Author: L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Book Name: Imager
Series: The Imager Portfolio
Rating: Really Good
Blurb: Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant in L’Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar, he has spent years becoming a journeyman artist and is skilled and diligent enough to be considered for the status of master artisan—in another two years. Then, in a single moment, his entire life is transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire, and Rhenn discovers he is an imager—one of the few in the entire world of Terahnar who can visualize things and make them real.
He must leave his family and join the Collegium of Imagisle. Imagers live separately from the rest of society because of their abilities (they can do accidental magic even while asleep), and because they are both feared and vulnerable. In this new life, Rhenn discovers that all too many of the “truths” he knew were nothing of the sort. Every day brings a new threat to his life. He makes a powerful enemy while righting a wrong, and begins to learn to do magic in secret.
Review: I actually had enough time between waiting for paint to dry before I could do more and after I was done for the day to get another book in while working on my daughter’s room.
I must note, that my preferences tend to lean towards female authors. This is most often because how they typically express the worldview of their characters and attitudes seems to be easier for me to connect with than most male authors. This is not an absolute, but is generally the norm, so it isn’t often that I find a male author that I enjoy. That made this a bit of a surprise for me as I did enjoy this book.
I really wasn’t sure that was going to be the case because there were pieces early on that felt a bit dry and a little on the archaic or old fashioned side with regards to the usage of language and phrases. This is, again, not usually something that I would enjoy because writing like that is often tedious to plow through. This was really well written, though, and I quickly found myself deep into the story and not getting caught up in the language.
Both the world and the characters in this were well crafted. I did have a few little quirks and issues that I wasn’t thrilled with. One was the supposed level of secrecy of the imagers in serving the counsel. No one was supposed to know, but there really weren’t any real precautions to prevent people from easily finding out. The other was that I felt that there was quite a bit of extra “stuff” that was written that wasn’t in any way essential to the story and really kind of felt like filler in places. There is a possibility that some of that may come into play in later books, but it wasn’t clear in this one.
With those few exceptions, this was a good book and I’m looking forward to the next one in the series.