Heritage of Cyador (Recluce)
by L.E. Modesitt
Cover Artist: Matt Stawicki
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765376138
Date: 18 November 2014 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In a brief scene early in the novel, Lerial must defend Cigoerne from an Afritan attack. Years pass and Lerial is called upon to act for Cigoerne, but this time he must defend Afrit. The neighboring Duchy of Heldya wants to control all of Hamor. If Afrit falls, there is no way that even prosperous Cigoerne can last. And the last heirs of Cyador will fall with it.
Lerial, as the second son, is considered expendable to some extent. But he is also the more powerful magi and his continued presence could lead to problems. His parents attempt to keep him and his brother separated while his aunt guides Lerial as best as she can in the ways of healing.
Afrit has problems that run deep. Its Duke is weak and the merchants are very strong. Their strength prevents the Duke from gaining power which ultimately leaves Afrit open to attack. Lerial steps into this mess and has to find a way to help without losing too many troops or allowing himself to be killed. His life gets more complicated when he meets an old acquaintance and is constantly reminded that he is the wrong heir.
This is the eighteenth novel set in Recluce. It is a direct sequel to Cyador's Heirs. As a sequel, it isn't the best starting point, but as the bulk of the action occurs independently of the earlier action, it could be a starting point. I recommend not starting there as there's a lot of back story and world building that occurs as the series develops.
The series to date has never followed the action of one character for more than two novels. This is an interesting style, one that Modesitt uses well here. He is able to take a little drop line from one story and lay out the details later. With only two novels at a time, whole different parts of the world can be revealed, without having to have a character travel a great deal. This is also reflective of life, how often does one person do more than one or two big things.
Fans of the series continue to look forward to each new entry. The Recluce series is a magical fantasy. The main characters are generally powerful users of Chaos and Order. Most mages focus on one aspect or the other. Chaos users are better at destruction while Order users are better builders and have the potential to live longer. Lerial is one of the rare mages that maintains a balance of using both which is often an indication of a short but eventful life.
There are still many tales to be told and lands to explore. The consolidation of Hamor is ripe for telling. There is also the tidbits related to the founders of Cyador, although that would likely be less of a traditional battle against a foe and more an adventure of overcoming the environment and changing rules of the universe.