Friday Favorite: Magic Systems

Happy Friday bibliophiles! Kibby started this tag at Something of the Book. It’s a fun way to celebrate the books you love on one of the best days of the week!

Reading almost nothing but Fantasy means I’m familiar with a number of unique magic systems. I could probably make a top ten list of my favorites, but there’s honestly only 1 magical universe that comes to mind when I think of my favorite.

The Cosmere

Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere is composed of several book series. A few of them are standalones, and others are long ongoing series. One thing they all have in common is the magic system. They don’t all use the same magic, but there are core similarities between them. Sanderson refers to his magic as “Investiture”. His character use various methods to invest magical energy from the world around them. In Mistborn this is done through literally ingesting different metals. In The Stormlight Archives, light imbues characters with preternatural abilities. Each of these systems by itself is amazing, but the Cosmere is special because each of these worlds is connected.

A few of the books in Sanderson’s collection are being woven together more and I love it! Stormlight is my current favorite ongoing series and I’m so excited to see character I love from another book (no spoilers) coming into the Stormlight world! The world building and character arcs in these books seriously cannot be compared to anything else for me. The ways that the primary characters interact with, and grow through their use of magic is inspiring.

Some systems of magic struggle with setting up expectations and consequences. This is something that Sanderson excels at. He makes it exhaustively clear how the various systems work, and what their limitations are. As his writing career has gone on, he gets better and better at introducing this information in a natural way. One of my favorite books, outside of The Stormlight Archives is The Emperor’s Soul. It’s a novella set in the world of Elantris. If you’re looking for a shorter introduction to what makes Sanderson’s work great, I would recommend it.

Let me know your favorite magic systems!

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