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Imager's Intrigue: The Third Book of the Imager Portfolio Hardcover – July 20, 2010

Book 3 of 9 in the Imager Portfolio Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third volume in the Imager Portfolio series (after 2009's Imager's Challenge), set in a fantasy world with an early modern feel, follows powerful imager Rhennthyl as he polices the streets of L'Excelcis. Though rarely called on to use his power to imagine things into being, its mere existence serves to intimidate those around him as Rhenn investigates a bank scam and a powerful, deadly drug. His cases inevitably dovetail and soon political intrigue and mystery vie with his family for his attention. Even as it becomes clear that Rhenn and all the imagers are under attack, he realizes he can't trust his colleagues. Lengthy discussions and tedious recounting of Rhenn's daily habits alternate with fast-paced action, but fans of the series will enjoy seeing Rhenn come into his own as a husband and father.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The third novel in the Imager Portfolio picks up about five years after the end of Imager's Challenge (2009). Rhennthyl and Seliora are married and have a small daughter, and Rhennthyl has proven to be an effective patrol captain as well as a strong imager. But problems are increasing: a new addictive drug is destroying more people faster, including a member of Rhenn's family, mysterious explosions rock the city of L'Excelsis, and the country's most powerful enemy is expected to go to war any day. Then one night Imagisle itself is fired on. The death of two senior Masters leaves Rhennthyl one of the most powerful imagers in the country—and possibly that country's only hope of avoiding defeat. Modesitt has drawn a superb portrait of an honest and powerful man handed a crisis that even he may not be able to handle. Surrounded by overly rigid customs, too many unanswered questions, and just plain greed, he must change Solidar and the College of Imagers if both are to survive. This is an extremely satisfying conclusion to the Imager Portfolio, but given the problems facing Rhenn at the end of the novel, Modesitt fans will be pleased and not surprised if we see more of Rhennthyl in the future. --Frieda Murray
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Product Details

  • Series: The Imager Portfolio (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765325624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325624
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After spending years writing poetry, political speeches and analyses, as well as economic and technical reports on extraordinarily detailed and often boring subjects, I finally got around to writing my first short story, which was published in 1973. I kept submitting and occasionally having published stories until an editor indicated he'd refuse to buy any more until I wrote a novel. So I did, and it was published in 1982, and I've been writing novels -- along with a few short stories -- ever since.

If you want to know more, you can visit my website at www.lemodesittjr.com.

Customer Reviews

The world is very well thought out, the characters complex, and full of action.
kittkatt
Still, in general I liked the story line and a fair number of the major characters even if they weren't very fully developed.
Elaine Dupuy
I've read the whole series to date one after the other, that way it's like one long book.
Kenneth R. Macdonald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jay C. Oyster on July 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I actually like reading L.E. Modesitt, but he can be somewhat infuriating at times. Imager's Intrigue, the third book in his Imager's trilogy, is typical. This, unlike much fantasy fiction is not intended for a 13 year old audience. At times I get the feeling that he's only concerned about the plot as a secondary outcome. Honestly, I suspect that he uses these novels as a way to role-play some of his ideas about economics and political theory. I think perhaps the fact that he fits his fantastical and otherworldly elements into such a mundane setting is what makes the story interesting for an adult. As always, the magic available to the characters has rules, very real limits, and often difficult consequences.

If you've read the first two books, you do want to find out what happens to the protagonist, Rhennthyl, and his wife Seliora. They are interesting, consistent characters, if they do suffer sometimes at the hands of Modesitt's style. As usual, the author keeps a hard remove from his character's emotions. He describes their actions and some of their thoughts, but he only lets us infer their motives and emotions. In some ways, this is what makes this a more adult version of the genre. It isn't an emotional rollercoaster, it is a story about events. It reads almost as a historical document.

The action is evenly paced, with lots of political machinations and subplots, although if I read one more paragraph about the theory and history of water rights, you can just go ahead and shoot me. On the other hand, the resolution of the story is satisfying and very logical. We end up going along with Rhenn's journey, I suppose in the same way one would go along for a ride-along in the day-by-day events in the life of, say, Harry Truman.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Josephs on July 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the interest of full disclosure, the reader should know that while I don't consider myself a Modesitt fan-boy, it's very rare that I don't love his work. So, a 4 of 5 star rating for Imager's Intrigue is, coming from me, a big deal. As I thought about why I wasn't thrilled with this novel, I finally decided on the following:

1. It seemed out of place. True to its title, Imager's Intrigue is all about Rhenn unravelling schemes and machinations, and not so much about Rhenn being a hands-on imager. To be fair, we still get to see Rhenn in action, but it's really not the point of this book. In fact, the largest action sequence in the story doesn't even involve (directly) Rennn. Not to say that a book of intrigue is a bad thing, but it is a significant departure from the rhythm established in the prior two books. I found it jarring, and since it really wasn't what I was looking forward to, a bit disappointing.

2. It felt repetitive. I'm not sure how many times the reader needs to be reminded about the Rhenn's morning calisthenics rituals, or how important it is that imagers sleep in lead-lined rooms or have to read prayers to The Nameless, but in these areas (and others) I felt like Modesitt went a little overboard. I'll give Modesitt the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was trying to convey that the structure of Rhenn's days are routine (wake up, exercise, read reports while taking hack to work...), but enough already.

3. It got a little preachy. Modesitt explores the relative merits of capitalism, free-trade, benevolent monarchies, the military industrial complex and tax law. Oh, and women's rights. Can't forget women's rights.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tracy on October 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Out of all three books in the Imager series, this one was my least favorite. This is not a bad book, it just did not live up to my expectations. First, I was a little disappointed that this book took us five years into the future. I felt a little robbed after going through two books of Rhenn courting Seloria and not getting to read about the wedding and their life as a new married couple. I also felt there could have been a good story about Rhenn's first years as a Captain in the Patrol.
Second, the book seemed overloaded with characters. If they had not had the character list at the beginning of this book, I would have been lost. There were times that I just could not keep straight who was who and what side they were on and if they were a High Holder a Free Holder etc...
Third, there was too much politics and little action. The political intrigue was one thing I liked about the other books, but mainly because it was only part of the story, not the whole story. In this book, politics takes the forefront and it becomes a bit of a bore after a while.
Lastly, the book seemed to move slowly. It took me far longer to read this book than the other two in the series. I did not find that it captivated my interest as much as the other books.

I did not hate the book, it just was not the best in the series. It does tie things up and you are not left hanging in the end. I just think that more could have been done with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By 1938iowa on July 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third in this series and is every bit as good as the first two. This leaves one waiting anxiously for the next book. He can't write them fast enough to keep us, his eager readers satisfied. If this is your first experience with this author, do read the first book in this series so you are caught up. I can't recommend it enough.
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