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A mage is a term used to describe a human magic user in both the Tortallan Universe and the Circle Universe.

Tortallan Universe

Types of magic

In the Tortallan Universe there are two main types of magic that humans use. The more common one is the Gift, which was given to the humans by the gods. The Sight is also a form of the Gift, and depending on the level of power in a person with the Sight, they can see godhood, pregnancy, poison, other magics, etc. The Gift can be used to have an overall effect, or there can be a specific specialty.

The other main type of magic is wild magic, where a person's power is inherently in nature. Wild magic is usually connected to animals or other living species.

Levels of Power

Gifted mages usually require learning, meditation, and other such things to build their power as their magic comes from themselves instead of the world around them. Mages who study at the universities and temples like the Carthaki University or the City of the Gods have incentives to build up their power. These incentives are in the types of robes and levels of freedom that a mage receives. Black robe mages are considered to be the most powerful of all, but mages who receive this must abide by the laws put in place for mages by the universities.

For wild magic, it is more difficult to measure levels of power, but still possible.

Limitations of power

An obvious limitation for those with the Gift or the Sight is that all the magic must come from within, making the magic that the mage does directly connected with their strength and endurance while practicing magic.

A limitation for wild magic is that it is not all-purpose. For example, Daine cannot heal humans, but can only heal animals, even though healing humans and animals takes the same sort of power in the Gift.

Known mages

200s HE

A list of mages in the 200s HE.

400s HE

A list of mages in the 400s HE.

Circle Universe

Types of magic

In the Circle Universe, a mage also refers to a human magic user. In this universe, it is more clear-cut, as the Tortallan Universe has slews of Immortals and gods who also are capable of using magic. They have two main types of magic: academic magic and ambient magic. Academic magic, like the Gift, is power that is inside the self. It must be built up with learning and meditation in order to achieve maximum potential. Ambient magic is the rough equivalent of wild magic, except more types of ambient magic are found in the Circle Universe, while in the Tortallan Universe, the only main types seen are those with animals. Ambient magic can be with plants, thread, metal, weather, cooking, etc. and only means that the mage's power is found in those things. An ambient mage can also be capable of using academic magic, such is the case with Trisana Chandler.


Mages appear in all books of both the Circle Universe and the Tortallan Universe written by Tamora Pierce.

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