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I read a fantasy novel years back. I honestly don't remember much of the plot (it was SEVERAL years back) but I remember the magic system that was used. It was possible for an individual to grant portions of their physical and/or mental powers to another person.

For example, a person could grant his/her sight to someone else and spend the rest of their life blind (or with exceedingly poor vision) while the recipient would see twice as well as anyone else. In the book there were whole cities devoted to enhancing the nations army, or a specific person, etc.

Anyone have a thought what this book or series is?

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1 Answer 1

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The Runelords - Book Cover 01 The Runelords - Book Cover 02

Could be "The Runelords" series of books by David Farland.

One reviewer has this to say:

In Farland's world, there exists a magic that allows one person to take a physical or mental quality from another.

For example, a common man can grant his strength to his Runelord, living out his days as weak as a baby, while the Runelord becomes twice as strong. Noble children receive gifts from their subjects at birth: beauty, eyesight, brawn, wit or intelligence, hearing, and so on. In return, the Runelords use their talents to govern their people and defend them in times of danger.

The givers of the gifts, called Dedicates, live in luxury, pampered by full-time attendants -- but without whatever qualities they bestowed upon their lords.

So a woman who gives her beauty to a newborn princess lives out her days as a dried-up hag. A man who bestows his flexibility on his king becomes forever creaky and stiff. A gift of sight leaves one blind; a gift of wit leaves one a drooling idiot.

In the Runelords Universe, the magical system is referred to as ‘Endowments’ - and it certainly fits your bill. But without additional details, it's hard to guess whether you've read any of these books. More on the series here and here.

Does anything look familiar?

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This seems very close to what's been described –  Richard Mar 3 at 9:55
    
@Richard - Thanks. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Just not sure how "unique" the premise is :-) –  rumandwrite Mar 3 at 13:42
    
Is this the one that had creatures called Reavers and the main characters had to infiltrate their base that was miles underground? –  Steven Wood Mar 3 at 15:14
    
@rumandwrite - I don't know of any other magic system that matches the OP as closely as this one. Or even really comes that close. –  Bobson Mar 3 at 17:53
    
@StevenWood aren't you thinking of Serenity? At least, there were Reavers in that. –  terdon Mar 3 at 19:54

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