Whether it be social, recreational, or professional, some of what represents me is here. Post a comment, or contact me at should you so desire.

The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Magic of Recluse

I find it strange that I think the burning of books to be such an heretical act, yet when I read through books quickly, I usually refer to it as "burning through them". I guess it's one of those idioms which I must train myself not to use.

Also, I am well aware of the grammatical/orthographical, controversy over using the word an before heretical, but I'm hoping that my acknowledgement of such a grievous error can placate the punishment I will receive from it.

Nevertheless, I am very sidetracked and since I am not allowing myself to use it again, and since fire is such a prominent element in fantasy fiction, I will allow myself to say this one time, that I am burning through a lot of fantasy lately.

...yeah, I realize that this entire introduction resulted from free-writing my internal argument over the use of burning, whatever, I like sharing some of my thoughts.

Anyway, while waiting for the second book in The Wheel of Time series, and the third in A Song of Ice and Fire, to be available at any library in Edmonton, Brittany referred me to The Magic of Recluse.

The Magic of Recluse is a fascinating book and a great introduction to the world of Recluse and the magic therein.

The story follows the typical fantasy format of following a young man around on his adventures, but I found the delivery to be unique and interesting. It seems that magic exists in one of two forms in and outside of Recluse: order-magic and chaos-magic. Contrary to typical chromatic connotation, chaos magic is white, and ordered is black.

We begin our adventure, where else, but in Recluse, in a small town, with a boy who is bored with his surroundings. His parents are very disciplined and very orderly and they constantly try to instill the benefits of order upon their son. Restless, he tries learning wood-crafting with his uncle, but regardless, or irregardless even, of all of this, Lerris, the main character, finds that he is too bored and unsatisfied by the lack of answers to his questions and is basically exiled for this. The exile comes in the form of the dangergeld, a trip one must take if they cannot fit into the society of Recluse, which involves a person going their own way and learning about the world at large, determining if they can adapt to Recluse or if they belong elsewhere.

As is typical of fantasy, Lerris is capable of more than he knows, and his adventures allow him to grow and learn more about the world and about his own abilities. I found the beginning of the book to be as annoying to me as it was to Lerris. I did not feel bored, but I too felt frustrated because none of his questions were getting straight answers. As he travels, things start to make a little more sense, but more importantly, Lerris takes a stronger role in thinking and answering his own questions and determining his own path.

The author is very descriptive and doesn't, in my opinion, use language which is too poetically excessive. Things are described from Lerris'(s) point of view, and are simple explanations which make sense and really helped me feel a part of his adventure. Even when he's trying to explain and understand magic, he likens it to wood-crafting, which while not a new technique, is still one I found most useful.

The theory of magic is quite interesting in this book and makes me think I should have gone into it more for my Eye of the World review. Anyway, in this series, one can use either order or chaos to accomplish great things. Neither is inherently good or evil, but each carries their own consequences. For example, as a character points out in the book, if you have a person suffering from a disease or sickness, either chaos or order can be used to heal them. Order would be used to organize the body's immune system and chaos would be used to destroy the disease.

It is an interesting concept, and one I hope to be explored in the later books. This book introduced the concept but was a little too quick to polarize the morality of the types of magic. I mean, to their extremes, either would be bad, and the case for chaotic being evil is a lot easier, but I hope the later books do a better job of pointing out how chaos can be used for good and how order can be used for evil. Don't get me wrong; these ideas are touched upon, but I guess they were just following the adventures of Lerris in this one and the villain is pure chaotic evil while Lerris is as ordered as they come.

Nevertheless, I found The Magic of Recluse to be an exciting read, worth my time, and well aligned with the genre of fantasy that I seem to have re-fallen in love with. I look forward to reading the later books in the series, and hoping to get a little further through the other series for which I'm so anxiously waiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment