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    Review of ORDERMASTER by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.


    TOR, January 2005

    Former cooper Kharl is now Lord Kharl and a powerful mage. But his new kingdom is threatened by revolt and when Kharl punishes a lying traitor, civil war breaks out. Kharl must face both enemy lords and powerful white mages from Hamor, an expansionistic and interfering kingdom. As frequently happens, success in the civil war only means more trouble for Kharl. The King, Lord Ghrant, drafts Kharl as his ambassador to Lord West--his native country.

    As ambassador, Kharl faces more of the same threats--even larger numbers of interfering Hamor white mages, large numbers of Hamor and local troops, and a family of rulers who seem intent on self-destruction, betrayal, and abuse of the population. As ambassador, Kharl cannot simply use his order magic to kill badguys and straighten out the system--his new nation would be seen as interfering as Hamor. Still, he cannot sit by and let Hamor turn West into a puppet.

    Author L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (see more reviews of novels by Modesitt) continues his Recluse Saga with a solid adventure. With his casual training, Kharl must study THE BASIS OF ORDER to learn what even the most ignorant Recluse mage would know. But by doing so, Kharl is able to develop talents that Recluse might have thought impossible. A bit of romance and Kharl's powerful moral sense adds to the story's appeal.

    It's hard to go wrong with a Recluse story and Modesitt delivers a page-turning adventure. Because this story was a sequel, however, Kharl's personal growth was less than might be expected in a novel--he had already grown in the earlier book.

    Fantasy fans like me will welcome the newest solid addition to the Recluse family.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 3/11/05

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