(Just for the record, I had this post planned before S.L. Hennessy posted about precognition and knowing the future with her N is for Next post.)
Prophecies are always popping up, from the Delphic Oracle to an entire roomful of them at the Ministry of Magic. Wherever there are prophecies, there are people working toward making them come to fruition, and others working just as hard to prevent them (only to bring them about by their efforts, usually). One of the oft-cited problems with prophecy is that they are so vaguely worded that whatever happens, someone will argue that’s what the prophecy said all along.
Still, they can be useful tools: for foreshadowing, for prodding characters into moving, for establishing just how reluctant the hero really is. They can be fun (for the writer as well as the reader) — just because you know something’s coming doesn’t mean that you know what’s going to occur.
Skein of Shadows by Marsheila Rockwell, a book I had the pleasure of being a beta reader for, talks about the problems of prophecy. Although the book isn’t out yet, she graciously agreed to post the quote on her blog for me. (The book is available for pre-order, in case you’re wondering.)
How do you feel about prophecies in a book? Love them, hate them, use them?
This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is epic fantasy, and blog posts will cover authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I can think of to fill the alphabet. Check out some of the other bloggers participating or follow my blog by e-mail if you like what you’ve read.