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As a child I read a book series. It was about wizards and magic and consisted of many, many volumes. I hardly remember anything of it, apart from there being one forbidden spell: the spell for someone else to not be, or to become undone - I'm not sure anymore. However, at some point someone cast that spell and he himself became undone.

Does anyone know the name of this series? I'd love to read it again.

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3 Answers 3

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It seems quite like that you're referring to David Eddings' The Belgariad, a five-part series later followed by another five-part sequel series, The Mallorean.

Magic in the Belgariad is called "The Will and the Word", and a sorcerer can direct his will and speak a word to cause a magical effect to happen. However, there are limitations caused by the cosmic source of the power - if you try to make something not be, the power will rebound on you and destroy you, instead.

This is explained by the sorcerer Belgarath in book 2. Queen of Sorcery:

"Why don't you just wave your hand and make him disappear?" Barak suggested, making a sort of gesture with his thick fingers.

Wolf shook his head. "I can't. Not even the Gods can do that." [...] When you try to unmake something, your will simply recoils on you. If you say, `Be not,' then you are the one who vanishes. That's why we're very careful about what we say."

In the end of Book 3, Magician's Gambit, the evil sorcerer Ctuchik panics during a magical battle with Belgarath and utters the forbidden word:

The Grolim's voice was a hoarse shriek. "Be not!" he cried out desperately, directing all his terrible power at the stone in the little boy's hands. [...] Ctuchik, his long hair and beard disheveled, stood gaping in wideeyed and openmouthed horror. "I didn't mean it!" he howled. "I didn't - I-" [...] Then he seemed to expand, then contract, then expand again. Cracks appeared on his face as if he had suddenly solidified into stone and the stone was disintegrating under the awful force welling up within him. [...] And then, with a shattering sound that was beyond noise, the Disciple of Torak exploded into nothingness.

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That's it! Thank you! –  Luc van Donkersgoed Aug 26 at 19:31
    
Started out so good and then just became to long. –  AquaAlex Aug 27 at 8:48
    
@AquaAlex it was pretty good the whole way through. But then he wrote the same story again about seven times with the character names changed ( sometimes ) and it got rather repetitive. –  glenatron Aug 27 at 10:14
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Belgariad was ok, Malorean was getting too much :-D and then lets not talk about the rest of the books :-D It is same with the Riftwar Saga (Raymond E. Feist),the initial book Magician was brilliant gripping stuff and then it slowly but surely got way over the top. –  AquaAlex Aug 27 at 11:39

Wheel of Time series has many volumes (and each is huge). It has magic and there is a spell (a weave, as it is called in that world) that removes whatever it touches from ever existing. The world calls it removing something/someone from the "pattern." In the first few books it is considered forbidden, as the damage to the "pattern" is too great. Later in the series, the spell is used sparingly by a few different characters.

I do not, however, remember anyone using said spell and unweaving himself. Still, if it sounds familiar, give it a quick glance.

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That could be it, I'll look in to it! At least this series was translated to Dutch, which was what I read.. I hope you're right! –  Luc van Donkersgoed Aug 26 at 19:10
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Balefire was a lot more than simply causing someone to no longer be, it removed everything it touched from existence starting some period of time before the spell was cast. I think he read a different story. –  Mooing Duck Aug 26 at 23:32

There are likely many works that fit that bill. One of the earliest works in Ursula le Guin's Earthsea series was a short story called "The Word of Unbinding" (collected in The Wind's Twelve Quarters) about the wizard Festin who is trapped underground in a well or cave by an evil wizard-hunting mage. Festin takes on this forbidden magic in an attempt to escape and overcome his enemy.

This was not transformation. He was not changed. His body, the long legs and arms, the clever hands, the eyes that had liked to look on trees and streams, lay unchanged, only still and full of cold. But the walls were gone. The vaults built by magic were gone, and the rooms and towers; and the forest, and the sea, and the sky of evening. They were all gone, and Festin went slowly down the far slope of the hill of being, under new stars.

In life he had great power; so here he did not forget. Like a candle flame he moved in the darkness of the wider land. And remembering he called out his enemy's name: "Voll!"

Called, unable to withstand, Voll came towards him...

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I guess there could be many works.. But Avner provided me with the right answer within an hour, so maybe not that many ;) –  Luc van Donkersgoed Aug 26 at 23:21

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