I have to confess I am a Harry Dresden fan. For someone who is in the trade (in my dreams!) the Dresden Files hit the right note by being both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Though I have to say I draw the line at bribing the faery folk with pizzas! In mitigation, Jim Butcher should be allowed to have some fun; after all, writing is bloody hard work.
So inevitably a novelist such as Jim Butcher will use exaggeration to create a dynamic narrative so even in his fantastic genre he will inevitably create a blurring of what is real and what is made up.
Take the notion of a Blasting Rod. Somehow, in my 40+ years of magical questing I have not come across such a magical tool. “Blasting Rod” has a ring to it – “Don’t mess with me, I’m badass!” And let’s face it, a wand has too many Harry Potter associations now.
So I assumed that the blasting rod in the Dresden files was a piece of artistic/dramatic licence which fitted well with the Harry Dresden character and his adventures where people and things keep trying to kill him – essential kit really!
But then I put “Blasting Rod” into a well known search engine and things got intriguing!
Amongst the Harry Dresden references there were sites selling “traditional” blasting rods using blackthorn wood and thorns. I dug deeper but got precious little information about the origin and background of the tool. The cynic in me was tempted to think this was real life imitating art ie. suppliers perceiving a market for would-be Harry Dresdens and doing their best to give them an authentic background.
I’m still delving into that one but in the meantime am struggling with what the blasting rod is purported to do.
Whilst I accept that a magical implement might retain a residue of energy from its use, I have problems with the notion an inanimate object can act as some kind of capacitor which stores up energy which can be discharged in a blast of destructive power.
I go for the idea of such a powered up tool being a construct whereby energy from oneself acts as though it has been stored for such a concentrated release. ie. irrespective of where the energy comes from the effect is the same? It depends on what you believe I guess… and whatever works for you!