I know it's been a long time since I've written a book review and I apologize. Most of the authors that I enjoy reading have extensive book series. I often find myself reading a few in a row, but it's hard to continue writing about one book after another based on the same characters. They are incredibly fun to read, but maybe not to read reviews of. Modesitt has been the last author that I've been reading new novels based off of one world. Instead of reading them based on their release date, I've been reading them in chronological order. I still have a few more to go in the series, but after these four I'll be switching it up a little bit - maybe The Stand or perhaps something totally different (True Grit).
Magi'i of Cyador and Scion of Cyador follow the story of a young student learning the ways of Chaos ( one half of the worlds magic system). Lorn happens to excel at what he does, but is not necessarily cut out for the Magi. He's ultimately shipped off to become a Mirror Lancer - think Army, but a different world. This world is changing, and Lorn happens to be at the center of it all. The technology is failing, and with that failure, every person is going to have to face a harder world.
Fall of Angels (Saga of Recluce) happens 500 years after the story of Lorn and the nation of Cyador. Modesitt takes the Saga of Recluce into a realm filled not only with Fantasy but also Science Fiction. The Angels happen to be the crew and soldiers of a space ship that gets transported to a different realm or a different universe. They aren't too clear, and I guess that allows for some speculation. They have to land on this new world and are immediately attacked by the locals. You follow the story of Ryba, Nylan, and Arlyn as they look to survive in a foreign world with unique powers. Now, if you read my other Modesitt reviews you'd notice that the protagonist from The Towers of the Sunset is an ancestor from the nation the Angel survivors create.
Lastly, The Chaos Balance follows Nylan, Arlyn, and Welyn ( Nylan's son, and also the father of the Towers of the Sunset hero) as they leave Westwind and find somewhere they might belong. This doesn't sound as easy as you might think since most of the world still fears and mistrusts these new people. It also doesn't take long till they're pulled into a new struggle with old Cyador ( yup, still around) and Lornth ( they don't tell you why it's named after the old leader). My only beef with this book is how transformed Cyador is from what you first read about without telling how it got there. It was a half-decent nation that turned into a cesspit, IMHO.
L.E. Modesitt Jr. continues to provide an entertaining series. It's the first book series that I've read that has dialogue from an infant. In some ways, it helps to see the progression of a character that you will hear about later, but I'm not sure that it's necessary. Reading chronologically will also help get better clarification of the magic system throughout Recluce prior to getting to the point where it just IS. You also won't find a lot of inappropriate content. There might be a little innuendo but not to the point that you can't let someone younger read the novels (unlike Abercrombie... though I really enjoy him!)
Magi'i of Cyador - 6 CBs - some slow progression, but engaging characters
Scion of Cyador - 5 CBs - still slow in parts; could use a little less tedium
Fall of Angels - 6.5 CBs - good story with new Sci-Fi elements
The Chaos Balance - 5 CBs - some slow parts; thank you for being a shorter novel.