Kharl is the best cooper in Brysta, one of the major cities in Nordla, and his life has been as ordered and dependable as his barrels.
His trouble begins when he saves a neighbour's daughter from the violent advances of two upper-class men. Then he rescues a rape victim he finds unconscious in an alley, a blackstaffer - a young expatriate mage-from Recluce, and that makes his wife very uneasy.
The culprit in both cases turns out to have been Egen, the cruel and corrupt son of the local ruler. When the blackstaffer is mysteriously murdered in Kharl's cooperage, Kharl is jailed, tried, and flogged, and in a shocking turnaround, released-and his consort executed for the murder, which she did not commit. Egen again.
Kharl ends up on the run, with just a handful of coins and a few clothes, but he also takes the slain woman's black staff and her book, The Basis of Order, which explains the principles of its power. The diligent cooper is about to learn a new, very different skill.
Author Biography: L E Modesitt, Jr, is the bestselling author of over 40 novels encompassing two science fiction series and three fantasy series, as well as several other novels in the science fiction genre. Modesitt, Jr, has been a delivery boy; a lifeguard; a US Navy pilot; a market research analyst; a real estate agent; legislative assistant and staff director for a US Congressman; Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the US Environmental Protection Agency; a college lecturer and writer in residence; and unpaid treasurer of a civic music arts association. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.
"Strong supporting characters, vivid settings and creative approach to mythos and magic enhance this richly detailed story. New readers should feel comfortable in Modesitt's world, where chaos and order reign in delicate balance, while series fans will welcome this return to familiar ground. As usual, Modesitt handles his world-building and characterization with ease. While knowledge of the previous books in the series will enhance the reading experience, it's not a requirement to enjoying this stand-alone tale. This newest entry in the Saga of Recluce is a gift for fans and new readers alike."-"Romantic Times Bookclub" on "Wellspring of Chaos" (a "Top Pick")
"The prolific Modesitt's 12th Recluce fantasy, his first since 2001's "Scion of Cyador", delights from start to finish. . . . .In a genre saturated with callow youngsters who grow into heroes, Modesitt effortlessly builds an epic adventure around an ordinary, middle-aged man. This marks a welcome new chapter in the Recluce saga, with the ending all but promising a sequel."-"Publishers Weekly "on "Wellspring of Chaos"
"Modesitt's excellent new story has thought-provoking underpinnings that will snare newcomers as well as old Recluce hands."-"Booklist "on "Wellspring of Chaos"
Series: Saga of Recluce (Paperback)
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: November 2005
Dimensions (cm): 6.8 x 4.24 x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.47