Magic of Recluce, The by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

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Book Information  
AuthorL.E. Modesitt Jr.
TitleMagic of Recluce, The
SeriesSaga of Recluce
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Anonymous 
(Oct 19, 2003)

Much like people in the real world, Lerris -- the protagonist of the Magic of Recluce -- doesn't have some ultimate quest to save the world laid out for him in the early chapters. Nor does he have a company of friends or wise counsellors to advise and accompany him. The quest in The Magic of Recluce is this: grow up, and do it on your own. And that is what we watch Lerris do throughout this book.

Sure there's the ultimate showdown between good and evil, er, Chaos and Order, but through most of the novel it's obvious that Lerris doesn't have a plan. The kid is just living life: relying on the resources available to him to survive. And that is the compelling thing about the novel.

The not so detracting elements of this novel include but are not limited to the following: the contrived conflict between order and chaos, the supporting characters -- primarily the women -- who seem to be carved from an exceptionally flimsy strain of balsa wood, and Mr. Modesitt's tendency to waste a lot of ink describing insignificant details such as the number, size and placement of benches in a room.

And please, to all fantasy authors, if there is one thing to be learned from Tolkien, it is that one can successfuly render a fantasy world without resorting to archaic and/or fabricated units of measure, as Modesitt does with his use of cubits, kays (kilometers?) and the most grating of all: "eightdays" instead of weeks.

Submitted by Karim 
(Oct 19, 2003)

The Magic of Recluce is an enthralling book that contains a lot of comparisons to real life and beyond. However the book has a movie type feel in a sense that Lerris turns from a zero to a hero.

A lot of people are, at least in accordance of my observation puzzled at why Lerris figures out that Justen is his Uncle. He figures this out by thinking backwards to when two Wizards burned down Fairhaven. The only two wizards he could date back to that time could be Justen, and by figuring out that his father is a temple master, he puts the two together and figures it out.

Anyways, I believe this book is worth reading, and that the surroundings are well described, and this is all because of the ingenious idea that Modesitt thought of at putting Lerris in an apprentice ship.

Submitted by Christopher Ware
(May 15, 2001)

This book had an interesting plot and storyline. Modesitt's unique study of the relationships between good/evil and order/chaos set the book apart from other fantasy books. One of the major problems I had with this book was that some stuff didn't make sense. I mean, characters kept talking about "blackstaffs", but it was never explained what they were. Also, how did Lerris, the main character, figure out some of the feats of magic that he performed without anyone teaching him? I can't possibly be intuitive based on how the magic system was being explained. Lerris also seemed arrive at conclusions that, to me, seemed impossible to reach. For example, all of a sudden he "realizes" that Justen is his uncle. WHAT! How in the heck did he come to that conclusion! There were no hints or anything. He just thought to himself, "Oh yeah, he must be my uncle." Whatever. Finally, Modesitt's system of measurement was kind of strange. He used cubits as the main measurement of length. The way he defined this was by saying that a tall person is about 2 cubits tall. However, later on, Lerris is looking at a wall that he thinks is insignificant, but is 40 cubits high. Okay, if a tall person is, say, six feet tall and that's 2 cubits, then a 40 cubit wall would be 120 feet tall. How is that insignificant? Anyway, aside from these inconsistencies, this is still an entertaining book. Lerris is a very down to earth character who is passionate and caring. His struggle on his "dangergeld" is a rousing tale of good versus evil, even if the good guy doesn't always know what he's doing :) Not on par with Goodkind or Jordan, but a rousing tale nontheless.

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