Justin's Reviews > The Magic of Recluce

The Magic of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
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did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy

Bleh. Technically I shouldn't mark this as "read," since I've only made it through about 175 pages or so.

I've seen these books praised by fantasy readers, and am lucky enough to have a set signed by the author. But I can't really see the appeal. This is a book in dire need of a more merciless editor. It's turgid past the point of forgiveness. Everything moves so. Slow. That. I. Find. Myself. Not. Giving. A. Damn.

Modesitt takes great care to describe each room his characters enter in excruciating detail, down to the grain of the floorboards. But the descriptive language doesn't stop there; we also get detailed breakdowns of lunches, ablutions, and aimless wanderings. Conversations of no particular importance are faithfully recorded, even if they don't consist of anything but some "oh"s, "well"s, a few ellipses, and some onomatopoeia. Which wouldn't be so bad if any of the characters were likable, but sadly, with one exception (Sammel) they are all extremely irritating. Especially Lerris. See, here's the thing: if the main character is bored and annoyed all the time for no particular reason, it makes for a pretty boring and annoying read that doesn't seem to be going in any particular direction.

In the meantime, the magical and fantastic stuff gets completely glossed over in the beginning, making it hard to understand just what in the hell is going on. I like the idea of this growing from unexplained occurrences to a fully realized magic system, but I really didn't feel it was executed well.

The strangest thing is that when I finally got to some action, it was horribly contrived and written with nearly no emotion at all. It was almost as if we were in a hurry to get back to walking around and remarking on the colors of buildings.

The world itself is obviously deep and seems interesting enough. Maybe when I have fewer books on my to-read pile, I'll try to slog through this lumbering mess again to see if it gets any better.
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Reading Progress

March 10, 2010 – Started Reading
March 10, 2010 – Shelved
March 28, 2010 – Finished Reading
June 24, 2010 – Shelved as: fantasy

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