Top 5 magic systems

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner! Happy Hump Day! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Top 5 Wednesday post – this topic seemed neat, though.

If you’d like to participate in Top 5 Wednesday, you can do so here!


AonDor in Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)

AonDor, a magic system in Elantris, was used by the Elantrians before the Shaod struck and rendered the city a ruin. The system involved drawing symbols, or Aons, to summon power and perform feats. In the book, one of the main characters experiments with the symbols, but soon finds that the magic flow of the system seems to be cut off for some reason, and the Aons are not functioning as they should. This is a really neat book, if you haven’t read it yet. Very atmospheric.

Shinigami magic in Death Note by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1)

While the magic system in Death Note is never really explained, it’s still really cool. At the beginning of the series, the god of death Ryuk drops his Death Note in the human world. The main character finds it. Inside are written instructions: “The human whose name is written in this note shall die“. From there, the plot explodes with the main character using this notebook for a very gray purpose. But really, a notebook that kills people. Pretty magical if you ask me.

Sympathy in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

But Emily, you rant about this series all the time! Yes I do, but as I’ve mentioned, I basically dig everything about this series except the main character. So this magic system is pretty neat. It boils down to what is essentially entanglement, but they don’t call it that. A sympathic bond is created between two objects and what happens to one happens to the other. More powerful users of the magic can have multiple links going at once. I think it’s cool.

The Wit and The Skill in the Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)

I picked both because I can’t decide which I like better. The wit is essentially beast magic – it allows the user to communicate and bond with animals. Typically, the user bonds with a single animal and essentially becomes a pack mate, but some users go so far as to almost blend completely with their wit beast. The magic is considered a dirty thing in the series, so the users are in hiding and persecuted if found out. The Skill on the other hand is considered a royal magic – members of the Farseer line are known to possess it, and every so often it will appear in other lineages as well. This magic allows a user to manipulate the thoughts and behaviors of other people, but it’s also addicting and one can lose themselves in the river of skill that runs through everyone, and never return to their bodies.

Drafting in The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)

This is the coolest one, I think. It boils down to colors. Users of this magic, or drafters, are able to take different spectrums of light and change them into physical matter called luxin. Depending on the color, it’ll take on different properties and cause the drafter to exhibit different emotional and personality changes. Most drafters can draft one, maybe two colors. Some can do a lot of colors. But only one, The Prism, can draft all colors. And each time a drafter drafts, it brings them slightly closer to death. By the way, this is a fantastic series. The magic system is so well thought out. Definitely recommend.

And that’s it! There are so many cool magic systems in fantasy, that I had a hard time narrowing it down to these five. If you’ve read any of these, lemme know! Happy reading!

4 thoughts on “Top 5 magic systems

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