Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Natural Ordermage, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Natural Ordermage, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Another chapter in the Saga of Recluce and another winner. While the basic formula of nearly every Recluce novel (a young powerful mage without full control of his powers learns a craft as he matures) is intact, there are a few twists here. The magician doesn’t learn by rote, but instead by example—leading to exile because the establishment doesn’t know how to train him. While exile is common in this universe, instead of the usual Candar our hero is instead sent to Hamor, a land that we haven’t visited in the previous installments and has been portrayed as villainous more than once. The exploration of Hamorian culture and politics (“Create no law that is not absolutely necessary to maintain simple order. beyond the minimum for maintaining order, laws are like fleas or leeches. The more of them that exist, the more they vex a land and bleed it into chaos and anarchy...”) added a lot of depth to Modesitt’s world and kept his standard formula fresh. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and look forward to the conclusion.

First Sentence:
“Rahl... how are you coming on Tales of the Founders?”

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