So I spent middle school, high school and college reading and rereading the various pieces of the Lord of the Rings saga. I began with The Hobbit around 1995 and was quickly introduced to Harry Potter a few years later. Upon it’s arrival I quickly shunned it. Refusing to read the children’s book that included magic, wizards, enchanted items and dragons.
It was ultimately ironic. I wanted nothing to do with that kids book. Didn’t want to hear it. Didn’t want to know anything about it. Strangely both stories did contain many of the same elements.
My stubbornness continued into adulthood and some time passed. Until I married a Potterhead in 2015. I tried to be steadfast and I continued my stance of superiority. Lord of the Rings was a well polished story and stood as the model for all fantasy writing to come. Why dabble in this silly story with equally silly looking movies?
Who could come close to the classic characters, vivid environments and quotable moments of Tolkien’s greatest works?
After some recent changes I would have to say J.K. Rowling was up to the challenge and did well. She certainly didn’t set out to go head to head against the classic. She had a story to tell and she told it.
I certainly don’t want to take this too far, because I’m admittedly only 4 books into the Potter saga, but it has many of the great moments required for a fantasy masterpiece.
After honing the characters through the first books, Rowling makes the story flow with such an ease that reading it is not a burden but a luxury.
The story’s actual similarities are few and far between and my misconception that these two sagas were divided simply by “Big Kid” and “Little Kid” lines were and are absurd.
I obviously have some reading to do. Please comment to provide me with some much needed suggestions in the world of fantasy writing. Please don’t be stuck in the YA world of story telling. What strikes a chord like these stories but isn’t bogged down by unneeded exposition that we find, admittedly, in the LOTR books?