Dirk Grobbelaar's Reviews > The Order War

The Order War by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
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's review
Oct 07, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own, fantasy
Read from August 11 to 18, 2011

This is book 4 of the Saga of Recluce. The internal chronology of the series looks to be pretty whacked, since this is apparently ranked as book 9, with the first published book (Magic of Recluce) ranked as book 10, according to some. Anyway, confusion aside, the book works perfectly well as a standalone, although it took me a while to get up to speed on the back story and the history of the world.

If you’ve read Modesitt, you’ll know how he loves long and detailed depictions of the mundane. Who else can spend pages and pages on simple acts such as the drinking of beer or the cutting of cheese? This was the only real gripe I had with this novel, although some people are sticklers for detail and will likely appreciate this kind of thing. The Orbit edition, which is the one I own, does not have a map, and considering the geographical displacement of the characters in this novel, this was a bit of a bummer.

In all truth, though, this is a really good book. Its main strength is, arguably, the world-building. And this is where Modesitt’s penchant for detail really comes into its own. The system of magic, based on Order and Chaos, is really interesting and I’ll especially recommend this book to people who like to lose themselves in the details and discuss the technical aspects of world building and magic systems.

As a coming of age fantasy novel leaning heavily towards magic use, this was not an entirely new idea when it was published in the 1990s. However, it’s pulled off with a reasonable amount of panache. I understand that the other novels in the Saga of Recluce follow much the same pattern. I am tempted to seek them out, especially The Magic of Recluce.

So, four stars, because I really enjoyed it, but with a single reservation: it gets a bit long in the tooth at times.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Jeffrey I have read a bunch of Modisset myself and I also wonder why he spends so much time on breakfast meals etc. Soometimes the books almost seem like a diary of what Modisset had to eat while he was writing the novel.

Dirk Grobbelaar Very true. I wonder if it is a way of establishing rapport with the characters, by showing them doing everyday stuff. I, personally, think it's a bit much. I don't care how thick the slice of cheese is, or how many bites before it's finished.

Jeffrey couldnt agree more. In the Imager books, its practically a travelogue of every day. Its unnecessary -- I almost felt sometimes like it was extra padding

Dirk Grobbelaar It does tend to make the novels feel long. I read The Parafaith War on my brother-in-law's recommendation, and although it was OK there were a few scenes that felt over-extended in every sense of the word. The same applied for The Eternity Artifact, where an indeterminate amount of the book was taken up by political discussions between the characters. I'm talking lots of pages. You might well be right about the 'extra padding'. Hmm, how to turn a 400 page novel into a 600 page novel?

message 5: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome Does he describe a toaster?

message 6: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome Sorry I'm getting you and Kemper's review of Ghostman mixed up. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... Just more proof that true editing does not exist anymore.

Dirk Grobbelaar Tamahome wrote: "Does he describe a toaster?"

no toaster :)

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