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Rex Regis: The Eighth Book of the Imager Portfolio Hardcover – January 7, 2014
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't look forward to the end of this series! I enjoy his writing.Published 5 days ago by Mark Cawley
Sometimes a writer runs out of material. In this book 58 percent goes by before anything of any importance happens. The repetition is laborious. The book could half the length.Published 13 days ago by barry deutsch
Modesitt is an excellent writer, I have enjoyed every book I have read, including the Recluce saga; especially enjoyed the I?mager series.Published 2 months ago by Kenneth Holtzclaw
As usual, Modesitt's characters are fighting evil and the author does not stray from providing extensive philosophical grounding of the battle. Read morePublished 2 months ago by GerryN
What a trill of a book----keeps you guessing and then adds unexpected elements! You won't find any books written better than this!Published 3 months ago by Paul Richter
Rex Regis completes this section of the Imagers series. I really enjoyed the author's detailed explanations for administering new areas while dealing with continuing political and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Anne B