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Imager's Intrigue (Imager Portfolio) Mass Market Paperback – Bargain Price, June 28, 2011
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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
This book is the third in the first 3 Imager books and the most recent in terms of historical timeline in this fantasy world.
This third novel is the most action packed of them all, and shows the continued development of Rhenn's powers as well as his quiet action as a Civic Patrol Captain. The twists and turns in the storyline will keep you guessing as to the final outcome. Even though you know deep down that everything will end up well in the end, the roadbumps along the way can be both amusing and terrifying. The author does a great job showing both how power can corrupt as well as the true faces of the people who pledge their lives to keep the country safe.
The book itself was fine, and on its own probably wouldn't be that bad. But it really does not live up to the two preceding works. In books 1 and 2, the characters were far more interesting and flexible, the setting more deeply explored, the whole fabric just more satisfying.
One thing I really liked about the first two was how he gave name and description to most of the foods. It was interesting, gave more depth to the work, exemplified the cultural stew that is L'Excelsis, and gave me cause to research these culinary works. I didn't realize how much I liked that part until I found it COMPLETELY missing from "Intrigue".
There was very little character development. Yes, I understand that the primary characters are adults now with set lives and so on. That doesn't mean they can't interact and grow. The romance between Rhenn and Seliora more or less just devolved into the superficial workings of any other upper middle-class couple. Yawn. I no longer cared about their relationship. Even Rhenn's family has more or less been removed from the setting. He makes little use of character relationships established in the preceding works, except for the near sycophantic fawning of Iryela. It's only been 5 years folks, with Rhenn maintaining the same job and social standing as at the end of "Challenge".
And then the plot. Oh god, the plot. I know it's called "Imager's Intrigue", and the aim was for lots of secretive goings-on and sinister plots.. However, as I mentioned in my review for "Challenge", it felt like trying to walk through a physically thick fog. You couldn't see where it was going, there was really no hinting to the reader of what's going on, it seemed like it was constantly changing with a hundred unrelated events which, at the very end, Rhenn says "This is how they fit together" with little other visible logic to dictate it. Not to mention a whole bunch of, "This stuff's important! It's involved with the sinister threat and -- oops, nevermind, I took care of it and it was unrelated. Sorry!" A couple large points of the super-sinister-over-arching-plot were even left completely unresolved at the end. We had a heroic battle and Rhenn did some awesome covert stuff, so yay, all's well! Forget the fact that 2 other nations are at war and one of them is still behind one of the darker threats to the society but.. Heroes! ..Sigh..
Compared to the mass of writing on the market today, "Intrigue" does stand above, but that has more to do with Modesitt's skill as an author than the book itself. I'm currently reading a contemporary novel of intrigue and darkness set in a foreign environment which, cool setting and neat plot aside, compared to reading Modesitt, feels like Dick & Jane. "Intrigue" was just, on the whole, an unsatisfying work.
Most recent customer reviews
This one was the best yet! I didn't want to stop listening to the book. I think my heart was racing several times.Read more