L.E. Modesitt, Jr. Natural Ordermage Reviews

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“Natural Ordermage ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 08/07/2007

Natural Ordermage
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Tor, Sep 2007, $27.95
ISBN: 9780765318138

On the island of Recluse, master scribe Kian mentors his apprentice younger son Rahl; his older offspring Kacet is a member of the Guards of the council stationed at Reflin. Unbeknownst to Kian, to avoid hassles and make life easier on himself, Rahl serendipitously uses tiny doses of order magic when he thinks the time deems to do so. However, his efforts to conceal his illegal use prove futile as the Council magisters trace his misuse back to him.

The council has Rahl tested to ascertain the strength of his ability and why the rules of magic seem not to apply to him. Between his impulsive youthful temper and his seemingly out of control skill, the Council exiles him across the sea to the wilds of Hamor; a place where he will either learn to control himself and his order magical usage working on export-import trade or die. Either outcome is acceptable to the Council.

Although NATURAL BORDERMAGE is listed as the fourteenth Saga of Recluse tale, the novel mostly takes place on Hamor. This location switch to an apparently less civilized place brings freshness to the L.E. Modesitt, Jr. environs. The story line is a coming of age fantasy starring a fascinating youngster who just wants order in what he perceives is a WELLSPRING OF CHAOS. Although well written, the book is the first of two novels so that the climax is more a set up to the sequel even as the hero becomes more adept with magic, his ability to land in trouble also increases (strong correlation between the independent variable of skill level and the dependent variable trouble he is in).

Harriet Klausner

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