Imager (Imager Portfolio, #1)
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Imager (Imager Portfolio #1)

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  4,372 ratings  ·  261 reviews
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 kil...more
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Published April 13th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published March 17th 2009)
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Wealhtheow
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
Jim
June 2014: I really liked this again, although I'd forgotten many of the details in the past 5 years. Modesitt continually engages me with his minimalist approach & attention to the details in his magic systems. Great world, too.

Each chapter starts with a fairly profound statement, something that sets the tone for the chapter. About 3/4 of the way through, "Professional interrogators should study mothers." The unexpected humor really pops.

I'm going to start the second book immediately.

--- D...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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 Audible.com 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...more
Jon
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...more
Stefan
"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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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...more
Chris
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.
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...more
Jeffrey
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...more
Michael
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??...more
William Bentrim
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...more
Ainslie
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...more
Nathan Lowell
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...more
Phearsa
It's more of a 3.5 however..
What made this otherwise intriguing and thought provoking novel lackluster would be perhaps the excessive detailing of mundane day-to-day life of an imager. Some details were really unnecessary, such as what they had for lunch, what the protagonist noticed etc, because those doesn't contribute to the plot at all. The story line was less than exciting I would say, and so slow progressing I lost interest at points in time.

But I also understand that being the first book...more
Jimm Wetherbee
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...more
jD
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...more
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
Kevin
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...more
David Fernau
(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...more
Pat
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
Andrew
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...more
Julia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anani
Another great book by L.E Modesitt Jr. I have all of the Recluse series and haven't wanted to try any other series or author. Yes, there are many of the same elements in the Imager Portfolio as in the Saga of Recluse, but it doesn't distract from the story like I thought it would. L.E Modesitt Jr has a gift of creating whole worlds with government, social customs, cultures and history.

Rhenn learns he has special abilities "imaging" or making things appear while working as an apprentice portraitu...more
Ben Nikel
So. This gets 5 stars. Mostly because I found it spectacular. It held my attention well, and focused on an interesting magic system. The interesting part is the background. There's a war coming, and the details of such are mentioned all over the place. Trade bans with certain places messing with craftsmen and their ability to acquire the materials they need. Ships being sunk. And so on. This may bother some readers, since it's basically very heavy foreshadowing; the war has not started by the en...more
Jekloneo
EXCELLENTO!!!!!

C'est magnifique!

OMG. OMG. OMG.

Sorry about that.

This book is very deep. I think that even if I read this 10 years later I'd still not fully comprehend everything that's intimated in the political discourses and the conversations in the book.

Truly astounding.

The only drawback though, would be... perhaps the style. It's not bad, really, but I don't quite know why I prefer Canavan's style better. Probably because it's more... layman, for lack of a better word.
Red Wolf
This reminds me of the Quarter Share series. We have a naive young man searching for his way in the world. He doesn't want to follow his father in the family business and finds a new direction only to have it jerked away from him. He finds a new direction with interesting results. This is a coming of age story. There is more action than the Nathan Lowell series, yet the similarities of learning the trade and developing the heroes success are as interesting as the action. Rhenn is also similar to...more
Mike
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...more
Dan Rheingans
I thought this book was a good light fantasy read. Modesitt has some interesting concepts and the characters were interesting enough that I enjoyed the read. There's not a lot of depth here but overall it was worth the time. I did have some complaints in that on occasion the first person discussion of events got really tedious..."I woke up and had to hurry to breakfast because it was breakfast time, and there were only two people there and then we talked about the news." Ok...yawn. Also, Imager...more
Elgalla
I really, really like the premise of this novel and the delivery was, in fact, very good and quite different from any other fantasy book I've read. The world has more than a few traces of steampunk and it's not your typical pseudo-medieval setting. It reminded me of Robin Hobb's "Assassin's Apprentice" a little bit, just without all the main character's whining. In terms of plot and pace, I really enjoyed it and I think it works very well as a part of a series. Modesitt's style was also highly e...more
Richard Radgoski
Imager is the first book of a series by L.E Modessit Jr. I very much enjoyed those books about Recluse by the same author, so I decided to try this series. It took me a little bit to really get into it, but once I did, Ifound I enjoyed it a great deal. Looking forward to book 2.
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1301649
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
More about L.E. Modesitt Jr....
The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce #1) The Magic Engineer (The Saga of Recluce #3) The Death of Chaos (The Saga of Recluce #5) The Towers of the Sunset (The Saga of Recluce #2) The Order War (The Saga of Recluce #4)

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