I had an email this week from one of my readers asking why (in the Frozen Flame series) the mages didn’t use Water Magic to flood a river or fire to light up the ground. Both good ideas, but ones that just won’t work using the magic system that exists in my books.
Magic, in the world of Eiddenwerthe, calls upon a limited inner power possessed by spellcasters. This magic, though powerful when used against individuals, cannot perform miracles. Natalia, who is touted as being extremely powerful, still has limitations, chief of which is the inability to produce things out of thin air.
In Ashes, she manages to fill a bathtub with water, but it takes multiple castings of her spell. This has more to do with volume than anything else. Freezing water is, relatively speaking, easy as it is only the surface of the water that is frozen. On the other hand, holding back a stream would be quite a different matter, requiring her to keep the water somewhere, creating a dam of sorts, building up the water over a long period of time.
So why did I place such limitations on magic? I have nothing against powerful magic in books, but I wanted my books to place the emphasis on individual actions, not just a group of powerful mages. If a spellcaster were able to wipe out whole armies, why arm men in the first place?
For the record, I also developed this magic system as a role-playing game, giving it a consistent ‘science’ to explain its effects. Writing this blog post has got me wondering about something though. Who is the more powerful mage—Natalia (from The Frozen Flame), or Albreda (from Heir to the Crown)?
Until next time, happy reading!
Paul Bennett, Writer of Epic Fantasy Adventures.