This series is mostly fantasy fiction, till the end bit. I think I read this story in the mid to late 90's possibly early 2000's

The stones or gems or, the thing they use to gain the powers in the first place are alien in nature and sentient.

There is a man who uses a staff as a focus. He has power of both Water and Air, and using both he can control the weather. There was another, at one time, who controlled both Earth and Fire, but this combination drove him crazy and the weather user had to stop the fire user.

However, the fire user had a son, a weakling with a frail body who (I think) was being forced to take up his fathers powers, to gain the strength and knowledge to be able to control the Earth power, however if I recall correctly, he did not want the boy learning Fire, as he would lose control just like his father did.

As his focus, he eventually took up a sword, which was uncommon for an elemental user, but was told that as long as he holds it, and stores his power within it, it can realistically be whatever he wants it to be.

I dont really remember the meat of the trilogy, just the beginning, bits of the middle, and the end.

In the end, he decided to take on the power of fire, but this indeed proved too much for him to handle and the power was going to go lose. The weather user said that if he lost control, he would break the sword which housed his power, and the boy would die. While struggling to regain control, he ended up falling on more of the gem things, I think taking 12-24 or something into his body instead of the typical 2-4 people use. This was WAY WAY to much and easily overpowered him, and the weather user broke the sword, but all of those gems were sentient, and repaired the damage. To avoid losing control, the boy threatened to kill himself, which would kill all the beings as well. They tried to call his bluff, but the boy was not bluffing. Faced with either dying or becoming subservient, they chose the later, and the boy became the most powerful elemental user of all time (though he still only had the knowledge of Earth and Fire, I always assumed he could do more now)

The book ended with him coming back, unscathed, and meeting with the weather man again, before heading out.

I think the boy had a girlfriend too? Unsure.

  • 3
    Hi Brad. There is no need to hide spoilers in story id questions. It is assumed that the question is going to have to discuss the plot. Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


This may be Janny Wurtz's Cycle of Fire trilogy.

This stout and epic tale mixing fantasy and SF was originally published in the 1980s in mass market in three volumes, Stormwarden, Keeper of the Keys and Shadowfane. Whether those novels have been edited for this edition or not, the joint publication brings out the essential unity of the story. Far in the future, a human-crewed starship crashes on a distant planet, carrying a load of alien POWs taken to help discover the secrets of a deadly foe, the group mind known as the Gierj. In time, the humans revert to a feudal society, the aliens are seen as ""demons"" and the starship's computer survives as a ""magical"" entity known as the Vaere. Two powerful human wizards learn the mental techniques (or magic) of the Vaere, but one, Ivain Firelord, dies mad, and the other, Anskiere Stormwarden, is distrusted and imprisoned. The burden of fighting the Shadowfane, the realm of the demons, falls on Taen Dreamweaver, a fisherman's daughter, and on an orphan boy named Jaric, who is actually Ivain's bastard son. They are in a race against time to master Vaere powers, because the Shadowfane are on the march, and Taen's brother has become a minion of the Shadowfane, known as Maelgrim Dark Dreamer. The race is full of action, splendid scenes of magic (including some terrifying dreams) and engaging secondary characters. It also has many well-handled seafaring scenes (Robin Hobb's Liveship Saga fans, take note) and an amiable, even tender romance subplot. Jaric and Taen are the eventual victors, but not without cost, nor without the possibility of future adventures among the stars and against the Gierj.

The magic gems house malevolent psychic entities, the defeat of which in a mental battle gives you greater strength in magic, but if you fail, they're the ones steering. Jaric is the son of the Firelord (Earth and Fire), who was opposed by the Stormwarden (Air and Water) and is indeed frail. He is controlled by a geas which was put upon his father, and passed on to him when the Stormwarden is imprisoned in ice.

  • Yes this was the series, thank you for helping!
    – Brad M
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 22:17

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