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Books of Magic, Sorcery, and the Supernatural!

Brick
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#1 Starius
As an avid book reader, and I can appreciate the Harry Potter influence in Maguss, however I must confess that I never did get the itch to read those particular books. 
(Now, don't go hatin' on me for that.  When they came out, even though I knew all ages were reading them, I felt they were YA and I just had no interest in reading any YA books at the time.)

Over the last year, however, I have been reading a great deal of contemporary fantasy books, as you can see in the photograph below.
(This stack is my "recently read" pile, with the exception of the top Finn Fancy books which I am currently reading.)

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Many of these I've read as of late, I feel, fit within the same 'spiritual neighborhood' as Maguss in that they're set in our modern world with various layers of magical and the supernatural layered within.  In particular, Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy definitely stands out as both exceptional and fitting to this genre. (It's also a decent show on the SyFy channel while still being a bad adaptation of the books.)

Anyways, coming from this perspective, I guess I have a few questions for the Maguss community here. 
Questions such as:
What are some of your favorite contemporary fantasy books?
If we're intrigued by certain themes and concepts in these books that we feel might be adaptable for Maguss, is it out of line to suggest them? (Or discuss them?)


On a side note here, I'll tell you one of my personal pet peeves about a lot of recent interpretations of magic in books and other media.... and that's this modern trend to just show magic as more of a "inherited power" or mutant ability. 
I'm of the "old school" fantasy D&D style of magic.... you got your incantations, spell components, hand gestures, elaborate symbols, rituals, etc.  Magic that is mysterious but still functions within it's own structured framework.   Harry Potter did that well, as well as The Magicians.  They get it.  
Now take Tom Doyle's American Craftsmen series.  Don't get me wrong, I like his books.  They're good stories with characters I like.  But his interpretation of magic is more like an inherited ability, or using "the Force."  It feels more like a X-Men power than it does a magical spell.  I've seen magic handled that way a lot lately, and maybe I'm just nit-picking or splitting hairs (as they say) here.... but it just kinda digs into me the wrong way.  It kinda feels cheap, like not much thought is put into it. 
(Another side note: I feel like Christopher Buehlman's The Necromancer's House actually fits in the center of these two schools of magic thought quite well, and almost comes up with a interpretation that justifies both.)

Of course, with what I've read about Maguss so far, with its system of components, runes, gestures & wand waving, well, I don't feel I have anything to worry about there.  I feel like they "get it" too. Wink


Anywho, what do you guys think?
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#2 Memnoich
hmm, we'll I'll try and stick with books focusing on magic, and not some where it's basically just hinted at, I'm looking at you GOT.
To start of course is HP, and The Magicians, as already stated.

Many have already seen me mention Harry Dresden and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. It is often referred to as the HP for adults. He also has another series based around a lost Roman legion that was teleported to another world where magic is available, but it is more like a working relationship with elementals, most people only being able to work with one or two. The Alegra Codex I believe.

Then there is Fablehaven, a kids series where magic artifacts are guarded, and magic is only for a select few who inherited the genes for it.

Terry Brooks Shannara series, post apocalyptic earth, magic is available once more, it's kind of a mix between shamanic/druidic earth magic, and high sorcery bestowed or inherited, mixed with long forgotten and newly discovered technology.

Thomas covenant series, is about a man transported from our world to another, every time he passes out. He wields the white gold ring that offers alot of power. in the new world, there are many types of magic, from Earth to sorcery, inherited magic power, to powers that are bestowed by larger beings or artifacts.

Deathgate cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Another post apocalyptic world. Since discovered magic, the Key to the universe, 2 races evolved from this. One race decided to rebuild the world in their image to destroy the other. Both races almost disappeared after, leaving behind many types of magic and multiple world's connected through the Deathgate.

that's about all I can think of at this time, but I'll add more as I think of them.
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#3 Starius
Do you feel, in any of those books, that magic as it's portrayed could be used in inspiration for mechanics in Maguss?

I haven read them (but I liked the tv series) but I feel that perhaps The Dresden books have a good chance for some similarities as it's very contemporary and urban.
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#4 Starius
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Just finished Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson

It's a pretty good read, as far as urban fantasy books go.  But this thread isn't about reviews, but rather a source of inspiration for how magic can be represented in our modern age and Finn Fancy Necromancy setup some interesting portrayals of this.

Wizardry and Sorcery are mentioned, but not discussed in great depth.  In greater detail is Necromancy (no surprise there), Alchemy, and Thaumaturgy.
All of the supernatural branches seem to be like specialties people focus on, usually passed down in families.  All of it is regulated by the ARC (Arcane Ruling Council) which is kind of like a magical government body.  Ususally I find this sort of concept restrictive and takes away from the awe of magic, similar to the American Craftsmen books - but I think in this book the effect is somewhat intentional as it does play a part in the motivations of certain characters.

Anyways, the take on Necromancy is interesting in particular as it's a bit different than I've seen before.  It's nothing like raising the dead here, it's more akin to communicating with spirits and harvesting "mana" (magical energies) from deceased magic users which can then be used later by living magic users.  (You might begin to guess that the ARC would heavily regulate such a practice.) 

To my personal disappointment, there's not a lot of finger waggling to the magics in this book but there is sporadic use of incantations.  The magic does feel like it has structure in the story, though you never get a lot of specific detail.  


As in most books like this, it's interesting to see how they address the notion that the majority of the public isn't aware that magic really exists and how the magic users are able to live in the world and keep it a secret. 
It makes me wonder if the lore of Maguss will address this notion as well....  Wink
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#5 Manaricelle
I actually never really got into the Harry Potter series until after I experienced Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World. I had been to Hogsmeade originally, but that just seemed to be a theme park. Diagon Alley really felt real so much I forgot I was at a theme park. I went back the next day and just spent the entire day there. Learned spells, watched Celestina Warbeck and ate food and talked to a goblin. It just really made me want to know why the series was what it was. So I started reading it and I love the way JK Rowling writes, I'm already 1/4 through Order of the Phoenix~

I can not say that I have read any other books where magic was a source or anything. I usually read awful romance novels and supernatural themed horror novels.
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