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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
40 of 41 people found this review helpful
I found this book really slow and almost void of adventure. It was a good listen, but largely because I was always thinking, 'OK, now it is going to get interesting'. Being the first in a series, it is often tough for an author to lay down all of the ground work for the world, the history and the characters and then throw in a few things to make it interesting. I found this novel to be a good foundation to build on, but just didn't capture me enough to go onto the second book in the series. But, I do like a good Orc bashing, and there are no Orcs.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
unfortunately for me, the narrator was terrible, very poor with different characters and hopeless with female voices.
what I heard I felt the story is good so I have bought the book to read.
I have loved this story for years - it's a novel take on the standard quest/coming of age high fantasy trope,with a very different magical structure - and thought that Kirby Heyborne did an excellent job of narrating it.
Unfortunately, listening to, rather than reading the story I realised that I have outgrown it slightly. Lerris is arrogant, immature, and his attitude towards women is a horrible mix of boob-obsessed adolescent male and smugly patriarchal elder. His internal monologue veers between self-pity and taking the weight of the world upon himself. The supporting characters are well done, though, with Justen and Krista being favourites of mine.
L.E Modesitt Jr has a horrible habit of referring to people as 'the redhead', 'the grey wizard', etc., which grated. There's also places where a good editor may have made the prose less clunkily ponderous and repetitive. He also uses sound effects...these were okay if weird to read, but poor Kirby Heyborne got stuck impersonating horses, birds, creaky floorboards, swords clashing and more.
All that aside, its still an entertaining story with flashes of excellence, you just need to make allowances for an immature, self-obsessed hero, a LOT of woodwork, and some truly odd authorial quirks.