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Scholar: A Novel in the Imager Portfolio Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 8, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for L. E. Modesitt, Jr.:

“Modesitt's work shines with engrossing characters, terrific plotting, and realistic world-building.”
--RT Book Reviews on Imager

“The Imager Portfolio features some of the best characters Modesitt has ever created, real enough to make you consider what you’d do in their places.”
--Booklist on Imager's Challenge

“The third Imager Portfolio is an exhilarating thriller. . . .  The story line is fast-paced while the locales are vivid; as expected from a former artist turned Imager. Readers will relish the latest entry as L. E. Modesitt, Jr. entertainingly ties the news together in a strong tale in which the hero knows he has come a long way, but learns how fast you can go in reverse.”
--The Midwest Book Review on Imager's Intrigue

About the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes Adiamante, the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and Archform: Beauty. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.


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Product Details

  • Series: The Imager Portfolio (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765329557
  • ASIN: B007SRW740
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,546 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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stefan VINE VOICE on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In a pattern that's by now familiar for L.E. Modesitt Jr., Scholar marks a new beginning in the IMAGER PORTFOLIO series. The book is set several hundred years before the events portrayed in the three "Rhentyll" novels Imager, Imager's Challenge, and Imager's Intrigue. Because of this, Scholar shares no characters with the earlier novels in the series and can be read separately. However, if you haven't read the Rhentyll novels yet and are in the mood for some good, thoughtful fantasy, I still recommend reading them first, just so you can see the events of the new novel in the broader historical context L.E. Modesitt Jr. likes to build for his fantasy worlds.

Scholar is set in a time when Solidar hasn't been unified as one country yet. Rather than the stable and dominant realm we see in the Rhentyll novels, the continent of Lydar is still split up into separate countries that are fighting for dominance. Bhayar, the young ruler of Telaryn, is trying to figure out why the province of Tilbor, conquered a decade ago by his father, still needs such a large armed presence to remain peaceful. He sends his friend Quaeryt to Tilbor to investigate and report back on the possibility of reducing the size of the province's standing army.

Quaeryt, the main character of the novel, is a scholar. He's also an imager, but he keeps his imaging ability mostly secret because, in this period before the Collegium Imago, imagers are still feared and frequently shunned. Like Rhentyll from the IMAGER PORTFOLIO's earlier novels, he is a very recognizable L.E. Modesitt Jr. protagonist: intelligent, quiet, cautious but able to take decisive and sometimes surprising action when necessary.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Liviu C. Suciu on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
INTRODUCTION: After the trilogy consisting of Imager, Imager's Challenge and Imager's Intrigue that introduced us to Rhenn, one of the most enchanting narrators in recent fantasy, LE Modesitt goes back in time before the unification of Solidar to give us a tale that introduces another great character, the scholar of the title and secret imager, Quaeryt Rytersyn.

"Hundreds of years before the time of Imager, the continent of Lydar is fragmented. Years of war have consolidated five nations into three--Bovaria, Telaryn, and Antiago. Quaeryt is a scholar and a friend of Bhayar, the young ruler of Telaryn. Worried about his future and the escalating intrigues in Solis, the capital city, Quaeryt persuades Bhayar to send him to Tilbor, conquered ten years earlier by Bhayar's father, in order to see if the number and extent of occupying troops can be reduced so that they can be re-deployed to the border with warlike Bovaria.

Quaeryt has managed to conceal the fact that he is an imager, since the life expectancies of imagers in Lydar is short. Just before Quaeryt departs, Bhayar's youngest sister passes a letter to the scholar-imager, a letter that could well embroil Quaeryt in the welter of court politics he had hoped to leave behind. On top of that, on his voyage and journey to Tilbor he must face pirates, storms, poisonings, attempted murder, as well as discovering the fact that he is not quite who he thought he was. To make it all worse, the order of scholars to which he belongs is jeopardized in more ways than one.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Skip on November 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not just a back story, but a standalone novel that could be read without first reading the other novels in the Imager Portfolio. Modesitt provides an enjoyable read that seems to end too soon unlike George R. R. Martin whose stories never end. Modesitt focuses on the point of view of only one character, Quaeryt, who is tasked by his King to investigate what is happening in the conquered province of Tibora. Posing as a scholar who is commissioned to write a history of the Province of Tibora, Quaeryt travels to Tibora to try to make sense out of the political-military-social situation. This novel reads like a mystery thriller as we only have the same information available to us as Quaeryt. The concept of a magic wielding 007 superhero actually accomplishing his mission and unearthing clues by spending hours in the library and the military archives is something that only Modesitt could make work this well. There are action and battles a aplenty--it's just that the historical research reveals a much more complex conflict than just the good guys vs the bad guys. Modesitt is a little teachy, after all that is his day job, but I always gain a new insight about life from every book of his.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jules Mazarin on November 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Readers should be aware that this book is a departure from the previous volumes of the Imager series. In addition to having a different viewpoint character, I found it to be very slow going. There's lots of ponderous philosophizing going on in the character's mind (or perhaps Modesitt's), but it is not offset by plot tension or action. Yes, we have a shipwreck, "reavers", attempted poisoning, and a military campaign featuring a whole series of bloody battles, but none of this seemed particularly exciting.

One reason for the lack of dynamism in SCHOLAR is that much of the viewpoint character's mind remains hidden from us: he has grand strategic plans, but these plans are only hinted at. We don't get to know much about his man--those characters who deal with him in the novel often express the opinion that he is enigmatic, or "more than he appears to be". Maybe so, but he was pretty enigmatic to this reader also. His actions are very restrained, almost as though Modesitt were trying to move away from his usual unflappable superman stereotype who wreaks spectacular and catastrophic destruction on his enemies. But restraint doesn't seem to work for Modesitt in this book--or perhaps it just doesn't work for me. Then too, some obvious plot teasers were left unresolved. For example, the viewpoint character is an orphan and possibly the offspring of some Very Important People...but we don't find out in this book. Considering how unappealing I found him, I doubt that I'll be buying the next book to find out.

Perhaps because of the lack of dramatic tension, I found Modesitt's stylistic quirks to be particularly bothersome in SCHOLAR. For example, there are the names. Oh, the names. The awful names.
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