Cyador's Heirs by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Modesitt's trademark "angry young man gains sense and experience" is worked out stellarly in this new addition to the Recluce novels. When Cyador was destroyed, the emperor's family fled and started over as supplicants in a new land. We follow the second son, third in line to Cyador's throne, as drought and famine push raiders and slavers into the boundaries of his father's dukedom. Lerial may be his youngest hero yet, called upon to do great and dangerous things with great need and little knowledge. That's life, really, in Modesitt's worldview. The study of chaos and order, the ways of power, the challenges of integrity and intelligence are Modesitt's lifelong themes. In between battles and large explosions, where other authors digress into technical details, Modesitt expounds on philosophy and relationships. And he is thought-provoking to follow, even after 23 years. His characters grow in character. Luckily the next installment is due in November, not a year away.
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