Keeping with a series I love for this post! The Order War is the fourth book in L. E. Modesitt Jr’s Saga Of Recluce, and it is an excellent book!
A story about how I acquired this first printing because this one was the hardest one for me to acquire! For years I could only find the smaller Book Club edition hardcover. Everywhere I looked the results were the same! I started to doubt there was a full size hardcover ever made, but I looked in every used book store I walked in to. Then I met my wife. Not in a book store, I met my wife at an art show, but that’s another story, but my wedding helped lead me to this book!
You see, both my wife and I love to travel. We both agreed we wanted to go to new places on our anniversaries through the years, and on our first anniversary we traveled to Portland, Oregon and had a great time! In Portland is this amazing book store called Powell’s so we had to visit it! I looked for The Order War not expecting to find it after all these years, but to my delight there it was!
This book is all about the balance between order and chaos and how Recluce needs that balance, and what it will do when the balance is unnaturally abused. It is about a young talent wielder faced with the task of finding their center even if it costs them everything, because the cost of not finding that center would be even higher.
That trip to Portland will be a favorite memory all my days, and I’m thankful to have this book to remind me of it. You never know what adventures marriage will bring into your life, and I am thankful to have my wife to walk arm in arm with from adventure to adventure. You never know what stories a book on a shelf represent, and sometimes those stories mean even more than the stories written on the pages!
We enter the final run of three in this set of nine posts! This has been so much fun that today I am taking photos and working out how to continue with frequent posts. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in this!
Before we dive into The Magic Engineer by L.E. Modesitt Jr which is the third book of The Recluce Saga and one of my favorite books ever written, let’s talk about series and book reviewing! Seriously! As a SciFi and Fantasy fan it gets crazy trying to review (for example) book 7 of a 12 book series because anything you say can be a spoiler! If I write about the plot lines too in-depth it could ruin the overall fun for someone who wants to dive into a great series BUT I would like to talk about what I’m reading and enjoying. There is a fine line and of course the reader must beware possible spoilers, but that is also why most of my reviews try to focus on how a book makes me feel, or responses a book elicits within me, or some aspect of the story that I felt was important to me without taking from the overall series. How does this tie in to The Magic Engineer? Glad you asked!
The Magic Engineer is a standalone Fantasy book set three books in to The Saga Of Recluce. You could read this book by itself and love it. You’ll love it more if you read the first two books of the series, but still you could review this one as if it were the only book in the series. The entire Recluce Saga is like this to a degree. Modesitt tells standalone stories that normally take two books to tell and places them in an overall story that grows with each book. It feels like less of a commitment than say Wheel Of Time even though there are more books in Recluce! To be fair that is also because WOT books tend to run longer but still.
Dorrin is the Magic Engineer this title speaks of and this book further examines the balance between chaos and order that is present in Recluce. Dorrin is an outcast from Recluce, the same as Lerris in The Magic Of Recluce, and he is just trying to find some place where he can build the machines that fascinate him. However neither the forces of chaos or order want him to succeed, so how do you take on the world to pursue your dreams?
As said this book is one of my favorite books ever written. If I created a top five it would be on there. If there is one book from Modesitt that would hook you in on his stories I think this is it. As a standalone you could give it a go, but the reader in me thinks it is so powerful to me because of where it fits in the overall series, and because of how the concepts of the series have been growing to this point.
Tomorrow we will return for one last look into the Godless World!
The Wheel Of Time turns and as it turns facts become stories, stories become legends, legends become myths, myths become forgotten, and the forgotten comes again…. or something like that. Why on earth would I start a post about the second book of the Saga Of Recluce with a butchering of the opening of the WOT? It is in answer to a question posed in the First Of Nine post from a few days back (which you should check out for an explanation of this crazy numbering system) about what led me to Recluce.
You see long long ago when I was a teen reader I encountered this series around the same time I encountered Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan and noticed that they both have the same cover artist and RJ complimented the Recluce Saga in a cover blurb. Now this story should go that I read WOT, trusted RJ and picked up The Magic Of Recluce because that is the first book of the Recluce Saga. However as ages have passed since I was a teen reader the story has moved into the legendary myth status so I need to write it down before I forget it. Here is the true myth:
My library didn’t have The Magic Of Recluce. It did have The Towers Of Sunset. It didn’t have The Eye Of The World but it had other WOT books. I tried to figure out which book came first in Recluce but there wasn’t an internet and I was horrible at figuring out library records so I figured that this book looked interesting and that author I want to read recommended this one so… yep. You guessed it. I read book two of the Saga Of Recluce before I read book one. The Towers Of Sunset were my gateway into this wonderful world.
The good news is The Towers Of Sunset don’t really spoil The Magic Of Recluce as there is almost a thousand years between the books, mainly I knew the answer behind who was in some paintings Lerris sees in TMOR. Overall the stories are very separate. That said this does again raise the Publication vs Chronological reading order question and I’ll again side with the author and say the Publication order is the way to go as the concepts being explored in this series grow as you read the series.
The Towers Of Sunset features two primary POV characters who find themselves linked in ways they might not fully understand as they both start to journey inwardly and outwardly in their lives. This is a book of great change and upheaval, and what remains at the end is different than what is present at the start of the story. This story is one with deep emotions and transformations. Really a great story for those who enjoy character development.
Recluce is a saga that pulls me back into its embrace time and time again. It is a series I find both challenging and comforting and one I can’t praise enough! I am really looking forward to my next post on Recluce as the third book of the Saga is one of my all time favorite books! Tomorrow’s post though returns us to a Godless World.
Hello all! I am challenging myself to return to regular sharing/posting on my social media sites so I have taken a series of nine photos to share with y’all over the next nine days! I picked out books 1-3 of three separate series that I love and will write about them here, on bookstagram, on twitter, and possibly finish it all off with a podcast!
For the first of the nine posts I am featuring my favorite “comfort read” series of all time: L. E. Modesitt Jr’s Recluce Saga! What exactly do I mean by “comfort read”? WELL I AM GLAD YOU (possibly) ASKED! For me a “comfort read” is a book/series/author that when you pick up that book you feel like you are coming home. That is exactly what reading the Recluce Saga feels like to me after all these years of reading it. More on that later in this blog, let’s discuss this book!
The Magic Of Recluce is a wonderful coming of age tale set in a magical world that exists within a balance between Chaos and Order. Lerris (the star of this tale) discovers he has the potential to be a focal point for either side of the balance and is sent away from his homeland in order to discover exactly who and what he is and can become. Kind of harsh that his own country kicks him out, but they do give him a little schooling before he goes where he meets others who are like him in that their country doesn’t feel they belong, but thinks they might belong after traveling abroad. Here’s the thing: the rest of the world doesn’t really like their home country so the odds of survival aren’t going yo be in their favor. I have to admit I’ve always been a touch jealous of the schooling that Lerris was offered, but definitely not jealous of the exile.
While on his personal journey of discovery Lerris also becomes quite the carpenter! One of the most magical things for me about the Recluce Saga is that you get to learn about different crafts in each book. Modesitt educates while entertaining. In other books you get to learn about being a cooper or a scribe or any number of amazing crafts!
The Recluce Saga is a multigenerational High Fantasy tale which is not written in chronological order. Modesitt takes you on a journey into the concept of Recluce as you read along in publication order so definitely read in publication order. Normally you will find two consecutive books dedicated to one primary character, but sometimes there are standalones.
Ok on Bookstagram I had promised I’d tell the tale of how I discovered this series, and I will but not fully in this post! I’ll share that in the next Recluce post which will be soon in this series if nine posts BUT as a teaser for those of you who love High Fantasy can you name the artist who painted this cover and maybe guess the other High Fantasy series I saw this artist’s art on that drew my eye to Recluce? That is the teaser! More next time.
Comfort Reads: Authors/Series you turn to in stressful/busy times to relax and unwind OR Authors/Series that you find to be easy to turn to again and again.
My main Comfort Reads would be L.E. Modesitt Jr and Warhammer40K. I know, Modesitt really makes you think and WH40K is quite GrimDark. Maybe not what everyone would turn to, but both are very comfortable for me to turn to.
Modesitt has a method of creating characters I can easily identify with and enjoy and he makes me think. You feel that he respects the intellegence of his reader. I know that no matter how many times I pick up one of his books I will learn something new and appreciate his work more. I find that very comforting.
Warhammer40K isn’t relaxing reading, but it is in a way. The universe of WH40K and The Horus Heresy is a very bleak, dark, and dangerous universe. It’s one that doesn’t paint a bright future and it doesn’t offer hopes of ever improving after. Yet it is comforting to read of the heroic acts of those that keep the Imperium Of Man alive. Reading about the superhuman Space Marines or the very human Imperial Army fighting bravely against the darkness that is about to overwhelm humanity is interesting and I find it to be a universe I can always turn to for distraction.
What authors or book series are your Comfort Reads?