Alright, I'm going to come out right now and say that my idea has probably been done hundreds (if not thousands) of times before far better than I could ever hope to achieve. However, I can't coming back to this idea of mine that's been simmering for a few years in the back of my mind. The basic premise is as follows: In my fantasy world, there are two kingdoms of Man, one in the north and one in the south. It is possible for people to learn magic, however it is incredibly rare as the physical toll of using magic is immense. Other races are treated as slaves or worse by men, including elves who are used as slaves, house pets, and/or prostitutes. The kingdom of the south is gifted with an area that is rich with resources, whereas the kingdom of the north (due to climate changes) has been left to starve in an icy winter that has lasted centuries. The kingdom of the north invades the kingdom of the south, forcing the main characters from their homes and into the wilderness where they must learn to survive without their comforts. The group come across a blind hermit who has learned magic, but refuses to use it any more as the magic is what caused him to lose his sight. He helps the survivors endure the wilds. Eventually, the prince of the southern kingdom (who is one of the survivors) decides to learn magic so he can exact vengeance on the King of the North. He recruits mercenaries in the lowest places and sets a course to invade the now ravaged Kingdom of the North. Obviously this isn't where the story ends, but just looking at the premise, I can already see large parts of "A Song of Ice and Fire" and "The Wheel of Time" in my thinking, hence why I'm not sure whether it has the capability of standing on it's own two feet in a word... Any comments/suggestions would be welcome!