— Terry Goodkind American novelist 1948
Context: Fantasy allows you to shine a different kind of light on human beings. I believe the only valid use of fantasy is to illustrate important human themes. Magic in my novels is used in three ways: the simplest is as a metaphor for technology. A good example is a magic carpet. There's no magic carpet in my novels, but if someone needs to travel a great distance, they could use a magic carpet, while in a contemporary novel they'd use a car. The second way, and I think the most important, is as a metaphor for individuality and individual ability. The mediocre world doesn't want individuals to rise above what everyone else is doing. The third way I use magic is as a metaphor for coming out of an age of mysticism into a Renaissance. So, in a way it's the struggle between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. … I never allow my characters to use magic to solve their problems. Some of their peripheral problems are solved through their magical abilities, but it's couched in terms of overcoming those problems in a thinking way. The major conflicts in the books are always solved through human intellect, through thinking out the problem and coming up with a solution. It's never "I'll just wave my magic wand over the bad guys and have them all fall down dead!"
Interview by John C. Snider (2003) at SciFiDimensions.com http://www.scifidimensions.com/Aug03/terrygoodkind.htm