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You could say that I’m a fan of magic.

[Wait for laughter]

You’re right, of course. I’m far more than just a fan. I live for magic, breathing deep the creative fumes until they sear my lungs. There’s nothing I enjoy more than learning of new and creative magic systems and letting my mind run wild.

Hopefully, this describes you too. If it doesn’t I’m going to ignore your reality and push ahead with my assumptions; it’s much more fun for me that way.

Over the years I have been exposed to a variety of magics within novels, games, and movies. Today we explore a variety of killer book series, each with their own intriguing system, starting with some of my favorites.


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Mistborn (Wax and Wayne) by Brandon Sanderson

This second series in the Mistborn World reintroduces us to the wonders of Alloymancy and Feruchemy. Feruchemists use metal to certain internal attributes for later use while Allomancers “burn” their metals for an immediate externally effect. Every person has only one ability unless, like Waxillium you are one of the lucky Twin-born, blessed with both allomantic and feruchemical powers.

Yes, I could have gone with the original killer book series, but I actually enjoy the more recent installments better. Besides, Brandon put more limitations in place, making it even more awesome.

Fortunately, you don’t have to take my word for it.

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The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

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Born from a bet, Jim combined the story prompts of “Pokémon” and “The Lost Roman Legion” to create this best selling, killer book series.

Using their connection to the land’s Furies, the men and women of Alera can shape the elements and enhance their bodies at will. Furies of fire, earth, water, air, wood, and metal provide each Fury-Crafter control over a unique set of abilities and effects.

You may be familiar with Jim for The Dresden Files, which brimming with other awesome magical mayhem. But not as many people are familiar with Alera, so that gets the spotlight instead; it’s absolutely worth the read.

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The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

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Forget, for a moment, about the hilarious, talking dog, the awesome display of mythology, and the brutally thrilling fight scenes of this series and look at the magic.

The ancient druids are alive and well… at least one of them is. Long ago, Atticus O’Sullivan discovered the secret to immortality and developed an immunity to magic, but aside from that, he’s just like any other druid that ever was. He has the power to communicate with the planet’s elementals, shape shift, travel between planes of reality, and the fascinating art of binding.

In short: awesome.

I’d love to tell you more, but I don’t want to ruin the experience. You should just go read them. This killer book series is worth every penny.

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The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

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Heavily influenced by the Lovecraft Mythos and various other bits of classic mysticism, the Laundry Files are far, FAR more exciting than the name implies.

Charles smoothly incorporates a wide range of traditional magics such as necromancy, hands of glory, and enchantments smoothly into the modern day. The specifics of the magic is hard for me to explain, it’s got something to do with advanced mathematics, but Charles does a wonderful job covering it all in his books.

Also, they’re hilarious. GO READ THEM!

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The Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellen

Magic fueled by gunpowder? Say whaaaat?

You heard me right. Powder mages have a variety of gifts centered around the use of gunpowder making them some of the most powerful soldiers you could think to see in the era of black-powder. At least, until you encounter the Privileged, the more traditional magi. Of course, the two types of wielders don’t get along well when the Powder Mages are used primarily for long range assassination of powerful Privileged mages.

I’m sure you can see the possibilities. I feel like I’m repeating myself. You should go buy them so I’ll stop talking.

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What would you add to the list?

This isn’t even a fraction of the books on my favorites list, but each of these stood out to me specifically because of their magic. What are some of your favorites?

Thanks for stopping by; we’ll talk again soon. Rowenson, out.


  • Jason says:

    When you get around to reading it, Weeks’ Lightbringer will be on this list. Don’t take my word for it.

    • C. R. Rowenson says:

      Good to know. I’m really looking forward to it, actually. With the number of awesome writers out there, it might not be too long before I need to discuss Another five series to read.

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