Young Lerris is dissatisfied with his life and trade, and yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. But in Recluce a change in circumstances means taking one of two options: permanent exile from Recluce or braving the dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden wanderjahr in the lands beyond Recluce, with the aim of learning how the world works and what his place in it might be. Many do not survive. Lerris chooses the dangergeld. When Lerris is sent into intensive training for his quest, it soon becomes clear that he has a natural talent for magic. And he will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked. Though it goes against all of his instincts, Lerris must learn to use his powers in an orderly way before his wanderjahr, or fall prey to Chaos.
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I read the first L. E. Modesitt's Recluse series when it first came out in the early 1990's since then15 additional titles have been added to the series.
If you enjoy Epic Fantasy over many long novels, then this series is for you (this novel alone is over 19 hours long).
The book is Narrated by Kirby Heyborne who does an excellent job of trying to read an difficult novel. Anyone who has listened to Lynsay Sands Argeneau vampire series will be recognise his name.
The audio issue is that the book has many written "sound effects" which when read one can partially ignore, but the narrator cannot do this in an unabbridged version. Although Kirby does a reasonable job with the "sound effects" they tend to destroy the flow a bit in the Audio version. The ideal audio version should have actual sound effects, but that would have mad it too costly to produce.
L. E. Modesitt's world and character building is excellent. The main character wears on you a bit as he seems fixed in his "eveything is boring" mode and his need to be spoon fed information at least at first . . . but slowly he learns and grows.
Even with the comments above i would highly recommend this book and the Recluse series.
I gave Kirby Heyborne's perforce 5 because i did not feel it was fair to lower his score because of the authors tendency to throw in sound effects every where eg clop, clop clop for horses. If i remember correctly sound effects were in italics in the printed version.
In the book the White (Chaos) wizards are the "bad guys" and the Island of Recluce is the home of the Black (Order) wizards. Anyone on Recluce that does not embrace Order is exiled or give a chance to learn to embrace Order by receiving a little training and then going on a dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden quest in the lands beyond Recluce . . . but all is not that cut and dry . . .
The Magic of Recluce follows the adventures of Lerris and several of the dangergeld group he trained with, trying to complete the dangergeld or at least come to terms with their exile
- Captain Skurvy "I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print"
A First Exceptional Work In This Fantasy Series!
If you follow my reviews, you already KNOW I focus my reviews primarily on scifi and fantasy works. I began building my library of favorite books when I was twelve, for God's sake. And my audiobook library? Let's just say that I have a one terabyte server dedicated to my current and future audiobooks, and it's about 35% full. Do the math. That's either awesome or very, very weird, depending on your viewpoint. Boil all this down, and it says one thing:
Once you find a great scifi or fantasy read, especially a series, you have to have it, and you want to keep it.
You become possessive. Obsessive. You find yourself talking about it, both live and online. Don't lie. You've done it, and confession's good for the soul. Especially when it comes to this first audiobook, and the subsequent books, in the Recluce series by Modesitt,
I began reading this series when it first appeared, and thought back then, "This is awesome, and it's going to make a great audiobook." When this finally DID arrive, I was wonderfully pulled back into Modesitt's rich, detailed magical world.
So, let's get to the real reason you should get into this audio series, outside of my saying, "It's good!"
You liked the rich magical system of Jordan's "Wheel Of Time" series? Good. Take that, and refine it just a bit, and add Terry Brook's descriptive fantasy writing. Hmmm. Better. Now let's throw in Saberhagen's strong world-building. Nice. Let's not forget a dash of Butcher's solid character interaction. Perfect.
The Recluce series begins this way, and although it starts out the gate just a bit slow, it truly sets into place a great premise and storyline that makes for a great listen, and definitely more than once. Modesitt's unique take on the fantasy genre is a welcome change to a fair number of fantasy writers who take tired plots and lame magic systems and crank out tome after boring tome of forgettable efforts. Or lack of effort. Modesitt has created a series that you'll listen to, talk about, write about, and as I said earlier, you'll listen to again. I already have. That's why it took so long to do this review.
The book's just that darn good.
Modesitt has created, in this first of the series, a WONDERFUL listen that pulls you in, sets you on its path, and creates a unique fantasy world you'll not want to end.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to - The second in the series is already available here at Audible, and I already have it. And yes, it's equally as good!
And on a final note, Modesitt's "Imager" series is already here at Audible, eight audiobooks strong, and yes, I'll be writing a review on them, as well. The man can write.
So, this is a keeper. It's on a shelf in my library, and now, it's a great listen on my audio server. It's going to STAY there.