When Tor Books approached me with the Modesitt tour, I was hooked. All the members are celebrating a different book in the Recluce series. As someone who has not read the entire series yet, this was the perfect opportunity to dive straight in. (And I think it’s a fantastic way to get newer readers/bloggers hooked- I’m in!)
The deadly White Wizards of Fairhaven, wielding the forces of chaos, threaten the ancient matriarchy of Sarronnyn, the last bastion of order in Candar.
When Sarronnyn falls despite the assistance of the Black Order mages, Justen, a young Black Engineer, must escape the city and master forbidden technology that harness chaos itself. Even so, it may not be enough to halt conquest of the White Wizards.
Whenever I read epic fantasy I am always floored by the sheer size of plots and characters who have to come together. It includes a forethought and mastery of elements I just have no clue about. I think it’s why I was destined not to really be a writer, because I think, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if this happened!’ and then my brain goes so…how do we make that happen. And then it’s the end.
But what I loved about The Order War is just how epic it is. Not only does this occur as part of a series, which you can seriously still jump into because I had absolutely no problem, but the sheer scale is epic. All of these perspectives are inching together in an unhurried way. It never feels slow, it just feels like we’re taking the time to mature. I think true good epic fantasy doesn’t feel slow or hurried.
There’s a difference between force and violence (page 59).
With that, there’s a delightful tension as you wait for the different threads to come together and people to meet each other. I personally adore trying to figure out how the elements, the characters, fit together. It’s like tendrils of light and dark coming together, showing the slightest bit of their hand before they blindside us. But enough about how impressed I am, let’s talk about the family.
At the heart of this story are so many elements: family, war, violence, and peace. The brother bond is one of the things that kept me reading because I found myself invested in the characters. These central relationships are developed in a way that allows us to be drawn into the book and the different nuanced conversations. This is a book that makes you think there’s a subtlety, a hint that could be hidden if you could just see it! On another level, you’re asking yourself, ‘how do they win the war?’.
How can they gain a foothold against an event with so many resources and in a seemingly never ending stalemate? I could entirely empathize with this feeling where you feel small and powerless against a large unnamed enemy, a giant that occludes the sun, and you don’t know what you can possibly do. Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed The Order War on so many levels that makes the pages breeze by! Check it out on Goodreads.