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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect place to start
I stumbled on this book in a second hand book shop in my first year at uni. 8 years on, and I'm still ordering every book by this author the second it's announced, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future!
L E Modesitt has that rare knack of almost ignoring the magic involved in his books, so that it becomes absolutely natural. Set in an alternate,...
Published on 14 May 2004 by Red

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good old fashioned classic fantasy novel
The Magic of Recluce is an intriguing tale of a young man who is sent on a search to find himself in a world that is divided into two forces, Chaos and Order. It is up to Lerris to find out which of these he is more suited to and to discover secrets about himself and his family's past along the way.

This book is a good old fashioned fantasy tale. Set in a...
Published 5 months ago by GOTTON


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect place to start, 14 May 2004
By 
Red (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce) (Paperback)
I stumbled on this book in a second hand book shop in my first year at uni. 8 years on, and I'm still ordering every book by this author the second it's announced, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future!
L E Modesitt has that rare knack of almost ignoring the magic involved in his books, so that it becomes absolutely natural. Set in an alternate, roughly steam aged society, the series deals with the island of Recluce, and its relationship with the other nations of its neighbouring continent. This book is the perfect starting point, introducing you to Lerris, an inhabitant of Recluce and a potential black (order) mage. Unable or unwilling to accept the discipline and rules of the island, he is sent into exile with a number of others in the same position, ordered to wander through the neighbouring lands until they find somewhere to settle, or accept the lifestyle in Recluce.
It sounds fairly dull, doesn't it? It's so far from that! The author deals beautifully with the difficult choices each individual has to make, and the impacts those choices have for themselves, their loved ones, and the cultures in which they live. It also shows just how blind people can be to the lives of their loved ones. This book works well on its own, but it also serves as a basis for the entire series, which jumps around through time, and writes from all different view points, until your views of "good" and "evil" within this world are totally confused and changed about. Which isn't a bad parallel for the one we're living in now, when you think about it.
Well written, with the perfect level of attention to detail, and enough character to really get you thinking, this is one of those books (and series) that you find yourself thinking about even when you're not reading them. If you haven't read any of these books yet, start here, and be prepared to spend a lot of money buying every other book in the series - you won't be able to resist!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing view of sci-fi fantasy, 17 April 2000
This review is from: The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce) (Paperback)
Quite hard to get into at first, and at times the story does tend to drag on, but in the end it is well worth it! Good characterization, with an in-depth ineraction of the world of recluce make this an overall enjoyable read! If you're a regualr reader of sci-fi, then this book will give you a refreshing perspective of the elements of magic and fantasy!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding story woven into a richly detailed world., 16 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce) (Paperback)
The saga of recluce has to rate as one of the finest works of modern fantasy. Although The Towers of the Sunset is arguably one of the weaker books in the series, it is still an enthralling read, well paced and detailed. Some may find this book a little slow, but all I can say is stay with it and move onto the next book in the series, as Modesitt quickly finds his feet in the sequels. You will be rewarded by a world that rivals Tolkien for detail and passion, but fortunatly never gets excessively bogged down in history and back story just for the sake of it. Rather as each book concentrates on a key moment/person in that history the world grows and expands around you, constantly enriching itself and challenging the preconceptions the earlier books have laid down.
One of the things I find the most enjoyable is that each book is written with a bias, although its so subtle you may not notice it at first (I certainly didn't). This may seem an odd thing to be pleased about, but it allows the author to explore different takes on the same situation, and different systems of government. I can't say much more than that without giving too much away, so I'll end by just recommending as strongly as I can that you read this book.
And incase L. E. Modesitt ever reads this (you never know :)) I'd just like to say THANK YOU! for all your books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and intriguing but just a bit desultory, 19 Dec 2009
By 
Sarah A. Brown (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce) (Paperback)
I don't read much fantasy but someone strongly recommended this series to me so I thought I'd give it a go. The novel's premise is a fairly familiar one, and it reminded me vaguely of Johnson's `Rasselas'. Young Lerris lives on Recluce, an island where order reigns, but where life is just a little bit dull. He is forced into temporary exile, as a `dangergelder', so that he can work out whether he belongs on Recluse or whether he would be better suited to a more chaotic environment.

My main reaction at the beginning of the novel was that `The Magic of Recluse' was a bit like a novelisation of a Dungeons and Dragons game. There were taverns, there were shops where you bought equipment (watch out for cursed weapons though!), there was a lot of fretting about exactly how many copper coins Lerris had and exactly how many of those coins could be swapped for a silver coin. Once he started getting into fights I almost expected him to get out his eight sided die rather than his trusty staff.

On the minus side I didn't find the novel totally compelling - I'm a fast reader but I kept on putting it down and picking it up again, rarely reading more than a couple of chapters at a time. Like other readers I found the sound effects annoying, particularly those associated with Lerris' grumpy but faithful pony.

On the plus side I found the character of Lerris engaging - and the world Modesitt conjures up is certainly intriguing. The moral questions raised by the novel - what actions are legitimate when trying to combat evil? Is it worse to interfere or refuse to get involved? - are relevant to many issues in our own world.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book that has changed the way i live., 5 Mar 2004
This is book that has changed the way i live my life. although this sounds magnificently depressing this book is so good i have attempted to put that little bit more effort and patience into everything i do. the novel follows the trials and tribulations of a young boy from the lands of recluce,lewis. lewis, is placed on the dangergeld and sent away to complete a test(he does not know what) before he will be allowed to re-enter the land. at first this book is utterly bewildering, the reader has no idea what is going on. but then neither does lewis- and this is why he is sent away. as lewis understands more, the novel becomes clearer. this is a great novel with the basic premise being that order (personified or landified if you will by recluce)is the upholder of good, whilst all the other lands are chaotic and therfore bad. lewis starts life on the chaotic continent as a apprentice woodcrafter. to know where he ends up read the rest of the series. each book adds to the history and understanding of 'modern recluce' and alters your preception of good and bad.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Magic Indeed., 17 Jun 2014
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Like many other reviewers, I did find the written sounds annoying but not so bad that they detracted from the excellent story. It was a simple matter to ignore most with just a small conscious effort on my part, to stop the inquisitive side of my nature, that tried (& failed) to make the strange letter combinations into sounds I could imagine.

I think you either love or hate Modesitt's narrative style, like Janny Wurts, he excels at using ordinary & mundane details to both build up characters & plot. But whereas Wurts' emphasizes the processes involved in why & how a character makes a decision or performs a particular action; Modesitt concentrates more on the actions themselves, even if the details come across initially as boring. Both authors are masters at weaving their own literary tapestries, where every thread counts if you are looking for the complete picture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good read, 25 Feb 2014
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Takes me away from the everyday world. Want to read more by this author. Well written, good imagery and characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Recluce (Saga of Recluce) L. E. Modesitt Jr., 12 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. P. J. HAY "HayWain" (Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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The Magic of Recluce (Saga of Recluce)
L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Lerris is always bored and so is exiled from Recluse even tough very young and sent out to survive in the world with others.
is it a plan against Chaos or just strict parents only his uncle would know and help.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good old fashioned classic fantasy novel, 29 Jan 2014
The Magic of Recluce is an intriguing tale of a young man who is sent on a search to find himself in a world that is divided into two forces, Chaos and Order. It is up to Lerris to find out which of these he is more suited to and to discover secrets about himself and his family's past along the way.

This book is a good old fashioned fantasy tale. Set in a medieval style world with magicians, knights and all the rest, it is familiar of so many classic fantasy stories that have been published over the years. The tale of the misfit youth looking to find himself is nothing new either so there really isn't much that this story adds to the genre or that the reader won't expect.

On top of this it shares another trait with the old classic fantasy tales and that is that it is overly long as it feels the need to describe far too many things in far too much detail. I don't think we need to know about every single journey, every time they stop for food and every little sub adventure that doesn't really add to the overall story.

Two thirds into this novel I felt that the story was still only getting started and in a book that is as long as this one, that was very late indeed.

However, this book did have its pluses. Whilst it is not all that original, action packed, epic or possessing the best magic system I have ever read, it is still intriguing. The title character is easy to like and just as easy to identify with even if there are a few leaps in logic and growth throughout the story along with some preaching at times. The other characters are also identifiable though I didn't find myself worrying too much one way or the other about their fates so they can't have been all that great.

Overall this is a run of the mill fantasy tale that is easy to read but just as easily forgotten. I have finished the book with very little desire to read the rest of the Recluce novels, especially as they don't follow in a chronological pattern and that is not a good thing at the end of reading the opening book of a series.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book for the reasons stated above but at the same time I wouldn't warn people off it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful imagined world., 29 Jan 2014
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The tales of Recluce have enlarged my thinking. What is good? What is evil? How does power corrupt?

Not for children, although there are some tender passages. Always in the Recluce series there is alack of imagination about food.
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The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce)
The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce) by L. E., Jr. Modesitt (Paperback - 3 Mar 1994)
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