December 07, 2004

The Towers of Sunset, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

This is the second book in Modesitt's long-running Recluce series; I picked it up the other night when I was tired and felt like reading something pleasant and familiar.

Young Creslin has a problem. He's a young man of position, the son of the Commander of the Fortress of Westwind, a fortress established near the peaks of the Westhorns which controls all trade through the mountains. As such, he's the eldest son of a head of state. Unfortunately for Creslin, Westwind is one of the countries of the Legend, which are ruled and run by women. His sister will inherit the command of Westwind; and he himself will be married into the family of some other eastern ruler for the usual diplomatic reasons.

Creslin doesn't much fancy being a pawn, and one can hardly blame him; there are many who dislike Westwind, and Westwind's control of trade, and anywhere outside of Westwind itself there are those who will attempt to use him to get at his mother, the Commander of Westwind--and chief among them are the white wizards of Fairhaven, who are busily conquering the eastern half of the continent.

But there's more to Creslin than meets the eye. Trained by the armsmaster of Westwind, he's a demon swordsman--and though he doesn't know it yet, he's a budding order-master with a knack for controlling the weather. His enemies don't know it yet, but they'll find out.

One of the peculiar aspects of the Recluce series is that it's written backwards. In the first book, The Magic of Recluce, we meet a young lad named Lerris, born when Recluce is at its height. In this book we travel back some centuries to the founding of Recluce, a nation born out of the ashes of Westwind and out of Creslin's determination to control his own destiny. Subsequent books fill in the middle of the story; and then Modesitt goes back even further, and the process repeats.

I don't intend to re-read the whole series at this point, but I might very well re-read one or two of the other books.

Posted by Will Duquette at December 7, 2004 06:18 PM