Are there many books about magical law enforcement?

kopiteste

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#1
My idea for a story is a kind of magical MI5, that protect the non-magic folk in this world from the dark magicians.
Has this been done anywhere?
Is it too much like Harry Potter to have a world of magical people living below the radar of the non-magic in the real world?
The idea is for it to be for a YA audience.
 

HareBrain

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#2
Well, since you mentioned Harry Potter, doesn't the Ministry of Magic have a department that handles that kind of thing? (It's been a while since I read them.)

Having said that, I don't think it was a major part of HP, if at all. Even if it has been done elsewhere, there's plenty of room for you to do your own take on it.

Some adult books that have similar themes of "anti-magic police" are Rivers of London by Ben Aaronavitch, and some of the Bryant & May stories by Christopher Fowler.
 
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#3
The phrase Magical Law Enforcement is rather strongly associated with the HP books, so I'd definitely suggest thinking up another name for the concept. Other than that, while I'm not aware of such books, and although the idea may well be inspired by a concept in the HP books, as TS Eliot once said 'mature poets steal'. In other words, don't worry about where you got the idea, just start playing around with it, transforming it and making it your own.
 

kopiteste

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#4
Jayaprakash: Yeah I was just trying to find a way to describe it, I would definitely not use the phrase, thanks. I have already got the ideas and a few chapters written. I love the idea of the magical living within our world, but I am worried that this may be too much like the Harry Potters.
HareBrain: they are not so much anti-magic as policing the magicians who are using magic with dark intentions.
 

kopiteste

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#5
HareBrain: I think I'm going to read Rivers Of London and see what it's like. It looks very good and kind of similar, but the quote on the front of the book is "What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the fuzz." That was kind of along the lines I was trying to get at.
 

HareBrain

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#6
It's worth a read, definitely. The idea of the near-forgotten "department", with obscure sources of funding, is done slightly more subtly in the Fowler books (the supernatural element there is also more subtle) but they're more in the genre of detective fiction rather than SFF, and some are much better than others.

What I would really like to read is a story drawing on the same kind of elements as the (supposedly non-fiction) psychic questing books of Andrew Collins, such as the Black Alchemist, the Seventh Sword, etc. In those books, the author and a group of friends investigated the goings on of a sinister group of psychics and magicians called The Wheel, who were intent on corrupting Britain's energy matrix. Most of the "magic" was psychological, subtle, and credible, and more scary than fireballs and demonic manifestations, because it tended to involve madness and the loss of the will. A series like that would go down a treat with me, though I'm not sure with how many others. And it's probably more adult than you're looking at.
 

kopiteste

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#7
Definitely more adult and I think it would take someone with more skill than myself to get something like that across effectively.
 

Vladd67

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#8
How about the Harry Dresden books? IIRC it's the White council that watches over magic users.
 

drosdelnoch

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#9
Whilst not necessarily YA:
Secret History series - Simon R Green (Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy who Haunted Me, From Hell with Love)

Nekropolis - Tim Wagner (Nekropolis, Dead Streets)

Trisopolis Books - John Meaney (Bone Song, Dark Blood)

Amortals - Matt Forbeck
 

kopiteste

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#10
thanks for the input guys. I am not looking solely for other YA books, just stories along a similar vein to make sure my idea isn't already out there. Will research this lot, thanks again.
 

mosaix

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#11
There was a series of short stories, probably written in the 60s, based in the premise that magic took over in the middle ages instead of science. Magic became the predominant force and science was frowned on. The stories were written in modern times and were detective thrillers but instead of things like fingerprints a medium would be used instead.

Sorry, I've no idea of the author or any titles.
 

Mouse

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#12
Been a while since I read either of these, so I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that in both Trudi Canavan's Black Magicians books and Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus books it's the people with magic who are in charge and 'protect' the non magic people. In the Bartimaeus books I think it's even the Prime Minister who's a magician.
 

Somni

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#13
Also the 'Rogue Agent' series by K.E. Mills has 'Janitors' (though the focus is on the main characters rather than much detail of the department), who clean up magical problems though not specifically to protect non-users it is part of their role if I recall correctly.
 

chrispenycate

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#15
How about Harry Turtledove's "The case of the Toxic spell Dump" The Environmental Perfection Agency isn't a police force, precisely, but is responsible for reducing side effects of spells, preventing random dumping of spirituactive waste, things like that. Very bureaucratic.
 

kopiteste

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#16
Been a while since I read either of these, so I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that in both Trudi Canavan's Black Magicians books and Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus books it's the people with magic who are in charge and 'protect' the non magic people. In the Bartimaeus books I think it's even the Prime Minister who's a magician.
My idea is to not have the magicians in charge of the non-magic as such, more hidden in the society. Some of the magicians are intending harm on everyone, non-magic people included. My idea is about a department who control this, neutralising the dark magicians.



The world of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde has a Special Operations Network which functions deals with this kind of thing. I never really got into the series but I remember enjoying this aspect of them. Here's a list of the various divisions: SpecOps - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is brilliant, but I am having a world where magic people live alongside normal people. Not going to have supernatural or magic beast in the story as far as i know up to now.

How about Harry Turtledove's "The case of the Toxic spell Dump" The Environmental Perfection Agency isn't a police force, precisely, but is responsible for reducing side effects of spells, preventing random dumping of spirituactive waste, things like that. Very bureaucratic.
Very boring too, it sounds. Hoping to make the department more old fashioned with less bureaucracy and more action. Sounds like it is along the same line as the book suggested by Somni.
 

murphy

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#17
Simon Green wrote the Hawk and Fisher books that dealt with policing in a magical world:


    • Hawk & Fisher (New York, Ace 1990)
    • Blue Moon Rising (New York, Penguin/Roc 1991)
    • Devil Take the Hindmost (London, Headline, 1991)
    • The God Killer (London, Headline 1991)
    • Vengeance for a Lonely Man (London, Headline, 1992)
    • Guard Against Dishonour (London, Headline 1992)
    • Two Kings in Haven (London, Headline, 1992)
    • Swords of Haven(US) / Haven of Lost Souls(UK) (Gollancz, 1999) (omnibus)
    • Guards of Haven(US) / Fear and Loathing in Haven(UK) (Roc, 1999) (omnibus)
    Hawk and Fisher are a husband and wife team on the City Guard, an order which functions rather like our modern police force in a fantasy world of mixed Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution stylings. They live in the port city of Haven, a city-state so corrupt that they can justly make the claim of being the only Guards who have never taken a bribe or looked the other direction. They deal with everything from pick-pockets to wide-scale destructive magic.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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#18
There was a series of short stories, probably written in the 60s, based in the premise that magic took over in the middle ages instead of science. Magic became the predominant force and science was frowned on. The stories were written in modern times and were detective thrillers but instead of things like fingerprints a medium would be used instead.
Are you thinking of Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories? Most of them were short stories and there was at least one collection that I have somewhere, and I remember one novel, Too Many Magicians.* I read several of the stories in Analog ... that would have been in the '70s, but could have been in back issues from the '60s. My husband already had issues going back for several years when we married.

Actually, I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Lord Darcy before this.


*I just checked Google, and here is more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Darcy_(character)
 

GreenKidx

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#20
Hello, don't know if you're still looking for titles that might come close to your idea, but the following titles in my library fit:

Imager Portfolio(a trilogy)- LE Modesitt Jr.
Blood Engines( book 1 of a series )- TA Pratt
Dog Days (name of series and book one)- John Levitt
World Gates Trilogy - Holly Lisle

While the magical enforcement agency/task force is not the central focus of any of the novels above, it in a strong sub-feature in all of them.
 

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