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Imager (Imager Portfolio #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  6,872 Ratings  ·  360 Reviews
Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant, he has spent years becoming a journeyman painter. With his skill and diligence, Rhenn stands to be considered for the status of master artisan. Then, 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 who can visuali ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 499 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Tor Fantasy (first published March 17th 2009)
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Barbara Thoroughly enjoyed them all, liked them best of all the series by this author I have read. I re-read them every now an again, particularly the first…moreThoroughly enjoyed them all, liked them best of all the series by this author I have read. I re-read them every now an again, particularly the first couple or three, cause I like the world and setting.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 17, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
March 7, 2017: Reading again as a buddy read with A Land of Fantasy Addicts group. Unfortunately, this isn't working well for them. Why? Is this book more of a guy-thing? Maybe, although several women GR friends of mine like it a lot, but I think they're a bit older. Perhaps some maturity helps with the harsh realities that Rhenn faces?

I admire Rhenn. Life deals & he plays his cards as best he can without any whining even though he's surrounded by selfish bastards. He's always walking a fine
Sep 22, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Modesitt's writing is like clockwork: predictable, dependable, unexciting. He creates boring, detailed fantasy worlds and peoples them with walking shadows. The “characters” aren’t even caricatures—that would require Modesitt to give them some sort of personality. The main character, Rhen, exists in this book only to lecture and be lectured about government, and to eat very detailed meals. I do not need to know what fictional wine each and every character has each and every meal, and yet Modesit ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 06, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Okay, I've proved before I don't mind swimming upstream. I see a lot of 3 and and even 2 star ratings here among the 4s and a few 5s.

This is not the kind of book I would say I usually like...relatively slow to take off, heavy on character with a plot that sneaks into the book gradually.

But for some reason I loved this book. I went so far as to sign up for today so I wouldn't have to wait for an order to come in or the library book to come to me before I could get book 2.

This book in
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I picked this up as an audiobook from my trusty library because I enjoyed The Magic of Recluce by this author. Although I think I liked The Magic of Recluce a little more, this was a very good book.

Mr. Modesitt's style is fairly distinctive. He writes what I would call 'grounded fantasy'. He is detail-oriented, and spends a lot of time building his world and setting the scenes. He is clearly a 'foodie', because he describes food in great detail, and it sounds very scrumptious to me. I obtained a
Cillian Ten

I'm sorry, Jim and Gergana. I hate being the Debbie Downer of the group, but I can't really muster a single fuck to give about this book. I hate DNFing; hate throwing the towel in the middle of a BR (especially this one being my first with Jim), but I can't care enough to post at least one discussion comment. I'm not feeling it at all; picking it up is a Herculean task.
At this point, I'd rather stop reading than stagnating the flow of the comments' thread. I don't like leaving my buddies, but it
3.5 stars

I enjoyed the evolution of Modesitt's writing style in this new series. Yes, the story is quite similar to what he used in the past with the Recluce saga. The lack of onomatopoeia helped limit disruptions to the narrative.

The imaging magic system failed to impress me and seemed more a psi power like telekinesis. The government institutions, religions and philosophies debated and discussed both in a teacher-student setting or as the protagonist's internal dialogue provoked thought and p
"Imager" is the first book in a new fantasy series by the insanely prolific L. E. Modesitt Jr., whose works I usually enjoy very much --- and this one was no exception, despite the fact that it's so recognizably his work that it verges on the predictable. Actually, I'm sure that some Modesitt fans could have predicted the early part of this novel's plot just by looking at the map: hmmm... looks like a city with a bunch of artist studio's, and in the center there's something called "Imager's Isle ...more
Leon Aldrich
I am a long time fan of Modesitt. So it is difficult to put up less than five stars. But after diving into book two and comparing these two against other novelist(s), the story quality just isn't there to make this a stand out novel. It pains me to say that.

Part of that may stem from the first person perspective. We never get to see what makes the antagonist tick. We get to meet the villain in the final chapter as our hero defeats him in fairly quick order. Until then, we get hints of shadowy su
Jun 09, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was my first Modesitt novel and I found it absolutely awesome. A great, fun read in a truly unique fantasy setting. I found Modesitt's writing style to be very fluid and his descriptive phrases at once thorough and precise. The world is built beautifully with lots of attention to detail. There's even a map of the city included with the book, although I don't believe I ever had to reference it.
Jeffrey Jelmeland
As others have noted, this book followed a relatively predictable pattern. To be perfectly honest, for the first third of the book I felt like I was reading one of the early Recluce books. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially as this is a pattern and formula that has worked so well for Modesitt for so long.

I am not one who likes spoilers in reviews, so I prefer to leave them out of my own reviews. That said, this time around we find ourselves with a new hero, and while the story follo
Apr 01, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book subtly gripped me from the beginning. It wasn't a boat ride and it wasn't a lightning bolt; I simply was continually pleased to continue reading and continue reading, until the hook was set.

The setting of the story has some technology--steam engines, pistols--but it doesn't feel that way. That is, it still feels more like a fantasy story, despite the era being somewhere between Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Some heroes in fiction get the orphan-to-demigod treatment of "He can do THAT??
Leo (Rahien Sorei)
L.E. Modesitt Jr's books are not for the casual reader of fantasy. It took a loft of effort to not say "the faint of heart" (but did I just say it anyway? Who knows). However, the first statement is far truer because these books are deceptively hard to put down once you acclimate to Modesitt's style. This, like many other household names in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, takes some getting used to, but it is also what defines Modesitt's plethora of books as "good reads." His style requires thoughtfulness and a ...more
Sep 14, 2014 Kathryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Hilary
I think this might be a book you have to read at the right time. Here's why. Plot-wise it was slow. So slow, that you could almost miss that it was there at all. In some ways, it felt like the book was setting up for the main plot, to follow in the rest of the series (?). So, if you need a heavily plot-driven book, that can make reading it difficult. However, don't take that to mean the writing was weak, because it wasn't.

This book was almost more a discussion of different points of ethics, thi
Apr 19, 2014 Emilie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Edit: it was really bad. Every time I remember this book I feel lowkey angry for wasting a few hours of my life reading it. I've rarely been more baffled trying to understand how anyone likes a book as I am with this book.

Well, it wasn't *really* bad, but it wasn't good either.

The pros: the good prose, the impeccable attention to detail, and the fact that it was decent enough for me to finish all 432 pages. That's pretty much it, actually.

The cons:
-There was virtually no plot to speak of. At fir
William Bentrim
Feb 16, 2012 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imager by L.E. Modesitt, jr

This is the first book in the Imager series. In the spirit of the terrific Recluse series, the Imager series debuts a new world of similar interest. Imagers, much like mages in the Recluse series seem both powerful and powerless. This book deals with a budding artist journeyman who tragically discovers he is an Imager. His discovery leads to a career change, romance, intrigue and danger.

Medesitt’s protagonists have a modest, self depreciating nature. They are seldom t
Jun 12, 2011 Ainslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An interesting and very different magic system forms the basis for the world and the plot in this novel--the first in the Imager series.

Modesitt's usual trademarks are all present and accounted for--strong women, understated hero, grey areas of moral and ethical (and in this case, civic) questions, and detailed world-building complete with a fully realised political system, and more.

If you're looking for non-stop action, with a chest-thumping hero, this isn't the book for you. There is certainly
Nathan Lowell
Feb 04, 2010 Nathan Lowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modesitt is one of the authors I read. Always. He's one of the people whose work I admire to the point that I'll read *anything* he puts out.

Imager starts a new saga every bit as interesting and intriguing as his Spellsong or Recluse universes and creates a new magic system balancing art and politics on the tip of a knife. If you're familiar with Recluse, then you'll see shades of this earlier work in Imager. If you liked that universe as much as I did, you'll enjoy this new work.

My only compla
Still in the mood for secondary world fantasy I tried a bunch of books and this series attracted my attention; I absolutely loved both books published so far with Rhenn a great character and the novel a true immersive experience
Carrie Mansfield
2.5 stars

Review available on my blog:

Modesitt is an author who has been publishing longer than I have been alive, and yet I somehow never got around to, even though I knew I probably should. So when this showed up on sale, I decided to take the plunge. And, ultimately, I'm left frustrated.

On the one hand, I did enjoy this book. On the other hand, I felt like it could have been more.

This book is a slow burn. A very slow burn. The first 20% deals with Rhynn's life a
Dec 06, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, owned
I just finished reading this book...for the fourth time.

This book – really, this whole series – has elicited more than its fair share of negative commentary. There seem to be plenty of people who don't care for the Imager series. I was surprised at that at first; obviously I'm a fan of the book if I'm reading it multiple times, right? But then I started reading the reviews. (Well, the thoughtful and well-reasoned ones anyway.)

And I'll tell you what: the big complaints – namely, that the book is
Dec 03, 2015 Metaphorosis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2015-rev
4 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

The son of a wealthy factor, Rhennthyl resists going into the family business, and instead finds an apprenticeship with a portrait artists. A terrible accident ruins his hopes of life as an artist, and he must decide what to do with limited prospects, and two talents - art, and magic.

I've found L. E. Modesitt to be inconsistent between series, and relentlessly consistent within series. Said, another way, I like some of his series (Recluce) all the way, and don't car
Mar 14, 2017 Gergana marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
DNF: 62% Read in March, 2017
Imager is the first book in the Imager Portfolio series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. I have never read Mr. Modesitt’s work before and only read this one because of the positive reviews on Goodreads and at my public library. I borrowed the book in audio format from my library with no hard expectations.

Right from the start, three things concerned me – the narrator voice was too flat, there is not so much as an ounce of humor, and the story was told from first person perspective. All of these elements pla
Jimm Wetherbee
Jul 25, 2011 Jimm Wetherbee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will be the first to admit that I do not much care for the fantasy genre (The Lord of the Rings and the Thomas Covenant series don't count, being more of a reimagining of myth). There are some writers, however, that are so able elevate a story from the contrived to a compelling alternative reality. Modesitt is in such company.
Imager covers the early career of one Rhennthyl, the son of prosperous wool manufacturer from the city of L'Excelsis in the country of Solidar. Modesitt very quickly esta
Daniel Shellenbarger
I picked up this book (and the first of L.E. Modesitt's Recluce books) on a whim last week. Although I was dubious about whether I would enjoy Modesitt, I have to say that both books impressed me, particularly Imager. In Imager, Modesitt describes a country much like 19th century France (if you don't have a background in French, Modesitt uses French words for the days of the week, so it may do to peruse those before starting just to avoid confusion), ruled by a mixture of mercantile concerns (in ...more
Jan 06, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Originally reviewed on Otherwhere Gazette)

How neat would it be if all you had to do was concentrate and you could make objects? Not temporary objects or illusions, but real physical things, even gold coins or other precious metals?

That’s pretty much the entire system of magic in L. E. Modesitt Jr.’s Imager. Imagers are people with the ability to create whatever they can mentally visualize. Obviously, there are a number of possibilities that come out of that ability. For example, imagers can kil
Jul 10, 2013 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've really enjoyed L.E. Modesitt Jr's books and Imager starts a series which falls into a familiar pattern to some of his other works (The Corean Chronicles quickly comes to mind.) The main protagonist is gifted with abilities, quickly finds mentors who guide him, and starts rising in rank as action increases.

While the plot itself is one that seems to follows previous books, the main conflict is still engrossing as the mystery deepens throughout the novel. A good "who-done-it" storyline, mixed
Dec 13, 2015 Evelina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first time I have ever read a book written by this writer and after having seen the cover and read a bit into it, I thought the idea on which this piece of literary work is based was extraordinary. Who exactly is an Imager? It is a person who has the power to transform his mental energy into matter; what he envisions before his eyes, becomes real. (for that, he needs to have his eyesight, as we later find out; if a person is blind, he or she can no longer be an Imager) Other interest ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years some very intelligent readers have been trying to get me to read some Modesitt, and in a way he's been sort of like Charles DeLint to me-- that author that I should like but just can't really get into. I tried to start the enormous Recluse series several times, and put the first volume down several times, finding something in it somehow off-putting, as if my reader's antennae were not quite tuned in to that frequency. Not bad, just... didn't click with me. The Imager series was quite t ...more
May 30, 2009 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not one to give an epic fantasy two lonley stars, but alass I must,

The plot relvoves around Rhenn, a gifted jorneyman artist who dreams of one day becoming a Master. But alass destiny calls, when he slowly discovers he an Imager, one who can create stuff by visualizing it in his mind. When a fire burns down his master's studeo he is forced to join the sect of fellow Imagers and rises through the ranks only to discover that someone wants him dead....

Positive aspects: The develoment of Rhenn
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Conversion 1 3 Aug 20, 2015 09:00PM  
Series Readers An...: Imager Portfolio series by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (December 2014 Staff Pick) 4 12 Dec 01, 2014 05:01PM  
  • The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica, #1)
  • The Sword-Edged Blonde (Eddie LaCrosse, #1)
  • The Hidden City (The House War, #1)
  • Oath of Fealty (Paladin's Legacy, #1)
  • The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #4)
  • Blood of Ambrose (Morlock Ambrosius, #1)
  • Covenants (Borderlands, #1)
  • The Serpent and the Rose (War of the Rose, #1)
  • The Outstretched Shadow (Obsidian Mountain, #1)
  • The Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil, #1)
  • The Sorcerer's Ascension (The Sorcerer's Path, #1)
  • A Magic of Twilight (The Nessantico Cycle, #1)
  • Lamentation (Psalms of Isaak, #1)
  • Servant of a Dark God
  • The Curse of the Mistwraith (Wars of Light and Shadow, #1)
  • Child of the Sword (The Gods Within, #1)
  • Devlin's Luck (Sword of Change, #1)
  • Oath of Swords (War God, #1)
L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, then moved to New Hampshire in 1989 where he met his wife. They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, u
More about L.E. Modesitt Jr....

Other Books in the Series

Imager Portfolio (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Imager's Challenge (Imager Portfolio, #2)
  • Imager's Intrigue (Imager Portfolio, #3)
  • Scholar (Imager Portfolio, #4)
  • Princeps (Imager Portfolio, #5)
  • Imager's Battalion (Imager Portfolio, #6)
  • Antiagon Fire (Imager Portfolio, #7)
  • Rex Regis (Imager Portfolio, #8)
  • Madness in Solidar (Imager Portfolio, #9)
  • Treachery's Tools (Imager Portfolio, #10)
  • Assassin’s Price (Imager Portfolio, #11)

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“Behind your reaction is a feeling that whatever is 'true' must be able to be expressed logically. Men, in particular, have a tendency to confuse correct logic with an accurate assessment of a situation. Be careful of any situation that you have to reason through logically, because if you have to work to reason it out, you're probably missing something.” 4 likes
“The difference between an explanation and an excuse lies with the one receiving it.” 2 likes
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