As Supreme Court Justice Potter1 Stewart famously said when asked to explain “magic” in fantasy novels:
“I shall not today attempt to further define the kinds of actions/abilities I understand to be embraced within that description, and perhaps I never could succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”2
Ok, he didn’t really say that about magic in fantasy novels. He was talking about pornography.3
But let’s pretend.
But other authors go to great lengths to “systemize” their magic, explain the rules and regulations, the can dos and can’t dos, the constraints and restraints,5 the words and rituals. Think of those allomancy tables in Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN books.
So, focusing just on that latter group, what are your favorite magic systems out there? And what makes them your favorite? Please mention the author and the book/series title along with your explanation. Also, try to avoid spoilers.
One random commenter with a USA address will win a book of their choice from our Fantasy Library.6