4 out of 5
This novel comes much later in the Saga of Recluce series. I recently re-read it for a paper which is why I am reviewing it out of order. While The Towers of Sunset tells the story of how Recluce was created, this novel tells the story of how Westwind was created. A mixture of Science Fiction and Fantasy, it answers many questions about the Legend and the problems between east and west, men and women. when the Angels crash land on the highest mountain peak in Candar they find a world where women are property. This is in serious conflict with their own society in which women are equals. The Captain, Ryba, quickly understands that the group, mainly women marines, will need to prove their fighting abilities and use force to survive in such a place. Their existence alone causes attacks by the male rulers who can not be seen as weak by letting women rule themselves. The engineer Nylan is one of only three men to survive the crash and the story is told from his point of view. Once again Modesitt has stuck with his formula for a hero. Nylan is a very powerful black mage but doesn’t see this for himself. He is not only modest about his magical skills but also about his crafting skills. He basically designs and builds Westwind. As is common in Modesitt novels, crafting plays an important part. Stonework is the skill that is focused on. This story is an interesting look at how outside forces change societies as the Angels are not the only ones to have landed here.