8 Fantasy Books With Magic Techniques Based mostly on Artwork

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Some of the thrilling features of worldbuilding in fantasy books is undoubtedly its magic system. It helps the world make sense, offers a restrict to what energy can do, and brings among the most heart-pounding moments to the desk, particularly when two magic powers face towards one another. However I digress. There are a number of primary varieties of magic methods you may see in a fantasy world, however I need to speak about one of many lesser-known ones. In the present day, we’re taking a look at books with magic methods primarily based on artwork!

The great thing about these magic methods is that so many issues are artwork. It’s a really subjective space. For at its core, artwork is a artistic work that evokes emotions — and that may are available many shapes. Classically, there are the seven main artwork varieties: portray, sculpture, literature, structure, music, cinema, and theater. However different issues are artwork too. Like dance, weaving — and heck, even tea-making might be thought of an artwork. Subsequently, you may say that there are numerous varieties of magic methods primarily based on artwork, relying on the artwork kind. So for at this time’s checklist, not all books will match a basic artwork kind. However they are going to all undoubtedly be clever.

So with out additional ado, let’s take a look at eight nice fantasy books with magic methods primarily based on artwork.

8 Books With Magic Techniques Based mostly on Artwork

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin book cover

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

Artwork kind: Tea-making

This ebook has such a novel magic system. In it, the characters brew tea to get completely different magical results. Brewing tea turned a superb artwork in China through the Qing Dynasty, so I undoubtedly really feel like A Magic Steeped in Poison deserves its place on this checklist! The story follows a lady named Ning, who by chance killed her mom by brewing a poison tea. The identical tea is now threatening to kill her sister. So Ning travels to the imperial metropolis for an opportunity at profitable a tea-making competitors during which the reward might save her sister’s life.

cover of shadowshaper by daniel jose older

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Artwork kind: Common artwork

Shadowshaper is the right ebook for this matter as a result of those that use magic can join with spirits through artwork — be it a portray, music, and even tales. They’ll additionally deliver that artwork to life. The story follows a lady named Sierra Santiago, who was trying ahead to a enjoyable, artsy summer time. However every part adjustments when a zombie-like creature seems at a celebration, and her comatose grandfather begins apologizing again and again. That’s how she discovers she’s a Shadowshaper, and may join with spirits via making artwork. The one downside? Somebody is making an attempt to do away with all of the Shadowshapers — and it’s as much as Sierra to avoid wasting them earlier than it’s too late.

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee Cover

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee

Artwork kind: Pigments and portray

The artwork fantasy components are extra low-key in Phoenix Extravagant, however it nonetheless very a lot deserves its place on this checklist. That’s as a result of it really makes use of a magical pigment that you may paint on automatons to animate them not directly. The story follows Jebi, who simply desires to color. However destiny has different plans: they’re drafted by the Ministry of Armor to color mystical sigils that animate their automaton troopers. However this magical pigment has nefarious origins, and the Razanei authorities is hiding an ocean of horrifying crimes. So naturally, when Jebi finds out, they escape with a mighty mechanical dragon and plans to take the battle proper to the federal government’s doorstep.

Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce book cover

Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce

Artwork kind: Dance & weaving

Not all magic comes from artwork on this fantasy collection. However when it does, it’s fairly superb. The primary character weaves magic like a thread, whereas her new pupil can solid spells via dance. We observe Woman Sandrilene after she discovers a younger boy utilizing dance magic. She now has to develop into his trainer. However her classes are extra essential than she ever thought, as a result of solely by combining their two powers can they defeat a mysterious and magical assassin that reduces an individual’s essence to nothingness.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson book cover

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Artwork kind: Drawing

Brandon Sanderson is a well-liked fantasy creator, and his magic methods at all times stand out. That is certainly one of his lesser-known books, however it has a enjoyable magic system primarily based on artwork! Extra particularly, The Rithmatist options individuals who can breathe life into chalk drawings. The story follows Joel, a boy who desires nothing greater than to develop into a Rithmatist however can solely watch from the sidelines. That’s, till college students on the Armedius Academy begin to disappear — and Joel and his pal Melody are assigned to assist a professor examine. However what they discover will change the way forward for Rithmatics ceaselessly.

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-García new book cover

Sign to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Artwork kind: Music

Silvia Moreno-García’s debut is being launched once more, full with a beautiful new cowl. In Sign to Noise, characters solid magic spells utilizing certainly one of my favourite artwork kinds — music! The story follows Meche in two timelines. The primary is in 1988, when she finds out she will be able to solid spells utilizing vinyl data. She and her associates use this new magic to alter their lives. Then it jumps 21 years into the long run, the place we see Meche return residence for her father’s funeral and recollections of her previous rise again to the floor.

cover of Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Artwork kind: Portray

Bitter is a wonderful prequel for Emezi’s Pet, and it additionally has a magic system primarily based on artwork! In it, the primary character can animate her drawings with a drop of her personal blood. The story follows the titular Bitter, who’s attending a college named Eucalyptus. It’s like a protected haven for her, even when injustice plagues the streets exterior of it. Bitter desires to remain protected inside Eucalyptus’s partitions, however her associates aren’t keen to maintain quiet. So Bitter should resolve the place she belongs, and if she’s keen to pay the fee for serving to the revolution.

the cover of The Four Profound Weaves

The 4 Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg

Artwork kind: Weaving

Final however not least, weaving is a wonderful artwork kind, and I like that this novella makes use of it to create such a novel magic system that has characters weaving completely different supplies like sand and bone as in the event that they had been material. The 4 Profound Weaves follows a weaver named Uiziya, who’s on the lookout for the grasp weaver to study the ultimate weave. Then there’s a anonymous man who struggles to seek out the place he belongs. The 2 journey collectively to seek out Benesret — however there’s a value for what they need out of Benesret, and it might be too excessive for them to pay.


In search of extra fantastical tales? Head over to our SFF archives to seek out all types of lists, quizzes, and essays stuffed with magic.

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