Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Fascinating Magical Systems

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week is an open topic prompt. I usually hate those because I don't have many ideas. But after finishing a Young Adult Fantasy book I was thinking a lot about magical worlds and magical systems. I read a lot of fantasy and of course some of the magic is more entertaining than others for me and then the idea struck. So here you have my favorite magical systems.

1.) All the magical systems in the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson  (My review)
Let's be real here, Brandon Sanderson is this list for me. This series could be on the list four times. In each book we learn about a different magical system (Allomancy being my favorite) that is just as interesting and complex as the one before. There is seriously so much going on and it is the most creative magical system I have yet to come across.

2.) The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman (My review)
This is a polarizing series within the Fantasy community, and one of those reasons is probably the magical system. Not the actual system but what it represents. The system itself is interesting and rooted in science and logic but the part that I love is that magic doesn't solve all the problems in this series, it creates more.

3.) The Wizarding World in the Harry Potter series
This is the series that really hooked me on Fantasy. It has to make this list for me. Most magical system are either controlling the elements or performing spells, and the magic here is the latter. And yet it still feels so creative. It has clear rules and is rooted in logic but the best part is the virtually endless possibilities.

4.) EOs in Vicious by V.E. (Victoria) Schwab (My Review)
I'm absolutely obsessed with this magical system. It has a clear set of rules but what I like most about it is that it is 100% personal. The powers a person receives relates not only to their personality and but what they are thinking when they receive them. It's both fascinating and creative.

5.) Clairvoyance in The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (My Review)
This is another magical system that is also rooted in logic with clear rules (are you noticing a trend?) but what I love most is the hierarchy and how vast the system is. There are so many different powers and they are both familiar and unique. In particular the main character's power is super badass!

6.) Epics in The Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson
(My Review)
You knew Sanderson had to make this list more than once. He is just so brilliant at creating unique and amazing magical systems. It's another one about people with superpowers and is well-developed and visual. It's complicated with clear rules and endless possibilities. And the more learn about it the more amazing it becomes (amiright people who read Firefight!).

7.) Psi Powers in The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
(My Review)
I don't particularly know why, it's not very complex or unique, but I seriously love the system in this series. It is another system about superpowers and it has a history and explanation why it exists. Maybe I like it so much because it's familiar. Or maybe it's because I'm biased, it features all my favorite superpowers.

8.) The Young Elites in The Young Elites by Marie Lu
(My Review)
Okay, so I like magical systems that are about "superpowers." It just does a lot for me because there is logic to it and there are so many possibilities. The Young Elites is another one that features a history and origin for where the magic came from and how it can be used. It also has a main character with one of the most badass powers ever!

9.) The Magic in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (My Review)
This is another series with really diverse magical systems. In each book we learn and explore a different part of the magic that exists within the world. But probably my favorite thing about the magic in this series is that it is only now coming back into the world and as magic grows the series is becoming more interesting for me.

10.) The Jinni of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
(My Review)
You may have noticed this is the only one on my list that is elemental magic. I'm not usually a fan of a magical system about controlling the elements because there isn't a lot of room for growth and it often feels tired. But here it actually seems different and interesting. Or maybe it just reminds me a lot of Avatar: The Last Airbender

Honorable Mentions 

Grisha powers in The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo 
(My Review)
I think one of my favorite things about the magical system in this series is that it is subtle. It is another one with a hierarchy and very clear rules and confines. And usually I like when there are endless possibilities but with Grisha powers the simplicity is interesting and creative.

- The magic in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
As this is one of my current reads I don't entirely understand this magical system yet. It seems vaguely elemental but much more creative and complicated. It's also a magical system that is subtle and not a huge part of the book so it intrigues me even more.

I am always looking for a different and unique magical system so let me know if you have a favorite I didn't include and I will think about adding the book to my TBR. In particular you can see I like systems with superpowers but if you have a series with elemental magic I should check out let me know those as well.

There you have it my favorite magical systems. What are your favorites? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. This is such a fun way to spin top ten Tuesday! The only book on your list I've read is Harry Potter, but several of them are on my to-read list. Some of them I didn't even realize had magic involved! Great list!

    Here are my Top Ten!

  2. Love this topic! I am reading Vicious now and Shadow and Bone and the Magicians is sitting on my desk in my ever-growing TBR pile.
    I agree, Darkest Minds is not complicated as a system (especially compared to some of these other books) but it works so well in the series. Also the books are great, so that helps (hehe).

    Great topic and picks!

    Kat @ Readiculous Blog

  3. Ooo, nice topic for the week!!! I like your list. :-) Here's my TTT post for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/01/top-ten-tuesday-authors-id-like-to-meet.html

  4. Yes! I just started The Well of Ascension this week, and I'm so happy to be back in the Mistborn world. That magic system really is extraordinary.

  5. I loved your idea for TTT this week! Magical systems are some of my very favorite parts of a book. Obviously, Mistborn and Allomancy will always be special to me. Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, Vicious, and The Young Elites were fabulous as well!

    Really enjoyed your post! :)

  6. This is a BRILLIANT topic!! I also love your picks! I really want to read The Magician's as well so thank you for reminding me!! xoxo
    <3 Britt

  7. Of those I've read here, I've enjoyed the systems, except for The Magicians - I just didn't care for that one in general...

    Check out my TTT.

  8. I loved the magic system in the world of Steelheart, and I'm so excited to start the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  9. I LOVE HARRY POTTER AND THRONE OF GLASS :D :D :D who wouldn't love those books??? I think they're amazing! I still have yet to read Shadow and Bone though. BUT I WILL READ IT SOON.

  10. This was a wonderful topic idea! It's sad to say that I haven't read any of these, except The Bone Season which I DNFed. :( But Exquisite Captive, The Young Elites, and The Darkest Minds are on my TBR!
    Thanks for sharing, lady.