Magic in the World

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Arianna Stonewater
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Magic in the World

Post by Arianna Stonewater »

So I've recently started the Bartimaeus Trilogy (on book 2 now) and the magic system in it is quite different than that of Harry Potter, or many other series that I've read.

This series has Magicians (as opposed to witches/wizards/warlocks) who have no power of their own. Instead, they have the math, science, and art skills to enslave djinni/imps/etc to do magic for them! While those who are Magicians generally show aptitude for the work, theoretically anyone who studied hard enough could "do magic." Additionally, they are out in the open, and actually rule over the "Common Folk" (those who can't "do magic.")

Which world would you prefer to live in? Magic where only certain people are born with the ability, who then hide it from the non-magic folk, or magic you yourself don't actually do but you get to live out in the open with it? Is there another series that has a different type of magic system you would prefer?

Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Magic in the World

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black »

Oh, let me name the worlds of some of the books where there is magic (as described in the books/BEing magic)! (I've not moved from the chair, am typing as I visualize my book shelves.)

What about the worlds (in no particular order and just naming the books if not the world) of:
Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien
Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (which is actually 'this' world but as seen by those who choose to see)
Tortall by Tamora Pierce
The Silvered by Tanya Huff
Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
Discworld by Terry Pratchett
The Family Tree by Sheri S. Tepper
The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost
The Blue Sword by Robin Mckinley
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
Moonheart by Charles de Lint

These are all worlds which contain and are of magic. Some people have magic and it is inherent and others (mundanes) do not know about it (but the potential is there that the mundanes acquire it themselves). Others have worlds where everyone has magic but it is in different degrees -- and with some folks that degree of power can be developed with practice and use. Some have worlds where the use of magic is known and the people who don't have it know about it and fear those who have it (it's an inborn ability).

I find that the books that I particularly love are those where the magic is a potential in all of us, but only some choose to allow it to bloom, to develop and utilize it. That makes sense, if I think about it, because that's sort of how I feel, myself, about how it really is anyway. So of those books -- Mortal Instruments, The Silvered and Neverwhere would be places I'd love to live. In Mortal Instruments, only those with magic know about it. The Mundanes haven't a clue -- except there is a potential that any Mundane can acquire magic!. In The Silvered,virtually everyone is born with some sort of magic and everyone knows about it (and those without magic seem to be in cahoots to kill and/or control those with magic). In Neverwhere ... it appears to be a choice and most of the Mundanes refuse to acknowledge that those of magic exist (absolutely refuse to the point of not seeing the magic, or if they see it, they delete it from their memory).

In which world would I prefer to live? Mortal Instruments and/or Neverwhere. It's odd but yeah, magic is 'hidden' from the mundanes in those worlds, and yet, if something inside of the mundane wakes up, they have the potential of acquiring/being magic themselves.
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Silas Hipolito Crist
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Re: Magic in the World

Post by Silas Hipolito Crist »

What a surprise! I have read Bartimeus trilogy as well and I was astonished by it. It was truely great story with (as you said) totally different system of magic. Altough I am much bigger fan of Harry Potter,I would actually prefer to live in a world like in Bartimeus trilogy. It is much more fair, because everyone has acess to the magic, altough it is not their own magic. Many times I was dreaming about fantasy world of Harry Potter and so many times I was so sorry for all the muggles that were presented in books. They were always hopeless and much much weaker than any wizard. Even guns were harmless. So having a magic is really a big gift in the world of Harry Potter. From this point of view it is much better to live in Bartimeus' world.

To Tarma's huge list of books with magic, I would like to add only Paolini's four books Eragon. There magic is also a gift for rare chosen human and all elves. They all have magic in themselves, but there energy has very important role- they can conjure spells when they have enough energy, which has to be refilled reguraly by resting and some other things.
Fern Elliot
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Re: Magic in the World

Post by Fern Elliot »

I've never heard of this series, but I will now be on the hunt for them.. maybe the library will carry them? Anyway, back to your question. I would much rather live in the Harry Potter world of magic because the idea of enslaving anything makes me uneasy- Dijin or not. I've only ever read one book with Dijins present and described and if they are the same in both books on how they are portrayed- as evil, I still would not change my mind. My conscious would eat me alive.
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