dfordoom (dfordoom) wrote in fantasywithbite,

the cost of magic

One of the things I liked about Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana, and also most of Tim Powers’ fantasy novels, is that magic is either difficult to do or it imposes a heavy cost on the magic user. This has the advantage of making magic less than all-powerful and therefore means the author cannot easily use magic to get out of plot difficulties.

What fantasy novels in this category, where magic is not easy to use, have you particularly enjoyed?

  • The Black Fire Concerto, by Mike Allen

    A post-apocalytic dark fantasy about a twelve-year-old harper. Haunted Stars Publishing, 2013, 185 pages The Red Empress is the only home…

  • Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson

    A hacker in an unnamed Middle Eastern country accidentally starts a revolution, with a little help from djinn. Grove Press, 2012, 320 pages…

  • Nightwise, by R.S. Belcher

    A grimdark modern sorcerer fights grimdark villains grimdarkly in this grimdark urban fantasy. Tor, 2015, 320 pages In the more shadowy…

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