The Magic of Recluse by L.E. Modesitt Jr (Special 20th Anniversary Edition)
Guest Review by: Megan B.
Copy from: Publisher
Official Summary: The Magic of Recluce is a carefully-plotted fantasy novel of character about the growth and education of a young magician. In it, Modesitt confronts real moral issues with gripping force, builds atmosphere slowly and convincingly and gives his central character, Lerris, real intellectual challenges. This is the kind of highly-rationalized fantasy that Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson write when they write fantasy, colorful and detailed.
He is given the standard two options: permanent exile from Recluce or the dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden wanderjahr in the lands beyond Recluce with the aim of learning how the world works and what his place in it might be. Many do not survive. He chooses dangergeld.
Though magic is rarely discussed openly in Recluce, it becomes clear, when Lerris is sent into intensive training for his quest, that he has a natural talent for it during his weapons lessons. And he will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked. He must learn to use his powers in an orderly way or fall prey to Chaos.
Lerris may resent order, but he has no difficulty choosing good over evil. As he begins his lonely journey, he falls into the company of a gray magician, once of Recluce, who tutors him in the use of magic and shows him some of the devastation caused by the Chaos Wizards in the great wars between Chaos and Order of past times.
Lerris pursues a quest for knowledge and power that leads him across strange lands, through the ghostly ruins of the old capitol of Chaos, down the white roads of the Chaos Wizards to a final battle with the archenemy of Order, discovering in the end true control of magic, true love, and the beginning of true wisdom. An epic adventure, The Magic of Recluce0, is a triumph of fantasy.
The Magic of Recluce is the first book of the saga of Recluce.
Review: After reading L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s The Magic of Recluse, I could understand how it spawned a sixteen book long saga. It’s a fresh interpretation of the stereotypical fantasy novel. There were a few things that bothered me though. First, the story starts off rather slowly and left me as bored as the protagonist. The story didn’t really pick up until Chapter 6.
The other nuisance I had with the book was the protagonist’s ogling of every female he met. Minor problems with the book aside, The Magic of Recluse is rather fascinating in its unusual take on magic and its compelling plot. This book is a good choice if you’re bored with generic fantasies and want something a little different.
Recommended for ages 14+.