Universal Monsters Book Tag

I don’t do tags all that often and I’ve only ever created two, this being one of them. I had so much fun with this one a couple of years ago that I decided to do it again this year. So, without further ado: bring on the monsters!

Dracula- a book with a charismatic villain:

Oh, how I love Lestat! He’s spoiled and changeable, charming and utterly ruthless. I may not be a fan of Anne Rice’s most recent vampire books (way to kick that dead horse!), but early Lestat is viciously fantastic.

The Invisible Man- a book that has more going on than meets the eye:

What starts out as a seemingly lighthearted town gathering becomes something much darker, in true Jackson style. I read The Lottery for the first time this year and was disturbed and enthralled in equal measure. This short story made me think and is definitely more than it seems on the surface. Review

Wolfman- a complicated character:

Every single character in If We Were Villains was incredibly complex. One of the many things I loved about the book was seeing how the characters unraveled and seeing hidden aspects of their personalities revealed. Review

Frankenstein- a book with a misunderstood character:

Umhra is a half-orc and is looked down on and distrusted because of it. It adds another layer to an already extremely well-developed character. Paladin Unbound is one of my favorite books of the year and I have started recommending it to people a lot. Review

The Bride of Frankenstein- a sequel you enjoyed more than the first book:

Full disclosure: I am not quite finished with this book yet. However, as of right now I am loving it. It seems like the few niggles I had with The Bone Shard Daughter are absent. Plus, Mephi is there from the beginning, which is wonderful!

Creature from the Black Lagoon- an incredibly unique book:

Oh, how I loved Campaigns and Companions! There are many comedic roleplaying-related books. There is nothing like this one though. I laughed out loud and found myself showing my favorite bits to everyone in the house (translation: I chased family members down and shoved the book into their retinas). I hear there’s a sequel in the works and I am so stinking excited! Review

The Mummy- a book that wraps up nicely (see what I did there?):

Everything about The House in the Cerulean Sea was perfect, including the ending. It didn’t feel like an ending, more like a beginning, which was absolutely wonderful. Review

I’m not tagging anyone, but please feel free to take part if this tickles your fancy. Please link me and credit me as the creator. I hope to see some great lists (although I’m sure they will add way too many books to my already overwhelming tbr).

Why You Should Get the Maer Cycle Omnibus by Dan Fitzgerald

Please enjoy all three Maer Cycle novels in one ebook with more short stories and series art.

Hollow Road. Legends describe the Maer as savage man-beasts haunting the mountains, their bodies and faces covered with hair. Creatures of unimaginable strength, cunning, and cruelty. Bedtime stories to keep children indoors at night. Soldiers’ tales to frighten new recruits.
It is said the Maer once ruled the Silver Hills, but they have long since passed into oblivion.
This is the story of their return.
Carl, Sinnie, and Finn, companions since childhood, are tasked with bringing a friend’s body home for burial. Along the way, they find there is more to the stories than they ever imagined, and the mountains hold threats even darker than the Maer. What they discover on their journey will change the way they see the world forever.
Travel down Hollow Road to find out which legends are true, and which have been twisted.

The Archive. In Hollow Road three companions discovered the monsters of legend were all too real…Rumors among the Maer tell of an underground library called the Archive, which houses a wealth of knowledge and terrible magics that could be used to start the biggest war seen since the Great Betrayal. A mixed group of humans and Maer set off on an historic quest to find the Archive and protect it from those who would use it to destroy everything they hold dear. As the cold of winter bears down upon them, they trek through forbidding mountains beset by dangers they could have never imagined. They follow a set of ancient clues deep into the Silver Hills, forging surprising alliances and making new enemies.The humans and Maer are linked by more than their quest to find the Archive and stop an insidious war. A mystical surrogacy may bridge the gap between two peoples, and many hearts entwine as their adventure hurtles toward its bloody conclusion.

The Place Below. It’s been twenty-five years since the Battle for the Archive. Peace reigns over the Silver Hills, and humans and Maer are preparing to sign their first trade agreement. Even warring tribes of the Free Maer have set aside old quarrels. Sasha is a young scholar of mixed Maer and human parentage, traveling throughout the Maer lands collecting stories of the Ka-lar, the buried Forever Kings. She finds a reference in the Archive to a Ka-lar named Kuun, a scholar in life, who was laid down in an ancient brightstone mine, beneath a mountain said to be the home of the fabled Skin Maer. The lure of the tale is too strong to resist. Joined by some old friends, Sasha sets out to uncover secrets that have lain buried for over a thousand years. In The Place Below, the Maer Cycle comes to a close as the darkest mysteries of the Maer are at last brought into the light.

A while ago, I read a book called Hollow Road by Dan Fitzgerald. Holy crow! That book was the beginning of a fantastic journey into a new world peopled with incredibly complex characters. The Maer Cycle, of which Hollow Road is the first, is a perfect example of a series that transcends the expectations of its genre. Dan Fitzgerald is an extremely talented writer and, luckily for all readers, he has just rereleased the Maer Cycle in a new Omnibus! You can find my review of Hollow Road here. However, I strongly recommend reading what other bloggers have to say about the Maer Cycle since words sort of deserted me for this book.

Beneath a Thousand Skies sums Hollow Road up brilliantly.
Omnilegent: A Need to Read wrote a wonderful review of The Archive.
Jake is Reading described The Place Below perfectly.

If you’ve been curious about The Maer Cycle, now is the time to pick up the entire series. You can find the Omnibus on Amazon. Happy reading!

Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe- Self-published Authors Appreciation Week

Banner credit: Anca Antoci
Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire — a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire’s goddess. He never returned. Now, it’s Corin’s turn. He’s headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess. If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won’t be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that, he’s going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity. The journey won’t be easy, but Corin won’t stop until he gets his brother back. (taken from Amazon)

This was a surprising read for me. Based on the description, I expected an entertaining, but relatively simple book. Instead, I got a creative, well thought out story. The book follows Corin as he attempts to traverse the Serpent Spire, a huge tower full of puzzles, traps, and monstrous creatures. However, that’s only part of the tale. The story turns into a school-like setting not too far in. I probably would not have read Sufficiently Advanced Magic if I had known that it would go in that direction, so I’m very glad that I didn’t know. I would have really missed out!

I liked Corin a lot. He was very methodical and highly intelligent. He was also a little shy, which I can relate to. He’s a very unique character and one I enjoyed following. Corin is also joined by a few other characters, which added brilliantly to the plot. I was a big fan of Professor Vellum’s in particular. I loved his snarktastic attitude!

The book throws you pretty much straight into a puzzle with very little in the way of introduction, which I found interesting, but the pacing was definitely a little odd. There were very detailed explanations which sometimes popped up at odd moments. While I found the information the author gave interesting, the amount of it was a bit daunting at times.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic had very advanced magic that was incredibly well defined and delineated. I know that’s not everyone’s thing, but I loved it. The amount of time and effort that was obviously put into its development more than paid off. This is where I feel like the book shone. Don’t get me wrong, the characters were great and the plot was enjoyable, but the magic system is what pushed this book above and beyond.

This would be a great book for those who like complex magic systems and intriguing situations.

Double Cover Reveal: The Order of Chaos and That Good Mischief by Lyra Wolf

Banner Credit: Fantasy Book Nerd

Today I’m excited to reveal not one, but two gorgeous covers! These are books two and three in the Norse-inspired Nine Worlds Rising series by Lyra Wolf. Scroll down to drool over the covers of The Order of Chaos and That Good Mischief with me.



Are you ready?


Wow!

Let’s start Ragnarok, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
Nothing pisses off a trickster god more than being imprisoned for five hundred years and not being able to annoy Thor. There are other reasons, secrets, and promises behind Loki’s rage, but that’s for Loki to know and the gods to find out—preferably painfully.
When the chance to start Ragnarok presents itself, Loki feels the apocalypse is as good a way as any to burn Asgard to the ground. And, it is, until the gods reveal their own teensy, tiny little surprise for Loki.
Suddenly, Loki has every reason in the worlds to stop them from ending. But this is Ragnarok, and one does not simply stop the apocalypse.
Chaos is all well and good, so long as Loki is in charge of it. Except chaos isn’t about to start taking orders from anyone, not even the god of pot-stirring himself, and it has a universe to destroy.



It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Loki and Sigyn had gone full Midgardian, settling down in California, with Loki going off to toil for their daily bread. So what if his nine-to-five is actually working as a knife-for-hire? Ocean views aren’t cheap, and neither are engagement rings.
When Sigyn collapses, Loki senses a darkness growing within her, and he knows only one god who may be able to stop it before it possesses her completely. However, asking for help from the man you swore to never see again carries its own price.
Even with Ragnarok on the table again (and, again, not Loki’s fault…really), it’s the least of Loki’s problems, especially when buried secrets start surfacing.
Lies are unraveling, the truth is spinning, and consequences are flying faster than Loki can run and he might lose Sigyn forever.
Either to the darkness, or to his own lies.

About the author:

Lyra Wolf is a Swiss-American author of fantasy and mythic fiction.

Raised in Indiana, home to a billion corn mazes, she now lives in Central Florida, home to a billion mosquitoes. She enjoys drinking espresso, wandering through old city streets, and being tragically drawn to 18th century rogues.

When Lyra isn’t fulfilling the wishes of her overly demanding Chihuahua, you can find her writing about other worlds and the complicated people who live there.

Lyra has earned a B.A. in History and M.A. in English.

You can follow Lyra on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit her website at

www.lyrawolf.com.

Website: www.lyrawolf.com/

Twitter: twitter.com/lyrawolfauthor 

Instagram: instagram.com/lyrawolfauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lyrawolfauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/20139297.Lyra_WolfNewsletter (Subscribers get a free novella!): https://lyrawolf.com/newsletter

Purchase links for The Order of Chaos:

Amazon links:  

US:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08J4FKZYB

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08J4FKZYB

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58494617-the-order-of-chaos

Purchase links for That Good Mischief:

US:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09181K81P

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09181K81P

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58494628-that-good-mischief

Sairō’s Claw by Virginia McClain

Torako has done many things to protect the valley that she calls home, but she’s never looted a corpse before. So when the katana she steals off the still-cooling body of a bandit turns out to be possessed by a grumpy wolf kami, she can only assume it’s because she’s somehow angered the spirits. An impression that’s only reinforced when she returns home to find her wife abducted and her daughter in hiding. But angry spirits or no, Torako isn’t about to let bandits run off with the love of her life, even if it means taking their 3 year old on a rescue mission.

In all Kaiyo’s years as Captain of the Wind Serpent she has never once questioned her admiral’s orders. So when she receives the command to abduct a civilian scribe with the help of fifteen felons, she registers her objections, but does as she is bid. Yet, as the mission unfolds, Kaiyo finds herself questioning everything from her loyalties to her convictions. 

As Torako and Kaiyo’s fates cross like dueling blades, their persistence is matched only by their fury, until they uncover a series of truths they may never be ready to accept. (taken from Goodreads)

Thank you to the author for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Sairō’s Claw is available for purchase now.

Technically, Sairō’s Claw is the third book in a series. However, it reads as a standalone. You definitely don’t need to read the other books to understand what’s going on.

Influenced loosely by Japanese culture (though taking place in an entirely fictitious world), Sairō’s Claw is an immersive story, peopled with well-executed characters. The world itself is fascinating and richly described. I really appreciated that the author provided a glossary of Japanese terms, although the context that she used the words in throughout the book made it pretty clear what they meant. I really liked how well the world was described, although for me it was the amazingly three-dimensional characters that stood out.

There are several important characters in Sairō’s Claw, and the story is told from multiple points of view. Each personality is distinctive and adds something to the narrative. While each character was interesting in their own way, I liked Raku and Torako the best. Raku is a scribe who finds something she really shouldn’t, something that someone doesn’t want found. Trouble with interest finds her as a result. I also really liked Torako, her kick-butt warrior of a wife. The thing I liked about them really had to do with their love for their daughter, and for each other. It’s rare to find a fantasy where being a mom or wife is treated as anything other than either an unwanted inconvenience, or the inevitable death that sparks a murderous revenge story. We need more loving and hardcore moms in fantasy, please!

Sairō’s Claw was full of adventure and heart. I really enjoyed author Virginia McClain’s work. Her skillful writing and excellent characters are exactly what I enjoy in fantasy. I recommend this book to readers who love books with lots of action and who appreciate well-developed characters.

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Night Circus

This week Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub has been the host of many discussions on magic systems in fantasy. I’ve been joined by some amazing contributors, both bookbloggers and authors. Before I close out the week, though, I have to talk about The Night Circus.

I love this book! I mean rereading, paraphernalia-owning love. Reading The Night Circus is like wandering though a beautiful dream. I’m going to attempt to talk about magic in the world of The Night Circus, but please forgive me if the post rapidly dissolves into gushing. I promise I’ll try to keep it in check.

What makes the magic in The Night Circus different from other magic systems is not the how but the what. Magic doesn’t exist in the world of The Night Circus, magic is the world. The stage is set, the circus a playing board for a duel between two separate schools of thought. Two powerful magicians battle each other to see whose magic is better- that of Marco, who uses glyphs and symbols; or Celia, who uses her own mind as the focal point.

There are rules to how the magic works, but the reader is drawn into the magic itself. Everything is a product of one magician or the other, from the black-and-white striped tents, to the cloud maze, and everything in-between. Words and creativity become real. And, holy crow, author Erin Morgenstern is creative! Her words themselves weave a magic spell around the reader.

“When the battle are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang Souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they could never predict. From the mundane to the profound.”-Erin Morgenstern

And here’s the crux of it: every book is magic. Every author has the power to draw a reader into a world both different and new. As readers we know the power of words. The books we’ve talked about this week are samplings of some of the incredible magic that words can cast on the reader. A book can entertain, it can teach. It can open a path to new worlds, or comfort someone during a difficult time.

I am incredibly grateful to bloggers who gave their time and energy to a discussion on magic, and to the authors who were willing to talk about their magic systems. Each book we focused on has a unique, creative magic system. I hope you found some new books to add to your tbr and some new bloggers to follow.

What magic system has completely floored you? Tell me what you loved about it. I’m a glutton for punishment, go ahead and add to my tbr!

“There are many kinds of magic, after all.”– Erin Morgenstern

About the blogger:

 Jodie is the creator of the Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub blog and a contributor to Grimdark Magazine. She either lives in Florida with her husband and sons, or in a fantasy book-she’ll never tell which. When she’s not reading, Jodie balances her time between homeschooling her hooligans, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and lamenting her inability to pronounce “lozenge”.

Find her online at :
Blog: https://wittyandsarcasticbookclub.home.blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WS_BOOKCLUB

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
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Magic for Mercenary Kings
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Weather Warden
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- And Now This
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Blood, Fire, and Death
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Discworld
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic-Let’s Talk Mistborn
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Fae Magic

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic – Fae Magic

I’ve loved tales of the wilder side of faerie legend since I was young. Books such as Good Faeries/Bad Faeries by Brian Froud (who also did the concept art for the amazing movie, The Labyrinth) caught my imagination. Not much has changed in the respect. Give me a mysterious, wild force, and I’m good to go.

E.G. Radcliffe, author of the The Coming of Áed trilogy, has a fae-like magic source in her world. It makes me think of all things wild and mysterious. She’s been kind enough to give a breakdown on magic in her fantasy books.


E.G. Radcliffe:

The Fae magic at work in The Coming of Áed trilogy–and most fully expressed in The Wild Court–is a naturally occurring phenomenon inherent in certain types of life on the non-human side of the veil. Much of it is understated: some mushrooms develop healing potential under the light of a full moon, some minerals possess connective magic that enables all of the rocks in a deposit to glow in unison, etc. Some of this naturally occurring magic occurs at a larger scale, with creatures like the water horse wielding power over certain lakes or rivers, enough to control the water itself and any vessels on the lake’s surface. However, the most powerful magic belongs to the fae.

The fae are inhuman creatures who live across the veil from the inhabitants of the Gut (the home region of the MC). Fae culture is complex and ancient, but from a purely physical standpoint, they are divided into two groups. The Low Fae and High Fae live separately, like mostly staying with like, and there are a number of differences between their magics.

Fae, as a whole, have two very important forms of innate magic. The first is the one most commonly portrayed in the folklore of the world: every faerie is born with the ability to summon fire. The fire of the Low Fae manifests in oranges and reds, reminiscent of a natural woodfire. It is either confined to the faerie’s body, or it can be sent out in a billow. This fire, like any ordinary blaze, causes no harm to other fae. The fire of the High Fae, on the other hand, is uniformly white, more akin to the color of daylight at high noon. High Fae fire has two distinct peculiarities, aside from its hue: firstly, it can burn Low Fae the way ordinary fire burns a human. Secondly, it can be cast into shapes so long as it maintains contact with the wielder–popular uses are as fiery spears or shields.

The second of the fae magics is much less flashy, and much more unnerving: their power over the mind. In most faeries, this power presents itself as the capability to read emotion very accurately. However, some fae have the capacity to cultivate this ability to a higher level. In its most terrifying form, it can be trained into the ability to induce emotion. This can be as straightforward as pulling up painful memories, or as twisted as inciting madness so targeted as to induce specific hallucinations. The latter is often perceived as illusion magic, and it is the extraordinarily rare faerie who is capable of using it. Magic surrounds the fae, generated like body heat; faintly, it permeates even the human realm.

For humans, magic is never inborn. Practicing it requires a concentrated mind and a certain ability to tune into the residues of fae magic, and is therefore highly difficult, mastered only by a few.  Human magic, however, is far more flexible than fae magic. While the fae are extremely powerful in two arenas, humans are limited only by their own concentration; wherever they are able to channel the magic, they can use it. After all, it isn’t theirs–a river cannot change its course, but the one who fills a bucket from it can put it to any number of uses.

To channel magic, there are a number of techniques. The most common is by learning a verbal ‘spell.’ The spell itself holds no inherent meaning: it is usually a series of nonsense syllables which, by their sound and shape, help the concentration of the user to flow along certain mental channels. Those channels of concentration are the same channels through which magic will be directed, producing a result. It is not dissimilar to meditation. In fact, a truly powerful magic-user will be able to achieve results without the guidelines of a spell, if their concentration and vision of the spell’s execution are adequately strong. Other techniques include motions (which fulfill a similar purpose to a verbal spell) and drawings (which are most useful when attempting to use magic to build something, like following a blueprint).

Usually, to master magic one must begin as a child. The reason for this is that children tend to be able to channel less magic, and therefore are less likely to hurt themselves in the stage of learning when errors are common. An adult attempting to learn magic for the first time would find that they could call upon too much–they would likely not be able to channel it, and it would slip out of their control, usually with destructive results. Culturally, magic use is seen as something occasionally necessary, but its practitioners are widely regarded with a degree of distrust.

Each character in the series is either a wielder of magic, a victim of it, or a student of it–for better or for worse. They are warriors; they are kings; they are sarcastic teenagers; they are queens, and consorts, and healers, and family.

About the author:

E.G. Radcliff is a part-time pooka and native of the Unseelie Court. She collects acorns, glass beads, and pretty rocks, and the crows outside her house know her as She Who Has Bread. Her fantasy novels are crafted in the dead of night after offering sacrifices of almonds and red wine to the writing-block deities. 

You can reach her by scrying bowl, carrier pigeon, or @egradcliff on all major social media platforms. 

Links
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Reddit
Goodreads 

Books:The Hidden Kinghttps://getbook.at/thehiddenking
The Last Princehttps://getbook.at/thelastprince
The Wild Courthttps://getbook.at/thewildcourt

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Waterstones
Bookshop.org

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
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Magic for Mercenary Kings
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Weather Warden
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- And Now This
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Blood, Fire, and Death
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Discworld
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic-Let’s Talk Mistborn

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Let’s Talk Mistborn!

We’ve been discussing magic systems in fantasy books this week. There are so many different kinds of systems, some a little closer to the “classic” magic system found in earlier books, and others that are completely different.

Today, Sue from the fantastic blog Sue’s Musings, gives a wonderfully laid-out explanation of the magic system in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. You really can’t have a discussion on different magic systems in fantasy without mentioning Sanderson’s incredibly detailed and well-thought out addition to the genre.

Sue:

In Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books there are three types of magic: Allomancy, Ferruchemy and Hemalurgy, with Allomancy being the most prevalent. The thing I like the most about the Allomancy system is that it makes physical sense. It is governed by the laws of physics, if a “pushing” or “pulling” force is applied to something by an Allomancer, there will be an equal and opposite reaction.

Allomancy

Allomancers use metals to enhance their mental and physical capabilities by ingesting them. Allomancers capable of only “burning” (or using) one metal are known as “Mistings”, whereas those who can use multiple metals at once are known as “Mistborn”. There are different types of Misting, named for their capabilities:

Coinshots

Coinshots use steel to “push” on metals in their area. This lets them force metals which weigh less than they do, such as coins, away from themselves at speed to act as a weapon. If a steel object weighs more than the Coinshot, physics will mean that the person is pushed away from the metallic object. A Coinshot is unable to “push” on alluminum or its alloys, so an aluminium bullet can be used to kill a Coinshot.

Lurchers

Lurchers “burn” iron and are able to “pull” on metals that are close by. This lets them pull metallic objects weighing less than they do towards themselves. If an iron object weighs more than the Lurcher they can pull on it to cause themselves to be pulled towards it. A Lurcher cannot feel or pull alluminium or several of its alloys. 

Tineyes

Tineyes use Tin, to enhance their senses. Tineyes are often used as lookouts because,  when burning Tin, they can see in when there is barely any light. A Tineye can be stunned for a short while by a loud noise or bright light overwhelming their senses while they are burning tin.

Tin also enhances mental capabilities and allows a Tineye, or Mistborn to assess a situation more quickly than non-Tineyes. 

Pewterarms or Thugs

When burning Pewter, Pewterarms or Thugs are able to enhance their physical capabilities, allowing them to fight for longer than a normal person, or perform strenuous tasks for longer, since they become much stronger while burning pewter. This increased strength also means they can heal quicker and also have greater balancing skills, speed and dexterity. A “pewter drag” allows a Thug to run for hours at speeds similar to a racehorse. However this drains their body and requires them to continue burning pewter after the run to heal themselves and stop themself from dying of exhaustion. Running out of pewter at the wrong time can therefore be fatal to a Thug. If they are carrying something extremely heavy and their pewter runs out they could be crushed by the object.

Seekers

Bronze is burned by Seekers and tells them if another Allomancer is using metals in their area.

A Seeker can often pinpoint the location of the person using metals and figure out which metal they are burning, and so what kind of capabilities they will have.

Copperclouds or Smokers

Copperclouds, affectionately known as Smokers have the ability to burn Copper and hide themselves from Seekers. The area they hide is known as a Coppercloud. Smokers therefore help Allomancers within gangs from being spotted.

Rioters

By burning Zinc, Rioters are able to affect the emotions of the people around them. In this way they can incite a riot, or just affect one person within a crowd.

Soothers

Soothers burn Brass and can soothe the emotions of an individual or a group of people. 

Augurs

An Augur can burn gold. This lets them see what might have happened if they had made different choices in the past. This can lead to emotional trauma, so it is rarely used.

Oracles

Oracles can burn Electrum, an alloy of gold. This lets them see their future.

Pulsers

Pulsers burn Cadmium which lets them slow down time in a bubble they set around themselves. Noone can enter or leave the bubble while the Cadmium is being burned.

Sliders

Sliders burn Bendalloy, which allows them to speed up time within a bubble they set around themselves. If a Pulser and Slider set a bubble at the same place their effects cancel each other out.

Nicrobursts or NicrosA Nicro burns Nicrosil, which causes their target’s metals to burn off in a brief intense flash.There has to be physical contact for this to work.

Seers

Seers are able to burn Atium, one of three “God metals”, the others being Lerasium and Malatium. Atium is mined in the Pits of Hathsin and is the most valuable metal in the world and coveted by the nobility and Allomancers. Atium lets the Mistborn burning it see a few seconds into the future, which lets them anticipate the moves of their opponent. It also enhances their mind to help them understand these new insights, effectively making a Mistborn invincible for a short amount of time. Atium burns very quickly.

The other two God metals are not used by specific types of Allomancers and are:

Lerasium

Lerasium lets the burner (which can be anyone)  become a Mistborn, giving them access to all of the Allomantic metals. These beads are the source of Mistborn, which is a genetic trait.

Malatium

Malatium is an alloy of Atium and Gold which lets an Allomancer see someone’s past. In legend it is called the Eleventh Metal. Kelsier thought it would defeat the Lord Ruler when burned in his presence, but that did not happen.  Instead, it showed Vin the Lord Ruler’s possible life as a mountain guide. From this vision she worked out that he was Rashek, not Alendi and was able to figure out how to defeat him.

Feruchemy

Feruchemy is the second magic system in the Mistborn series. I find this to be a particularly intriguing magic system. It would be fantastic to be able to store away knowledge, strength or wakefulness for a time in the future when you might need it. You could revise for an important exam and store all of the knowledge away in a metalmind. You wouldn’t have any of those useless facts floating about in your brain as you went about your daily business. Then you would be able to retrieve all of the knowledge exactly when it is needed.

A Ferruchemist does not burn metals in the way that an Allomancer does. Instead they use them to store up their own power – as containers known as “minds”. A Ferruchemist can transfer all of their energy into a mind but will then be without energy until they become rested and restored. They can draw on the stored up energy at a later date. A Feruchemist can draw out the power of the metalmind with barely any upper limit, using it up in one big burst if they want. In this way a Feruchemist using a pewtermind can be a whole lot stronger than a powerful Mistborn burning pewter, but for a limited time. The Terris people such as Sazed have Ferruchemy in their genes.


Taken from the Mistborn Wiki (https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki)

* Iron: Stores Weight. Less weight slows descent . A Skimmer Ferring using this will decrease the pull of gravity on them in exchange for increasing it later.

* Steel: Stores Physical Speed. A Steelrunner Ferring using this will be physically slower now in exchange for being faster later.

* Tin: Stores Senses. A Windwhisperer Ferring using this will become less sensitive in one of the five senses of his choice (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) in exchange for heightening that sense later.

* Pewter: Stores Strength. A Brute Ferring using this will lessen the size of his muscles to increase them later

* Zinc: Stores Mental Speed. A Sparker Ferring using this will think very slowly in exchange for thinking faster later.

* Brass: Stores Warmth. Firesoul Ferrings using this will cool themselves in exchange for being able to warm themselves later by tapping the metalmind.

* Copper: Stores Memories. An Archivist Ferring using this will be able to store memories inside copper, forget it, then will be able to recall it with perfect clarity later while withdrawing it from the metal.

* Bronze: Stores Wakefulness. A Sentry Ferring using this will sleep or be drowsier now in exchange for staying awake longer later.

* Cadmium: Stores Breath. A Gasper Ferring may hyperventilate while storing breath in exchange for eliminating or reducing the need to breathe later on.

* Bendalloy: Stores Energy. A Subsumer Ferring using this can consume large quantities of food and store the calories in the metalmind, in exchange for the ability to forgo eating later.

* Gold: Stores Health. A Bloodmaker Ferring using this will feel sick now in exchange for increased regeneration and healing later.

* Electrum: Stores Determination. A Pinnacle Ferring using this will become depressed in exchange for a manic state when tapping the metalmind.

* Chromium: Stores Fortune. A Spinner Ferring will become unlucky during active storage in exchange for increased fortune later.

* Nicrosil: Stores Investiture. Little is known about Soulbearer Ferrings.

* Aluminum: Stores Identity. Trueself Ferrings can store their spiritual sense of self within an aluminum metalmind.

* Duralumin: Stores Connection. A Connector Ferring can store spiritual connection inside a metalmind, reducing friendship and outside awareness during active storage, in exchange for the ability to quickly form friendships and relationships while tapping.

* Atium: Stores Age. A Feruchemist using this will become older now in exchange for becoming younger later, the same amount of years for the same time.

Mistborn Allomancers who are able to also use Ferruchemy, such as the Lord Ruler gain great advantages over their opponents. There are certain Allomancers called Twinborns, who can only access one type of metalmind, and also have one Allomantic power (the following is taken from the Mistborn Wiki: https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki):

* By burning a metal containing a stored attribute, such as burning atium which contains youth, the user effectively makes a profit on the attribute stored in the metal due to allomancy’s property of drawing power from the metal. Thus the user gains more of the attribute than invested. A Twinborn who can do this is called a Compounder. An example of this process is the Lord Ruler’s immortality which he achieves through periods spent aged and sickly, storing youth in atium and health in gold, which he later burns and stores in the main metalminds which sustain him. With effectively limitless amounts of youth and healing, he convincingly posed as a god. Note that the attribute stored must have originated from the user, hence Vin’s inability to use the power in Sazed’s pewtermind.

* If a Feruchemist taps an Ironmind and steelpushes or ironpulls, then they can increase their weight to become the anchor for the push or pull, even if an enemy also manipulating the piece of metal weighs more, or the metal weighs more than the user. One could also decrease their weight to gain more movement of their own body from each push or pull.

* If a Feruchemist taps a Pewtermind, Steelmind, Bronzemind, and Goldmind and Allomantically burns Pewter, they will gain increase in Strength, Speed, Wakefulness and Health beyond what one would normally be able to achieve. This will work if you tap smaller combinations of those minds, however, only for the attributes you tap.

* Likewise, if a Feruchemist taps a Tinmind and Allomantically burns Tin, then their senses will increase beyond what one would normally be able to achieve.

* If one Allomantically burns a metal then fills the Metalmind of the same attribute, they can fill the metalmind without lessening that attribute. This is why one might burn pewter to fill a Goldmind, then fill an Atiummind and tap the Goldmind, possibly creating the Lord Ruler’s ability to live forever. This is most prevalent with burning pewter, which can fill Pewtermind, Steelmind, Zincmind, Brassmind, Bronzemind, and Goldmind.

* If a Pewtermind is filled using Allomancy burning pewter, then the Feruchemist won’t experience an increase in muscle size when they tap their collected strength from the Metalmind. This allowed the Lord Ruler to tap enormous strength without revealing his use of Feruchemy to onlookers.

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Hemalurgy

The third magic system in Mistborn is called Hemalurgy. This one creeped me out somewhat as it involves metal spikes being inserted into a person’s body/vital organs.

Taken from the Mistborn wiki (https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki):

To use Hemalurgy, a metal spike must be driven through someone’s heart. Then the spike is taken and stabbed into the body of another person, the location of which determines the power transferred. The preferred method is to stab it directly through the heart into the other person, as the longer it is left out of the body the more power is lost. While Allomancy is the art of Preservation and Feruchemy is the art of balance, Hemalurgy is the art of Ruin, as the transfer of power destroys some of it. Allomancy creates power, and Feruchemy does not destroy or create, but preserves. Having a hemalurgic enhancement makes one susceptible to Ruin’s influence (e.g. Zane, to whom Ruin could directly communicate; and Vin, who occasionally heard Ruin’s voice in her head, though she mistook it for memories of her brother, Reen) or even to his control (e.g. Steel Inquisitors in books two and three). This, along with the fact that kandra and koloss, both of which are hemalurgically enhanced, can be controlled by Soothing, leads to the further speculation that hemalurgic enhancement of any kind makes one susceptible to being controlled by an outside force.

Hemalurgic Metals

* Iron: Steals human strength

* Steel: Steals Allomantic physical powers

* Tin: Steals human senses

* Pewter: Steals Feruchemical physical powers

* Brass: Steals Feruchemical cognitive attributes

* Zinc: Steals human emotional fortitude

* Copper: Steals human mental fortitude, memory, and intelligence

* Bronze: Steals Allomantic mental powers

* Aluminum: Removes all powers

* Duralumin: Steals Connection/Identity

* Atium: Steals all Allomantic and Feruchemical powers

* Malatium: Unknown

* Gold: Steals Feruchemical hybrid powers

* Electrum: Steals Allomantic Enhancement powers

Hemalurgy + Allomancy

When an Allomancer increases a certain aspect of themselves using Hemalurgy this aspect can gain new powers assuming the Allomancer can already use this power.

What each metal does after Hemalurgically increased is as follows:

Iron

An Allomancer is able to pull much harder. Since Steel Inquisitors can pull upon metals inside people’s bodies, it is assumed this power is granted also

Steel

An Allomancer is able to push much harder. Since Steel Inquisitors can push upon metals in people’s bodies, it is assumed this power is also granted.

Bronze

A Seeker can pierce Copperclouds.

Copper

A Smoker can prevent his cloud from being pierced, and put his cloud around a wider range.

Brass

A Soother is able to soothe peoples emotions at more drastic rates

Zinc

A Rioter is able to Riot peoples emotions at more drastic rates.

Tin

A Tineye is able to increase their senses to far higher rates.

Pewter

A Pewterarm is able to have incredible strength when burning pewter.

Hemalurgically Enhanced Groups/Characters

* Steel Inquisitors (many spikes in various places in their bodies)

Marsh- He became a Steel Inquisitor at the end of book one and provided the crew with more in-depth knowledge of the nature of the Inquisitors.

* kandra (a pair of spikes called the kandra blessings)

* koloss (four spikes positioned in various places in their body)

* Vin (earring that her mother gave to her)

* Zane (spike through the middle of his chest that allowed the God Ruin to speak to him and likely granted him increased precision with steel)

* Spook (tip of a sword left in his shoulder during a fight lets him burn pewter

For more information, check out the Mistborn Wiki (https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki):

About the Blogger:

Sue Bavey: Sue is an English mum of two teens living in Massachusetts with husband, kids, a cat, and a bunny. She enjoys reading all kinds of genres, especially fantasy, historical fiction, and thrillers.

Where to find Sue:

Blog: Sue Bavey – Book Blurb

Twitter: @SueBavey

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
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Magic for Mercenary Kings
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Weather Warden
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- And Now This
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Blood, Fire, and Death
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Discworld

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Discworld

I had a hair-brained idea for my blog: a discussion on magic in fantasy! Not just in one fantasy book, but across the broad spectrum that is my favorite genre. Of course, there is absolutely no way I could do something like that justice, so I put a call out for bookbloggers and authors to lend their unique perspectives. They have shown up in a huge way to kindly share their time and opinions.

Author and Youtuber Rob Edwards sharing his thoughts on a big addition to fantasy: Discworld. You can hear his discussion on YouTube.

Rob Edwards:

Look, there in the dark. 

That shape.

It’s hard to judge size when the only comparison available is an endless stretch of inky dark nothingness, but the shape is huge. Beyond huge. Huge, and moving. Huge, moving and, on reflection, not just one shape, but a compound, complex set of shapes. Flippers. An impossibly vast shell. And standing on that shell, four elephants. Perched on their backs, it can only be…

Shape, then, is the wrong word. This has every appearance of being a place; more geography than geometry.

And this is a place steeped with magic. The sort of place the word “steeped” was made for. A place left to soak in an octarine infusion, like a tea bag left in a cup so long it… 

This metaphor is getting away from me.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is quintessential gateway fantasy. It is a place of wonder, a place of life, of humour, sharp satire, beguiling stories, larger than life characters and a whole lot of magic. Both in the world, and the way it is described.

And yet, while there are multiple volumes about the Science of Discworld, if there is such a treatise on the magic of the Disc, I’ve not encountered it.

So, what then can I divine about the Discworld’s magic system? This is my interpretation based on many rereadings of the series, but only recent revisits of Eric and Reaper Man. 

Three fundamentals drive all magic in Discworld: Purpose, Personality and Belief.

Magic wants to be used. We see it time and again across the series, from the single spell that Rincewind learned, to the magic of Moving Pictures and the mysterious globes in Reaper Man. Magic once manifested, needs to fulfil its purpose. 

It is something that the Wizards and Witches appreciate. The more senior the Witch or Wizard, the more power they have access to, the less likely they are to use it. You don’t claw your way up the hierarchy of the Unseen University without learning a healthy sense of self preservation, and an appreciation that wotting things man was not meant to wot of, is just not the done thing. Much better to have a big dinner and then a long nap instead.

Which is not to say that Witches and Wizards are fakers incapable of magic. There are plenty of examples in the books where both engage in activities which can only be described as magical. But there is always a risk in the act, the chance that the Wizard or Witch might get carried away. Sometimes literally. The Dungeon Dimensions and the terrible horrors which live therein are always waiting to take advantage of the unwary. We see several times in the series what happens when magic is unleashed too freely. Calamity and Chaos are never far away.

With purpose, oftentimes, personality follows. 

Death is the prime example of this. He is an embodiment of the most fundamental aspect of life, he has purpose to which he must attend, but more he has, he is, a personality. One of Sir Terry’s greatest creations, in fact, and one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. Which is weird when you think about it. He’s not the only example, though. The Hogfather, the Tooth Fairy all fill similar roles. And it’s not just the anthropomorphic aspects of reality that end up with personality. Almost anything infused with magic develops personality eventually, like Rincewind’s Luggage.

The final pillar of magic in Discworld is belief. Most obvious in the case of the Disc’s pantheon of gods, large and small, sometimes all that is needed to manifest something magical is enough belief. Pratchett lays it out specifically: the existence of gods does not result in belief in them, belief in gods results in their existence. Again though, the use of belief in magic is not limited to the gods. If you come in the door marked wossnames, that means you get treated as a wossname, right?

At the end of the day, Discworld is not the sort of series to have a regimented magic system. Instead, it’s a tool that Pratchett uses to fill a need in the story, a useful tool that can fit many shapes. Still, if the specifics of magic are malleable, I think it’s clear that the principles that underpin it are consistent.

About the author:

Rob Edwards is a British born writer and content creator, living in Finland. His podcast, StorycastRob, features readings from his short stories and extracts from longer work. He writes about coffee, despite not drinking it, spaceships, despite being down-to-earth, and superheroes, despite everything.

His debut novel, The Ascension Machine was published in 2020. His short stories can be found in anthologies from Inklings Press and Rivenstone Press.

A life-long gamer and self-professed geek, he is proud of his entry on wookieepedia, the result of writing several Star Wars RPG scenarios in his youth.

Links

Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StorycastRob

Check out his Podcast: http://storycastrob.co.uk/

Or YouTube: Rob Edwards


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
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Magic for Mercenary Kings
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Weather Warden
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- And Now This
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Blood, Fire, and Death
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians

During this weeklong discussion on magic in fantasy, we’ll be talking about the truly fantastical magic system. But there are also magic systems that I like to think of as “reality-adjacent”, ones that have a basis in the scientific. After all, things that seem completely normal to us now would seem completely inexplicable and magical to people from, say, the 1400s.

The magic in The Wolf in the Blood fantasy series by author David McLean falls into the second category. I’m happy to be able to get a close look at how “realistic” magic operates in his books.

David McLean:

Teaching physics to barbarians – magic in a really real world

How real is your magical world? If it’s wholly fantastic, great! Magic can just exist. It’s not necessary to look behind the curtain. It can just be so, and you can write about how it’s used, not why it works.

But if your world intersects with the modern, real* world, I think you have to keep it real. 

I write ultra-naturalistic fantasy – a world recognisably our own, working in the same way, but with magic and monsters. This is not a novel idea. But for magic and monsters to exist in a really real world and not be rendered hopelessly implausible by physics, you have to think through how the universe works on a fundamental level. This is great fun. 

I’m not a physicist, and I didn’t fancy writing a textbook on if-magic-was-real physics. So I came up with some basic rules to apply in my books.

Let’s science! 

It’s consistent with general relativity. For it to be otherwise is universe-breaking. In my world, magic appears to be a fundamental interaction, like electromagnetism. It’s the force which changes other forces. If this sounds unlikely, bear in mind scientists discovered a new fundamental force just this year (probably). Magic has time translation symmetry (it always works the same way) obeys conservation of energy (you can’t create it or destroy it, only transform it) and is subject to entropy (actions have irreversible consequences). It affects thermodynamics (fireballs), evolutionary biology (dragons), gravity (massive flying dragons) and spacetime (wormholes and time travel). 

Everyone knows. You can’t casually slide fantasy into the gaps of the real world like a dudebro into your DM’s and expect no one will notice. How do you hide how the universe works? Humans understand physics at a deep level which far surpasses the ‘mystic scrolls of wisdom tropes of fantasy (I am not putting down mystic scrolls – you do you, scrolls). Even in a hellish dystopia where magicians are routinely wiping minds on a planetary scale, all it takes to know is looking and everyone can. The logical contortions are too great to sustain that narrative in a really real world. I do feel that if magic was real, Richard Feynman would have written an amusing book on the subject. So no need for secret wizard school, Harry. 

It’s weird and unsettling. The universe is strange, man. However strange your magic system is, quantum mechanics has it beat. Science grapples with the deep profundities of existence, including ethical and moral questions about free will and agency as inferred from physical laws. I’ve applied these to my world. So magic is a force, but it may also be sort of sentient and vaguely malevolent, with limited agency and unknowable desires. Using magic is profoundly invasive. It never helps. It only hurts.  

It’s accessible (but dangerous). Anyone can use gravity. Jump up and down – you are a puissant gravity user. But defying gravity is hard (song lyrics have misreported this). So it is with magic. In the in-world olden days, magicians of towering supremacy tried to bend it to their unconquerable wills, and sometimes succeeded but often failed. But so could anyone. The consequence of failure is pain – it consumes their energy and scars them with a biting rust. People understand it according to their lights – I set my third novel in 51 BCE. It features a Roman legionary, an Irish druid, and a Sri Lankan princeling. None of them could know about relativity or quantum anything. Consequently, they treat magic as, well, just that. And that’s fine. You don’t need to teach physics to your barbarian, after all. But even modern people will have different views. Magic? It’s all a conspiracy, my dude. It said so on The Magic Channel, it must be true… 

About the author:

David McLean is the author of three books – THE WOLF IN THE BLOOD (2018), THE WOLF CURE AND OTHER STORIES (2019), and THE NINE WIVES OF RANDAL RHIN (2020), published by Swordsaint Press in the UK. You can buy them on Amazon and read free chapters and stories on his website. His next book, FOX SILVER, will be out in early 2022. Follow @SwordsaintPress on Twitter.

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
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Weather Warden
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- And Now This
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Blood, Fire, and Death
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians