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I am looking for the name of a series of fantasy books that, I read in the early 2000s (not sure on their release date) about a male protagonist who goes to a special temple to learn red magic. Within the world of the book there is black, white and red magic, each with distinct characteristics.

At some point the protagonist has to memorize a mosaic in order to complete one part of his training. I remember the antagonist being a former friend of the main character and also having a snake-arm. Pieces of a special mirror are used to teleport through long distances.

Sorry for the vague details.

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    This sounds VERY similar to the world of Krynn from the Dragonlance D&D setting. They have three moons: red, white, and black, each of which provides magic to people. – Adamant Mar 7 '16 at 8:23
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    Here's a quote from "The Medusa Plague": "The star-shaped mosaic pattern in the summer dining room of Villa Rosad… These symbols reminded Guerrand of the configurations of colorful tiles Justarius required all of his apprentices to memorize through visualization to heighten their awareness of magical patterns." – Adamant Mar 7 '16 at 8:43
  • This sounds like a complete ripoff of Jack Vance's Green Magic short story. – Broklynite Mar 7 '16 at 10:21
  • @Jonah Consider posting that as an answer. – CodesInChaos Mar 8 '16 at 14:21
  • The mirrors sound like/could be the Abyssal portals that play a major role in the second DragonLance trilogy. – Xavon_Wrentaile Nov 26 '17 at 22:59
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As per Jonah's comment above, the colored schools of magic: black, white, and red, map to the Dragonlance universe.

More specifically, The Medusa Plague by Mary Kirchoff apparently contains a relevant quote (emphasis Jonah's):

Book cover

"The star-shaped mosaic pattern in the summer dining room of Villa Rosad… These symbols reminded Guerrand of the configurations of colorful tiles Justarius required all of his apprentices to memorize through visualization to heighten their awareness of magical patterns."

The Goodreads summary includes the following line (emphasis mine):

.... Bram has unwittingly given an evil mage -- once Guerrand's friend, now his archenemy -- the key to destroy the three orders of sorcery.

Also, a Google Books search reveals the following line (emphasis again mine):

"Lyim had never grown used to the looks of revulsion his snake arm drew .... his limb had been replaced by a living snake."

Further searches for keywords like "mirror" reveal that indeed, there are fragments of a mirror being sought that transport one to another realm.

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Sounds similar to the Wheel of Time series .

Rand al'Thor is the main male character who is the Dragon Reborn who gets snake like dragons on his forearms.

There are three main sources of power: male, female and the One power (black).

There are also mirrors that "transport" people.

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    Did Saidan and Saidar have colors associate with them? – FuzzyBoots Mar 7 '16 at 13:09
  • No but the Aes Sedai were separated into colours and Rand was captured by the Reds. The Black power was for the followers of the Evil One – Reuben Mallaby Mar 7 '16 at 13:26
  • -1 I don't think the WoT series fits this very well. For one there isn't 'red' magic, two Rand isn't the antagonist, I don't think the mosaic piece fits, traveling doesn't occur thru a mirror it's a tear in time/space. – kuhl Mar 17 '16 at 2:46
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    Nope, nope, nope. The colour coding of the Aes Sedai involves seven colours, not three. The whole thing is very two-sided (saidar/saidin, Light/Dark, male/female, etc.), not three-sided. There's no "special temple to learn red magic" - the closest equivalent is the White Tower, and no male protagonist goes there to learn. You don't need mirrors for Travelling. Sorry, but this doesn't fit at all. And I should know ;-) – Rand al'Thor Apr 6 '16 at 13:41

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