Friday, September 9, 2016

Healing in Fantasy

Fantasy stories often include either magical or herbal remedies for sickness and pain (often both, in fact). Pretty much every story I've read involves the hero being treated for wounds with poultices and bandages, or encountering some kind of magical healing that speeds her recovery from physical or magical illnesses.

Even Frodo Baggins had the elves to treat him, and if not for Aragorn's herb knowledge, he would have been tainted by darkness long before laying eyes on Mount Doom.

One of my favorite fantasy writers, Tamora Pierce, has a YA series centered around a group of youngsters living in a healing circle, learning to use their magic under the instruction and care of healing mages. They deal with pirates and plagues both, saving lives and finding each other.

The long-running classic Wheel of Time also has healers, a whole Ajah of women dedicated to using their powers for healing.  They also encounter and conflict with Wise Women, un-magical healers who use herbs and non-magic remedies to heal villagers.

And of course Healer Hall in Anne McCaffrey's world of Pern is a main location for the plot of several books, as dragonriders help find a cure for terrible plagues.

What are some of your favorite examples of healers in books?

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