Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic might be one of my all-time favorites because we’re talking about our favorite magic systems. I adore fantasy, and the majority of epic fantasy books do have a magic system in them. I’ve discovered so many interesting and unique ways of performing magic, and I can’t wait to see everyone else’s lists so I can add to my ever-growing to-read list.
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
This was the first book that came to mind when I learned this week’s topic. It’s one of my favorite Sanderson books I’ve read so far, and it’s one of his books I see mentioned the least. The magic system in this is based on breath. The more breath you collect, the more powerful you are. It’s also interlinked with color, so in a place where there is a lot of magic, there will be a lot of color too. You can collect breath per unit. It’s so interesting!
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
I’ve had a soft spot for magic systems based on an ancient language since reading Eragon as a teenager. I just love the idea of there being an old language that no one really speaks anymore (at least, no humans speak it) but that speaks the true essence of the world and therefore gives you power over it. I adore the way this language is taught to Eragon throughout the books, and how it becomes more complex as Eragon learns more and the world expands. The grammar rules, the subtle differences that change up an entire sentence… I just love it. Also: intelligent dragons who bond with humans. Yes.
The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I will forever love the Grisha order. I especially like the small details of this world, for example that the Grisha practice Small Science and not ‘magic’ because they see their powers as an extension of the natural world. They don’t create fire or metal, but simply manipulate it.
The Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb
I added this one because it has another specific element I really like to read about: humans bonding and connecting with animals. In this world, Fitz has what is called ‘the Wit’. He can also communicate with animals, and bonds with a few of them throughout the trilogy. I always love to read about that. There are other aspects of the magic system in this series too, but I’ll let you discover that on your own.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Another world in which I love the idea of magic as well as the little details. I’m always intrigued by worlds where magic users are divided into groups like in The Bone Witch or The Grisha trilogy. In this world, female magic users are called asha, and they each have their own specialty. The main character, Tea, for example is a dark asha. She is a necromancer who can raise the dead -and is often called a ‘bone witch’. There are obviously also male magic wielders, who are forced to become Deathseekers (sounds wonderful, no?). I love that the aesthetic details of the magic are so important in this world. How an asha’s hua (traditional clothing) not only shows the world something about herself, but has magic woven into it as well. The same goes for hairpins, accessories, etc. Everything manipulates the world and people around them subtly.