Lerris has settled down as a carpenter in Kyphros, where his wife, Krystal, is the sub-commander of the autarch's military forces. His fellow apprentice from Recluce, Tamra, now travels with the Gray Wizard Justen. Justen is over two hundred years old and is the wizard who destroyed the White Empire and the city of Fairhaven (as chronicled in The Order War), though at great cost. But the whole world is in turmoil, not only from friction between the island of Recluce and the continent of Candar, but now the distant Empire of Hamor has sent invading forces across the ocean, as they have twice in the historic past - and this time they mean to conquer the world. Gradually, but ever more deeply, Lerris is drawn back into action and forced to exercise and strengthen his magical powers to become the greatest wizard of all time - or see his whole world destroyed. The Death of Chaos is the culmination of the saga of Recluce thus far.
What can I say about this installment in the Saga of Recluce? These books are so, so similar in tone that they kind of blend together in my memory. In this volume, we return to the story of Lerris, whom we met in the first book. Lerris is apparently the strong, silent type and he is frustrating to his consort, Crystal, who wishes he would tell her more about what’s going on in his brain. Crystal is obviously young, as we older women care much less about this particular issue. Crystal also wishes that Lerris would quit going off and getting himself nearly killed in the fight against Chaos. This is a more legitimate concern, but I still found Crystal a bit hypocritical on this issue, as she and the Autarch would immediately summon Lerris whenever the going got the slightest bit tough! I try not to criticize people for doing what I ask them to do!
Whatever is wrong with Lerris, it runs in his family. They are gathered together to fight this war and basically grunt at each other and still refuse to tell each other useful details of how to use order and chaos without destroying everything. Lerris and Crystal end up with a magical link which lets each one know what’s going on with the other person. A fate worse than death, in my opinion! But they asked for it!
An awful lot of time is spent describing the incredibly repetitive meals that these people eat. Honestly, they eat so much cheese that they should be hideously constipated at all times. If an author is going to detail every meal, at least those details should be interesting and maybe make the reader wish that they could try some of the specialities. I come away from these books thankful that I don’t have to stay there for dinner.
Book number 340 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.