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5.0 out of 5 starsA most pleasant read...
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2018
When it comes to Mr. Modesitt, I really don't have a least favorite button. He is extremely prolific in his righting and I have never given him less than four stars. The Recluse and Choice books are my favorites and are always well written. Composed of a great mix of science fiction and fantasy they challenge the imagination and are often very thought provoking. When it comes to character development, this author reminds me of Heinlein and Asimov. His characters create feelings of fellowship (in me) often causing me to see past characters within them. I strongly recommend all of his books.
This is the start of a story arc about Cerryl, who starts out as an orphan before getting the chance to become a mage. Against Mr. Modesitt's suggestion, I'm continuing to re-read this series in chronological order, and am finding the process very enjoyable, knowing more about past events.
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of my favorite LE Modesitt books
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2016
One of my favorite LE Modesitt books, and the first one that turns the "White = Evil" paradigm on its head. As the first part of a duo (and part of a quasi-trilogy, of sorts), it introduces us to a novel concept for the Recluce series, a White Mage we can empathize with. I loved the book in print, and continue to love it on my Kindle.
That said, it's amusing how many typos result from scanning the text and producing a Kindle file of it. Modesitt's extensive use of ys doesn't help. :)
5.0 out of 5 starsFinally a stroy from the other side of the coin
Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2004
While this wasn't really the most exciting book of the series, it was still one of the best. Mainly because of the alternative perspective that it gives the reader about Whites. This book chronicles the rise of Cerryl, who one day becomes the leader of the Whites in their fight against Recluce. This book makes it clear that all Whites aren't evil and that the school of white mages actually teaches and believes that it does more good for Candar than bad, and even the bad is only a necessary action for the future good of the people. This book is very well written (as are all of Modesitt's books) and the characters are great. The story line is cool, with plenty of action as well as lots of intrigue within the order of the Whites (mainly counter play between Sterol and Jeslek). This book is definitely a valuable addition to the saga of Recluce. Modesitt continues to fill in the missing blanks of his multi-generational story.
5.0 out of 5 starsRecluse Saga - one of the best series ever. Do yourself a favor and read it!
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2011
What can I say, I am a HUGE Recluse Saga fan. I think the books in the series are excellent and I love the flowing writing style. These are those books that you read and can't put down. I have often come to the end of a chapter and needed to go to bed or go do something else, and been so "into" the story that I had to start the next chapter. This Saga will capture you.
The books can be read out of order but some books in the series are sequential - the first book starts a story about a given character, the next book in the sequence finishes off that story. Be sure to read the first of these to start. Other books in the series are stand alone and can be read solo. But trust me, it would be VERY tough to read only one book in this series.
Some series have great "re-read" value and I hold this Recluse Saga as one of my most "re-read" ever. Some of these I have read 4 or 5 times and still enjoy them and have trouble putting them down. From Karl the cooper to Rahl and his issues, the characters in these books come alive and we get real buy-in to what happens to them.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of the Recluse Saga books. You won't be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 starsModesitt always writes the same story
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2017
but it's a story that I like so I'll keep reading it. A slow build, watching a young person mature into a capable sturdy individual. This book was interesting as it placed the hero in the city of the villains of an older book and described a society that was formerly just the 'badguys'. A good read overall.
I have read most L. E. s work in paperback; my Kindle will not allow me to write his last name. This coming of age work starts off a little slow, but picks up once the main character is accepted into the White Order. This is a stand alone work, but continues in the next book. I highly recommend it.
All of these books (Saga of Recluse) are rather predictable and slow. Only a couple are really good. But it is like most series, you want to see what happens... so.. I am trying to finish the series. I am listening to the audible version of the book. I don't think I could read these and get through them. They are enjoyable enough when I am listening to them on a airplane or in a car.
4.0 out of 5 starsExcellent standalone book in the Saga of Recluce
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2014
A good read this, it works well as a standalone book in the series. I actually read the sequel Colours of Chaos first, many years ago, and found this a similarly engaging read. It tells the story of Cerryl from his beginnings as an orphan child and follows his journey to the city of Fairhaven to become a student mage.
The book is very detailed in its description of the different trades which Cerryl plies along his journey - some might find the pace a bit slow but I found this absorbing and interesting. Modesitt seems to delight in descriptions of food and drink and while the references to chipped earthenware mugs get a bit over-familiar during the book, it's the attention to detail in his world that helps make these books so rewarding.
Characterisations are generally good, although Cerryl does fit the Modesitt archetype of plucky young hero rather well. Still, there's enough twists and turns here to keep things interesting, and Cerryl does have a harder side to his character which becomes apparent later on in the book.
All in all, a recommended read, and I would say either this book or Colours of Chaos would make an excellent introduction to the series.
This is my second reading of this book and it is still one of the few in the series which has a character you can like. I did notice that there are quite a few typographical errors though, presumably caused by formatting to the kindle.