One of the nice things about having a book stuck in your head for almost twenty years is that you are able to think through a lot of different aspects of the world (bad thing: sometimes the world is so familiar to you that you forget to explain it). Magic in Lexie’s world has been pretty well-known to me for some time, and I really enjoyed stretching the limits of the rules I put in place (as well as finding those clever loopholes).
Magic is Boring
Taking a cue from Lexie’s own straight-laced personality, most magicals see their magic as everyday and humdrum. The magicals lack the whimsical quality of Harry Potter, but that’s the point: Magic just another sense, it’s another pair of hands that helps out.
“Magic is but an extension of the mind,” is the prevailing theme. You can’t jump from A-Z without creating the neural pathways first, and same with magic. Lexie has to practice going from A-B-C before she can jump to Z like a natural.
But Also Structured
I had a lot of fun applying physics principles to the book, too. The Law of Conservation of Mass is still in effect (“matter cannot be created nor destroyed”), which means Lexie can’t just snap her fingers and create a car. She also doesn’t have unlimited magic, and just as a marathoner runs out of steam, she runs out of magic if she wields too much too soon.
Another aspect of the magical system I really like is the idea that guardians can take away magic from their children. In today’s terms, they can ground their teenager. There’s a couple other old guardian-child spells that come into play in Lexie 2 that I had fun playing with as well.
But the most powerful magical idea in the book is the idea of a magical pact as it relates to clans and guilds:
That last line – the collective power of the clan or guild is sourced by the powers inherent in the membership – means basically that when a clan or guild sets forth rules, the combined power of everyone in the guild enforces those rules. So even if you had a SUPER powerful magical, they couldn’t break whatever laws had been agreed to by the clan/guild.
However, as any lawyer will tell you, interpretation is key and loopholes abound. In this book, I had to set up a complex magical system, and then figure out the best way around it.
But that’s half the fun, right?