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The Magic Engineer


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About the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes "Adiamante," the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and "Archform: Beauty." Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.


There is little to distinguish this newest Recluce work (after Towers of the Sunset ) from its myriad fantasy brethren. This time around, Modessit's world of Order (Black) and Chaos (White) features the plodding Dorrin, a healer/engineer who dreams of making machines and often denies what other people consider his extraordinary abilities. When the White Wizards of Chaos threaten the area of the world to which the Order-based Dorrin has been exiled to ``find himself,'' he uses his engineering talents to design and build weaponry and his dreamed-of machines. Modesitt's prose lacks the range to make his rather pedestrian narrative interesting: more than a few events are unnecessarily telegraphed to readers several chapters before they happen, and the same character often--irritatingly--described three different ways within a few paragraphs. The most effective moments are those depicting the troubled relationship between Dorrin and a woman named Liedral. There's not much else to sustain the reader. (Mar.)

A young smith with healing talents, exiled from the land of Recluce for his desire to work with the stuff of chaos, becomes the fulcrum for a war between the forces of chaos and order. This latest novel in Modesitt's ``Recluce'' series demonstrates the author's subtle storytelling, as the everyday lives of her characters intertwine with events of epic proportions. Grand fantasy on a small scale, this intelligently crafted novel deserves consideration by most libraries.

"Outstanding fantasy." --Andre Norton

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