Tough Travels – Law Enforcement

The prompt this week for Tough Travels is this:

Seems odd to think that in fantasy cities in which entire economies revolve around crime there is room for the men in blue (or crimson, or whatever). But the law does the best it can, even when faced with magic, mystical creatures, or rogue deities.

So I thought about this and for some reason my mind was totally blank. I mean, there’s various forces of law and order in fantasy, of course, but I couldn’t think of specific ones. In a lot of what I read, they’re just in the background — the king’s guardsmen, the city watch, whatever. Anyway, I’ve done my best to think of some of the forces of law and order that we don’t normally associate with the men in blue, as such. Like…

  • The Avengers (Marvel comics). You’ve never met a more law-abiding, law-enforcing person than Steve Rogers! And, admittedly, he does wear a mostly blue uniform.
  • The wizards on Roke (A Wizard of Earthsea). They’re pretty insular a lot of the time, granted, but if there’s a problem out there in the world, they’re probably the only ones who can solve it. And Ged is very aware of that fact. There’s the short story in Tales from Earthsea where he goes after a disgraced wizard, and then there’s the whole plot of The Furthest Shore
  • Valek (Poison Study). The Commander might be the centre of power, but he wouldn’t be that way without Valek keeping people in line.

And for a guy who does represent the boys in blue, though this is not strictly fantasy (it’s alternate history)…

  • Peter Carmichael (Small Change trilogy). Because he tries to do his job even when it’s hard. Because despite all the risks to himself and those he loves, he subverts the regime he’s in, and supports real justice.
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8 thoughts on “Tough Travels – Law Enforcement

  1. There is a LOT of variety of books on the lists this week! Obviously law enforcement shows up everywhere and in many forms. Good call on The Wizard of Earthsea!

  2. Valek!!! Good call. He’s basically an institution unto himself, isn’t he? But I confess, I’m more of an Ari and Janco fan. I’m very intrigued to see how they take to their new roles in Shadow Study…can’t wait to hear your thoughts on that one!

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