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Literature / Salamander

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"Let us begin with what everyone knows about magery. Mages have magic; common folk do not. What makes a truly great mage is power, the ability to set a forest on fire or freeze a lake. Mages train, as apprentices with one master or students with many, in order to learn to increase their power. The power of mages comes from the elementals - salamanders for fire, sylphs for air, and the rest. Elementals know mages by their names. Hence, giving a child the name of a past mage gives him easier access to that mage's elemental.

Every one of the facts I have just listed is false."

A fantasy novel by economist and omnienthusiast David Friedman. The story is set in a world where everyone has some magical talent, but magic is always very weak, at the time when the Laws of Magic are just starting to be formulated. The plot centers around Ellen, a new student at a School of Magic. She meets the young theorist Coelus, one of the masters at the academy. He's working on a new kind of spell - 'The Cascade' - which could grant vast power to whoever uses it. Ellen is drawn into both the politics surrounding the Cascade and the mystery of the Salamander.

This description does not do the book justice. Can be purchased for Amazon Kindle here.

Not to be confused with the game in the Gradius series, or the Belgian-made TV series about criminal and political skullduggery, or the first book of the Salamanders series.

Salamander provides examples of: