I’ve read every book that L.E. Modesitt, Jr. has written in the SAGA OF RECLUCE. I have thrilled to watch different characters go through the refiner’s fire of youth and grow into interesting adults. There have been sorrows and joys along the way, and I often felt like I was reading the same book over and over with different character names, different trades they were pursuing, but mostly the same pattern and the same themes. Men are naturally power-hungry and bad. Women are better rulers and good. Applying super future ideology to a pre-Industrial revolution society creates revolution … All interesting themes, and some of them very cleverly discussed.
Fairhaven Rising (2021) is boring. It takes more than half the book to reach any real advancement of the story. The main character, a young woman, is written like a 50-year-old man. I have daughters and have known them both as teenagers and in their early twenties, and Taelya is a joke as a female character. She’s cardboard. She’s emotionless. For someone who has lived through trauma and death since she was 7 years old, it’s ridiculous and boring. If Modesitt had written Taelya as having PTSD, I would have gotten it. Instead, I felt like I was reading the same cookie-cutter character who just happens to be female, super pretty but totally unaware of it … and also a tactical genius, super powerful in magic, and all the other standard features that have been present in previous main characters in this series. Give me a break!!
Reading about boring patrols and mundane household chores shouldn’t take up 30% of a novel if it’s not shaping the story. I felt like I was being slow-rolled along to fill pages because the story itself wasn’t compelling enough to fill it all in. Even when things finally get going, it felt like I was reading the same combat sequences that he wrote about in the last book. Are the fans of this series really that gullible?
If this is what the fans of the series have to look forward to, then stop. Let us have fond memories of Lerris, Cerryl, and Nylan. Don’t insult us by filling in epochs in the storyline with characters who we don’t care about and books loaded down with filler and very little substance. I’ve been reading this series too long and enjoyed it too much not to feel bitter and exploited after such a horrible installment.