What is magic? I mean, what is it?
I've been thinking about this question a lot lately, as newer books get deeper into the magic of the Resonant Saga, and I spend my few idle fruit-season moments reading classic fantasy (the Wheel of Time ). I mean yeah, magic is people throwing fireballs or disappearing or whatever, but what is it? Where does it come from in these worlds that otherwise have gravity and thermodynamics and our other laws of physics?
The answers in my favorite novels growing up never felt good enough-- "they forged these cool rings using magic," or "some people are born magical," or even "the world itself is magic." I would still be left wondering why. Why was everything else basically the same, but some people could fly?
So when this itch to write fantasy grew from an idle tickle on a two-month-long bike ride to a raging mosquito bite in grad school, I realized part of that itch was knowing I could finally answer that question, in my own books at least.
Um, I can hear you saying, I still don't know where magic comes from in your books. From winter plants?
Yes... but no. Plants that grow in winter have lots of uai, the magic calorie needed to fuel resonances. That's where their magic comes from.
Mkay... but what's uai then?
Uai is the winter-food version of the starches and sugars we digest in regular sun-foods. Think of it like magical calories, powering resonances instead of muscles.
Yeah, but where does that come from?
Uai is what winter plants make out of the star's light. If you've read book three, you'll know that in the south (where Ayugen is) in wintertime, there's not much sunlight and a whole lot of starlight (imagine winter in Antactica, but in a binary star system where the dimmer star shines instead of darkness). Winter plants don't grow much in Worldsmouth (along the equator), so it's no surprise that people there don't have much cultural understanding or experience with resonances--they've got nothing to eat to get uai. The Achuri and other southern peoples, on the other hand, basically live on the stuff half the year . Which is too bad for them, because it tastes bad and it means their internal voices are a lot stronger than in the north.
OK, so winter plants make magic calories out of the dimmer star's light. so... the star is magic?
[clears throat] And here we get into spoiler territory. Yes, the star is magic... sort of...
And I have to leave it at that! But suffice it to say that the dimmer star, a binary twin in the Resonant Saga world, is their ultimate source of magic. Just like other stars offer other powers in my two unpublished series, The Cursed and The Deluge Chronicles. And there are reasons those stars are magical...
But enough of this spoilerific stuff! I get a lot of questions on how exactly the magic works in my books, so hopefully this made it a little clearer: it's stars. Magic Stars.
Sounds like a cereal my parents wouldn't let me eat.
[This post originally sent as an email to my newsletter group. For more like it, and a free Resonant Saga novella only available to subscribers, click here]
 And no, not in preparation for the Amazon series. Excited as I am for that, you don't read a series as long as WoT in preparation for anything. You read it as a kind of life achievement. And because one of your favorite authors finished it, in my case.
 Even if it tastes awful--again, see book three.
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