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The Magic of Recluce (Saga of Recluce) Paperback – Bargain Price, June 21, 2011

Book 1 of 17 in the Saga of Recluce Series

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The Magic of Recluce (Saga of Recluce) + The Towers of the Sunset (Recluce series, Book 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: Saga of Recluce (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 20 Spl Anv edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765331128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765331120
  • ASIN: B006Z2ZELM
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The battle between good, denoted by order, and evil, represented by chaos, underlies this promising coming-of-age fantasy. The youth Lerris, a skeptical misfit, is sent on a journey designed to determine whether he will ever be capable of serving his native land, Recluce, a haven of perfection surrounded by chaos. During training, Lerris is told he is a potential order-master, a possible high-level wizard, who must probe his inner self and discover his powers before he can return home. In war-torn Candar, he finds himself hunted as a rogue wizard and narrowly escapes destruction at the hands of the evil wizard Antonin. Apprenticed to a woodworking genius, Lerris comes to the aid of his ailing master, rebuilding his business and arranging the future of the family. Lerris's acceptance of responsibility and respect for order enable the development of his powers, and his use of order-magic against Antonin leads to a confrontation between the two. Modesitt ( The Ecolitan Matter ) creates a complex world based on a plausible system of magic and peopled with engaging and realistic characters.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- An allegorical fantasy whose central character is a 15-year-old misfit in an oddly isolated Utopian society. Lerris, constantly bored and perpetually questioning, is considered a threat to the order of Wandernaught. Despite his youth, he is asked to choose between exile or undergoing a dangergeld, a journey of discovery and exposure to all the world's wonders and threats. He opts for the latter and is instantly off on a high adventure where he easily recognizes that the real question is whether to choose good or evil, and then which is which. The quest leads Lerris to self-awareness and the beginnings of real wisdom. A good, meaningful read. --Joan L. Reynolds, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Story, characters, and the world created were all very enjoyable.
The pacing all in all felt a bit off, with very little time given to plot important parts and a lot given to not so important parts.
Katrin von Martin
After reading this book, I went on to read the entire Recluce series and enjoyed them all.
J. Christensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Magic of Recluce is the start of a classic epic and an epic The Saga of Recluce is. This being my 3rd book (I've read Fall of Angels and The Chaos Balance) I cannot wait to pickup Towers of the Sunset (book 2). This book is not fast paced and does not take you on an emotional roller coaster. That is not what these books are about (at least the 3 I've read anyway). These books are still special. They are told from the perspective of the main character, in this case Lerris, who we come to know very well. We travel with him, we eat with him, we fight with him, we feel with him, we fear with him, we learn with him and we grow up with him. This allows for the slow pacing in some places as the author allows us to mature with Lerris, to introspect, to experience things on a day to day basis in the world of Recluce. We learn about Recluce, we meet the people who inhabit it, we smell the air, we sleep in it's inns. Lerris's adventure becomes our adventure, became my adventure and I did not want to put the book down. Thats why these books are special, because you become the character, you live the adventure. The adventure is alot more than hacking and slashing. It is a sojourn of sorts. The character has choices to make. Simply put those choices are between good and evil, order and chaos. In the best tradition of Luke Skywalker / Darth Vader, our hero must decide, we must decide.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "jduhe12345" on October 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is good stuff. This is not a great epic journey with twenty characters to follow (not that there's anything wrong with that), or killer dragons, or shadow spawn. Lerris, the main character is unhappy with his life in the, as he puts it, mundane dull world of Recluce. At the urgings of his parents, he becomes an apprentice for his uncle, a woodworker. He turns out to be an adequate craftsman, but has no interest in his work. Recluce is a society based on order, any discontentment is a foot Chaos puts through their door. Recluce relies solely on Order, which is kept by the Order (black) wizards. Because of their shunning of Chaos, Recluce is a peaceful place. People like Lerris are given the choice to leave Recluce at an early age. They are offered banishment, or the position of Dangergeld, which gives a chance to return to Recluce at the completion of a quest. Lerris chooses Dangergeld, and enters training with 6 other people. After his training, Lerris and his fellow Dangergelds are taken by ship to Freetown on the continent of Candar. When Lerris parts company with the other dangergelds, he blunders around the Southern half of the continent for a few months. He meets a Neutral (gray) wizard and studies with him for a while. They part ways too soon, and Lerris is left wondering if he has the potential to be a wizard. From there he crosses a mountain rage, pays too much for an Inn, and basically freezes himself half to death. Soon after he comes to a city, and takes on the position of journeyman at a lowly woodworking shop, and turns the shop into a profitable business. After leaving woodworking for good, he gets into some big trouble with a very powerful White (chaos) wizard. He goes on to save the day and get his girl. A unique, touching fantasy, destined to become a classic. Though nowhere near as hard on the brain as the Wheel of Time, it is still a very enjoyable, well-crafted fantasy. Highly Recommended.
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73 of 94 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 20, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Recluse series seems to be one of those fantasy serieses that you either loathe or love. I found the first book "Magic of Recluse" to be moderately entertaining, if overlong and full of annoying little quirks.
The hero, Lerris, is bored. In general. Living on the hyper-ordered isle of Recluse is not the best enviroment for a talented young man who wants a little more variety in his life. The dictatorial Masters insist on perfect order, as Order is the only way to defeat destructive Chaos -- and in their eyes, boredom and lack of direction are prime openings for future chaos. After a brief stint as a woodworker, Lerris is given a choice: either be exiled from Recluse, or the dangergeld, a complex jaunt in the outside world that allows him to learn more about it. He chooses the dangergeld, and trains for a while under the masters. Two of the people he meets are Krystal, a giggling swordmaster, and Tamra, a very proud man-hater.
Lerris sets out to learn more, with only his pony as his companion. Along the way, he encounters the gray wizard Justen (normally they come either as black/good, or white/bad). As he becomes enmeshed in the local politics and is hounded by whitecloaks (and does more woodworking), he learns that a white wizard named Antonin is trying to spread chaos for his own gain.
I wanted to enjoy this book, but found myself rolling my eyes too often. Modesitt has an intriguing idea concerning magic, order and chaos, but he often seems to be a little confused about how it could work. (One wonders if he had it plotted out when he began) It's also nice to finally find a book series that does not have a parade of ripoff Tolkien creations, but bothers to just add some "differentness" to human cultures, even if they are mildly generic in their inception.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jon R. Patrick on December 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this book.
I was walking through a bookstore years ago, just browsing for an author or series I'd never read about before; I was searching for something new. The title "The Magic Engineer" caught my eye, since I'm an engineer, and I picked it up. Of course, it was part three in a series, so I grabbed the first book, The Magic of Recluce, and headed home.
That was the start of my love affair with this series and Mr. Modesitt's writing in general. You, the reader, can tell from the other reviews here that Mr. Modesitt's writing tends to polarize reviewers into loveit-hateit camps, and it largely depends on where your focus is in reading. If you're looking for page after page of fighting and 'tension', move on to the Shannara series. If you look for depth and development, read on!
This book is not the best of the series, and several items he introduces in this book he 'backtracks' on in later books as the magic system develops and becomes more realistic. For example, in this book the great White mage performs magic on an old ewe, and "The two trays weere heaped with succulent sliced and and steaming mutton, with joints at the edges, and with sweetbreads piled at each end. A sheepskin rug lay on the floor beside Antonin..." In later books, we become aware that White magic can only destroy, and largely manifests itself as fireballs. A fireball that would burn the ewe to a crisp, but would not slice it, season it, and prepare bread too! This is the most extreme example of what is started in the first book and later modified.
The writing is a bit 'thick' as you try to absorb all there is to know, but the payoffs are a world, magic system, ethical systems, nations,politics, and individual personalities that are *rich* and believable.
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More About the Author

After spending years writing poetry, political speeches and analyses, as well as economic and technical reports on extraordinarily detailed and often boring subjects, I finally got around to writing my first short story, which was published in 1973. I kept submitting and occasionally having published stories until an editor indicated he'd refuse to buy any more until I wrote a novel. So I did, and it was published in 1982, and I've been writing novels -- along with a few short stories -- ever since.

If you want to know more, you can visit my website at

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