the best or the first? I think, also, for a lot of people HP was what got them reading in the first place, so to them, it really is the first. It was a great book for kids who didn't like to read, and I have a lot of respect for it for that. I've read a lot of stuff that HP could be compared to, and a lot of which was probably better, but I'm curious about what you think.

LaurenF's picture

Petitioner

I was a crazzzyyyy reader in elementary, middle, and high school... not as much time for it now, but I'm currently working my way through A Thousand Splendid Suns... I read Harry Potter from the very beginning, when I was 10 years old... and it was the perfect series to grow up on, because JKR became a better writer as we became more mature readers. However, in the 2 year breaks between books, I also read every single book Tamora Pierce has ever written, a whole bunch of Stephen King, the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix (best books ever, hands down), and a smattering of sci-fi/fantasy romance novels by Laurell K Hamilton, when I was a bit older of course. My vote for best original ideas go to Garth Nix. I've tried to explain the plotline and world to some of my friends, and I get a lot of blank stares and "sounds... elaborate". They're definitely books you have to read (Sabriel is my favorite)

Shade's picture

Supplicant

Garth Nix is love. I freaking Adore his works, they're just so magnificent. His concept of death and the necromancers, wow. And Shade's Children is also amazing . . . now I need to go reread those . . .

There is a series I read a long time ago, whose books I occasionally come across and read again, about a school for magicians, but it's more tailored to their individual specialties than general magic classes. Can't remember what it's called, but the version I read had a kid with white hair and a multicolored quilt on the front :P. I thought it was a better execution of the general concept than HP, and I'm pretty sure it was written before HP was.

On schools of magic, does it bother anybody else that they don't seem to actually be learning anything useful in the classes at Hogwarts? Blum 3 I mean, it's all well and good to know how to transfigure a hedgehog into a pincushion, but where are the real-life applications?

LaurenF's picture

Petitioner

For HP classes, I always thought it was more of the "well if you can do this thing, this simpler thing is easy to master". Like, you can turn a porcupine into a wonderful tea set... Maybe you can turn a broken tea set into a not-broken tea set.
The one thing I always admire about authors who make long fantasy series is how much they think about the outside world. It always makes me happy when I can picture myself living among the characters of a book (or wishing it) haha

The Which's picture

Embodiment

But Yolen wrote a book about a wizarding school long before JK Rowling. Yolen herself has expressed suspicion about the similarities of the books, but I dont think HP is just a knock off. As for best? That sounds like a good excuse to pull out some old fantasy books to decide.

Dont get me wrong, I love HP. It's just that since it's the only fantasy book many people have read, they assume that everything else is "inspired" by it. (And it really does get people reading. My uncle hadn't read a complete book in over 15 years until Harry Potter)

Biestygirl's picture

Petitioner

If anyone has to do a classroom reading again, I suggest the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. They're AMAZING and don't last more than 20 minutes or so. They're easy for kids to follow, and have fun rhymes in them.

My dad goes in and reads them to my little brother's class. William Joyce is another favourite that we read to his class. Even though they're fourth graders and reading chapter books, they LOVE the shorter stories.

I don't know what to do with my brother tho, he doesn't like Harry Potter! I didn't really care for the writing style that much but I do love the story. Narnia was one of my favourites when I was his age.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I grew up on the Just So Stories. Fantastic stuff.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

I love Kipling; I can still do almost all of the Ballad of East and West from memory. I'm not sure I've read those stories, but the pride of my book collection is a hundred year old set of the complete works of Kipling, so I may have to go find those when I get home.

Biestygirl's picture

Petitioner

whooops. wrong post....

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