T5W: Favorite Magic Systems

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam (Thoughts on Tomes) featuring a variety of topics. Information can be found at the Goodreads page.

In light of the Halloween season, this month the themes have gone spooky!


This week’s topic: Top 5 magic systems. I love this theme! While magic systems can be used over and over, I really respect authors who can build one from scratch and make it believeable. The books with the best magic systems, in my personal opinion are:

1. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

Whenever I am asked about magic systems, Mistborn is by far the most exquisite and unique one I am aware of. Powers are based around elements, with each element imbuing  a specific power, but only certain people can utilize any given element, and even fewer can harness multiple, or even all.


2. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

I don’t really want to give anything away by explaining the magic system, except to say it involves teeth. And honestly, if that was a spoiler to you, you seriously need to go read this series immediately.


3. The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix

This is a series I have been meaning to get back to a read, especially since books 4 and 5 came out recently. The magic system in this series revolves around magical bells, which each have their own power in controlling the dead.


4. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I really just put this one here because I haven’t given up hope that my invitation letter to Hogwarts somehow just got lost in transit.


5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute, this isn’t magic!” And you’d be right, IT’S SCIENCE!!! Bwahahaha. Okay, that joke was waaaay lamer than I thought it would be but it’s too late now.



Did I miss any good magic systems? Which are your favorites?


  1. I enjoyed the magic systems in LRR Modessit’s Recluse series. The books themselves are a mixed bag, some I loved, and some I struggled to get through, but the magic is based on Order and Chaos, which map pretty well (even in-universe) to entropy/free energy vs storing energy in bonds.Only certain lineages can use each kind of magic, and each can only be used in certain ways based on how they work. Chaos mages tend to do stuff thats associated with breaking molecular bonds/freeing energy, and Order mages tend to have abilities associated with strengthening or binding objects.


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