The White Order by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Recluse Saga encompasses a huge amount of time and place, building an enormous history across a continent. Each novel keeps building upon the others although they're hardly written in chronological order. Indeed, we've jumped from the end to the middle to the very end to another middle and right to the very beginning and each story is complete in itself, but all still explore an ever-broadening theme of chaos/order balance.
Enter in The White Order. The White mages are affiliated with Chaos, while the black is affiliated with Order. The greys are rare and odd and usually extremely powerful. Overall, the push of all these novels have been seen from Order side as it does or doesn't work with Chaos. This novel, however, is the first to start with Chaos and explore the intricacies of fire and chaos magic.
Fun? Interesting? Yes.
However -- After maybe 6 of the 8 books, I'm forced to admit that the calm, rational boy who turns into the calm, rational, self-sacrificing man with huge powers IS a THING for this author. They're all sort of... blending into the same composite character. Don't get me wrong, it's a good template, and delightful as long as I'm ignoring the fact that it's THE SAME CHARACTER as the others, but my credulity is starting to stretch. Do only men like this have such power? Well, obviously not. The baddies and the misguided don't behave like this.
Okay. So. I'll just ignore that bit and enjoy the full story and progression and adventure and the worldbuilding. It IS enough. More than enough. Damn cool, even.
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