The Saga of Recluce Reading Order: How to read L. E. Modesitt Jr.’s Fantasy book series?

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Published since 1991, The Saga of Recluce is a series of fantasy novels written by the prolific American author L. E. Modesitt Jr. The series is about the changing relationship between the descendants of two technologically advanced cultures, spanning a period of almost two thousand years. “order” and “chaos” are the main forces within this universe.

Those who can use Magic are the ones who can manipulate one of these. Most of the books in The Saga of Recluce series are about people discovering new ways to wield chaos and order.

Follow The Saga of Recluce Series in Order:

Reading The Saga of Recluce Books in publication order

  1. The Magic of Recluce – Young Lerris yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. In Recluce this means taking one of two options: permanent exile from Recluce or the dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden wanderjahr in the lands beyond. Many do not survive. Lerris chooses dangergeld…
  2. The Towers of the Sunset – Rather than accepting a marriage arranged by his mother, the powerful military matriarch of Westwind, Creslin chooses exile, setting out to find his own identity and developing his magical talents through conflict with the enigmatic white wizards of Candar. What Creslin doesn’t know he stands in the way of their plot to subjugate the world.
  3. The Magic Engineer – He is the Leonardo da Vinci of his age, but his insights violate the rules of the Order magic of Recluce, and in order to pursue his invention he must go into exile. Tortured by the knowledge that to preserve Order he must create new devices for war, Dorrin stands between Recluce and the forces of the Chaos that seek to destroy it.
  1. The Order War – 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 harnesses chaos itself. Even so, it may not be enough to halt the conquest of the White Wizards.
  2. The Death of Chaos – A threat of invasion from the Empire of Hamor endangers Lerris’ newfound peace. Despite the imminent possibility of destruction, the lands of Candar will not unite and Recluce will not heed the peril, forcing Lerris to choose between becoming the greatest wizard of all time―or seeing his whole world destroyed.
  3. Fall of Angels – Nylan, the engineer and builder, races against time to raise a great tower on the plateau known as the Roof of the World, a place in which the exiled women warriors will create new lives, before the rulers of lowland nations come to obliterate them all.
  1. The Chaos Balance – Nylan, the only man among the matriarchal band of “angels” marooned on the high plateau of Candar. Forced to seek a life elsewhere, Nylan descends into a world of warring kingdoms and strange magics in search of a peaceful life with his wife and infant son. His talents, however, make him a valuable weapon―and so the war between chaos and order begins anew.
  2. The White Order – Powerful white mages killed Cerryl’s father to protect their control of the world’s magic. Raised by his aunt and uncle, Cerryl learns that he has inherited his father’s magic abilities. His abilities do not protect him, however. When Cerryl witnesses a white mage destroy a renegade magician, he must sent to the city of Fairhaven for his own safety and to find his destiny.
  3. Colors of Chaos – Cerryl must prove himself indispensable to Jeslek, the High Wizard. Cerryl faces many harrowing obstacles, not the least of which is Anya, the plotting seductress who’s the real power behind the scenes of the white wizards. With his wits, his integrity, and the support of his love, the Black healer Leyladin, he must survive long enough to claim his rightful spot within the ruling hierarchy of the White Order.
  1. Magi’i of Cyador – A diligent student of remarkable talent, Lorn lacks only the single most coveted attribute required of a Magus of Cyador: unquestionable loyalty. Too independent for his own good, Lorn is forced to become a lancer officer, and is sent to the frontier to fight off the all-too-frequent barbarian raids. His enemies don’t expect him to survive . . .
  2. Scion of Cyador – Having survived both barbarian raiders and the giant beasts of the Accursed Forest, Lorn has proven himself to be a fine officer … perhaps too fine an officer. Too much success has made him a marked man. When he returns to his home, both he and his young family become targets. But with all of Cyad in upheaval over the death of the Emperor, this is not the only problem he faces.
  3. The Wellspring of Chaos – Kharl’s life has been always been as ordered and dependable as the barrels he makes. His trouble begins when he saves a rape victim he finds unconscious in an alley, a blackstaffer-a young expatriate mage-from Recluce. When the blackstaffer is mysteriously murdered in Kharl’s cooperage, Kharl is jailed, tried, and flogged, and in a shocking turnaround released-and his wife executed for the murder, which she did not commit…
  1. Ordermaster – Kharl has no sooner taken possession of the estate bestowed upon him for his aid in quelling a revolt, when he is summoned back to the capital to deal with rebellious nobles. Using even more deadly order magic Kharl become a famous and feared public figure, the Lord’s Mage. When called upon to return to the land he was driven from, Kharl must face an old enemy that threatens the land of his birth and his adopted new country.
  2. Natural Ordermage – Rahl, a young apprentice scrivener, likes life to work out in his favor. To make sure things go his way, he uses a small amount of order magic in opportunistic moments-but his abilities gain the attention of the Council magisters. Rahl’s misuse of his strengthening abilities gets him banished to the empire of Hamor. As an exile in Hamor, working in the Ordermage Council’s import and export business, Rahl’s powers increase more-and so does the amount of trouble he can get into.
  3. Mage-Guard of Hamor – As a young apprentice on the island of Recluce, Rahl was sent to the mages’ training school for testing before he was banished to Hamor. Now, Rahl is a powerful mage and still just as dangerous to himself and to others. His education continues, but Rahl soon finds that as his powers have increased, so has the amount of trouble he attracts.
  1. Arms-Commander – The keep of Westwind at the Roof of the World, faces attack by the adjoining land of Gallos. Arthanos, son and heir to the ailing Prefect of Gallos, wishes to destroy Westwind because the idea of a land where women rule is total anathema to him. Westwind dispatches Saryn, their Arms-Commander, a neighboring land to seek support against the Gallosians.
  2. Cyador’s Heirs – Decades after the fall of Cyador, its survivors have reestablished themselves in Cigoerne. Young Lerial, living in the shadow of his older brother and heir Lephi, has a preordained future: He will one day command his brother’s forces in defense of Cigoerne, serving at his older sibling’s pleasure, and no more. But when Lerial is sent abroad to learn the skills and wisdom he will need to fulfill his future duties, he discovers he is one of those rare beings who can harness both Order and Chaos.
  3. Heritage of Cyador – Five years after utterly destroying an Afritan military force crossing into Cigoerne with his mastery of Order and Chaos, Lerial must lead a delicate mission in Afrit to assist them in repealing invaders that could threaten both lands. Lerial’s troubled history against Afrit may reopen old wounds that will never truly heal.
  1. The Mongrel Mage – In the world of Recluce, powerful mages can wield two kinds of magic. Beltur, however, has talents no one dreamed of, talents not seen in hundreds of years that blend both magics. On the run from a power-hungry white mage, Beltur is taken in by Order mages who set him on the path to discover and hone his own unique gifts and in the process find a home.
  2. Outcasts of Order – With his new abilities, Beltur survives the war in Elparta and saves the lives of all. However, victory comes with a price. His fellow mages now see him as a threat to be destroyed, and the local merchants want to exploit his power. There’s only one way he can remain free and survive―he’s going to have to run.
  3. The Mage-Fire War – Once again, prejudices against the use of chaos magic force Beltur and his companions to flee their refuge in Axalt. The rulers of nearby Montgren have offered them sanctuary and the opportunity to become the Councilors of the run-down and disintegrating town of Haven. Montegren lacks any mages making this seem like the perfect opportunity to start again. However, Beltur and the others must reinstitute law and order, rebuild parts of the town, deal with brigands―and thwart an invading army.
  1. Fairhaven Rising – Sixteen years have passed since the mage Beltur helped to found the town of Fairhaven, and Taelya, Beltur’s adopted niece, is now a white mage under-captain in the Road Guards of Fairhaven. Fairhaven’s success under the Council has become an impediment to the ambition of several rulers, and the mages protecting the town are seen as a threat.
  2. From the Forest (Coming in 2024) – Alayiakal, who will one day be known by many names -not all of them flattering-has to climb the ranks of Cyador’s Mirror Lancers, fighting against unforeseen weapons and ancient technology. Alayiakal, however, has secrets of his own to protect: his ties to the Great Forest and his magus abilities. He must silently pretend to be a conventional soldier favored by fate-until that very same fate forces him to choose.

Reading The Saga of Recluce In Chronological Order

  1. Magi’i of Cyador
  2. Scion of Cyador
  3. Fall of Angels
  4. The Chaos Balance
  5. Arms-Commander
  6. Cyador’s Heirs
  7. Heritage of Cyador
  8. The Mongrel Mage
  9. Outcasts of Order
  10. The Mage-Fire War
  11. Fairhaven Rising
  12. The Towers of the Sunset
  13. The White Order
  14. The Magic Engineer
  15. Colors of Chaos
  16. Natural Ordermage
  17. Mage-Guard of Hamor
  18. The Order War
  19. The Wellspring of Chaos
  20. Ordermaster
  21. The Magic of Recluce
  22. The Death of Chaos

if you like our article about reading The Saga of Recluce Books in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! Also, you may be interested in taking a look at The Riftwar Cycle or The Cosmere Universe.

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  1. Thank you. The blurbs were jst the right length with few spoilers and reignited my fire for the series. Having published and chronological lists in one place makes this a valuable resource for me.

  2. Thanks for the reading order. I have been reading Recluce for many years and didn’t know how they lined up. I read Death of Chaos when it came out and had no idea how some of the other books fit in.

  3. I have been reading the saga of recluse for quite a few years but had no idea but a rough guess as to the chronological order. This has been a most excellent resource for me and has made the reading even more enjoyable

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