Lyndon Hardy is an American fantasy author.
He wrote a loosely-linked fantasy trilogy set in a world with five magical systems: Thaumaturgy (Sympathetic Magic), Alchemy (magic potions), Magic (creation of new Ancient Artifacts), Sorcery (Mind Manipulation), and Wizardry (Summoning Ritual). Each of the novels has a different protagonist; the titles are: Master of the Five Magics, Secret of the Sixth Magic, and Riddle of the Seven Realms.
Lyndon Hardy's works provide examples of:
- Achievements in Ignorance: In Riddle of the Seven Realms, the protagonists fly suspended beneath a balloon made out of lead. Astron, a demon to whom the human world's physics is new and fascinating, had simply improvised a substitute when the conveyance's original balloon was punctured by arrows, unaware that a "lead balloon" was considered preposterous by humans.
- Anachronism Stew: Secret of the Sixth Magic has an in-universe example (involving another world's history) -- the sorcerer Farnel is said to have lost out in competitions against other illusion-crafters, because his simulations of famous historical events succumbed to Anachronism Stew. Apparently this trope isn't just universal, it's multiversal.
- Apocalypse How: The antagonist in Riddle of the Seven Realms is aiming for Class X-5: Multi-universal Destruction.
- Bishonen Line: In Master of the Five Magics, the Demons have a hierarchy of power. The least powerful are near human, but they grow larger and more bizarrely monstrous as they become more potent. The Archdemon, however, has the form of a lightly built human male.
- Born Lucky: In the world of the aleators from Riddle of the Seven Realms, luck is a literal commodity which powerful individuals have managed to hoard for themselves. It's also a finite natural resource, so the hoarding of vast quantities of luck by such people means that everyone else in that world is Born Unlucky by default, and must exercise extreme caution just to make it though a day alive.
- Dead Little Sister: Jemidon from Secret of the Sixth Magic is haunted by the memory of his Dead Little Sister, who wouldn't have died if the gold coin his parents gave him to pay for his test as a would-be thaumatuge had been spent on medicine instead. He failed the test, and both he and his parents blame him for her death ... which is insane, because he was only ten when his folks urged him to get tested, and they're the ones who'd set ambition for one child above the life of another.
- Deal with the Devil: Wizardry averts this due to the Law of Dichotomy. You can't deal with a demon, you have to overpower it by force of will or become its slave. There is no middle ground.
- Eyes of Gold: In Master of the Five Magics, the "sorcerer's eye" is a mysterious magical item in the form of a crystal sphere, in which a single closed eye is seen to float unsupported. When in use, the eye within the sphere opens, revealing its golden iris.
- Freaky Friday Flip: Happens to the male heroes of Riddle of the Seven Realms, as a side effect of a time/space-warping magical weapon. Unusual in that it's done neither for social commentary nor comedy; rather, it gives the djinn hero a chance to experience life as a human, and vice versa.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The protagonist of Master of the Five Magics learns the use of his world's five known types of magic over the course of the novel, and needs to use all five in combination to win in the end.
- Magic A Is Magic A: Though the rules themselves can change, each magical system is itself internally consistent.
- The Magic Goes Away: Subverted in Secret of the Sixth Magic, in which it seems that the five known forms of magic are ceasing to operate. It turns out that they aren't vanishing; rather, a "metamagician" from another world is shifting the rules under which they operate, forcing magic-users to rediscover how to invoke their powers.
- Mind Manipulation: Sorcery, the fourth magic, involves mind manipulation in its many forms and applications.
- Mutually Exclusive Magic: In Master of the Five Magics, no one in the world believes that anyone can learn more than one type of magic, but Alodar not only learns the basics of all five, he manages to combine them.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Inverted in Secret of the Sixth Magic, in which Jemidon is the one person who can't handle an enchanted sword or pull it out of the ground. This is a clue Jemidon is a metamagician: someone who can't personally use magic, but can enhance magical abilities in others and manipulate the rules governing magical effects.
- Picky People Eater: The skyskirr from Secret of the Sixth Magic subsist on bone marrow, which they can somehow drain from living creatures' limbs without necessarily killing them.
- Random Number God: In-universe example. Alchemical formulae only work when "the random factors align," so alchemists often try hundreds of times to make a single working formula. Alodar's cunning allowed him to weed out a lot of these random factors and produce his heat-resistance cream reliably.
- Sealed Evil in a Duel: Seemingly the only way to defeat the antagonist in Riddle of the Seven Realms.
- So Beautiful It's a Curse: One of the characters in Riddle of the Seven Realms. She ends up in a relationship with Astron, a demon (albeit a nice one), because he's the only one who she believes can love her for herself.
- Sympathetic Magic: Thaumaturgy, the first magic.
- Taken for Granite: In Master of the Five Magics, a minor antagonist steals a heat-resistant ointment from the hero's mentor, slathers himself with an extra-thick coating, then taunts the hero for not having enough as they both venture into the heart of a volcano. He's Hoist by His Own Petard when the extra-thick coating fails to burn off properly as its protective power is expended... and then solidifies, trapping him in an unbreakable, suffocating shell.
- The Walls Are Closing In: In Secret of the Sixth Magic, debtors in the city of Pluton are condemned to death if no one will pay off their creditors to buy them as slaves. This being a fantasy world, the method of execution is magic-powered: they're sealed inside an unbreakable cube, which then magically gets smaller... and smaller... and smaller.
- Un-Equal Rites: In the first book, the five crafts are treated differently. Thaumaturgy is a profession, alchemy is an industry, magic is controlled by The Order, sorcerers are feared but valued independent agents, and wizards are carnival tricksters... but old-school wizards were on a level with kings, if not above them.
- Unstoppable Rage: Sorcery can be used to incite this.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: In Riddle of the Seven Realms, it is revealed that demons adopt various hobbies to avoid succumbing to this trope.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Happens repeatedly to the protagonist of Master of the Five Magics: each time he risks it all to learn of a new kind of magic, a rival swoops in and gloms all the profits, leaving him with nothing but a clue to the next style of magic-use.