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Arms-Commander (The Saga of Recluce #16)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  1,700 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Arms-Commander takes place ten years after the end of The Chaos Balance and tells the story of the legendary Saryn. The keep of Westwind, in the cold mountainous heights called the Roof of the World, is facing attack by the adjoining land of Gallos. Arthanos, son and heir to the ailing Prefect of Gallos, wishes to destroy Westwind because the idea of a land where women rul ...more
Hardcover, 527 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Tor Books (first published 2009)
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Bryan Brown
Mar 18, 2015 Bryan Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I liked this book better than the previous two. As we continue on in internal chronological order, this book tells the story of the first "grey" mage of Candar, Sayrn. Sayrn is one of the original crew of the Winterlance that fell to ground on the Roof of the World. Over the years she has become the leader of all the armed forces of Westwind. The Marshal, having seen many visions sends Sayrn out into the lower lands of Lornth to help prevent repeated attacks on Westwind.

Sayrn doesn't want to lea
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
This may be a slightly higher rating than the book deserves as a stand alone, but as the 15th (or so) book in a series, it's great. It is so rare to find a series that continues to deliver the same quality, but the Recluse series has been a favorite of mine for 15 years or more.

On the downside, there is some repetitiveness. The entire theme of men goofed it all up & women are fixing it got old. It was hammered in until finally it relented towards the end. There is a reason for this because -
Thomas Melnik
May 04, 2016 Thomas Melnik rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really enjoyed this book. If you're a male chauvinist stay away. The lead protagonist, Saryn, is quite the heroine. I found her to be inspiring without being arrogant or self-entitled. If you're a Saga of Recluce fan, then this is another great addition to the series that you will enjoy.
Jun 04, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it
It’s important to keep key milestones straight as you read the Recluce series. The order in which the series has been written and published does not match the chronological order of events throughout the series.

It was in The Fall of Angels where we were introduced to the characters of Nylan and Ryba. Chronologically, Arms-Commander takes place after The Chaos Balance in which Nylan leaves Westwind. (The book states Nylan has been gone for 10 years.) Recluce has not yet been established as Cresli
Feb 21, 2010 Jon rated it really liked it
More of a 3.5-3.75 stars then 4.0

Arms-Commander is the sixteenth Recluce saga installment and takes us back to the time following The Fall of Angels, about ten or twelve years after the arrival of the Winterlance's crew to the Roof of the World. Ryba is the Marshall of Westwind and Saryn is her Arms-Commander.

The first half of the book deals with an incursion from Gallos intent on destroying Westwind. Saryn pushes gently but firmly for Ryba to allow some men into Westwind, for progeny and for c
Jan 25, 2010 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Recluce fans. Can be read as a standalone if you have not read recluce books in a while
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
In many ways a typical Recluce book. Saryn is an Angel, the Arms Commander of the Winterfane, a starship that suffered damage in a space battle and is now circling the world of Recluce below. Along with Ryba, the Marshall at the Roof of the World, Naryn, the Ship's Engineer she has gone to the planet below.

In a prior volume in this series, Naryn and Ryba clashed as to the leadership of the Roof of the World, with Naryn leaving after destroying Cyador.

The Rood of the World is a haven for women, r
Jan 25, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
First Line: In the late afternoon on the Roof of the World, the guards stood silent on the practice ground, their eyes fixed on the blackness rising just above the western horizon as Istril stepped out of the main door of Tower Black and crossed the causeway.

As I mentioned when I first wrote about reading Arms-Commander this is my first Recluce novel since I read The Magic of Recluce some time after having plowed through the first couple of Wheel of Time novels. I had forgotten precisely how odd
Oct 24, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
This book shared some of the rambling self-referentiality of The Elysium Commission and I have never much liked Modesitt's Angel books, I'm not sure why. This book was liberally sprinkled with references to two much earlier Angel books that we were supposed to remember, but which were annoying and distracting to me.

But as the book continued, it fell into the familiar pattern and the series of escalating battles to end in references to the future of the land that has been seen in other books.

Jun 03, 2014 D.w. rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Mr. Modesitt has a certain style that I must continue to remind myself, having read him for more than 20 years, each time I start out. He writes slow, slow, slow, and likes to describe food (not that it is often food you can eat since these are fantasies that he writes)

The speed is an aid to develop the character of the protagonist, which in these settings, there are few better at. His world building is unique, but sometimes fallible. Here I will provide a spoiler for he has decided by the end o
T.I.M. James
Jul 04, 2014 T.I.M. James rated it liked it
I have to admit that the Recluce books by L E Modesitt Jr. are a bit of a weakness of mine. I have read other novels by the very prolific author and found them to be simply okay, but the Recluce series have always been entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable.

It is also one of those series that I was waiting for the bubble to pop. After all it began with a run of five books, that were cleverly written, released in an unusual but working order - chronologically the first book is actually fourth... B
Jun 24, 2014 Shiloh rated it really liked it
Received through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program ( 2009; it's taken me a while to get to it)

I received this book in 2009 from one of the Early Reviewers batches, and FINALLY got around to reading it (oops).

That being said, it's a solid addition to the Recluce series. There really isn't anything extraordinary about the writing style if you've read the other 15 books (and if so, bravo—I definitely know it takes a long time!). As Modesitt has grown as a writer, you'll notice in this b
Apr 15, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Not much new in book 16 of this series. Saryn (like the nerve gas) is death on four legs (she always fights from horseback, although the horses themselves are basically ignored). Apparently she's the best trainer of troops in the world, but that's not part of this story.

Throughout the book Saryn struggles against stupid MCPs, who are always prating about honor and then attacking her dishonorably. Unfortunately she is never able to clearly articulate her rather simple position -- even to herself.
Michell Plested
May 23, 2011 Michell Plested rated it liked it
I have long been a fan of L.E. Modesitt Jr, but I'm afraid this entry in to the Recluce Saga is one of his weaker efforts.

I have long loved his telling of the everyman's (or woman's in this case) story of how the protagonist pulls himself or herself up from their bootstraps and overcomes massive odds to win the day. Mr. Modesitt does a fine job focusing on the minute' of that person's life and he gives us a great view of how the sum of the parts in a person makes a greater whole.

That is very muc
Jul 23, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it
In Arms-Commander Modesitt finally returns to the Legend. I have been greatly anticipating that he would return to The Roof of the World and the Angels to tell the rest of their story. Arms-Commander doesn't do that. While it starts off in Westwind and Ryba, leader of the Angels, does figure prominently in the beginning portion of the story, Arms-Commander instead tells the story of the founding of Sarronnynn, born from the ashes of Lornth.

When Suthyan traders visit Westwind they first try to w
Apr 14, 2012 Louisa rated it liked it
Even although I liked this book - it is written by Modesitt after all, and I am a huge fan - I thought that the female lead in this book was a carbon-copy of male leads in some of his other books. I would have liked to see other/deeper layers to her character. From the start of the book, I really enjoyed reading about the characters I got to know in "Fall of Angels" Fall of Angels (The Saga of Recluce, #6) by L.E. Modesitt Jr. and the references to Nylan but eventually I became a bit bored by the social issue of women's rights and found it a bit repetitiv ...more
William Bentrim
Dec 27, 2011 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
Arms-Commander by L.E. Modesitt, jr

If you have read any of my reviews you have to be aware that I am fond of strong female protagonists. I’m guessing that is the case with L.E. Modesitt as well. This story is taken from the pages of the Recluce saga. The country of Lornth discovers that being a neighbor of Westwind can be a mixed blessing.

I don’t know if this is just another excellent novel by Mr. Modesitt or a political commentary on the many nations of the real world that offer women less th
Jun 08, 2014 Christian rated it liked it
Although I have read most of the series several times, this is my first reading of Arms-Commander. I am about two thirds through the book and I am quite enjoying it, like most of the books in this series as well as those of the Imager Portfolio. Mr. Modesitt's writing style is probably not for everyone, considering his very methodical and sometimes "preachy" approach to story-telling, but I have been a fan for years and am not disappointed.
Fredrick Danysh
Feb 09, 2014 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Ten years earlier a star ship was marooned on what became the Roof of the world. The resulting colony became Amazon-like due to a shortage of males. The rest of the nation states were male dominated and tried to wipe out the women. Now civil war is starting in Lornath and the regent has asked for help in protecting her son. Arms-Commander Saryn is sent to help and must battle the male dominating lords of Lornath. Contains feminist viewpoints.
Jan 28, 2016 Micaela rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This installment was one of the better Recluse books, and I have read all of them. The nice thing about Recluse is not that they are fabulous literature but that there are a lot of them, they are fairly predictable, and they are almost all stand-alone functionally. You can binge or you can read one by one in no particular order whenever you don't know what else to read.
Laddie Tabor
Jun 21, 2015 Laddie Tabor rated it it was amazing
This was my first L.E.Modesitt, Jr. Science Fiction book. Apparently this is book 16 of the series "Saga of Recluce". I thought it was extremely well written. As a fan of Science Fiction I found it to be quite entertaining. It is not a short book at more than 700 pages but a very good read.
Aug 13, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book that I've read in this series so I'm unfamiliar with many of the terms and references used throughout though it's a stand alone novel. It was hard to get into at first but it picked up later and became genuinely interesting. I need to see if I can find an audiobook copy of book 1 in the series so I can start in proper order.
Oct 15, 2012 Aaron rated it really liked it
One of my favorite authors, I know what I’m getting when I read a Saga of Recluce novel. I just wish I knew how to introduce this series to people, as the “first” book in the series is confusing, and in general, it’s hard to find a starting book to give people. I have the feeling no matter which book I give people, they’d say “I don’t get it”, give up and quit reading this series. I love his technical, detailed writing, even if sometimes his sentence syntax is a little strange. I like learning m ...more
Jaz Primo
Jun 27, 2011 Jaz Primo rated it it was amazing
Arms Commander was yet another EXCELLENT novel in Modesitt’s Saga of Recluce! The characters were rich and vivid, and Saryn was written so tangibly that at times I felt her strong emotions reflected on the page. While romance was not a central theme of the novel, there were romantic elements that appeared by the end, which was both charming and thoughtfully conveyed. In the end, the message that “Women can be great leaders and deserve respect” is an excellent one, and was written with conviction ...more
Alisha Kennedy
Aug 24, 2015 Alisha Kennedy rated it really liked it
I must admit, being number 16 in a saga, there were a few things that I did not understand and I believe it is because I have missed much in the books before. Once I was into the story I enjoyed it and would definitely read the next. I felt it was a little drawn out and long otherwise it was a great story.
Nick Duretta
Feb 08, 2013 Nick Duretta rated it liked it
This most recent in the Recluse saga follows the pattern established by its predecessors -- a brave, resourceful and almost godlike protagonist battling evil in a land of chaos and order. This book brings back the women of Westwind, and the arms-commander of the title, Saryn. It's refreshing to see women taking center stage in a fantasy that involves mostly battles and war. So there's a feminist angle here that sets it up above the other titles in this series. However, the negatives of Modesitt' ...more
William Snee
Jul 20, 2014 William Snee rated it it was amazing
Another great chapter in the world of Recluse. I've read so many now, I need to get a list to see which ones are still out there to read. As always, I continue to enjoy Modesitt storytelling and this one was no exception.
Doug B.
Jan 13, 2011 Doug B. rated it liked it
The latest volume in the Recluce saga takes place after the events of The Fall of Angels and The Chaos Balance. Not the best jumping on point for new readers, but the events of the novel are self contained and complete. Modesitt's strengths are on display in the portrayal of the costs (both economic and otherwise) of epic fantasy based warfare and magic. Modesitt also adds strong feminist themes to this work, in places a bit clumsy. It is refreshing to see a strong heroine at the lead of a fanta ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Rob rated it liked it
...Arms-Commander is the first book in the series where the main character is female and it is the third book in that particular era of the world of Recluce, something he has only done once before, so there was some reason to believe this might not be a very typical Recluce book. For those of you who like their fantasy familiar there is no need to worry. Arms-Commander is a solid entry in the series but will not surprise those who have read the other Recluce books...

Full Random Comments review.
Apr 12, 2011 Derek rated it liked it
Another satisfying book set in the Saga of Recluce world. The characters were for the most part enjoyable, but Modesitt's rampant use of the letter Y in every character name was a little tedious.

I'd say this is one of his weaker books concerning use of the system of magic as well. While it could have really gone somewhere interesting with the protagonists take on magic, instead it seemed to just use it as an excuse to pull magic out of thin air. If that makes any sense.

Still, a satisfying book s
Dan Kinkade
Jul 23, 2012 Dan Kinkade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the problems with sequels, especially those flanked in the middle of a series, is they tend to be predictable and boring. While much of the plot in "Arms Commander" can be predicted, it is never boring. The action starts with the opening chapter and builds to a satisfying conclusion. Yet, there are a few surprises awaiting the reader, and perhaps the best explanation of the world of recluse of any in the series. Add a strong and engaging female main charactor and you end up with a differe ...more
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L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, then moved to New Hampshire in 1989 where he met his wife. They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, u
More about L.E. Modesitt Jr....

Other Books in the Series

The Saga of Recluce (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce #1)
  • The Towers of the Sunset (The Saga of Recluce #2)
  • The Magic Engineer (The Saga of Recluce #3)
  • The Order War (The Saga of Recluce #4)
  • The Death of Chaos (The Saga of Recluce #5)
  • Fall of Angels (The Saga of Recluce #6)
  • The Chaos Balance (The Saga of Recluce #7)
  • The White Order (The Saga of Recluce #8)
  • Colors of Chaos (The Saga of Recluce #9)
  • Magi'i of Cyador (The Saga of Recluce #10)

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