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The White Order by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

The White Order (1998)

by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

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Finally, a novel from a white wizards point of view. From the time of Justin and Gunnar. A young white ends up being a wizard under Jeslek while trying to figure out everything. Shows that the White Order was in place to check unbridled chaos wizards[which is what happened in the time of Lerris]. Much more enjoyable than the Justin and Gunnar arc. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
The White Order is probably my favorite Recluce book overall. It takes the (by this point) finely-honed coming-of-age story and uses it to flip all of the assumptions previously established by the series on their heads. (The motto of the Recluce series should probably be "It's more complex than that.") The White Order is set a few years before the earlier The Magic Engineer (which I also love) and follows one of the minor villains of that book, who also is referred to at various historically distant points in the series as "Cerryl the Great."

Cerryl is one of the more sympathetic main characters overall - he comes from an extremely non-privileged background in most ways, and thus spends far, far less of his time whining than most of the other main characters, but he's still aware of and sympathetic to the disadvantages of those he's socially superior to - namely, the women. While Fairhaven, thus far the absolute unsympathetic Evil Empire, is portrayed as being a well-run and more-or-less fair authoritarian society, its big flaw is still its gender relations - which throughout the series more or less differentiates the good guys from the bad guys.

This volume and the next are halves of a story, and don't entirely stand alone, but The White Order is probably the peak of the series for me. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
The Recluse universe is based on an Order/Chaos balance. Some people have abilities to use these forces, generally one or the other, although there are a few Grays. Order is Black, Chaos is White. Order wielders tend to be healers & builders, Chaos users tend to destruction.This is the 8th book written in the series & while Modesitt recommends the books be read in the order he wrote them, I'll agree only for the first read. On a re-read, I preferred them in chronological order. In that case, this is the 6th, so far. If read in published order, this is the first book written from a Chaos point of view. Up until now, the White Wizards, Chaos wielders, have been the bad guys. Suddenly, Modesitt gives us the other side of the story & he does it well. 'Real' world challenges face his heroes. They aren't all powerful & can only buck the system at great personal cost. The first two books of the series, in chronological order (10 & 11 in published order) also are written from the Chaos point of view, but the time is far removed (400 years previous) from the next book. They have little in relation, being separated by the width of a continent & centuries. While there is a schism between those of Order & Chaos, it isn't a militant one as it is at this time.I wouldn't recommend starting the series with this book, but you can. It's as good as the rest of the books in the series, made a bit better by the startling change in perspective that adds a lot of depth to his series.For more information on the series, see this web site: http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/recluce/recluce/index.html ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Sep 25, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. E. Modesitt Jr.primary authorall editionscalculated
Gazsi, EdMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)

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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.… (more)

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