By L.E. Modesitt, JR., Tor, $15.99, 445 pages
You know a book is popular when an author releases an anniversary edition celebrating the original. Fantasy writer L.E. Modesitt Jr. has done just that with The Magic of Recluce. First written in 1990, this special 20th anniversary edition celebrates Modesitt’s prolific career. The Saga of Recluce contains 16 books. The Magic of Recluce is the first in the series and documents journey of young Lerris who lives on the island of Recluce but is constantly bored. Since boredom can ultimately lead to chaos, the lad is sent on a mandatory danger geld with the instructions to go on a quest and decide if he is ready to live an ordered life or a life of exile. A boring walk turns into an epic adventure. Lerris meets a gray wizard who helps him discover his own magical skills. What will he choose to become – a black order master or a white chaos master? One unique and sometimes frustrating aspect of the story is that readers only learn answers to big questions when Lerris learns them. Both the protagonist and the reader are on a quest for knowledge. If you enjoy the book, be glad there are 15 more waiting!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin