From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic – Magic in the Copper Circle

This week I’ve been fortunate to welcome many guest contributors on my blog to chat about magic systems in fantasy. I am privileged to have Dan Fitzgerald, author of the (fantastic) Maer Cycle and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence. One thing I really enjoyed about the magic in the Maer Cycle was how the magic seemed to be connected to the character’s own energy. It was incredibly unique and led to interesting growth.

Instead of carrying on and possibly butchering any descriptions, Dan Fitzgerald will explain his magic system.


Dan Fitzgerald:

I’m thrilled to be invited by Jodie of the Witty and Sarcastic Book Club to discuss the magic system in my newly named Copper Circle, which includes the Maer Cycle trilogy, the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology, and the planned Time Before trilogy. There are several systems in the Maer Cycle, but I’m going to focus on the one that connects to the other series, which is inspired by yoga and meditation, with a little alchemy and artificing mixed in. 

In the Maer Cycle, we meet Finn, whose discipline is called Bodily Control. He uses a regimen of three-times daily yoga-like poses to focus his mental energy, which allows him to perform seemingly impossible physical feats like harden his skin to ward off blows, leap great distances, and eventually heal himself or others. As the series progresses, he learns to conserve his power, so each feat takes less out of him, and he recovers more quickly, in a way inspired by meditation. It involves silent concentration and poses, becoming aware of the body’s energy and bringing it to the center of his mind. In yoga and meditation, the idea of centering is essential, and my own practice has led me to think of magic in a similar way.  

Ujenn, the Maer sorceress in the trilogy, has powers of empathy, language, and communication, as well as a little fertility magic she uses in the mystical surrogacy in The Archive. The essence of her power is the ability to feel what others feel, through a combination of touch, ancient spells, and herbal concoctions. Perhaps the most interesting are the ancient copper circles she uses to communicate with Carl over great distances. This magic requires intense concentration, and though the connection is imperfect, they are able to communicate simple but important details over hundreds of miles.  

In the Weirdwater Confluence, which will be independent of the trilogy but with some underlying connections, followers of the Endulian tradition use meditation and mindfulness-based practices to enhance their awareness of their bodies, their minds, and the minds of those around them. It allows them to share each other’s thoughts and feelings, usually in combination with alchemical tinctures, though there are some whose power is great enough they do not require tinctures. The Living Waters includes a number of scenes of such mind-sharing, which leads to some very interesting discoveries between characters and factors into an unusual romance subplot.  

Copper circles similar to the ones in the trilogy are seen in The Isle of a Thousand Worlds as elements of the mystical social media-like platform known as the Caravan, which allows communication over great distances. It requires extensive meditation training, specially designed ‘cradles,’ and highly refined alchemical tinctures, and the book features an alchemist MC whose search for the Universal Tincture may turn the entire system on its head.  

The copper circles themselves are all ancient, and the planned Time Before trilogy will take readers into the distant past, 2,000 years before, when the magical tech they represent was at its apogee. I can’t say too much about that, as it’s not even written yet, but it will involve the origins not only of the circles themselves, but also the philosophical traditions underlying the magic system described above. Finn’s bodily control magic, Ujenn’s communication powers, the Endulian meditation practice, and the Caravan all have their origins in the events of the Time Before, which is planned for release from Shadow Spark Publishing in 2023. 

  The Maer Cycle trilogy is available now in various formats at https://shadowsparkpub.com/dan-fitzgerald. The The Living Waters (October 15) and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds (January 15 2022) will be available via the same link. You can read more about my books at www.danfitzwrites.com

For more from this series:
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Wheel of Time
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Coldfire Trilogy

About the author:

Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-driven low-magic fantasy) and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories). He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music. 

Buy my books in any format: Dan Fitzgerald — Shadow Spark Publishing 

Twitter: Dan Fitzgerald (@DanFitzWrites) / Twitter (writing and bookish stuff—this is my home)

Instagram: Dan Fitzgerald (@danfitzwrites) • Instagram photos and videos (nature photography and bookish posts—this is my playground)Website: Dan Fitzgerald (danfitzwrites.com) (Find out more about my books, plus there’s a blog, and some bookish extras like maps, art, short stories, etc)

5 thoughts on “From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic – Magic in the Copper Circle

  1. Ooh I love the idea of meditation being the central point for the magic. These sound like really interesting systems and definitely got me intrigued about the books – thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

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