A magic user is any organism with the ability to actively use or manipulate magic.
Dragons were considered to be the original users of magic. Their magic is not limited by the Ancient Language since the structure of their minds prevents any danger from distraction and as such, is more powerful and inexplicable than that used by other species. Dragons used magic to breathe fire and to fly, but they otherwise had no true control over the magic they wrought, a prime example being the dragon Saphira repairing Isidar Mithrim. However, on the rare occasions that dragons do use magic, it happens when they experience or feel something extremely emotional or experience a great emotional need or desperation, like when Saphira transformed Brom's tomb into diamond. However, as even the dragons do not understand the full nature of their abilities they cannot be limited to such instances. Dragons also require Magic to live.
By extension of their bond with a dragon, a Rider was granted the ability to use magic and cast powerful spells outside the limits of most normal magicians thanks to the possibility of their dragon lending them strength (one can imagine how much strength a being the size of a dragon may have). Additionally, Rider magic was powerful even without the aid of a dragon - Eragon was said to be more powerful than the most powerful members of Du Vrangr Gata.
When they bonded with a dragon, a Rider received the gedwëy ignasia, which was a mark on their hand through which they channeled their power. Usage of the other hand was possible: however, it was significantly more difficult than that of the hand bearing the gedwëy ignasia.
See Dragon Riders.
Elves were considered an inherently magical race, due partially to their bond with the dragons. Thus, the magic of the elves outstrips that used by Dwarves or Humans, though is normally weaker than that of a mature Rider and pales in comparison to that of a dragon.
The culture of the Elven race is said to be highly regarded by all other species, though this may be untrue with the Dwarves. When they work together, Elves may accomplish very powerful magic. An example is how well the forest of Du Weldenvarden is guarded from outside attacks. Dragons are not even able to fly over it without losing the capability of flight and falling to the trees below.
Magicians were people born with a natural ability to manipulate magic. However each person's capabilities of utilizing this ability differs wildly. As seen that most of Du Vrangr Gata have difficulty casting spells those who find the ability difficult in the extreme tend to become witches or wizards so they may make up their weak ability with objects and plants that are magical in and of themselves. Angela herself has admitted to this when Eragon was attempting to remove his blessing from Elva.
One should not confuse the term "spellweaver" as different from "magician", as it is simply another word for the same thing.
A Shade was a sorcerer who summoned spirits he or she couldn't control, thus becoming possessed by them. When a Shade is created, their skin turns pale and their eyes and hair become dark red.
Shades are the amongst the finest spellcasters to be found, due to their connection with spirits. In aid to their exceptional magic comes superhuman physical abilities, including strength and manual skill.
Sorcerers and Sorceresses
Sorcerers is a term for a magician who uses spirits to accomplish magic that is beyond the individual as spirits are powerful beings. If a sorcerer summoned a spirit or spirits which were too powerful for them to control, the spirits would possess them and the sorcerer would become a Shade.
Witches and wizards receive their magical powers through the concoction of various potions and elixirs. Witches also have the ability to read people's fortunes. The common practice was to look into a crystal ball, but Angela has said that this doesn't really work. To read someone's true future, you must cast the knuckle bones of a dragon, which contain true magic. Each bone represents a different symbol and depending on how the bones are arranged when they fall, the symbols will reveal your future.
Known witches and wizards: Angela
Spirits are incorporeal beings found throughout the land. They are described looking like orbs of glowing energy. Aside from their peculiar nature, they are the pinnacle of magical power in Alagaësia, capable of incredibly strong and delicate spells, exemplified when a spirit turned a lily into Gold and crystal for Eragon, while maintaining its life.
The Grey Folk were the first species to use magic but instead of using the Ancient language to utilize magic, they used their thoughts. However, as their spellcasting was difficult and unpredictable, they bonded magic to their own language. They paid the price of such sorcery by vanishing from the land.