Cover Image: From the Forest

From the Forest

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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.

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This is the new instalment in an older series, following a new plot and characters and the 23rd book!

I didn't know that it was part of a series when i requested it, but I found it quite interesting, albeit a little lacking in the pacing of the events. Bu it did make me want to pick up more books by this author. I found the world and system interesting and the characters intrigued me!

Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for the e-arc!!

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As a longtime fan of L.E. Modesitt's Saga of Recluce books, I always worry that every new book I read will be the last in the series. So I'm always way too excited when a new book in the series gets announced and even more when it gets released. I requested a copy of this book the moment I saw it had an official publication date and I was completely sucked into the story the moment I started reading. I know I say this about pretty much every new Recluce book I read but I feel like Modesitt has managed to outdo himself here. From the Forest was a fun and exciting read that I was unable to put down and is easily one of the best books in the series.

For me, one of the most interesting aspects of this series is how expansive its narrative is, spanning nearly 2000 years of history over 20+ books. One of the reasons I think I loved From the Forest so much was because it delved almost 400 years further back, offering an even deeper exploration of Cyador's culture and history. Introducing intricate and compelling characters like Alayiakal adds even further depth to the tale, making it a must-read for any fan of the series. While the series is titled The Saga of Recluce, I find its narratives truly shine when they diverge from the story of Relue and immerse us in different times and locales.

While I enjoyed reading this book and will definitely bust it out to read it again, I would highly recommend people get the audiobook as well.  Kirby Heyborne is one of the best narrators working today and he does an amazing job with this book. I think he manages to bring the story to life in a way a lot of audiobook narrators fail to do. 

All in all, I found From the Forest to be an amazing read that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for something new to read. I knew there was a follow-up book coming but I only just now learned that this is going to be a tetralogy and can't even begin to say how excited I am knowing we have 3 more books coming in this story. I'll be preordering them the first chance I get and probably be doing a full reread of the series in preparation for the next book. I would highly recommend everyone else does the same. You can never go wrong reading anything by L.E. Modesitt.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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L. E. Modesitt, Jr. is so prolific! I read this one as a buddy read who is much better versed in the background of this series than I am and we both enjoyed it! I'm not caught up in the backlog but the story was still easy to follow. A great read for fans of military fantasy and fans of the series!

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L. E. Modesitt, Jr. is one of my favorite authors. My favorite of his series takes place on the world of Recluce. The latest takes place about a century after settlement from the Rational Stars. Alayiakal is raised by his father, a major in the Mirror Lancers, near the Great Forest and trained to hide his abilities in Order and Chaos from the Emperor’s mages so he can join the Mirror Lancers himself. The tale follows him From the Forest(hard from Tor) through his training and various battles until he is promoted to over-captain. This is planned as a trilogy and I look forward to the sequel.

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L.M.Modesitt continues the saga of Recluce in From the Forest. Cyador has talented youth who become magi, mirror lancers, Asoldiers, or engineers. Alyiakal, the son of a mirror lancer officer, has mage training but prefers soldiering since he favors order over chaos. He becomes an officer, but discrovers his maji and healing talents are significat and must be hidden from others. This is the story of his career and relations. Magnificent military fantasy.

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L. E. Modesitt, Jr. ( is the author of more than 80 novels. From the Forest was published just a few days ago and is the 23rd book in his Saga of Recluce series. It is the 6th book I completed reading in 2024.

Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book/novel as R.

Alayiakal is 16 and, under his father’s guidance, has been studying swordwork and trying to develop his magical skills. A wall surrounds the city, keeping the Great Forest and its denizens at bay. One day as Alayiakal is walking along the wall, he meets Adayal. She is an attractive young woman with magical abilities who lives in the forest. He becomes close to her and through her to the Great Forest.

Not long afterward, Alayiakal is sent away for training as a Mirror Lancer officer. He has not progressed enough to qualify as a Mage but has magical skills. Those skills seem to have increased since his time in the Great Forest. He must keep secret his abilities and connection to the forest.

The plot follows Alayiakal through his three years of officer training. Once he has left to start his officer training, he never hears from Adayal. The sister of a fellow officer begins to correspond with Alayiakal. They establish a relationship, and he finally meets her after a few years of correspondence.

Meanwhile, Alayiakal’s father has died while on duty with the Mirror Lancers. Alayiakal takes extra training as a field medic. With this training and his secret magical skills, he takes good care of those under his command. He moves through assignments with the Mirror Lancers and rises to the rank of Captain. He is a good officer but not part of the political establishment. Alayiakal must contend with the visible enemies of Cyador as well as the politics and intrigue within the Mirror Lancers.

I enjoyed the 19 hours I spent reading this 452-page fantasy. I have had the opportunity to read seven other of Mr. Modesitt’s novels, and they have all been excellent! He has become one of my favorite fantasy authors. Those other novels are The Mongrel Mage, Outcasts of Order, Endgames, The Fire-Mage War, Fairhaven Rising, Isolate, and Councilor. This novel is a little slow at times, but I found it to be very engaging. I give this novel a rating of 4.7 (rounded to 5) out of 5.

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My apologies for requesting this without realizing it was part of an epic series! I don't have time to read all the books before this and don't think I will get as much out of it as a standalone. Giving 5 stars for my own silliness, thanks for the approval.

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Another riveting episode in the history of Cyador.

There are times when I wish I were not such a quick reader. Why? Because I truly think Modesitt’s works are to be savoured and reflected upon. Weaving the lines of connecting characters both major and minor are to be well explored. But alas, I become totally engrossed and couldn’t slow down. I needed to continue, to see what was around the corner.
After reading the chat forum on Modesitt’s home page my understanding deepened. Thank you! ( ) One member, Bill M. pointed out where Modesitt has cross referenced his new book “From the Forest” with Magi’i of Cyador where the Emperor Alyiakal is a footnote in the history books of Cyad.
“Despite his many successes in establishing the current borders of modern Cyador, and his formalization of the balanced power structure that has come to govern Cyador, he has become the “One Never to be Mentioned” among the Magi’i and Mirror Lancers of Cyad.” (Magi’i of Cyador XIII p.56)
I raced to hold the plot together, whilst continually wondering what would come next. When I arrived at the end I found myself desperate for the next book in the series, but settled for taking up a reread of the Magi’i of Cyad titles arc.
In ‘From the Forest’ Alyiakal is being tutored by a white mage in the hopes of him evincing some Magi’i aptitudes. His father is a Mirror Lancer Majer who has risen through the ranks. He hopes for more for his son. Alyiakal has some slight aptitude for healing. He’s grown up in Jakaafra, an area bordering the Accursed Forest. He’s interacted with the Forest and people who belong there. Does this awaken his senses? Maybe! It does make for very interesting suppositions.
During his Mirror Lance training, he studies with a healer who sees that he’s more than thought. The healer advises Alyiakal to strengthen his wards, even to develop wards within wards.
Whilst training as a Mirror Lancer Alyiakal befriends Hyrsaal. Hyrsaal suggests he correspond with his bored, much younger and inquisitive sister Saelora. They correspond over the years.
Alyiakal is eventually posted to an Undercaptain position in a remote area at Pemedra near the border with Kyphros, fighting barbarians.
At Pemedra, Alyiakal discovers a road of the First Ones that has been forgotten, or deliberately let slide from memory, and Kyphran raiders holding down ruins that First One’s machinery is hidden in.
Things become challenging. Alyiakal wonders if he’ll be conveniently killed or shipped off.
The ties between merchants, mirror lancers, and magi’i for many are those of greed and power. A far cry from what Alyiakal sees as his role.
On the more personal front, I love the deferential way Alyiakal interacts with Saelora who becomes a fully fledged merchanter. Something rare for a woman.
I absolutely loved From the Forest! This is the first episode of Alyiakal—of his journey somehow from Mirror Lancer to Emperor.
I couldn’t put it down! Another intriguing, full to over flowing, page turner from Modesitt!

A Tor ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

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I’m rounding up to five stars for this one because while I wasn’t completely sure I was going to like it I whipped through this rather long book in two days. I don’t usually find. military fantasy my favorite subgenre and I’m a long long way from caught up in this series but I really found the main character likable and engaging. It didn’t really matter at all I’m not caught up with the series. There’s just enough here’s the world that a habitual fantasy reader should be able to,find everything makes perfect sense for the world. It’s a good sign for the quality of the writing that someone who isn’t quite the perfect reader for the book still couldn’t put it down.

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From the Forest by L.E. Modesitt, I want to thank Netgalley and Tor Books for giving me the chance to read this book.

I'm excited to be back in Recluce, a place I love visiting. I had a great time reading the book. The introduction of a new character, Alayiakal, adds intrigue as he is a Mirror Lancer with many fascinating secrets. Living in a strictly stratified society, he must hide his strengths to avoid undesirable roles or even death.
Alayiakal has the same modest yet impressive traits as many of Modesitt's characters. He downplays his successes and doesn't seek fame. Modesitt consistently creates protagonists who are likable and have strong ethical values. Some reviewers have criticized this likability in the past, but personally, I find it refreshing to have characters I can invest in. I don't want to get engrossed in a story with a protagonist who has a terrible personality.

The storyline is not overly predictable, though it has a familiar essence that resonates with other books in the series. I enjoy encountering recurring characters throughout the series. In the first book, we get to know them, and in later books, we see their growth and how they overcome obstacles.

I really enjoyed this book and am excitedly waiting for the continuation of Alayiakal's story.

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From the Forest introduces another chapter in Modessit’s Recluce Saga and is the twenty third novel in the sequence and the first in a four volume sequence focusing on Alyiakal, a young officer in the Cyadoran military. Long time readers of the series may recognize that name from the Magi’i of Cyador but new readers can rest assured that no prior series knowledge is necessary. From the Forest is the earliest set Recluce novel and is some 300ish years before any of the other books.

Alyiakal’s story should be familiar to Modesitt readers: A young man doesn’t quite fit into a clear path into his life, ends up in the military, is extraordinarily competent and deeply moral within the structures of his society, faces challenges to his life, and if he lives will be on a path towards greatness. If he lives is frequently mentioned because that competence and morality is also viewed as a threat to those in power - so somehow hiding his power is critical while still striving towards that excellence because there is no other option. Also, Alyiakal is a secret magic user and needs to keep that power secret from the Magi’i because he doesn’t fit neatly into one of Cyador’s boxes / proscribed path for a (somewhat) upper caste person. That’s an entirely different conversation.

A Modesitt novel, and From the Forest in particular, lives in the details. It’s how Alyiakal goes about his life, learns his business in the military, keeps secret a very cautious romance, and is thrown into increasingly challenging military campaigns. Modesitt is a slooooow burn of ordinary life and explosions of action.

Modesitt knows *his* business and is incredibly skilled at telling this sort of story and telling it the way he does. To a small point, a Recluce novel is a Recluce novel (is an Imager novel is a Corean Chronicle novel is a Grand Illusion novel) and all of the story beats readers may expect to be hit will be hit. Each novel isn’t the same thing, but it’s not not the same thing either.

It’s a good time and pure comfort food. Bring on the next.

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From the Forest opens the saga of Alayiakal with him training in blade with his father Majer Kyal and magic with a local teacher. Being more order inclined, Alayiakal will not do well as Chaos mage, so he joins the ranks of the Mirror Lancers as an officer candidate. Surviving those three years sends him off to confront the Grass Hills barbarians before being sent off on another dangerous adventure. In short, Alayiakal is a typical Modesitt character learning lessons and being shaped by experiences that prepare him for larger deeds later. But the fun of a Modesitt tale is how he combines the elements and weaves in details that envelope the reader in the story. It will be interesting to see exactly what Alayiakal encounters in the next few books and this being set in the earlier times of Cydor, how he creates conditions for characters later on the timeline to deal with.

Thanks Netgalley and Tor for the opportunity to read this volume!

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L. E. Modesitt, Jr. does it again in the Saga of Recluce series, it had a great flow with the other books. The characters were what I was expecting and felt like they were supposed to be in this world. It always works as a fantasy novel and I’ve enjoyed the tales.

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From the Forest by L.E Modesitt

Happy to be back to Recluce, I really enjoyed the book. It is like visiting a friend you haven’t seen for a while. A new character, Alayiakal, is a Mirror Lancer with many secrets. Faced with a strictly stratified society, he must hide his strengths or be forced into unwanted roles or even condemned to death.

Alayiakal shares the same humble bragging characteristics as many of Modesitt’s characters. He dissuades fame and downplays his successes with aplomb. Modesitt’s main protagonists always seem likable and have a strong ethical core. The likable description has resulted in negative commentary in previous reviews. Criticism be damned, I want to have likable characters. I invest in my reading and I don’t want to be invested in a despicable personality.

The storyline is not predictable and yet seems familiar. That too, is something I enjoy. Once again, it feels like visiting an old friend and I like doing that.

I enjoyed the book and look forward to the ensuing volumes.

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