In the Alex Verus (TVTropes page) series of books, there are people with the talent to wield magic, ranging from full mages who can use many spells within their given domains to Adepts who can handle only one spell to Sensitives who are aware of magic but can't do much about it to Normals, people with no magical talent at all. I recently binged through all eight books on audiobook, and it struck me that I couldn't remember a case where a magician was acknowledged as having a child, let alone said child having magic themselves.

I have a sneaking suspicion this might be covered in one of the Encyclopaedia Arcana or Ask Luna entries on the author's website, but I haven't found it yet.


This was indeed addressed on the author's website.

Q. Is the magic trait genetic?

Benedict Jacka: Magic’s partially genetic. The child of two mages/adepts is a lot more likely to be a mage or an adept themselves, but most mages and adepts come from parents with no magical ability at all.


  • As to the ultimate origin, I've not been able to find anything other than that adepts and mages are at the very right of the bell-curve, with normals making up 90% of the curve and sensitives making up the next 9.99% – Valorum Aug 14 '18 at 23:05
  • Ah, thank you. I had some thought in the back of my mind that he had not addressed it, or even had set things up such that being a magician meant sacrificing progeny. In retrospect, though, the third book involves a mage who's carrying on the rituals of her long (un)dead father. facepalm – FuzzyBoots Aug 14 '18 at 23:51
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    @FuzzyBoots - There's mention that curses can be bound to DNA indelibly. – Valorum Aug 14 '18 at 23:59

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