Friday, July 18, 2008


One plot twist I'm getting a little sick of in Fantasy novels is the Prophecy plot. You see it in most Fantasy novels -- the one where the hero is destined to either doom or save his world depending on what he does. Much of the Fantasy series I've read (perhaps this is a failing on my part) bring this tired old chestnut out (Dune and its progeny, Belgariad and Malloreon, Sword of Truth, Wheel of Time, the Thomas Covenant novels). Destiny is a fascinating concept to address, and certainly worth the ink to write about, but I'm getting a little sick of reading a book and finding that the hero was destined from the dawn of time to do something heroic and vanquish some ancient evil. Where did this fascination with prophecy come from?
I'm no stranger to the Old Testament, and a book I was reading recently -- about the OT prophets and their prophecies -- got me thinking very hard about this business. Fellows like Ezekiel, Joel, Hosea, Malachi, and of course Jeremiah roamed the Old Testament world warning the Hebrews that a vengeful, bitter-hearted God was watching their every move, ready to crush and damn the daylights out of them at the first sign of betrayal. You can also find prophecy in the New Testament, with the coming of the Messiah. He was destined to save the New Testament world (and all the worlds since then) by sacrificing himself.
This leads me to wonder how many times the Messiah can be recreated in Fantasy. Some books out there don't take this route of prophecy, and I applaud them. Be original for once, folks. I appeal to the writers of today and tomorrow to avoid this well-trod path and study destiny in some other way. Also, if there's anyone who can suggest some awesome novels that have nothing to do with prophecy, please let me know. Thank you.

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