Fantasy has always been my favorite genre when it comes to books. Having spoiled myself from an early age with the best fantasy series in existence (Lord of the Rings) and reading most of the great fantasy series since, it has become increasingly hard to find good fantasy to read. Recently, I pulled The Magic of Recluse off of the shelf (it’s been there for years having been purchased at a library book sale for 50 cents long ago) and decided to give it a try. The Magic of Recluse is the first book in the Saga of Recluse series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. and this is the first book of his I have read.
The world in which Recluse exists has two types of magic. Order magic and chaos magic. Chaos magic is active and destructive whereas order magic is passive and preserving. Without giving too much away, the story centers around a young man from Recluse named Lerris who is essentially bored with his life. Recluse is the Order capital of the world so to speak and any amount of chaos is seen as a threat. Therefore people such as Lerris, who are dissatisfied, are given a choice: be forever exiled from Recluse or attempt the “dangergeld”. The dangergeld is a quest of sorts and as you can imagine, this is where the adventure begins.
I was pleasantly surprised with this book and found it to be quite a page turner. It didn’t feel quite like the typical fantasy novel despite the existence of all the prerequisites but the story was interesting and engaging. It’s definitely a series I will be continuing and I am already reading the second book. If I had to compare this book to another series I would say it feels a bit like the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist though so far I like this series better. If you are looking for that next fantasy book to read (perhaps while growing old waiting for the next Game of Thrones book) and you haven’t read this series yet, give it a try.