Monday, June 27, 2005

Wellspring of Chaos, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Wellspring of Chaos, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

This is Modesitt’s twelfth entry in the Recluse series, and another enjoyable one. The story is much as the others: a young crafter slowly discovers his magical abilities and uses them to counter the abuses of power around him. While the theme isn’t any different, the ongoing study of how people wield power is interesting and something that Modesitt returns to again and again, not just in the Recluse series but in virtually every one of his books. One of the great things about the Recluse series is that there are really five or six different main arcs that take place over about 2000 years (in fact, this book is the start of a new one). Because they all take place in the same group of islands in a shared history, we really get to see how the society changes over time. A new country is formed as a refuge for the oppressed at the conclusion of one arc, only to discover that 300 years later the new country exiles people that don’t accede to the politics of the state. This organic growth of the world keeps these stories fresh. I look forward to the next installment.

First Sentence:
Kharl stood at the front window of his shop, looking westward for a moment at the wedge of twilight sky visible between the slate roofs of the buildings on the far side of the narrow Crafters’ Lane.

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