A Smedry Talent is a form of magic where the user changes the world in strange ways. The only people known to possess such Talents are members of House Smedry and their spouses. The Talents are notoriously hard to control and are known to 'get away' from their users, often to dramatic and hilarious effect.
- Allekatrase and Alcatraz can break things. This is known as the Dark Talent as it is very dangerous and hard to control
- Grandpa Smedry, Alcatraz's grandfather, has the power to arrive late to appointments. As such, he is always running behind the clock. But his power also allows him to arrive late to other things, like bullets, which always miss him, and his blood can arrive late to wounds so that he doesn't bleed to death. In his own words "I've been arriving late to my own death for years now."
- Sing can trip and fall to the ground. His tripping is often an early-warning sign of danger and can also be used to create diversions.
- Australia can wake up looking incredibly ugly. In practical terms this means that she wakes up as a doppelganger of whomever she goes to sleep thinking about.
- Quentin speak gibberish or nonsensical phrases. His Talent was beneficial after being captured by the Librarians, as they could not understand him and thus could not gain important information from him, even through torture. His gibberish can also be used to predict future events if interpreted properly.
- Kaz can get lost very easily. He is able to teleport incredible distances instantaneously while he is lost.
- Attica and Shasta can lose things.
- Pattywagon can say inappropriate things at awkward moments.
- Folsom and Himalaya can dance really poorly. The dancing most often appears to take the form of violent fighting.
- Aydee is really bad at math. The catch is that the universe warps to fit her bad math. If she thinks there's four of something and there's really only three, then another one will appear. This is confirmed to be a physical-world talent. She can't create things that don't exist, but moves them around in space to fit her math.
- Alcatraz VII can make annoying noises at inappropriate times. This causes distraction, allowing him to win many Oculator duels.
- Libby can spill copious amounts of water on the floor when she is washing the dishes. She allegedly "single-handedly ended the drought of Kabreeze during the fourth-third century- and she did it while keeping all their dishware sparkling clean."
The Incarnate Wheel
The Incarnate wheel is a way of breaking the talents up into groups. Our first introduction to it is when Kaz explains it to Alcatraz in the second book. It's basically a circle divided into four quadrants for the different talents--Time, Space, Physical-World, and Knowledge.
A time talent is something like Grandpa Smedry's ability to arrive late to things. A space talent is like Kaz's ability to "get lost" and then get found again somewhere else (teleportation). A physical-world talent is like Australia's ability to changer her appearance. A knowledge talent is like Sing's ability to trip when there's going to be danger.
The more powerful, or 'pure' a talent is, the closer it's placed to the center of the wheel. Talents that are vague are more powerful than talents that are specific. For instance, Australia can "wake up ugly" (change her appearance) for a short time after she wakes up, provided she fell asleep thinking about someone. It's very specific, so it's close to the edge of the wheel. Other Smedry's in history had been able to change their appearance whenever the wanted, not just when the woke up, so they would be placed closer to the center.
When Kaz explains the wheel to Alcatraz they get into a discussion about where the breaking talent that Alcatraz has would be placed. Kaz said that's a matter of dispute. Some say it's just a physical-world talent, others say it's something more that affects all four areas (there's legends of Alcatraz the First breaking time and space). Alcatraz later finds an Incarnate wheel made by the Incarna themselves while in Alcatraz the First's tomb, and the Breaking Talent is placed at the very center of the wheel.
- Both Kaz and Aydee's talents are similar to Transporter's Glass
- Australia's talent has a similar function to Disguiser's Lenses