Review: Master of Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy

master of five magics“Master of Five Magics” is an interesting book, if only because it has a very interesting magic system. The plot is that there are five magic systems in the world, each different and each rivaling the others. The hero of the story initially only knows thaumatergy, a magic based on leverage and physics. This is so ordinary that it is regarded not as magic but as a trade. He then, through a series of events, moves on to alchemy, based on probability; then magic, based on ritual; then sorcery, which is of the mind and involves illusion and persuasion; and finally wizardry. He must master each art before advancing to the next. For example, he uses thaumatergy to obtain an alchemical formula in order to gain an apprenticeship to an alchemist. He travels to learn the magics as the kingdom collapses, hoping to gain the title of archmage. It becomes progressively more difficult, though, especially since the wizards have all disappeared, save it for a few who know little more than tricks. Meanwhile, the kingdom progressively begins to fall apart as rebel warlords and southern kings invade, and he must save it through mastering all the magics and discovering the real villain behind the chaos and defeating him.