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Imager's Intrigue: The Third Book of the Imager Portfolio [Hardcover]

L. E. Modesitt

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Book Description

July 20 2010 Imager Portfolio (Book 3)

In Imager, the first book of the Imager Portfolio, we met Rhennthyl, an apprentice portrait artist whose life was changed by a disastrous fire. But the blaze that took his master’s life and destroyed his livelihood revealed a secret power previously dormant in Rhenn; the power of imaging, the ability to shape matter using thought. With some trouble, he adapts to the controlled life of an imager.

By Imager’s Challenge, Rhenn has become a liaison to the local law forces. He finds himself in direct conflict with both authorities and national politics as he tries to uphold the law and do his best by the people of his home city.

Now, in Imager’s Intrigue, Rhenn has come into his own. He has a wife and a young child, and a solid career as an imager. But he has made more than one enemy during his journey from apprentice painter to master imager, and even his great powers won’t allow him to escape his past.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765325624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325624
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #358,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for the Imager Portfolio:

“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 prolific Modesitt kicks off a new fantasy series that boasts an early modern setting—think Victorian times without the pollution.… Modesitt’s capacity to wring new surprises from stock ideas remains undiminished.”
—Kirkus Reviews on Imager

“Meticulous world-building.… The world is fascinating, and the Imagers themselves are extraordinary."
Rt Book Reviews on Imager

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  81 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, occasionally tedious, typical Modesitt July 22 2010
By Jay C. Oyster - Published on
I actually like reading L.E. Modesitt, but he can be somewhat infuriating at times. Imager's Intrigue, the third book in his Imager's trilogy, is typical. This, unlike much fantasy fiction is not intended for a 13 year old audience. At times I get the feeling that he's only concerned about the plot as a secondary outcome. Honestly, I suspect that he uses these novels as a way to role-play some of his ideas about economics and political theory. I think perhaps the fact that he fits his fantastical and otherworldly elements into such a mundane setting is what makes the story interesting for an adult. As always, the magic available to the characters has rules, very real limits, and often difficult consequences.

If you've read the first two books, you do want to find out what happens to the protagonist, Rhennthyl, and his wife Seliora. They are interesting, consistent characters, if they do suffer sometimes at the hands of Modesitt's style. As usual, the author keeps a hard remove from his character's emotions. He describes their actions and some of their thoughts, but he only lets us infer their motives and emotions. In some ways, this is what makes this a more adult version of the genre. It isn't an emotional rollercoaster, it is a story about events. It reads almost as a historical document.

The action is evenly paced, with lots of political machinations and subplots, although if I read one more paragraph about the theory and history of water rights, you can just go ahead and shoot me. On the other hand, the resolution of the story is satisfying and very logical. We end up going along with Rhenn's journey, I suppose in the same way one would go along for a ride-along in the day-by-day events in the life of, say, Harry Truman. (I mention Truman not because Rhenn is anything like him, but because Rhenn faces a similar type of historical situation and similar types of choices.)

Still, I know this review sounds as if I hated the book, but I did not. For some reason, I find Modesitt's fantasy storytelling compelling. I have a hard time putting his books down once I start them, even on those occasions when the action flags, and such was the case with Imager's Intrigue; I didn't put it down until I was done. I suppose that's the ultimate gauge for such a book.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aptly titled, which might put off some July 22 2010
By D. Josephs - Published on
In the interest of full disclosure, the reader should know that while I don't consider myself a Modesitt fan-boy, it's very rare that I don't love his work. So, a 4 of 5 star rating for Imager's Intrigue is, coming from me, a big deal. As I thought about why I wasn't thrilled with this novel, I finally decided on the following:

1. It seemed out of place. True to its title, Imager's Intrigue is all about Rhenn unravelling schemes and machinations, and not so much about Rhenn being a hands-on imager. To be fair, we still get to see Rhenn in action, but it's really not the point of this book. In fact, the largest action sequence in the story doesn't even involve (directly) Rennn. Not to say that a book of intrigue is a bad thing, but it is a significant departure from the rhythm established in the prior two books. I found it jarring, and since it really wasn't what I was looking forward to, a bit disappointing.

2. It felt repetitive. I'm not sure how many times the reader needs to be reminded about the Rhenn's morning calisthenics rituals, or how important it is that imagers sleep in lead-lined rooms or have to read prayers to The Nameless, but in these areas (and others) I felt like Modesitt went a little overboard. I'll give Modesitt the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was trying to convey that the structure of Rhenn's days are routine (wake up, exercise, read reports while taking hack to work...), but enough already.

3. It got a little preachy. Modesitt explores the relative merits of capitalism, free-trade, benevolent monarchies, the military industrial complex and tax law. Oh, and women's rights. Can't forget women's rights. Suffice to say, the reader is left with little doubt as to where the author stands on these issues, and his arguments are a bit ham-handed.

Despite these issues, I still heartily recommend this series, and this book, to friends and strangers. The world is expertly crafted. The (many) characters are nuanced, true to their motives and so well presented that most readers will (continue to) care about what happens to all of the primaries. The overall story arc, while a bit predictable, still has enough surprises that the reader can't take anything for granted. And if a lecture on the impact of land valuation is not something you want to sit through, just skip it. Unlike several books I've read of late where I find myself skipping over large sections of smut and am left with little to call a story, even if you skim through all of the "boring" in Imager's Intrigue you are still left with a lot to enjoy.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great Oct. 9 2010
By Tracy - Published on
Out of all three books in the Imager series, this one was my least favorite. This is not a bad book, it just did not live up to my expectations. First, I was a little disappointed that this book took us five years into the future. I felt a little robbed after going through two books of Rhenn courting Seloria and not getting to read about the wedding and their life as a new married couple. I also felt there could have been a good story about Rhenn's first years as a Captain in the Patrol.
Second, the book seemed overloaded with characters. If they had not had the character list at the beginning of this book, I would have been lost. There were times that I just could not keep straight who was who and what side they were on and if they were a High Holder a Free Holder etc...
Third, there was too much politics and little action. The political intrigue was one thing I liked about the other books, but mainly because it was only part of the story, not the whole story. In this book, politics takes the forefront and it becomes a bit of a bore after a while.
Lastly, the book seemed to move slowly. It took me far longer to read this book than the other two in the series. I did not find that it captivated my interest as much as the other books.

I did not hate the book, it just was not the best in the series. It does tie things up and you are not left hanging in the end. I just think that more could have been done with it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as Usual for any Modesitt Jr. Book July 30 2010
By Myrna L. Panno - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the third in this series and is every bit as good as the first two. This leaves one waiting anxiously for the next book. He can't write them fast enough to keep us, his eager readers satisfied. If this is your first experience with this author, do read the first book in this series so you are caught up. I can't recommend it enough.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent ending to Rhennthyl's story Aug. 24 2014
By E. VanZwoll - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of Rhennthyl D'Imagisle draws to a close in this third book of the Imager Portfolio. The first novel detailed how Rhenn come to be an Imager and how he fell in love with Seliora, and the second novel displayed Rhenn's continued rise to power as he struggled to help improve Solidar one disaster at a time. In this third novel, Rhenn continues his work as a Civic Patrol Captain until one day he he abruptly needed at the Collegium when the two more powerful Imagers are killed during a bombardment of the Senior Maitre's dwellings. Rhenn and his family survive to find the world a lot more complicated and even more dangerous. Not only does Rhenn need to learn quickly to best fill his new position at the Collegium, but he has to do this while investigating the bombardments, the increasing number of Ferran agents, and treachery from within Solidar.

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.

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