Monday, April 13, 2015


Be warned, this is gonna be one of my random wandering posts, but I'm in that mood and since it's my blog ;-)  This weekend I got to spend time in downtown Washington DC to enjoy the cherry blossoms and then later me and Hubbin spent a couple hours watching random wildlife out in the boonies.  As often happens I started thinking about the books I am reading (and have read and will read) and realized a lot of them fall into the fantasy category, but they also tend to fall into a certain sort of magic category as well.  Let me see if I can show you what I'm talking about.
 Wild Magic - I thought of this as I was wandering around the wetlands, just waiting for a talking beaver to scold me, or a wise heron to dispense some sage words of awesome.  This kind of magic tends to be a wilder, older type.  The stories that involve wild magic are usually set in nature, most often a forest somewhere far away from civilization.  Animals, trees, and old school mythology usually play prominent roles.  Here is where we find the hermit, the wood witch, the hidden fae, the greenman and all sorts of old school magic. A lot of times this is the type of magic you see when a character(s) goes to another world from our.  I love reading about this kind of magic any time I am tired of the real world, or am ready to escape from the pressures of daily life.  Some books that I think are a good example of wild magic are:  The Hunter's MoonThe Tawny Man Trilogy, Alvin Maker Series, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia
Civilized Magic - This is what I call the type of magic that follows rules and tends to be of a bit more of a domestic type.  I always get the urge to read this type of magic book when I am around something old and dignified, aka old manor's, formal gardens, having high tea, that sort of thing.  One finds this type of magic mostly in books set in old school England/Europe and tend to feature society and niceties as much as the magic.  People who perform this type of magic tend to be precise and have to follow very exacting rules.  Magic of this nature can also appear to be a bit less grandiose in nature and be very specific, such as a person having a cooking magic, or able to work in a single medium such as metal or glass.  I like this type when I'm in the mood because it really connects every day life with magic and turns the most mundane tasks into awesomeness.  Some of my favorite books that feature civilized magic: The Paper Magician, Harry Potter Series, The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Sorcery and Cecelia, The Night Circus
Urban Magic - This may be the stickiest category, but in my head it is where I put all the "modern" magic.  Urban fantasy and mixing science and magic all fall into this category.  This type of magic is a more nitty gritty, down and dirty style.  In some cases magician's have incorporated hard science and/or modern items into their casting.  The books that feature this type of magic tend to have practioners that specialize in a type of career like detective, doctor, or specialized exterminator.  I like this type of book because it reminds me to look for magic, even in the middle of the ugliest most concrete covered of places.  I also like it because it shows how anything can be magic, and in most cases it is just undiscovered or unprovable fact.  It is always interesting to me to read the different ways that authors are able to incorporate the realities of the modern world with the fantastic element of magic.  Some of the best examples that I have read:  Magic Ex Libris SeriesInCryptid Series, Dresden Files, The Essential Bordertown, Monster

This is by no means a complete list, I am sure we could come up with a thousand categories to place the various types of magic in.  I also realize that there is probably some overlap in these definitions as well.  This is just a rough list that in my own chaotic little head books fall into and it makes it easier for me to figure out what type of magic I am craving at any particular moment.  Some day I will take some of my most craveable books and list what I categorize them as, just to give you all a laugh.  Anyways I hope this makes sense, and if not, just chalk it up to 60 hour work weeks and remember HAPPY READING EVERYBODY!

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