The Towers of the Sunset

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Author Tor Books $21.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-312-85297-9

Set in the same world as Modesitt's The Magic of Recluce, this lively tale of two strong-willed magicians' coming-of-age chronicles the founding of the island nation of Recluce. Creslin, young son of the Marshall of Westwind, is permitted to learn the skills of a warrior, to the horror of a society that keeps its men cloistered and helpless. Escaping an unwanted marriage to Megaera, sister of the Tyrant of Sarronnyn, he travels to Fairhaven, the ""city of wizards,"" where he becomes involved in the unequal struggle between the white forces of chaos and the black forces of order. Fearful of his potentially great powers, the White Wizards seek Creslin's death, but balk at killing him openly because of his family's position. He is rescued by Black Wizards and his rejected betrothed, Megaera, whose sister has bound her in iron bracelets since her youth. Megaera hates Creslin and all other men, but a magic bond between them links her survival to his. The two must join forces to build a new world where magic does not lead to destruction. Modesitt's newest is another charmer, with strong, flawed protagonists learning to cope with themselves and their world. (Aug.)