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Magi’I of Cyador, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Tor, ISBN 978-0-8125-7948-2, $8.99
This is the 10th published novel in the series although it is the first novel in the series. Yes, we can explain that. It seems that Modesitt does not write in a linear fashion and so if you read the novels in the order they were published you are not reading them in the order of the story. For more details on this you should go here https://www.tor.com/2016/12/13/a-beginners-guide-to-the-characters-settings-and-timelines-of-recluce/ as it explains it in more detail.
This is the story of Lorn, the one who first had the idea about the relationship between chaos and order some time in year 1. However, Lorn’s story is not a simple one. Trained as a magus, Lorn is eventually pushed out of the order due to his not having enough ‘passion’ for the work. Because he is on his way to becoming a powerful mage the system needs to find a way to see to it that he never comes into his power when outside of the contrived hierarchy. Thus, Lorn is enlisted into the Mirror Lancers as a junior officer and sent out to the wastes to battle the barbarians. It is not expected that he will survive this. But Lorn is working his own plans, and prior to leaving the city of his birth he has put things into play that will help him not only survive but thrive in an environment that is used to get rid of problematic young mages. Lorn survives the barbarians only to be sent to patrol the edges of the Accursed Forest, a place where danger grows and the number of mirror lancers lessens as those who die are not fully replaced. It is expected that Lorn will not survive this posting. To make sure of it a senior officer will follow Lorn’s efforts and take matters into his own hands if needed.
This book lays the groundwork for all the novels that follow and you’re probably wondering one thing: should I read them in order? Good question. If the series were finished with no new books coming then I would say yes, read them in chronological order rather than published order. But, there are still books coming—a new one out this month in fact—so while you could maybe start from this point and read them in order there is no guarantee that Modesitt will not decide to write the next one somewhere in the middle. Recluce is a huge tapestry with a lot of places yet to be experienced. My first experience with Recluce was a decade ago so I’m not reading them in order but as they come out. It does not matter in terms of story how you do it so it all comes down to personal preference. Whatever you do, do not decide to wait until they are all out because who knows when that will be and why deny yourself the pleasure.
Finally, as a special event, the first three books in the Saga of Recluce series, are being reissued with new covers. And not just new covers but covers that, when put together, create a tapestry. You can see it reproduced below. These new editions will not be available until October 2018 so you’ve got a bit of a wait.
Magi”I of Cyador is a great place to jump into the Saga of Recluce series, particularly as it’s the first book in terms of the story. Now is the perfect time to jump in or to re-engage if it’s been a while. You won’t regret doing so.