Top 5 Tuesday: Magic Systems

Happy Tuesday, book friends! It’s back to work for me today after my long weekend away. That also means settling back into my routines, which include blogging on a semi-regular schedule.

Today, I’m back with another Top 5 Tuesday. Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Bionic Bookworm, now hosted by Meeghan Reads. If you’re interested in participating, check out their blog to get the details and the prompts for each week.

This week, I’ve triple checked the date and am back on schedule with the topic for July 19th–top 5 magic systems! I read a lot of magical books when I was younger but haven’t read as many in recent years, so this may be a bit of a challenging topic. Still, I think I’m up to the task, so let’s dig in!

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

This is possibly my favorite magical system I’ve read ever, let alone recently. In this universe, witches are atuned to particular seasons and have magic that aligns with the weather patterns of those seasons. The issue? Global warming means witches are being asked to control and deal with weather that doesn’t typically fit into their season and which they aren’t as adept at managing. Super interesting take on magic and the interplay between non-magical people and witches.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

All people have the capacity for a bit of magic in this universe, if they only have the words, the will, and the ways. Spells linger in stories and whispers, but witchcraft itself has been outlawed. Three sisters are trying to gather up the words and the ways to bring witchcraft back so women can reclaim their power. A compelling, feminist angle on magic.

The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

Women who have magic are told they must learn to control it, siphon it off into household tasks and chores, else it consume them. This magic school isn’t so much a fantasy as it is a prison where young women’s wings are clipped. Really interesting twist on the magic school trope, and much darker a book than I anticipated.

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

This book is basically Triwizard Tournament meets John Tucker Must Die, but make it gay. The magic system here is centered on a town where magic thrives. If the witches move away, their magic withers. Each of the magical families is more adept with a particular type of magic and each year, they compete for the honor of being the top family in town.

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Am I cheating a tiny smidge to pull in one of my favorite books from childhood? Perhaps. In the world of the Kesha’Ra it’s not so much a magic system as a society of shapeshifters. But, I’d consider being able to shapeshift to be magic, and I love the way Atwater-Rhodes gives each of the shapeshifting cultures their own flavor and qualities. It’s such an engrossing world of fantasy and one I love to revisit.


Those are my five picks for the week! Most of them new with a little blast from the past to keep things interesting. I read most of these during my witchy-themed reading month in October of last year, and this post has made me excited to do my spooky-themed October reading again this year.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of the magic systems?