Synopses & Reviews
With The Magic of Recluce
, L.E. Modesitt made his impressive hardcover debut, breaking out in wide scope and grand scale with a novel in the great tradition of the war between good and evil in a wonderful fantasy world. Modesitt had been producing fast-paced, slickly-written novels of SF adventure, often compared to the work of Keith Laumer and Gordon R. Dickson. Then, in his biggest and best book yet, he broadened his canvas and turned to fantasy and magic, stepping immediately into the front rank of contemporary fantasy writers.
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.
"Fascinating! A big, exciting novel of the battle between good and evil, and the path between." --Gordon R. Dickson
"A complex world based on a plausible system of magic and peopled with engaging and realistic characters." --Publishers Weekly
"Entwining issues of magic with maturation, Modesitt's thoughtful coming-of-age tale is adorned with a finely drawn, down-to-earth yet dangerous world, and an intriguingly ambiguous view of how good and evil interact." --Carole Nelson Douglas, author of Probe
"Extremely interesting...unique...I would say that this is a refreshing use of the traditional fantasy elements. Thank you for the chance to read it." --Andre Norton, author of The Witch World series
"An intriguing fantasy in a fascinating world, with characters who catch you up. Modesitt presents and interesting study of Chaos versus Order, Good versus Evil...and the attractions each of them has for all of us." --Robert Jordan, author of The Eye of the World
Praise for The Magic of Recluce:
“Extremely interesting…unique…a refreshing use of the traditional fantasy elements.”
“An intriguing fantasy in a fascinating world, with characters that catch you up. Modesitt presents an interesting study of Chaos versus Order, Good versus Evil…and the attractions each of them has for all of us.”
Lerris, the young magician, realizes the full potential of his skills when he engages in a conflict with the great Chaos wizard, Antonin. In the process, he becomes the greatest of all magicians. Gordon R. Dickson calls it, "A big, exciting novel of the battle between good and evil, and the path between".
An epic adventure world that has so far spanned fifteen novels and has run for twenty years was launched in The Magic of Recluce
, a triumph of fantasy. Young Lerris is dissatisfied with his life and trade, and yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. But in Recluce a change in circumstances means taking one of 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. Lerris chooses dangergeld.
When Lerris is sent into intensive training for his quest, it soon becomes clear that he has a natural talent for magic. And he will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked. Though it goes against all of his instincts, Lerris must learn to use his powers in an orderly way before his wanderjahr, or fall prey to Chaos.
This twentieth anniversary edition will feature an all-new cover and include the Recluce map, plus a new foreword from the author.
About the Author
L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes Adiamante, the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and Archform: Beauty. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.