The Magic of Recluce
"With The Magic of Recluce, L.E. Modesitt makes his impressive hardcover debut, breaking out in wide scope and grand scale with a novel in the great tradition of the war between good and evil in a wonderful fantasy world. Modesitt has been producing fast-paced, slickly-written novels of SF adventure, often compared to the work of Keith Laumer and Gordon R. Dickson. Now, in his biggest and best book yet, he broadens his canvas and turns to fantasy and magic, stepping immediately into the front rank of contemporary fantasy writers.
"The Magic of Recluce is a carefully-plotted fantasy novel of character about the growth and education of a young magician. In it, Modesitt confronts real moral issues with gripping force, builds atmosphere slowly and convincingly and gives his central character, Lerris, real intellectual challenges. This is the kind of highly-rationalized fantasy that Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson write when they write fantasy, colorful and detailed.
"He is given the standard two options: permanent exile from Recluce or the dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden wanderjahr in the lands beyond Recluce with the aim of learning how the world works and what his place in it might be. Many do not survive. He chooses dangergeld.
"Though magic is rarely discussed openly in Recluce, it becomes clear, when Lerris is sent into intensive training for his quest, that he has a natural talent for it during his weapons lessons. And he will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked. He must learn to use his powers in an orderly way or fall prey to Chaos.
"Lerris may resent order, but he has no difficulty choosing good over evil. As he begins his lonely journey, he falls into the company of a gray magician, once of Recluce, who tutors him in the use of magic and shows him some of the devastation caused by the Chaos Wizards in the great wars between Chaos and Order of past times.
"Lerris pursues a quest for knowledge and power that leads him across strange lands, through the ghostly ruins of the old capitol of Chaos, down the white roads of the Chaos Wizards to a final battle with the archenemy of Order, discovering in the end true control of magic, true love, and the beginning of true wisdom. An epic adventure, The Magic of Recluce, is a triumph of fantasy."
Additional Information from Lee
"The hardcover print run for The Magic of Recluce was about 4,000 copies. There was only one print run. As I recall, the print run for The Towers of the Sunset was larger, somewhere around 7,000-7,500 copies."
Praise for The Magic of Recluce
"A complex world based on a plausible system of magic and peopled with engaging characters and realistic characters."
"Entwining issues of magic with maturation, Modesitt's thoughtful coming of age tale is adorned with a finely drawn, down-to-earth yet dangerous world, and an intriguingly ambiguous view of how good and evil interact."
—Carole Nelson Douglas
"Extremely interesting...unique...I would say that this is a refreshing use of the traditional fantasy elements. Thank you for the chance to read it."
"An intriguing fantasy in a fascinating world, with characters who catch you up. Modesitt presents an interesting study of Chaos versus Order, Good versus Evil...and the attractions each of them has for all of us."
"A splendid fantasy that grips from the first sentence...For once this is a book that really does cry out to be turned into a trilogy."
"A very special fantasy, original...in its slow and thoughtful use of familiar fantastic elements and its skillful development of character."
—Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
"Fascinating! A big, exciting novel of the battle between good and evil and the path between."
—Gordon R. Dickson