Saturday, February 8, 2014

The many identical love interests of Modesitt

I've been enjoying two of L.E. Modesitt's series - Imager (a trilogy and one at 5+ books) and Recluse (a long series). In trying to keep the chronology of Recluse straight, I visited his Wiki page, which notes some criticism that his characters are all the same. Now, he's written a ton of books in many series, and I assume he is right to point out that he has a lot of other characters.

On the other hand, I'm 12 books in and having a hard time distinguishing the male heroes' love interests.


Imager series 1 - She's from a group of mystical people with the gift of visions. She knew she was going to marry him before he did. Her family is in the mafia and those connections are very useful. She actually does something plot relevant.

Imager series 2 - She's from the same group of mystical people with the gift of visions. She knew she was going to marry him before he did. Her family is royal and those connections are very useful. She is vaguely plot relevant, but if she weren't there she wouldn't have to be until book 5.

Recluse book 1 - She's a totally normal girl who giggles a lot. She becomes a mighty warrior. It takes them forever to get together and I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but she knew before he did. There was another potential love interest - an even more normal girl - but he had to nobly sacrifice her. Both are vaguely plot relevant.

Recluse book 2 - She's from a mystical group of people with the gift of visions and fireballs. She was betrothed to him and bound to him by dark magic so she can feel his every emotion. Her family is royal and those connections are a pain, but useful. She was tortured as a child, so intimacy is really hard for them. She is exceptionally plot relevant and a major character in her own right.

Recluse book 3 - She's a totally normal girl, a mighty trader. It takes them a while to get together. She is psychological and physically tortured, so intimacy becomes really hard for them. She actually does something plot relevant, aside from being tortured.

Recluse book 4 - She's from a mystical group of people with the gift of visions and environmentalism. She had an unexplained connection to him from the beginning so she can feel most of his metions and read his mind. She knew they would be together before he did. This is the first one who never gets married.


Don't you get the sense that we're drawing traits from a pretty limited bag here? This bickering aside, I have no intention of dropping the series or not picking up his other series. His world building skills are magnificent and he has some very interesting philosophic discussions I enjoy. His lead characters have to think and grow, not just get better at blowing stuff up (though they do that too).