Why Magic Doesn’t Have To Make Sense

I found this article through Tor.com, but I’ll link to the original on N. K. Jemisin’s own site here. It’s a superb argument against the dogmatic need for a magic ‘system’ in fantasy worlds – well worth a read.

I couldn’t agree with her more. My favourite fantasy of all time is Steven Erikson’s Malazan books, and the magic in that is absolutely batshit insane – almost every race has their own particular kind of magic, and they clash in utterly unpredictable ways, any of which might end up destroying the surrounding area (or entire world in some cases). Which means when there’s a conflict every forty pages you can rarely guess how it’s going to pan out. Who wins in a fight between a Jaghut and a T’lan Imass? (No-one, basically, but that’s another story.)

I should really get around to reading Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms soon, as well. And how good is this cover?!