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
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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
"Slow....not quite epic"
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.
"Crafting a world."
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.
"Great Story and Storing Telling, Bad Sound Effects"
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!!
"Annoying sound effects by narrator"
The story is good but the sound effects the narrator makes are very annoying. The sound effects should've been left on the editors floor when the book was written or left out in narration. Other than that the book is good and I will probably give the next book a try.
NO SOUND EFFECTS!!!
"Finally, available on audiobook!"
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!
"Sound effects drove me nuts!"
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
"A very good start"
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.
"Interesting story, bad writting"
I won't go into much detail, but I would say that the writing of the book lacked refinement. The author liked to portray sounds throughout the book the same way you would see them in a comic book. This felt like a shortcut for when the author was too lazy to describe what had happened. An entire critical battle scene would be written like this"Clunk, thunk".. that's it. Sounds like lazy writing by an author who just couldn't be bothered. The author also constantly repeated the same words throughout the book. I can't count how many times I heard the word boring used while listening to the book. Not only is the repetition of words excessively considered bad writing, specifically the repetition of the word boring makes me feel like I am listening to a teenage story teller. There were also glaring gaps in the story telling. Kind of like watching a movie that was edited to make it short enough to fit on the allotted time on TV.
The author has potential, but needs to work on polishing and refining their writing skills. While I am not a professional critic, I knew enough to see this as weak effort.
The other would describe an action and then use an onomatopeia to represent the sound. It was childish and incredibly annoying.
The story line was pretty good.
I was just relieved to be done with it.
The most annoying animal andbird noises you can imagine, stupid and childish actually and stops the reader from enjoying the story.
The story trundles along as fast as an old woman with a walking stick that is too short for her and the performer reads to you as if he is quite bired by the entire experience, however and there is a however which is why I gave it 4 stars there is an interesting story running through the book and if you can manage to remain awake long enough without passing out and finding yourself in another kingdom and short adventure where nothing is the same then you will enjoy it.
It took a while for me to get into the character but by the end I began to oike him and it is worth the trudge through if only they would get rid of those daxxed noises.
If you like this kind of escapism then buy it but it is not fast reading or filled with excitement though that last bit might be the performer. The performer does read beautifully but without the excitement to turn a page.
"horrendous sound effects"
Everytime I heard a vulcrow I winced. And the excessive use of the word boring was also nerve wracking. The story was much better in the second half of the book.
"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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