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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rational approach to Rationalists, May 27, 2000
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This review is from: Magi'i of Cyador (Saga of Recluce) (Hardcover)
The cut and dried dialogue and narration that open this story sets the tone of a "rationalist" viewpoint which one quickly sees is both fearful and overtly unemotional simultaneously. The use of the screeing glass by the Magi'i to invade the privacy of the hero and his family is quite chilling for it is a powerful tool for constraint on their behavior and ability to even speak with one another. One learns that the families of the magi'i have no freedom for they can be truth read and spied upon at the whim and will of the magi'i and they are forced to live in a prison of fearful restraint. But, as the story unfolds our hero Lorn begins to evolve into a quietly passionate, deeply intelligent and clever man. He is forced to manipulate and master increasingly hostile environments into which he has been forced to survive the plots against him simply because of his heritage as mage-born. He finds himself uncommitted to the prospect of spending his years trapped within concrete and marble buildings devoted to the boring (to him) future of spending his own life force (chaos) on refuelling energy cells. These energy cells power the firelances of Mirror Lancers and the firewagons used for transportation in the ongoing struggle against the accursed forest and the barbarians. The story is largely spent describing his struggles to overcome the aforesaid barbarians and accursed forest as an outcast magi'i in the role as mirror lancer. However, one has a sense that this is stage setting for his unfolding evolution into the highest echelon of the magi'i. He has acquired wealth and power from that wealth through his own foresight and the skills of his merchanter consort Ryalth. He is destined to become a mover and a shaker in the next part of this saga. The love story is charming even though Lorn is forced to commit multiple murders to protect his lady Ryalth from villans. I would like to know the hero better as a man. He is rather one dimensional, but then this may be part of the plot to separate within the reader's understanding the concept of the cold "rationalists" in contrast to the more passionate and emotionally driven "barbarians". One senses that the author plans a number of "rationalists" novels which will provide, hopefully, a thorough understanding for the reader as to who and how the cold blooded magi'i came to rule Cyad and its people. This is a very good "mirror" to Modesitt's book "Fall of the Angels" in the Recluse series. Hopefully the author will write a book that will enrich this perspective for it is deep territory for intrigue and dark plots. Perhaps more of the machinations within the inner circle of the Magi'i of Cyador and their manipulation of their "dense" Emperor. In any event, the future of Lorn and the city of "Lorn'eth" will unfold in due course.
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K. N. Nelson
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Location: California, USA

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