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The White Order (1998)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812541715, Mass Market Paperback)In this author's popular Recluce fantasies--beginning with The Magic of Recluce--the classic theme of youngsters growing to adult power and responsibility is repeatedly retold in terms of magic skill. Past books focused on the apparent good guys--"black" magicians who use order-magic (cooling, healing, strengthening) and constantly oppose the White Order of chaos wizards whose talent is fire and dissolution. Young hero Cerryl has a natural bent for chaos, and for him the Whites offer the only game in town. Painfully, he learns about balance: order-magic can be deviously used for destruction, chaos can cleanse and anyway requires order-control if it's not to destroy the user. This moves interestingly away from simplistic "black is good, white is bad" magical color-coding ... but although Cerryl is a decent, ethical white wizard, the Order remains unpleasantly tyrannical--for example, an instant life sentence of slave labor for the equivalent of expired license plates. The magic training is interesting if repetitive (apprentices practice firebolts by zapping blockages in the public sewers), but Modesitt's real story lies in waiting for Cerryl to become a full mage of the Order and perhaps confront its injustices in the massive sequel, Colors of Chaos. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:23 -0400)
After Cerryl's parents are killed by powerful white mages, he is adopted by a family that notices that his father's keen magical ability has been passed on, and they eventually send Cerryl to the city of Fairhaven to find his destiny as a great magician.
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