By reading the cycle, I very much liked Paolini's conception of magic, illustrated in the scene where Eragon was told to get the power for lifting the stone out of his surrounding and has been shocked by feeling how one ant after another dies.

The lesson to be learned was that magic is "fueled" by the energy of life itself and this resource can be exhausted which leads to death. So basically, the superhumanity is bounded to a material source and compatible with a concept of continuity of energy, i.e. basic physical conceptions. A difference e.g. from Star Wars' Force, as I understand it.

Are there other books/works/authors that promote similar conceptions?

  • The only conceptions of magic I remember from that series were the cringeworthy references to nuclear warfare. – ibid Jan 12 '16 at 18:39
  • Well there was basically performing fission on oneself which apparently throws out some rads – IG_42 Jan 12 '16 at 18:53
  • A fanfiction I read treated the magic in the IC as it really is: advanced thermodynamics. There are some similar conceptions of advanced thermodynamics in most animes that use magic: Naruto and most of the Isekai. – Jun 14 '20 at 16:45
  • Also you may want to try the Chronicles of the Black Magician and the Trilogy of the Traitor Spy, by Trudy Carnavan. – Jun 16 '20 at 6:58