The Orange Defender (thatkaringirl) wrote in pages_turned,
The Orange Defender

Fall of Angels by L.E. Modesitt Jr

Fall of Angels (Saga of Recluce)
L.E. Modesitt, Jr

First off, I'd like to summarize the series, Saga of Recluce. It's set on a world in the middle ages, but there is a sort of magic that some people are able to use. It's about order (black=good) and chaos (white=not good). Wizards/Mages are rare, but powerful. Black is a creative force. Depending on the person, they can shift weather, heal injuries, reinforce strength in wood, metal, etc. Black mages find it difficult to tell lies or to kill people. Some of them can't even hold a sword. White is a destructive force. White Wizards are often employed by kings because they can spy on people using a screeing glass and they can throw firebolts. Recluce is just one island on this world and they are known for their lineage of Order.

Each book is a stand-alone story and doesn't necessarily need to be read in order. I have not read them all, but the ones I have read focus on one person who is discovering their black powers. By the end of the book the world has changed (usually due to war and/or politics and the intervention of the new black mage), but the fun thing is that the hero is often very humble and has a very humble trade. For example, when the black mages discover their powers they are trying to make a living as a blacksmith, carpenter, etc. Since they can control order they are very good at their trade and they do a lot of experimenting and building. The plot can be predictable, but the characters are very believable and fascinating.

The Fall of Angels is a pre-quel of sorts in that it explains how one group of people came into existance on this world. It doesn't even mention Recluce. It starts with a space battle in another universe. Somehow during battle one of the spaceships is transported to this planet. They don't know how they got there and they don't know how to go back. The only option is to land on the planet and try to survive. They land in the mountains because they are from a cold planet. But the locals don't like that they are there. The main source of conflict is that the space people are from a matriarchal society, so the local men feel very threatened. The main character is Nylan, an engineer. There are a lot of details about how they build their new society: living spaces, weapon development (switching from guns to swords), building roads, trading for supplies, hunting, population control, etc. At one point Nylan remarks to another character that if someone was going to write a book or make a video of what happened to them, Nylan wouldn't be in it because the details are boring. But that's a big reason why I like these books, because they take such a different viewpoint than most.
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