I read a book 5-10 years ago where there were some wizards/monks/something similar where their success as wizards is limited to their concentration skills which they use to "build" their towers filled with books and artifacts.

The towers are imaginary, but still give them real power and the place where they store their knowledge.

This was an interesting idea, but I can't remember the author or the title or anything else.

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    Did any of this story take place in a frozen environment and have wars between zombies and barbarian tribes? And did the wizard's 'mental' tower have endless rooms which each room held a spell as a way of remembering it? – BadMike01 Aug 10 '13 at 22:21
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    @BadMike01 I'd like the title of that book even if not the one requested. – Tanath Aug 15 '13 at 23:11
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    Please clarify, are we talking about real, physical towers built using mental powers, or abstract, mental constructs that exist only inside the wizard's head? – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Aug 27 '13 at 6:51
  • @Tanath Sara Douglass: Axis trilogy, Wayfarer Redemption trilogy and The Darkglass Mountain Trilogy. I haven't read the first 2 trilogies yet, but the tower appears prominently in the 3rd one (2nd book). – Tonny Jul 7 '14 at 22:01
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    Interestingly, it made me think of both Stephen King's Dreamcatcher and Sherlock's 'Mind Palace.' -- it's a very old idea, tho -- The ancient Greeks and Romans both know of this technique. – K-H-W Aug 17 '18 at 21:07

Tondelo, one the the users of the Dark Dweomer in "Darkspell" by Katherine Kerr constructs "memory palaces" similar to what's been described in other answers (and in the current BBC TV series 'Sherlock'.)

In this sequel to her first novel, "Daggerspell", the author returns to the extraordinary world of Deverry and to the three enchanting characters whose poignant love transcends the boundaries of time and even death.

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  • I know I've read this book so this might be it, but i'm not completely sure. I'll reread the book and mark the answer – Fredrik Mar 21 '18 at 23:32
  • Why is @TheLethalCarrot adding descriptions of the books to the answers? How is that constructive/helpful? – Aurelius Aug 18 '18 at 4:23
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    @Aurelius: I think they are trying to add context in the way that we often do with "name only" or "link only" answers. TheLethalCarrot? – FuzzyBoots Aug 18 '18 at 4:28

Perhaps the Disciples of Aldur from The Belgariad/The Malloreon - they used the power of the Will and the Word. Sorry but I don't have any of the texts with me though, but from memory each sorcerer built his own tower with his mind.

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    Not entirely correct: They envisioned the tower and then build the real thing using magic to replace labor. – Tonny Jul 7 '14 at 22:00
  • This might be it, but i'm not completely sure. I'll reread the book and mark the answer – Fredrik Mar 21 '18 at 23:31

A minor but memorable feature of John Crowley's 1981 fantasy novel "Little, Big" is that one of the characters, Ariel Hawksquill, practices a form of "magic" whose chief feature is constructing buildings in the mind.

Ariel Hawksquill, greatest mage of this age of the world... Her one Great Art, and it was all she needed... The Art of Memory...

Little, Big - Book Three, Chapter IV

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    Which he got off of the historical use of 'memory palaces.' – Lexible Dec 31 '14 at 18:57
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    @TheLethalCarrot - I reverted your edit. The addition didn't seem relevant, wasn't cited, and pulled in a downvote. – Chris Sunami supports Monica Aug 18 '18 at 3:46
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    @ChrisSunami - Could you add a quote (or a blurb) that shows that this is the right answer – Valorum Aug 18 '18 at 13:22

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