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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers and More Questions
The Corean Chronicles, "Legacies" and now "Darknesses," are set in a maturely conceived world. These stories are set on the continent of Corus, about 1,000 years after the Cataclysm. Corus has forgotten most of its technology, and even a millennium later the pre-Cataclysm empire of the Duarchy is remembered as an idyllic time.
In Corus, a few rare...
Published on September 6, 2003 by James D. DeWitt

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Reviewed
Reviewed Format: .azw

This is not a review of the book itself, but a review of the Kindle version. The book is one I read several years ago, remembered fondly, and wanted to re-read on the Kindle.

This Kindle version is a disaster. While some books clearly suffer layout defects from being Kindlized, such as the occasional run-together words or...
Published on December 11, 2009 by Todd A. Jacobs


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers and More Questions, September 6, 2003
By 
James D. DeWitt "Alaska Fan" (Fairbanks, AK United States) - See all my reviews
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The Corean Chronicles, "Legacies" and now "Darknesses," are set in a maturely conceived world. These stories are set on the continent of Corus, about 1,000 years after the Cataclysm. Corus has forgotten most of its technology, and even a millennium later the pre-Cataclysm empire of the Duarchy is remembered as an idyllic time.
In Corus, a few rare individuals, including Alucius, the hero, have Talent, the ability to do magic. In "Legacies" Alucius started to come to terms with his Talent. In "Darknesses" he must save both his family and his world. In "Legacies," Alucius, literally "from light," is a Soarer's child, and there is more than a hint here that some or all of his Talent may have been bred into him. The uses and abuses of power and technology are one of Modesitt's recurring themes, and those themes are developed more thoroughly and more subtlely here than in any of his earlier works.
Modesitt's writing continues to improve. His plotting is more intricate and complex, his characterization is three dimensional, and his pacing, always his best skill, is now impeccable. Unlike many of his recent works, you will not be able to predict the good guys, the bad guys or even the flow of the story. The surprises keep coming.
"Legacies" mostly raised questions. Some are answered by "Darknesses," and while Modesitt reportedly said this closes the Corean Chronicles, there are many, many loose plot thread and mysteries. This is a richer, deeper world than the setting for the Recluce stories. I look forward to the next installment.
This is a good yarn, well told.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping you up at night, February 14, 2004
By 
Amazon Customer (Saint Charles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
I just had to purchase Darkness after having read Legacies. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed in the second of this series. The book moved seamlessly into the second story and again there was no letdown which means I couldn't put it down. I did lose sleep trying to finish it. I am anxiously awaiting for the next one in the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong epic fantasy, September 1, 2003
On Corus, sheepherder Alucius possesses a powerful, untapped Talent that he tries to hide while serving his mandatory military time. Alucius just wants to go home to his wife Wendra so though he is a captain in the 21st Company he avoids trouble as much as possible in order to avoid becoming noticed.
Warlord Aellyan Edyss finds and opens an ancient vault containing magical weapons and legendary beasts from a time long before the Cataclysm. Aellyan plans to use his weaponry to conquer and then rule Corus. Alucius realizes his dilemma once he understands the threat posed by Aellyan. If he displays his prowess and succeeds in defeating the warlord and his magical army and arsenal Alucius will become visible to his superiors and a pawn of individuals like the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona. If he hides his Talent by doing nothing, he will probably die.
DARKNESSES, the second book of the Corean Chronicles (see LEGACIES), is a superb fantasy due to the abilities of L.E. Modesitt, Jr. to make a world of magic and mystical beasts seem real. The story line combines plenty of action with strong characters and even a sense of history. Alucius is a delightful reluctant hero and his opponent is more than just a vile villain as he is a complete character too. The support cast such as Wendra and the magically created beasts add depth to a strong epic fantasy that will have the audience wondering where the author will take them next.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly satisfying fare, December 29, 2004
By 
frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darknesses (Corean Chronicles, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
After losing some of my faith in Modesitt following the Spellsong cycle and some of the later books in the Recluse series, it was a relief to begin reading the Corean Chronicles. Darknesses continues the solid work begun in Legacies. The character of Alucius deepens his understanding of his Talent and capabilities. The reader gains more knowledge of Corus and the different powers within Corus.

The interesting thing about Modesitt is that he always seems to like the ideas that he is working out more than he likes the reader. His books are not really that different from one another; they always seem like parts of the same larger project. When he gets it wrong (Spellsong cycle), then the novels become repetitive and tedious. When he gets it right, then there is a real reassuring quality that makes his work a pleasure to read.

In the world of Modesitt, hard work and solid values are always rewarded. As a reader, it is often nice to have a little literary corner where this is true.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good second book in this trilogy, June 18, 2004
By 
P. D Huang "happy reader" (chula vista, ca United States) - See all my reviews
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Darkness is a good tribute to the world Modesitt has developed. A military tale, Modesitt delves into the everyday boredom and gut clenching combat of a company of mounted militia who are pawns in the game of nations.
He also develops the powers Captain Alucius has and introduces the alien danger threatening the Corean world.
Modesitt heroes are ordinary people with extraordinary powers achieving amazing tasks. Luck, tenacity and skill allows Alucius to not only preserve his life but the life of his men. But in combat, it is not enough and his men and friends die.
This world is an interesting blend of mechanical technology with magical powers. Gritty realism where the characters bleed and hurt.
A very fast and enjoyable read and it leaves enough questions to eagerly await the third book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a solid offering that feels strangely like Recluse, September 12, 2006
By 
L. E. Modesitt, Jr has created a world, or at least a continent, called Corus which bears striking similarities to that of his most famous series The Saga of Recluse. The first two books in The Corean Chronicles features a storyline which should be familiar to those who have read several Recluse novels in that a young man who is highly competent but does not know as much as he should is put into situations where he must succeed and excel or he will likely die. The young man becomes more than he thought he was while claiming he is nothing but a simple herder. The magic system here is not explained well, but it has to do with feel, intuition, seeing lines of power, shades of color and darkness being the color of decent humanity. A reader could make a case that this series picks up thousands of years after The Death of Chaos even though I suspect that Modesitt would not claim any connection between Recluse and Corus. Darknesses is the second volume of The Corean Chronicles and Alucius is now a Captain in the Iron Valley Militia. He is serving out his time so he can go home to his wife and family and live a quiet life as a herder, but he knows there is some evil out there because he has already confronted so much and is already legendary among those who have heard his exploits. Alucius himself remains humble and quiet, though he is death to any who stand in his way. Alucius, like many of Modesitt's heroes, will do whatever is necessary so that he and his men stay alive. It is called brutal efficiency and his skill at "Talent", the magic system of Corus is what makes him doubly so successful.

Darknesses moves Alucius up the ranks while others plot against him because of a level of Talent skill which he possesses but does not know about. Alucius has no ambition other than staying alive and returning home, but others view him as a threat. After the first fifty to perhaps a hundred pages Darknesses picks up as the reader becomes immersed in this world and story. Modesitt gives a wealth of detail about the mundane life, but it is all about building a sense of place and character that we know as much as Alucius does (though many thoughts and revelations are left unexplained, like saying "aha!" without explaining why) and that we can understand the character of Alucius. There is a very limited narrator in that much of the novel follows Alucius and we get many of his thoughts, but we also are put into the heads of various other important characters for very short chapters so that we have a hint of the other plots that are ongoing against Alucius.

Darknesses reads much like a Recluse novel, just without the Order versus Chaos magic dynamic, and this is a compliment. It is perhaps a backhanded compliment because there is not a very large distinction between Corus and Recluse and it feels like this story could just have easily have been told in Recluse as it was in Corus. There is a smooth and easy flow to Modesitt's writing and Darknesses was an enjoyable read.

-Joe Sherry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not great but solid and well-paced, October 7, 2003
First off, though this does stand as in independent story in what is called the Corean Chronicles, it will make a lot more sense to you and you'll be a lot more invested in the characters if you read the first book ahead of time. Darknesses returns to the same main character, Alucius, who remains as in the first a reluctant soldier caught up in battles and politics he'd rather not wage, preferring to set down his sword and his strange Talent and return home to be a herder with his new wife. This book roams further afield than the first book as Alucius is sent to various locales (helps to periodically check the map to keep all his travels and the stratagems behind them straight) and involves more characters, which helps prevent it from feeling stale. As in the first, the world and especially the military world is prevented in a gritty realism and while there is a lot of detail regarding troop movement etc., Modesitt is careful not to let it overwhelm the story or bog it down. It's a smoothly paced book throughout, helped by the many quick shifts of character and setting. Some of the side characters are given short shrift, but Modesitt does a nice job with the one ruler he focuses most on, giving us a seemingly full sense of character but in a nice deft touch, without revealing to us whether he will turn out friend or foe to Alucius. Problems with the book are minor though distracting: The major villains of the story (as opposed to the many smaller ones) are introduced a bit too abruptly and through too much exposition as opposed through the natural flow of action and dialogue. There is a bit too much deus ex machina intertwined with that story line as well. The jumps back to his herder homestead are somewhat perfunctory. And some of Alucius' actions and dialogue started to feel a bit repetitive, such as his many protests (clearly unbelieved by most he protested to) that he is just a normal guy doing his job. Overall though, it's an enjoyable read which expands on the first book and leaves some clear openings as well for future material. It won't wow you, but you'll have a good time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Reviewed, December 11, 2009
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Reviewed Format: .azw

This is not a review of the book itself, but a review of the Kindle version. The book is one I read several years ago, remembered fondly, and wanted to re-read on the Kindle.

This Kindle version is a disaster. While some books clearly suffer layout defects from being Kindlized, such as the occasional run-together words or improperly-spaced paragraph, this version suffers from an almost complete lack of copy-editing, coupled with an excessive number of typographical and structural artifacts that make it seem like the publisher scanned in a printed version without having access to the original source material.

Unlike the previous book in the series (Legacies), which was generally well-rendered with some minor layout exceptions that didn't detract from the semantics, this version is almost unreadable because of the semantic defects.

In many places, periods are substituted for commas, which changes the structure and meaning of sentences. Being required to re-read sentences to parse out the original meaning is not something I expect to have to do when reading for enjoyment. In conjunction with this, capitalization can be hit or miss, with capitals appearing randomly in some sentences where no periods exist--and which don't seem to indicate the start of a new sentence--and with lowercase letters after periods often indicating that the sentence fragment should have been preceded by a comma instead.

In other places, the numeral one is substituted for the lowercase letter "l," and the letter "c" is substituted for the letter "e." These types of artifacts are rather common in text which has been subject to optical character recognition, but even a basic spell-checker would have let someone know that "bluc" is not a color.

Most e-books have a few artifacts, as do printed books. Generally, though, if the volume of defects rises to the point where it interferes with the semantic meaning of sentences then it shows a disregard for both the reader and the author. This is one of those books.

To be clear, this isn't a problem with layout or rendering, as far as I can tell. It's a failure of basic copy-editing, and a clear quality-control issue. You don't have to be a grammarian to find this consistently-high error rate distracting, so steer clear of this edition unless you are extremely tolerant of such things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel, October 8, 2003
By 
Mark E. Cooper "Fantasybooks" (STANFORD-LE-HOPE, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Alucius, once a prisoner of the Matrites, is now back among friends--but some of his "friends" seem worse than the enemy! When it is time to return to his men after a month long furlough with his family, Alucius is attacked by assassins. He survives, but this is just the first of many situations where he is put in harm's way. He becomes convinced that he has a powerful enemy among the Iron Valley Council, but he doesn't know who it is or why he is hated.

When the Iron Valley is taken over by the Lonachronans, Captain Alucius is assigned an impossible seeming mission far from Iron Valleys and his family. There he is betrayed when his "allies" flee leaving him to hold against overwhelming numbers of nomads.

This book is well worth your time. An excellent sequel to Legacies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Darknessess"...a great follow up to book 1, "Legacies", September 29, 2005
This review is from: Darknesses (Corean Chronicles, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
An enjoyable book.

As with the first book in the Corean Chronicles, this novel is about our reluctant, humble hero, Alucius: a good guy, whose easy to like, making the book pleasant to read. There is, however, enough action to keep the story interesting and moving along.(with the exception of one, somewhat repetitious part, about 4/5 the way through).

If you liked the first book, "Legacies", then you will like this one as well. It's not deep, but it is entertaining and will keep you coming back to it until it's finished.
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Darknesses (Corean Chronicles, Book 2)
Darknesses (Corean Chronicles, Book 2) by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Mass Market Paperback - May 16, 2004)
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