Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
If you follow my reviews, you already KNOW I focus my reviews primarily on scifi and fantasy works. I began building my library of favorite books when I was twelve, for God's sake. And my audiobook library? Let's just say that I have a one terabyte server dedicated to my current and future audiobooks, and it's about 35% full. Do the math. That's either awesome or very, very weird, depending on your viewpoint. Boil all this down, and it says one thing:
Once you find a great scifi or fantasy read, especially a series, you have to have it, and you want to keep it.
You become possessive. Obsessive. You find yourself talking about it, both live and online. Don't lie. You've done it, and confession's good for the soul. Especially when it comes to this first audiobook, and the subsequent books, in the Recluce series by Modesitt,
I began reading this series when it first appeared, and thought back then, "This is awesome, and it's going to make a great audiobook." When this finally DID arrive, I was wonderfully pulled back into Modesitt's rich, detailed magical world.
So, let's get to the real reason you should get into this audio series, outside of my saying, "It's good!"
You liked the rich magical system of Jordan's "Wheel Of Time" series? Good. Take that, and refine it just a bit, and add Terry Brook's descriptive fantasy writing. Hmmm. Better. Now let's throw in Saberhagen's strong world-building. Nice. Let's not forget a dash of Butcher's solid character interaction. Perfect.
The Recluce series begins this way, and although it starts out the gate just a bit slow, it truly sets into place a great premise and storyline that makes for a great listen, and definitely more than once. Modesitt's unique take on the fantasy genre is a welcome change to a fair number of fantasy writers who take tired plots and lame magic systems and crank out tome after boring tome of forgettable efforts. Or lack of effort. Modesitt has created a series that you'll listen to, talk about, write about, and as I said earlier, you'll listen to again. I already have. That's why it took so long to do this review.
The book's just that darn good.
Modesitt has created, in this first of the series, a WONDERFUL listen that pulls you in, sets you on its path, and creates a unique fantasy world you'll not want to end.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to - The second in the series is already available here at Audible, and I already have it. And yes, it's equally as good!
And on a final note, Modesitt's "Imager" series is already here at Audible, eight audiobooks strong, and yes, I'll be writing a review on them, as well. The man can write.
So, this is a keeper. It's on a shelf in my library, and now, it's a great listen on my audio server. It's going to STAY there.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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