Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Groups and Oraganization in Fantasy

Groups and organizations are common and enjoyed elements in fantasy. But there can be a point in which  there is too much technicality and background work.
     For example, in the Ranger’s Apprentice, there are different groups such as Battle School, Diplomacy Branch, and of course the Rangers.  Also defined clearly are the Masters and Apprentices. This degree of organizations set boundaries and is enjoyable to read. But imagine if the author had decided to add in Superior Apprentices, and overseeing Rangers, and Deputy Rangers, and Apprentice Helpers and special branches, or even two kinds of Rangers into the Ranger Corps. That would have made it confusing, and maybe even too technical to read.
     But there is another extreme. If Mr. Flannagan had made Halt a ‘do gooder’ who wanted to keep peace in Araluen and found young Will willing to help him, the series wouldn’t have been such a good read
     Venom and Song by Christopher Hopper and Wayne Thomas Batson is an example of what I consider too many organizations and levels. In this 2nd book in the series we hear a lot of levels such as sentinels and lords, but they seem to draw away from the emotion of the book and add to its technicalities. We read more of an account of what is happening as apposed to being drawn into the read.
     Organizations and corps and units can help a book, or ruin it. Whether it is too technical or not at all, all fantasy literature walk a fine line between reading an account of what is happening or not having any structure and being boring.

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