Review: The Magic of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

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This was an enjoyable read. Nothing spectacular, definitely not five stars for me, but it could have at least been four stars if not for one very annoying component… But more on that later.

The characters – I liked them. Some of the relationships that formed between them seemed a little unbelievable and/or unnatural to me, but it wasn’t so bad as to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. The magic system – interesting, I liked the idea of order versus chaos and all of the rules that went with each side. The world was also interesting to me, I found myself wanting to keep reading so that I could learn more about Recluce and unravel the mysteries surrounding it. The plot was sort of so so.. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it.. But for most of the book it just sort of meandered along. The plot was advancing, but I had no idea what it was advancing towards. It only really started coming together and wrapping up in the last third or quarter. But like I said – the ride to get there was interesting, I just would have liked some more hints as to what the overall plot was a little earlier on.

Now back to the annoying component.. The sound effects. What the heck was up with those sound effects? They were so awkward and out of place in the story! Some examples of what I mean…

Thwup, thwup, thwup… thwup, thwup, thwup… The paddles churned, dipping into the water with increasing speed, and a heavier and thicker plume of whitish smoke billowed from the stack.

… clink… clink… clunk… Sweat was pouring from his face, and he was breathing hard…. clink… clunk… Crack!… Whsssttt… “Aiiieee…!” Clank..

Thrummmm… thrumm… Splatt… splattt… The cold raindrops on my head prompted me to complete my recovery of the cloak and to replace the pack behind the saddle.

Seriously.. What is up with that? They are completely unnecessary, annoying, and everywhere. They didn’t really show up right away, which is good because I probably would have dropped the book right away if they had. By the time they did show up I was already interested in the story, so I pushed through. But seriously.. They almost ruin the story.

So overall – the story/characters/magic/world in general gets four stars, but I have to take off a star for the sound effects. I will likely read on in the series, but I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed that the sound effects go away.

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