L.E. Modesitt, Jr is the author of the Recluce series, the Spellsong Cycle and a number of science fiction novels including THE PARAFAITH WAR.
As an apprentice scrivener, Cerryl discovers his inherent talent for chaos magic, inherited from his father, a fugitive white mage. Taken to study with the mages of the White Order of Fairhaven, Cerryl learns to harness magic from his teachersÄone of whom is bent on his destruction. Set in the same time period as The Magic Engineer (LJ 3/15/94), Modesitt's ninth novel in his popular "Recluce" series continues the epic history of a world where chaos and order vie for ultimate control. The author's low-key approach to high fantasy results in an intimate, thoughtful tale that belongs in most fantasy collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/98.]
'Modesitt creates a deeper and more intricate world with each volume' - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY; 'An intriguing fantasy in a fascinating world' - Robert Jordan on THE MAGIC OF RECLUCE; 'Modesitt follows the very real concerns for food, latrines, shelter, medicine, and the struggle for power within the group, while tracing the lives of gifted men and women in th eprocess of becoming legends ' - LOCUS on FALL OF ANGELS
The prolific and popular fantasy author adds to his Recluce series (The Chaos Balance, etc.), with this entry tracing the rise of an orphan, Cerryl, to powerful magicianship. That's a venerable concept, but Modesitt keeps it fresh with crisp characters and a consistent, well-detailed setting. The magical system employed here features white chaos magic, somehow connected to the colors of light, and the magic of order, which is black and associated with cold iron. The background is medieval EuropeanÄlargely preliterate, with guilds and apprenticeshipsÄbut Modesitt uses historical details to create a vivid, realistic culture instead of a stereotyped fantasy world. Cerryl's apprenticeships in a wood mill and, later, to a scrivener lend depth to his ensuing, more magical, adventures. Like many fantasy heroes, Cerryl is virtuous but has unusual magical potential, leading to opportunities but also to problems, especially from jealous apprentices or mages of the White Order. The theme of power, including its uses and misuses, and its various forms, magical, political and sexual, runs throughout the book. As the novel widens its focus from Cerryl's education to his involvement with war, intrigue and assassination, it becomes more colorful but less original. Still, Modesitt provides the requisite adventure and wizardry, plus people and places that are as true as they are magical. Author tour. (June)