Young Lerris is dissatisfied with his life and trade, and yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. But in Recluce a change in circumstances means taking one of two options: permanent exile from Recluce or braving 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. Lerris chooses the dangergeld.
When Lerris is sent into intensive training for his quest, it soon becomes clear that he has a natural talent for magic. And he will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked. Though it goes against all of his instincts, Lerris must learn to use his powers in an orderly way before his wanderjahr, or fall prey to Chaos.
©1992 L. E. Modesitt (P)2013 Tantor
I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print
I read the first L. E. Modesitt's Recluse series when it first came out in the early 1990's since then15 additional titles have been added to the series.
If you enjoy Epic Fantasy over many long novels, then this series is for you (this novel alone is over 19 hours long).
The book is Narrated by Kirby Heyborne who does an excellent job of trying to read an difficult novel. Anyone who has listened to Lynsay Sands Argeneau vampire series will be recognise his name.
The audio issue is that the book has many written "sound effects" which when read one can partially ignore, but the narrator cannot do this in an unabbridged version. Although Kirby does a reasonable job with the "sound effects" they tend to destroy the flow a bit in the Audio version. The ideal audio version should have actual sound effects, but that would have mad it too costly to produce.
L. E. Modesitt's world and character building is excellent. The main character wears on you a bit as he seems fixed in his "eveything is boring" mode and his need to be spoon fed information at least at first . . . but slowly he learns and grows.
Even with the comments above i would highly recommend this book and the Recluse series.
I gave Kirby Heyborne's perforce 5 because i did not feel it was fair to lower his score because of the authors tendency to throw in sound effects every where eg clop, clop clop for horses. If i remember correctly sound effects were in italics in the printed version.
In the book the White (Chaos) wizards are the "bad guys" and the Island of Recluce is the home of the Black (Order) wizards. Anyone on Recluce that does not embrace Order is exiled or give a chance to learn to embrace Order by receiving a little training and then going on a dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden quest in the lands beyond Recluce . . . but all is not that cut and dry . . .
The Magic of Recluce follows the adventures of Lerris and several of the dangergeld group he trained with, trying to complete the dangergeld or at least come to terms with their exile
If you always have a book with you...
I found this book really slow and almost void of adventure. It was a good listen, but largely because I was always thinking, 'OK, now it is going to get interesting'. Being the first in a series, it is often tough for an author to lay down all of the ground work for the world, the history and the characters and then throw in a few things to make it interesting. I found this novel to be a good foundation to build on, but just didn't capture me enough to go onto the second book in the series. But, I do like a good Orc bashing, and there are no Orcs.
The fact I could finally listen to it with my wife. Honestly, this was the series I was most bummed not to see when I signed up for Audible.
This is more about the series as a whole. Recluce is very much a world where the extraordinary deeds of heroes are broken down and shown to be ordinary. Almost every book is a different time in the planets history and you meet the characters others books talked about being powerhouses and learn the real stories of how things were. Because these people are in their own ways ordinary sometimes it doesn't seem as flashy as other popular books in the main stream right now, but something is just special to me.
If you ever wish the crafters could be the heroes instead of the warriors this might be for you.
I like the way Kirby voices how Lerris is bored with the world. It made for a great drinking game.
It might not make you want to run to your friends screaming omg!!!, this is crazy action filled goodness, lets sell it to HBO!!!
But it is a world I think you will be satisfied in knowing the history and people of.
I was a little disappointed with the audio version of this book because of the verbal sound effects made by the narrator. Things like a horse whinnying, explosions and such were a bit distracting. It's been a long time since I read the print book, but more than likely I paid little attention to those sentences when reading. The narrator's voice seemed too soft and quiet at first, but I got used to it, especially when realizing the character of Lerris is still in his teens.
The most memorable part of the book was when Lerris was fighting the White wizard.
Kirby Heyborne did a good job of distinguishing characters vocally. His voice is pleasant to listen to for a long story.
This book didn't spark any extreme reactions, but it is one I've read often and really enjoyed because of the characters and the well defined magic system.
I am so glad this series is finally available on audiobook. I've read through almost the whole series, and often wished I could listen to it, as I've listened to The Wheel of Time series, The Song of Ice and Fire, and many other sci-fi series. Thanks to audible for making this happen!
If you liked Imager, you'll like this and whilst I am waiting on the 8th Imager book, I will continue with this series. Just as good and just as compelling, in a quiet sophisticated style rather than grandiose and pretentious. Great character and development, excellent story, good basis for Magic Chaos and Order.
As alluded in the headline, the narrators 'sound effects' really work against the story telling. If they want 'Sound Effects' do REAL Sound Effects. At times, especially in one of the final scenes the amount of irritating 'sound effect' really almost spoilt the final chapters.
Yet...... I am purchasing books 2 and 3 right after this review is posted!!
Thwack! Clank! Aiyeeee! Thud! The fight was over in moments. I'd rather get a description of the fight than sound effects. The bell tolled ominously is better than BONG...BONG...BONG! I gave it three stars across the board because I didn't like Modesitt's sound effects.
I didn't get far enough to make a recommendation.
Young-adult, monotone, adolescent
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
It is at the upper end of average. It is an interesting read but nothing earth shattering. It follows a time worn formula but it is done very well.
I liked the scene when the major character finally got off his tail and started trying to learn to do something with his abilities.
Make lots of annoying sound effects. He does a good job but the sound effects totally kill the momentum of the story at key points. I will say he does the best female voices of any male narrarator I've heard.
No extreme reaction I just found the wrold itself the most interesting part of the novel.
This is a trope ridden story but is done well enough you can't help but enjoy it. The narrarator does a solid job despite the constant jarring sound effect attempts. He has a good range and as long as the main character is a young man or female he is good to go.
Modesitt has a way of filling in the every day items that add another level of depth to his stories. As an example, everyone has to eat, including Modesitt's characters, and you get to know what each character likes and doesn't like. Just like normal people, they complain! The main character is often driven but he/she always has to deal with daily minutia and THAT is what adds color to the characters!
I don't know if I have a most memorable moment in the first book of Recluce. Probably one of the things I like the best though is the main character's use of his profession; woodworking. While Modesitt is entertaining you with a good story, he is also teaching the reader something about woodworking. An early pioneer of edutainment?
I am always amazed at how a good narrator can remember all the characters of a book and give each one his or her own voice and inflection. Kirby does a good job of portraying all the characters even the female voices. Most importantly, there are no quirks to Kirby's narration that detract from the book.
I have enjoyed many of Modesitt's books including the Imager series, both Spellsinger series (text only), and Haze. I was very pleased to see another series of his become available on Audible. His website is well maintained and a good source of information on his books and he often posts and answers questions in his forum. L.E. Modesitt Jr. is an excellent author. If you haven't already, dive into the depths of his imagination.
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.
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
My Mom is a huge Modesitt fan and owns and has read almost all of his works. Therefore it helped a lot when she told this isn't the first series in Recluce world. It did explain why the opening 4 hours nobody is really explaining anything. If unlike Lerris you hold on and think for yourself some it does start to clear up. If you have heard the Imager books then the first Imager set of 3 explain stuff which isn't re-explained in the Scholar but Scholar shows you different rules. Same problem here without the advantage of just buying the other books.
Neither Order or Chaos is inherent good or evil. In the 13 or 14th books some are set on each side. The black staff Lerris is issued is the mark of low level learner Order Mage.
Black = Order (later explain the absence of light)
White = Choas (mix of all light and therefore not orded)
Recluse wasn't always the prudish place depicted.
It's a story of a young man growing up. Apparently in the series written before this one was about the founding of the island of Recluce a few hundred years prev. and therefore the rather dull first couple of hours are a contract between society that the reader last saw and what it became. I'm ensured the effect was very good. Finally (~4hr) Lerris get off Recluce and things pick up as the meat of the story get going.
My problem with Kirby is rather simple: he can't do an onomatopoeia and not jar me out of the story. Modesitt work at exciting moments seems full of Howlling, Naaaing of the horses etc. I don't believe Kirb Heyborne is a bad reader just not one who should ever try to make howling wind sounds.
I REALLY hope that Tor release the rest of the Recluce books.
"The Magic of Fine Wood Craft"
The Magic of Recluce or The Magic of woodwork. Yup, this book felt like 64 chapters of wood crafting and 2 chapters of stuff happening! And, in case you're wondering, those are the last 2 chapters. During which he stops to comment on the wood work, the joinery and the type of wood used in everything!!
Now I normally don't write negative reviews but this book looked so promising that I bought it off Amazon and then payed for the Audible companion audio and settled in for a good listen. Audible, I want my 15hrs (or eternity, felt like eternity) back.
So, if you want to know what it takes to craft chairs and breadboards and boxes in a fantasy setting then please, read this book. If you'd prefer adventure, magic and a plot lacking in wood references then don't! I mean it, truly awful!
Fans of the series, sorry! It just didn't do it for me
"Good read but horrible sound affects!"
No, because once listened to I cannot listen again as I know what's coming. Will be getting the rest of the series though
The first sound effect!
Well read - All the sound effects
The plot is standard fair but well written with the main character and plot good enough to keep me listening at every available opportunity. The only annoying part of the book is the sound effects, bad enough to read but cringe worthy to listen to the poor narrator trying to reproduce them. Would have been better off without them & letting the reader use their imagination.
When I first listened to the first chapter, I wasn't sure if I liked the narrator. However, I soon got fully into the storyline and found the narrative very suited to the character in the book.
I enjoy fantasy stories and this had me looking forward to listening as often as possible to find out what happened next. If you like fantasy then I can recommend this, and I went on to the next book, so that should tell you everything.
"Magic Of Recluce"
confusing but good
Don't really have one, but probably Laris because there is more about him than anyone.
The ending of the book but I'm not gonna spoil it.
A lot of this book leaves you getting confused and the constant questioning gets a bit annoying at times but over all it's a good listen/read.
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