No, not the novel with that title, but the concept that there must be some “great price” in a fantasy world for using magic.
Some of the most renowned fantasy authors advocate the thought/attitude that magic MUST have a price upon the user and not just a price but an ‘in your face’ price. Publishers and/or agents apparently accept the premise [since a friend had his novel rejected because there was no “price” for using the magic. Actually there was a price (since I’d read the novel) but it was subtle and not an ‘in your face’ kind of price.]
It is like they’ve have this notion in their heads about one kind of magic and that is all there is.
My question is, “Why? Why must there be this ‘price’ that is over and above just the normal exhaustion experienced by an athlete or someone who performs a hard day’s work?
When a marathon runner runs a marathon, no one runs around asking about price. Nor do they protest when/if a runner/athlete breaks a record, or a mountain climber climbs a mountain never before scaled.
‘But…but…they train.’ is an answer I frequently hear. Well, can’t those who use magic train? And the more they train the better they would become working magic effectively and efficiently. Logically, wouldn’t their capacity to utilize magic increase so that more could be accomplished?
Immediately the counter is: ‘But there has to be physical/visible limits!’
Again I ask, “Why?”
What if magic was built into the world in such a fashion that everyone had access to it? What would stop them from killing all their enemies and/or competitors and becoming a dictator?
Simply put – ethics, morals, and principles.
Is it so far beyond our society/culture to imagine that a person’s ethics, morals, and principles could restrict their behavior? Limit their actions?
Is it beyond our society/culture to imagine people with no interest in magic and therefore chose not to use it even if it is available to them?
What do you think?