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Rex Regis: The Eighth Book of the Imager Portfolio Hardcover – January 7, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 215 customer reviews
Book 8 of 9 in the Imager Portfolio Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is the eighth book in the Imager Portfolio and covers another episode in the life of Quaeryt. For those unfamiliar with the series, it would be difficult to start with this book, as so much character background is assumed. However, for readers of this series, this book adds yet another piece of knowledge to the history of imagers, further fleshing out the world Modesitt has created. Quaeryt and his ruler, Lord Bhayar, are trying to unify all the lands of the continent of Lydar. The path so far has been bloody, filled not just with usual battles, but also with treachery. In this installment, the treason comes from within, complicating the already difficult task of ruling the conquered territories. Quaeryt and his wife, Velora, try their best to begin the slow process of actually building the world’s first Imager academy, while never actually telling anyone except Lord Bhayar what they are doing. Dialogue and internal musings serve to show the good and the bad sides of the characters, while pulling the reader deeper into the fictional world. Fans will eagerly and impatiently await the next installment of this series. --Rebecca Gerber

Review

“A wholly absorbing entry in this highly addictive series.” ―Kirkus, starred review on Antiagon Fire

“[Modesitt's] world building is seamless and realistic, and his characters are not only well-rounded but somehow familiar. Series fans will put this on their must-read list.” ―Library Journal, starred review on Imager's Battalion

“Perhaps the best so far in this consistently fascinating series.” ―Kirkus, starred review on Scholar

“Modesitt has drawn a world intriguing enough by itself and thoroughly integrated the magic of imaging into it. The characters are real people, learning and struggling and dealing with their families. Rivetingly beginning a new series, Imager Portfolio, this is thoroughly absorbing, whetting the appetite for the next installment.” ―Booklist on Imager

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Product Details

  • Series: The Imager Portfolio (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765336340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765336347
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At long last, the story of Quaeryt Rytersen has come to an end, two books later than I expected. The previous two books were building to this conclusion, so there were nearly no surprises. Instead, this was a book of methods to bring the reader back to the first book in the series, set 500 (guessing) years after this one. How was the country of Solidar established (in the end), how was the Imager Collegeum built, and why was the government structured the way it was in Rhenn's time?

Modesitt is almost a one-trick pony when it comes to writing a series. The same character types are used repeatedly, the moralizing never changes, and the plot is well established. Like many serialized stories, what brings me to read this next book is the execution of the requirements. The flourishes and deviations, the wording and presentation, what is said and what is implied, are all fun mental exercises for me. Additionally, in this series and particularly in this book, characters from previous books are brought back to complete multiple-book storylines.

I picked it up to complete the series. I recommend it to people who are doing the same. But for new people, I recommend starting back at Imager.
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Format: Hardcover
Regis Regis is the eighth book of the IMAGER PORTFOLIO and the fifth book following Quaeryt. After literally years of hard work, war, and nothing less than miraculous events, the curtain begins to close on this part of Solidar’s history.

The fall of Antiago had been particularly painful for Quaeryt because of the loss of his child when his wife was injured. The reality of the constant threat of power-hungry competitors to influence the future of the continent of Lydar leaves Quaeryt with very little time to heal or mourn. In spite of his incredible success, Quaeryt knows that he must race back to report to Bhayar, now ruler of almost all of Lydar.

As in the previous four books, Quaeryt spends a great deal of time interacting with recalcitrant High Holders. These men enjoyed great power under the previous ruler of Bovaria, but are now very slow to adapt to Bhayar’s rule because they believe that they are somehow exempt from the constraints on the rest of humanity. There are notable exceptions to the rule, including men who, because of loyalty to personal family or who suffered tragedy at the hands of the previous ruler, are now open to change. Those side stories are often poignant, though they are often tragic.

Quaeryt and his highly intelligent, insightful, beautiful wife Vaelora (read that as cliché Modesitt female hero) are again given difficult tasks in order to support Bhayar. It has been almost frustrating to watch Bhayar continually struggle to embrace their support and insight. Bhayar just seems to constantly fight against the repeated demonstrations of Quaeryt’s loyalty and demonstrated expertise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, this was a pleasant eniugh book to end the series with, if not as dramatic as the others. In some ways Rex Regis reads like a long denouement to the Imager series. The first half of the book lacks dramatic tension because there is little at stake for the main characters, and little mystery about what Queryt can do. However, it is sort of pleasant to be in that world again, and there is something mesmerizing about the cycle of traveling and imaging, talking and imaging, that forms the first part of the book. The second half of the book does build to a satisfying and original dramatic climax, but then unwinds to a long and leisurely denouement of its own.

Having read many of Modesitt's books, I have noticed that there is a wide variation in quality among them. This one is not quite the quality of the first few Imager novels, yet it is a fairly satisfying end to the series. If you want to see what Modesitt is capable of when he is writing with enough time and attention, I recommend "The Elysium Commission," which I consider one of his best books, it is really complex and delightful. "Haze" is probably one of his worst. I'm not a fiction author, but I guess it must be difficult to sustain interest and quality of narrative over a long series with the same set of characters like this Imager series. Other SF authors struggle with this also, witness David Weber and his Honor and Safehold series, which start out well, then descend in later books into interminable dialogs in which the characters congratulate each other. I think there is some of the same dynamic here, with an awful lot of conversation and not much action in the first half of the book. However the second half of the book mostly redeems the book and makes it a decent reading experience.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(This review may contain spoilers, but as few as possible.)

In this volume of the Imager Portfolio, we find Modesitt (IMHO) at the top of his form. The style is steady, the themes continue to advance little by little. The central character - as from the author's earliest work - builds himself up from mere humanity to godlike powers (reminiscent of Joseph Smith's radical Mormon doctrine that today's God was once "a man as we are" who enhanced Himself into the role). But he needs help, and the god he approaches - Erion - is essential... as are his mortal team. It's a nice balance between sole hero(ine)/god(dess) - see "Lady Protector" - and competent but powerless observer of mighty beings ("The One-Eyed Man").

There is still (IMHO) a missing link here: energy-stealing magic of Querit's style does not seem to be much known or practiced in the later times of the first Imager trilogy, and in fact the College, though obviously his foundation, seems to more resemble Bovarian imager-craft in its use of fire and subtle, deniable death-dealing. One expects (or would just like to read) a further volume where this merger is explained and described.
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