Thoughtful Thursday: Magical Medical Facilities

The brave wizard trio of the HARRY POTTER series were quite familiar with Hogwarts’s infirmary.

In Cassandra Clare’s MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, the Shadow-hunter Institute also has a nice infirmary, although it looks like they outsource most of their medical work to the witch/warlock community.

Magical communities have their medical needs, just like everybody else, with some special twists. If you’re a werewolf and you are injured in wolf form, are you better off with a veterinarian than a surgeon who works on humans? Do vampires suffer from anemia? And do the faerie folk risk environmental allergies in an increasingly industrialized world?

Some fantasy series do address medical needs in an organized fashion, not by just seeking the help of a mystical healer or apothecary. It’s fun to see what some series writers do with a more consistent medical approach.

Who has your favorite magical medical system? Or, who has the least convincing healing community? Please share!

One commenter with a USA address will be chosen at random to win a book from our Stacks.


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MARION DEEDS, with us since March 2011, is retired from a 35-year career with county government, where she met enough interesting characters and heard enough zany stories to inspire at least two trilogies’ worth of fantasy fiction. Currently she spends part of her time working at a local used bookstore. She is an aspiring writer herself and, in the 1990s, had short fiction published in small magazines like Night Terrors, Aberrations, and in the cross-genre anthology The Magic Within. On her blog Deeds & Words, she reviews many types of books and follows developments in food policy and other topics.

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15 comments

  1. Vivian Shaw’s Greta Helsing series (Strange Practice, etc.)is about a doctor who treats all sorts of supernatural beings, including mummies. I loved the series and found that aspect very appealing.

  2. My favorite series is The Lightbringer by Brent Weeks, and their magic system is based on color and substantiates in a substance called “luxin”. Healers will seal off lacerations with it, and I like that idea very much.

  3. Noneofyourbusiness /

    I admire Nynaeve in The Wheel of Time’s dedication to fixing what is broken using the One Power, and reforms she brings to the Yellow Ajah.

  4. John Smith /

    In Avi’s “The Book Without Words,” an alchemist/magician has a book of magic that has pages with spells that only appear if you want them very much, and in it he has found spells that enable him to make potions and magical rites that enable him to steal the lives and youth of his young apprentices and repeatedly become young again. It seems like quite a useful form of medicine, if you want to be very, very wicked!

  5. Lady Morar /

    I like the Gurahl werebears who are Gaia’s healers in Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

  6. The Distinguished Professor /

    Master Capiam and Master Oldive in the Dragonriders of Pern series are nice, but I’d feel more confident in being on the receiving end of the Healer Hall’s techniques if it’s after their lessons from AIVAS.

  7. SandyG /

    It’s not magical but I’ve always liked James White’s Hospital Station series and the variety of ETs he created.

  8. Christopher Sidor /

    Batman’s Arkham Asylum is always a cheerful place to get better. The shadowy and stark appearance of the building is pretty cool. Not sure if this totally fits…

  9. SandyG, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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