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L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Fiction and Excerpts [13]
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Fiction and Excerpts [13]

Assassin’s Price

Six years have passed since the failed uprising of the High Holders, and the man behind the conspiracy is where the rex and Maitre Alastar can keep an eye on him.

Charyn has come of age and desperately wants to learn more so he can become an effective rex after his father—but he’s kept at a distance by the rex. So Charyn sets out to educate himself—circumspectly.

When Jarolian privateers disrupt Solidar’s shipping, someone attempts to kill Charyn’s younger brother as an act of protest. Threatening notes following in the wake of acts of violence against the rex and his family, demanding action—build more ships or expect someone to die.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s Assassin’s Price is the eleventh book in the Imager Portfolio, and the third book in a story arc which began with Madness in Solidar and Treachery’s Tools. Available July 25th from Tor Books.

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Five Books Featuring Improbable Twists on History and Myth

I tend to have a weakness for fantasy and science fiction books that take events in myth or history and spin them out oh-so-logically, not as overtly fantastic, but with seeming acceptance of their absolute reality. This probably isn’t surprising since I’ve re-written Loki as a timegod who’s certainly not evil, if still a thief of a very different kind, and also done a logical alternative history series, based on ghosts as real physical phenomena measurable by physics and other purely scientific means… among other things.

So here are five books I didn’t write which provide the same sort of exploration and extrapolation from myth and history, albeit in five very different ways.

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Series: Five Books About…

Recluce Tales: “The Forest Girl”

For over a thousand years, Order and Chaos have molded the island of Recluce. The Saga of Recluce chronicles the history of this world through eighteen books, L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s most expansive and bestselling fantasy series. Available January 2017 from Tor Books, Recluce Tales: Stories from the World of Recluce collects seventeen new short stories and four popular reprints spanning the thousand-year history of Recluce.

First-time readers will gain a glimpse of the fascinating world and its complex magic system, while longtime readers of the series will be treated to glimpses into the history of the world. Modesitt’s essay “Behind the ‘Magic’ of Recluce” gives insight into his thoughts on developing the magical system that rules the Island of Recluce and its surrounding lands, while “The Vice Marshal’s Trial” takes the reader back to the first colonists on Recluce. Old favorites “Black Ordermage” and “The Stranger” stand side-by-side with thrilling new stories. Below, we’re excited to share “The Forest Girl,” a  new story about a historical figure before he became a legend to be feared… and respected.

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Treachery’s Tools

Treachery’s Tools is L. E. Modesitt’s tenth novel in the Imager Portfolio fantasy series—available October 11th from Tor Books. Set thirteen years after the events of Madness in Solidar, Alastar has settled into his role as the Maitre of the Collegium. Now married with a daughter, he would like nothing better than to focus his efforts on improving Imager Isle and making it more self-sufficient.

However, the rise in fortune of the merchant classes in Solidar over the years does not sit well with the High Holders, who see the erosion of their long-enjoyed privileges. Bad harvests and worse weather spark acts of violence and murder. In the midst of the crisis, some High Holders call for repeals of the Codis Legis, taking authority away from the Rex.

Once again, Alastar must maintain a careful political balance, but he cannot avoid the involvement of the Collegium when someone begins killing students. Trying to protect his imagers and hold Solidar together for the good of all, Alastar stumbles on to a plot by the High Holders involving illegal weapons, insurrection, and conspiracy.

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Madness in Solidar (Excerpt)

Four centuries after its founding, Solidar’s Collegium of Imagers is in decline, the exploits of its founder, the legendary Quaeryt, largely forgotten. The Collegium is so lacking in leadership that the dying Maitre must summon Alastar, an obscure but talented senior imager from Westisle far to the south who has little knowledge of politics in the capital, as his successor.

When Alastar arrives in L’Excelsis and becomes the new Maitre, he finds disarray and lack of discipline within the Collegium, and the ruler of Solidar so hated by the High Holders that they openly refer to him as being mad. To make matters worse, neither Rex Ryen, ridiculed as Rex Dafou, nor the High Holders have any respect for the Collegium, and Alastar finds himself in the middle of a power struggle, with Ryen demanding that the Collegium remove the strongest High Holders and the military leadership in turn plotting to topple Ryen and destroy the Collegium.

At the same time, Ryen is demanding the High Holders pay a massive increase in taxes while he initiates a grandiose building project. And all that, Alastar discovers, is only a fraction of the problems he and the Collegium face.

Madness in Solidar—available March 3rd from Tor Books—is the ninth book in L.E. Modesitt, Jr.’s Imager Portfolio.

[Read an Excerpt]

Heritage of Cyador (Excerpt)

Scarcely a year after the events of Cyador’s Heirs, Lerial uses his mastery of Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape his world and define the magic that exists within it, to utterly destroy an Afritan military force crossing into Cigoerne.

Five years later, Lerial, now an overcaptain and a field commander of Cigoerne’s Mirror Lancers, must lead three companies of troops into Afrit on a mission of mutual interest: neighboring Heldya is threatening to invade Afrit, and if that nation falls, Cigoerne is certain to be next.

The mission is both delicate and dangerous; Lerial’s value in the effort to repelling Heldya is undeniable, but his troubled history against Afrit may reopen old wounds that will never truly heal.

From New York Times bestselling author L.E. Modesitt comes Heritage of Cyador, the new novel in the Saga of Recluce—available November 18th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Cyador’s Heirs (Excerpt)

Check out Cyador’s Heirs, the new novel in L.E. Modesitt, Jr.’s Saga of Recluce, available May 20th from Tor Books!

Decades after the fall of Cyador, its survivors have reestablished themselves in Cigoerne, a fertile country coveted by hostile neighbors in less hospitable lands. Young Lerial, the second son of Duke Kiedron, lives in the shadow of his older brother Lephi, the heir to their father’s realm. Lerial’s future seems preordained: 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 be fostered by Major Altyrn to learn the skills and wisdom he will need to fulfill his future duties, he begins a journey into a much larger world that brings out his true potential. Lerial has talents that few, as yet, suspect: He is one of those rare beings who can harness both Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape the world and define the magic that exists within it. And as war finally engulfs the fringes of Cigoerne, Lerial’s growing mastery of Order and Chaos is tested to its limits, and his own.

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Rex Regis (Excerpt)

The saga of the Imager Quaeryt, Commander in the forces of Lord Bhayar, reaches a new climax as the great struggle to unify the continent of Lydar enters its final phase in L.E. Modesitt’s Rex Regis, available January 7th, 2014 from Tor Books. Check out an excerpt below!

Only the land of Khel remains uncommitted to Bhayar’s rule. Their decision could mean a lasting peace, or more conflict across an already war-ravaged realm.

While the conqueror of Bovaria awaits emissaries to arrive with news of Khel’s decision, other weighty matters occupy Bhayar, his sister Velora, and her husband Quaeryt—not the least of which is the fulfillment of Quaeryt’s dream to create the world’s first Imager academy, where the magical abilities of these powerful casters may be honed, managed, and put to the service of the common good.

[Read an Excerpt]

The One-Eyed Man (Excerpt)

Check out L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s new novel, The One-Eyed Man, out on September 17:

The colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow of longevity drugs remains uninterrupted, even if it means uprooting the human settlements.

Offered the job of assessing the ecological impact of the human presence on Stittara, freelance consultant Dr. Paulo Verano jumps at the chance to escape the ruin of his personal life. He gets far more than he bargained for: Stittara’s atmosphere is populated with skytubes—gigantic, mysterious airborne organisms that drift like clouds above the surface of the planet. Their exact nature has eluded humanity for centuries, but Verano believes his conclusions about Stittara may hinge on understanding the skytubes’ role in the planet’s ecology—if he survives the hurricane winds, distrustful settlers, and secret agendas that impede his investigation at every turn.

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Two Stories From a Single Vision: L.E. Modesitt on The One-Eyed Man

The One-Eyed Man is a novel that was one I never intended to write. Some two years ago, my editor, the esteemed David Hartwell, approached me and several other authors and asked us to write a short story based on a painting by John Jude Palencar. I started writing, and I kept writing, and by the time I got to 15,000 words or so, and was just beginning to get into the story, I realized two things: first, that I was nowhere close to finishing the story, and, that, in fact, it wasn’t a story; and second, that I wasn’t going to finish the Imager Portfolio book I was also working on by the time I’d promised it to David. So… I put aside the story that had become at least the beginning of a novella, if not a novel, and wrote a much shorter story entitled “New World Blues,” which was published by Tor.com in February of 2012 as part of the “Palencar Project,” consisting of five stories, all based on the painting, by different writers.

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Antiagon Fire (Excerpt)

Take a look at the next installment of L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s Imager Portfolio, Antiagon Fire, out on May 28:

The hard-won battles fought in Imager’s Battalion have earned Quaeryt a promotion to commander, as well as an assignment to convince the Pharsi High Council in the nation of Khel to submit to Lord Bhayar’s rule, which is key to Bhayar’s ambition to unite all of Solidar. Joined by his pregnant wife Vaelora, who is also Bhayar’s sister, Quaeryt leads an army and a handful of imagers deeper into the hostile lands once held by the tyrannical Rex Kharst, facing stiff-necked High Holders, attacks by land and sea—including airborne fire launched by hostile imagers from the land of Antiago—and a mysterious order of powerful women who seem to recognize the great destiny that awaits Quareyt and Vaelora, as well as the cost of achieving it.

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Imager’s Battalion (Excerpt)

Enjoy this excerpt from L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s Imager’s Battalion, coming out on January 22:

The sequel to the New York Times bestselling Princeps follows magical hero Quaeryt as he leads history’s first Imager fighting force into war. Given the rank of subcommander by his wife’s brother, Lord Bhayar, the ruler of Telaryn, Quaeryt joins an invading army into the hostile land of Bovaria, in retaliation for Bovaria’s attempted annexation of Telaryn. But Quaeryt has his own agenda in doing Bhayar’s bidding: to legitimize Imagers in the hearts and minds of all men, by demonstrating their value as heroes as he leads his battalion into one costly battle after another.

Making matters worse, court intrigues pursue Quaeryt even to the front lines of the conflict, as the Imager’s enemies continue to plot against him.

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Princeps (Excerpt)

The latest installment in the Imager Portfolio by L.E. Modesit, Jr. will be released on May 22. With that in mind, we present an excerpt from this upcoming novel, Princeps:

The thrilling follow-up to Scholar—in which, after discovering a coup attempt and preventing a bloody civil war, Quaeryt was appointed princeps of Tilbor—begins a new episode in the young Imager’s life. Now second only to the governor, and still hiding his powers as an Imager, Quaeryt is enjoying his new position, as well as his marriage to Lord Bhayar’s youngest sister, Vaelora, when a volcanic eruption devastates the old capital of Telaryn.

He and his wife are dispatched to Extela, Telaryn’s capitol city, to replace the governor killed in the eruption. Quaeryt and Vaelora must restore order to a city filled with chaos and corruption, and do so quickly. The regiment under his command must soon depart to bolster Telaryn’s border defenses against a neighboring ruler who sees the volcanic devastation as an opportunity for invasion and conquest.

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New World Blues

Please enjoy “New World Blues,” by L. E. Modesitt, Jr., a story inspired by an illustration from John Jude Palencar.

“New World Blues” is part of a five-story series curated by senior Tor Books editor David G. Hartwell. All five are based on a singular piece of art by John Jude Palencar and will be released for free on Tor.com every Wednesday in March.

Read the story behind these stories or purchase all five right now in a $2.99 ebook.

This story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Tor Books editor David Hartwell.

[Read “New World Blues”]

Series: The Palencar Project

The Magic of Recluce (Excerpt)

In honor of the 20th anniversary rerelease of The Magic of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., we’re offering the following free excerpt of Chapters 1 and 2 from the first book in this classic series. Enjoy!

 

I

GROWING UP, I always wondered why everything in Wander-naught seemed so dull. Not that I minded the perfectly baked bread routinely produced by my father or by Aunt Elisabet, and I certainly enjoyed the intricately carved toys and other gifts that Uncle Sardit miraculously presented on my birthday or on the High Holidays.

Perfection, especially for a youngster learning about it from cheerfully sober adults, has a price. Mine was boredom, scarcely novel for a young man in the middle of his second decade. But boredom leads to trouble, even when things are designed to be as perfect as possible. Of course, the perfection and striving for perfection that marked the island, though some would term Recluce a smallish continent, had a reason. A good reason, but one hardly acceptable to a restless young man.

“Perfection, Lerris,” my father repeated time after time, “is the price we pay for the good life. Perfection keeps destruction away and provides a safe harbor for the good.”

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