The Magic of Recluce

The Magic of Recluce - L.E. Modesitt Jr.

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Title: The Magic of Recluce
Series: The Saga of Recluce
Author: L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Rating: 2.5/5 stars



I really wanted to like this book. I spotted it in a used bookstore and bought it because of the publisher and the fact that I was vaguely aware of the author. Unfortunately, while it was mostly okay, it was also so boring at parts that I had to skim in order to finish the book.

I would classify this as kind of a slice-of-life fantasy. While it is undeniably set in a fantasy setting, it also features the characters doing more mundane things such as woodworking. I did appreciate this moments because they give a glimpse of how the characters live and how they get by in their society.

Our protagonist is Lerris, a young man who happens to be incredibly bored with his island-nation of Recluce, a land which favors order above all things. Because of this, he is unable to fit in within Recluce and must undergo something called a dangergeld, in which he would be tested and the masters would see if he may return. At the beginning of the book, I found Lerris to be very edgy? He pretty much questions everything and is unable to reason out his boredom properly. He definitely struck me the wrong way since he was born into so much privilege but was unable to see it.

He does get better though, as he goes through his dangergeld. He becomes a better person in a lot of ways, although I wonder if he did learn other, just as important lessons along the way. I did enjoy the description of how he traveled in the mainland and had to get by. I usually like the travelling parts in stories so that wasn't the problem for me.

The problem mostly came from the fact that the ending felt pretty rushed. It was like the author wanted to wrap it up in one book and escalated everything near the end. The build up didn't really feel natural and I might have forgiven it if it wasn't boring. Unfortunately, much like the main character, I too found myself pretty bored with the world. While the order vs. chaos thing had a lot of potential but it failed to grab me.

I read that this book can be read as a standalone, fortunately. While I was disappointed and thought that this book is only good enough for one read, I might consider picking up other books in the series. Honestly however, that might be unlikely.