The Magic of Recluce
The Magic of Recluce
Author L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Cover Artist Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Tor Books
Publication Date May 1991
ISBN 0-812-50518-2
Preceded by
Followed by
The Towers of the Sunset

The Magic of Recluce is the first book of The Saga of Recluce.

Official SummaryEdit

With The Magic of Recluce, L.E. Modesitt made his impressive hardcover debut, breaking out in wide scope and grand scale with a novel in the great tradition of the war between good and evil in a wonderful fantasy world. Modesitt had been producing fast-paced, slickly-written novels of SF adventure, often compared to the work of Keith Laumer and Gordon R. Dickson. Then, in his biggest and best book yet, he broadened his canvas and turned to fantasy and magic, stepping immediately into the front rank of contemporary fantasy writers.

The Magic of Recluce is a carefully-plotted fantasy novel of character about the growth and education of a young magician. In it, Modesitt confronts real moral issues with gripping force, builds atmosphere slowly and convincingly and gives his central character, Lerris, real intellectual challenges. This is the kind of highly-rationalized fantasy that Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson write when they write fantasy, colorful and detailed.

He is given the standard two options: permanent exile from Recluce or 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. He chooses dangergeld.

Though magic is rarely discussed openly in Recluce, it becomes clear, when Lerris is sent into intensive training for his quest, that he has a natural talent for it during his weapons lessons. And he will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked. He must learn to use his powers in an orderly way or fall prey to Chaos.

Lerris may resent order, but he has no difficulty choosing good over evil. As he begins his lonely journey, he falls into the company of a gray magician, once of Recluce, who tutors him in the use of magic and shows him some of the devastation caused by the Chaos Wizards in the great wars between Chaos and Order of past times.

Lerris pursues a quest for knowledge and power that leads him across strange lands, through the ghostly ruins of the old capitol of Chaos, down the white roads of the Chaos Wizards to a final battle with the archenemy of Order, discovering in the end true control of magic, true love, and the beginning of true wisdom. An epic adventure, The Magic of Recluce0, is a triumph of fantasy.

Alternate EditionsEdit

The Magic of Recluce (Anniversary Edition)
The 20th Anniversary Edition reissued by Tor Books in 2011. It is available in Trade Paperback size, slightly larger than its original Mass Market Paperbound size. It also contains forwards by Robin Hobb, Megan Lindholm and L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

The cover art was done by Matt Stawicki.

The Magic of Recluce (Subterranean Press)
Another 20th Anniversary Edition, reissued by Subterranean Press in 2011, which was made available in two different editions. The Limited Edition comprised 500 signed numbered cloth-bound copies which are all currently sold out. The Lettered Edition, costing $250, comprised 26 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom traycase, some of which are still available for purchase.

The cover art was done by Dominic Harman.