Top 5 Wednesday #26: Favorite Magic Systems

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Favorite Magic Systems


Of course, the Harry Potter books immediately popped in my mind when I saw this topic. I’ve wanted a wand since I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a kid in middle school or high school (whenever it was when I first read it). Wands seem to provide almost limitless magic and I like that it’s a conduit for a person’s magic. Now that I think of it, I wonder where the magical energy comes from. It doesn’t seem to come entirely from within the person wielding the wand, so I wonder where else is this energy taken from.

I also like how personal a wand is. It’s an instrument that has to be in tune with whomever wields it and it usually matches the person in some way, whether in physical structure or temperament. Wands are unique and particular and I love that about them.

Btw, here’s the wand I got on Pottermore:

It’s silver lime wood (best for seers, legilimency, and mysterious arts), phoenix feather core (picky, hard to tame and personalize, acts on its own), 10 ¾ inches, quite bendy.


I think liveships are magnificence, though their history is quite dark and sad. In Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders books, a fantasy series, a ship comes alive after a certain number of family members die upon its deck. (I forgot how many.) When the ship comes alive, it is able to move independently and the figurehead is able to speak and think for itself. The ship becomes a sentient being.

I think this is really cool. But there is more to liveships than this and their past is marred by outrageous acts done in ignorance that caused liveships to become what they are, so this entry is bitter-sweet. I love liveships for what they are, but I’m sad for what they could, and should, be and will never become.


I forgot what character’s magical abilities are called in this book, but Shadow Weaver is MarcyKate Connolly’s middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl who can manipulate shadows and can even speak to her own shadow. Every 25 years when a the Cerelia Comet passes over the land, a few people of blessed, or cursed, with special abilities. I think that sounds pretty cool.

Apart from the protagonist, Emmeline, who can manipulate shadows, there is also a boy who can manipulate light and a girl who can find others with special abilities. I wouldn’t mind having a cool special ability, like being able to connect telepathically with technological stuff, like the internet — makes me think of the TV show Heroes.


In Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series, magic ability is called channeling. Women who can channel are recruited to become Aes Sedai (basically a high order of witches) and men who can channel are immediately captured and put to death. Apparently men who can channel tend to go mad. When the series begins, three boys from a small village learn that they are destined to save the world from great evil and one of the boys is the Dragon Reborn (like a reincarnation of a past hero who faced the great evil one before) and thus, able to channel.

I think channeling is a cool ability, based on what I’ve seen of it when reading from female POV. I like that those who can channel have strengths in a particular area, such as healing, manipulating metals, weather, etc., and that there are items that can either strengthen or lessen one’s power. Also channeling requires strength and focus to main different flows at once. Flows are different strands of channeling, like doing more than one thing at once. It’s a cool magic system that I’d like to continue reading the book to learn more about, but GAH!! The characters annoy me.

the gift

The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce was one of my favorites as a teen and still is. It’s a YA fantasy series about a girl who disguishes herself as a boy to train to become a knight. The magic in it is referred to as a “gift” and is a different color for each person. The protagonist, Alanna, has a purple gift so when she uses it, a purple light will surround the object.

I wouldn’t mind having the gift. One can do almost anything with it and, as with channeling mentioned above, it requires mental strength and focus; otherwise whatever is being attempted will not last long or be effective. I’d want my gift to be either blue or purple. 🙂

What are some of you favorite magic systems?

20 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday #26: Favorite Magic Systems

  1. I like the idea of being able to manipulate shadows. And liveships! I’ve never seen that particular cover of Ship of Magic before, but I love it. Better than the cover I have lol.

    Wands are awesome. 🙂


  2. What a great list Zezee! ❤️❤️ They all seem to focus on different aspects of magic. The Liveships books sound intriguing. A similar idea is in Sea of Ink and Gold series where a tree whisperer lives aboard the ship made of the special wood. He is needed to ‘talk’ to the ship. Writers are so inventive with the many aspects of their magic system.


  3. Okay, so this was such a great list! I had heard of Harry Potter (obviously) and Tamora Pierce’s books, but haven’t heard of the others! I love the idea of a magic ship or a girl who can talk to her shadow! I added Shadow Weaver to my TBR list because it sounded so interesting! Thanks for the lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good one. I was going to include The Magicians, but I don’t feel too familiar with it. I’ve only seen the TV show. Haven’t yet read the books, but I want to. The magic system is very interesting though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m super excited to start the Liveship series. I love the magic system in the Farseer trilogy, but there were mainly Wit and apothecary or herb-related type of magic in those books. Dragons and ships sound so so cool so I can’t wait to explore more from the Robin Hobb world!


    1. Oh man! It gets so much more interesting. I like how the world building slowly expands the more we learn about the characters situated in different places. The Liveship books are also interesting when you consider that Hobb’s husband is a sailor.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wouldn’t mind a sentient ship meself. Though I have to agree that the way they are produced in that particular tale bothers me. I might rather have a ship like Finder in the Abhorsen Chronicles. A sentient ship, a telepathic leopard or lion or tiger, and I still want the talking pony I never got in childhood. Arr!
    x The Captain


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