I’ve had to put a different spin on this week’s TTT because coming up with my personal top ten best fantasy books is like asking me to pick several favorite cake flavors (which, if you know me, is IMPOSSIBLE). So I’m going to go with my all-time favorite magical systems.**
Top Ten All-Time Favorite Magical Systems
The Wizarding World (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
I am still waiting for that Hogwarts letter, by the way. Not so much as a student, because clearly I’m no longer viable for that, but I’m still waiting to be asked to teach Muggle Studies in the premises. I’d make a fantastic Muggle Studies teacher… (“This, my friends, is an eraser.”)
The Gift and Wild Magic (Tortall series by Tamora Pierce)
I’ve always loved the idea of Tortallan magic. In all honesty, though, I think Pierce’s Circle series has a more comprehensive view of the world’s magical system, but since I have only read the first quartet of that series, I’m still more inclined to view the Gift as my favorite magic within Pierce’s fantasy worlds. Also, the magic in Tortall is derived from a fantastic pantheon of gods, which is another level of awesome.
Graces (Graceling series by Kristin Cashore)
This magic system is simple enough: if you have different colored eyes, you’ve got a Grace. I think the appeal for me is the fact that Graces are natural skills that get a super-powered enhancement. There’s a Grace for speed-reading and memory retention. I kid you not. It’s AWESOME.
The Will and the Word (Belgariad series by David Eddings)
It’s been a while since I’ve read the series, but I do remember liking the magic within The Belgariad. I’m probably biased, though, because I loved Pol and her father. Their brand of magic was what everyone totally wanted to learn, but only a few people could actually execute.
Wards (Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett)
The wards are just so pretty though! I mean, I probably wouldn’t ward myself like Arlen did, but I’d definitely see myself painting wards wherever I can, lol.
Allomancy (Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson)
Sanderson’s worldbuilding is always ON. POINT. While I’m still waffling over his magical system in The Stormlight Archive (which is looking to be epically amazing as well as highly detailed), my absolute favorite system from him is definitely Allomancy in the Mistborn series. I mean, come on. Metalbending ftw!
Charter Magic, Free Magic, and Necromancy (Abhorsen series by Garth Nix)
Nix’s Abhorsen series is pretty much THE series where I adored all three prominent magical systems. While I’d love to learn Charter Magic and would love to see Free Magic in motion, it’s mostly Necromancy that truly intrigued me about this series. I loved that music was the key utility in sending the dead back to the deepest precinct, and I always thought the Abhorsens (with exception to Bel’s immediate family) were kickass.
Aydori Magic (The Silvered by Tanya Huff)
I’ve probably read a lot more elemental-based magical systems, but I always seem to keep going back to The Silvered for some reason. I think it’s because the book meshes science with magic, and both come to a head later on in the story. It also shows that magic is not without its sacrifices, and even the most powerful of the Aydori mages have handicaps.
Antari and Elemental magic (Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab)
OKAY FINE. This series is also elemental-based. I love how authors put a spin in them, though! Schwab adds Antari into the mix, and not only are these types of magicians capable of using more than three elements, they can also travel between Londons. Because clearly I need more reason to love Kell even more, amiright? (To be fair, I loved Holland ever since A Darker Shade of Magic, too, so…I just love Antari in general. Yep.)
The Grisha (Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo)
So from what I’ve read of the magical system running in the world of the Grisha, I’m expecting great things out of it. That said, I only know so much as Shadow and Bone, because I’ve yet to read the rest. I did enjoy seeing a different type of designation for Grisha hierarchy, and I can’t wait to finish the rest of the series!