Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
Today’s Tour Topic is…Invisible College
Invisible College is used for training WIZARDS and usually occupies a prime site in some major CITY…
Another easy one, though I expect a whole lot more repeats than normal if others join it. Because while I had no problem coming up with some for this list, I DID have trouble thinking of any from more obscure works. All of mine are quite well known! Oh well, what can be done? Here are the Invisible Colleges I know of to visit in Fantasyland.
Unseen University- Discworld by Terry Pratchett – If you have read Pratchett and know me then you knew this would be the first entry on my list. It is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be discussed. But I will. The very name of the college is Unseen University (though in truth there isn’t much trouble finding it).
It has wizards to teach students, and at times they forget to hide and are forced to do just that. The celibate wizards live in fear of the female staff members. The library is one of a kind, holding books so dangerous only an ape (not a monkey) can track them. And they have a clock tower that chimes incredibly loud silences across the city.
Ya, got my weekly Pratchett reference in, and didn’t even have to cheat for it this time.
University –Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss- Look, its late as I write this and I honestly can’t remember what the university is called in this damn book. I can tell you every damn detail of the book except the name of the friggen university. Did it have a name? Am I just forgetting this little detail?
Anyone, not hard to find, but entrance exams can be a bit…sporadic? Practical magic based on scientific principals really worked for me. The staff includes a nice mix of nice, spiteful, hard to figure, and downright crazy.
Brakebills Academy –The Magicians by Lev Grossman- There was a cool scene in this book early on where all the new students go to their new hall and stand outside for quite a while before they realize no one is actually going to let them in. They have to find their own way in, based on the magical discipline they are learning.
Other than that I hated this book. It was self absorbed assholes learning magic, sex between people in the form of a fox, and a grown man obsessed with a fictional land that turns out to be real. But hey, I know a lot of people liked it. Black makeup and dusters are probably optional.
Hogwarts – Harry Potter by you know who the fuck wrote this book, don’t act coy with me.
Yes, I was sucked into this series just as hard as anyone else. I didn’t join until book four came out, and when the movie was released I fell in love all over. The magic of Hogwarts is one of a kind, and going there for the first time will always remain a favorite reading memory of mine.
Palace of the Prophets –The Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind – Really? I am really including Goodkind? Yes, but this is not an endorsement of reading Goodkind. But if the shoe fits…
The Palace of the Prophets is run by Sisters of the Light, who slap collars on young wizards and teach them magic their way. The collars give them control over the magic users but don’t worry, the let the wizards go to town and screw around with whoever they want because more wizards is a good thing in their mind. But watch out for Sisters of the Dark. Don’t let the benign name deceive you, once these sisters have sex with a nasty demon they flay wizards alive in order gain their power. So, it isn’t all fun and games there.
Join us next week as the tour looks for the mythical LARGE MAN
LARGE MAN…He is very calm, very strong, and not at all stupid. In some cases he will have been a BLACKSMITH, which accounts for the ease with which he severs the chains in the Galley.
As always thanks for visiting, and please visit the sites of others who have joined in. Feel free to add your own list to the linky below.