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Imager's Challenge

(Imager Portfolio #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  5,871 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Imager’s Challenge takes up immediately after the conclusion of Imager. Still recovering from injuries received in foiling the plots of the Ferran envoy, Rhenn is preparing to take up his new duties as imager liaison to the Civic Patrol of L’Excelsis. No sooner has he assumed his new position than he discovers two things. First, the Commander of the Civic Patrol doesn’t wa ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Tor Books (first published October 12th 2009)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  5,871 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Jan 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2022-shelf
While this is a good continuation of the first Imager book, it doesn't have the charm of the youth and ignorance of the previous book. He's strong, constantly getting into trouble but never too much that he can't weasel out of, but he *is* a major thorn in all of his superior's sides. That part is fun, but not quite as fun as before.

On the other hand, the writing is still extremely familiar and comforting and I have no compunctions about continuing on with great verve.

I'm an addict.
Jun 03, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a slow-burn story where the world is meticulously planned out in every detail. It’s a story of characters more than anything. We have our hero, Rhenn, now a Master Imager. Throughout this book, every meal he eats and every glass of wine is described in full detail with a full critique. I give you Rhenn, Restaurant Critic:

Rhenn is assigned to work with the local police force. He discovers corruption while getting to know the people in his assigned patrol area. These are second-class citiz
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Originally Reviewed Aug. 2010
Updated Feb. 2016

This is I believe an exceptional series (for brain candy that is) and I'm enjoying it immensely. I considered going down to 4 stars on this one as it probably hit 4.5 rather than a full five in some ways... but in the end decided that for "enjoyment factor" it gets a 5.

I will mention a couple of "niggling flaws" in a moment below a spoiler warning, but they are tiny. Overall, (as said) a good book. We follow the adventures of "our hero" through the
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
As with the first book in the series, LE Modesitt has become too verbose for his own good. Why do I need to know every time the main character eats what he is eating, and what fictitious wine is best paired with it?

Things take far too long to develop and in a cliched way as well. At this stage, you want to finish the series but desperately wish that Modesitt would write tight and forget the BS that he has laced the tale with.

Now his works are becoming all rather the same. Meet Hero. He has fail
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
March 2017 review: Definitely a 4 star read. Rhenn is in several tough spots & must work his way out of them without leaving any evidence or gaining publicity, if he can. He's powerful, but there are even more powerful limiting factors. As usual, Modesitt's thoughtful writing wrings every last bit of intrigue & suspense out of his very well drawn world & characters. Even though it was the first nice day we've had in a while, I had to put off riding Chip & plain skipped some chores so I could fin ...more
Nov 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
2.75 stars

This new series by Modesitt is just not striking a chord with me, not like the Recluse Saga or the Spellsong Cycle did. I kept reading because I wanted to discover what happened, but not because I cared about Rhenn or any of the other characters. In that respect, it read more like a mystery rather than a character driven fantasy novel. And I still don't care for the magic system, which masquerades as psychic powers rather than something wondrous.

If Modesitt set out to make a social or
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I’m being pushed into doing things I’d rather not do because the alternatives are worse.” “Sometimes, that’s life.”

Better than the first Imager story. First person point of view makes for a decidedly linear plot, but the action moves better in this second episode. This volume lacks the epigrams which headed each chapter in Imager.

“What we do … is not all that we are, nor all that we could be. Reading opens one’s eyes to the possibilities.”

Modesitt takes us into the musings of someone who follow
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In this, the second book in the Imager series, Rhenn is assigned to the Civil Patrol as an observer in order to acquaint him with the consequences of his actions. He also receives formal notice that a High Holder if out to destroy him and his family. His courtship of Seliora evolves. Full of action and intrigue.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
L.E. Modesitt, Jr has done it again. An exquisite sequel to the first book of the series, Imager and I am pleased to say that I was hooked from the first page to the very last.

Rhennthyl is an amazingly written character. In truth words cannot express the way Rhenn 'thinks' or speaks. He is the type of man who is both admired and feared in equal measure, by other characters and by his readers. Able to understand or eventually interpret information he is given by intuition, 'Imaging' and 'Farsigh
Nov 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Modisett fans who like his books and do not mind his lectures on power
Shelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
In the first novel in this series, Rhenn, the Imager, and title character has learned about his powers and has been indoctrinated into the Collegium, the group of Imagers who live on Imagisle in the land of Solidar. Modesitt spent a lot of time exploring philosophy, law, and the limits of power, to my mind too much time, but the character is interesting and the magic itself of imagining a new realty or new things is pretty neat magic.

In this second book, the stakes are higher for Rhenn. He has n
Jennifer The Terrible
I wasn't a huge fan of the first book but I hoped the story would gain momentum in the second installment. The first book was full of superfluous information and this has not changed. I love and appreciate extensive world building, but I do not need a lengthy description of food every time a character sits down to eat. The meal descriptions are borderline offensive in their opulence. Granted, this story is about classism, and I'm assuming this is why lengthy meal descriptions proliferate all the ...more
N Islam
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I just finished 15% of this book. I couldn't take it anymore. Every menial detail is talked about, stuff that you probably don't care about. I thought that after the first book was done, we'd get into the real fun of it, but we don't.

The fact of that matter is, imaging seems to be merely there for convenience or to make this novel a fantasy novel. Imagers are pretty pointless people, who can do little other than copy things and make shields. The romance here is getting to the point of annoying,
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook

Yay for libraries! I enjoyed my re-read of #2. =)

I thought the plot in this one was dragged out in odd directions but the sub-plot lines were great and kept me engaged. Lots of great hints for what is to come. I also appreciated the subjective viewpoints of how you can see yourself vs others on various situations within the story.
2.5 stars, Metaphorosis Reviews

Already established as a master Imager, Rhennthyl must begin to figure out his place in the Imagers' Collegium, as well as how to protect himself and his family from a vengeful noble the Collegium wants nothing to do with.

I liked the first book in this series, Imager, and on the strength of that, bought many of the rest in one go. At the time, my theory was that Modesitt was consistent within a series, so if the first book was good, the rest would be a
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
I appreciated that this book picked up basically the minute the first book left off. It did a good job of resolving my questions left over from book 1. The plot was enjoyable, and Rhenn and Seliora are great. I liked that I had a better sense of Rhenn's decision-making when it came to resolving his problems, but (view spoiler) I was excited to go on ...more
3.5 stars
William Bentrim
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Imager’s Challenge by L.E. Modesitt, jr

This is the 2nd 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 continues the story of a budding artist journeyman who tragically discovers he is an Imager. This story carries on from his discovery of his imaging ability and the danger and politics that surround a burgeoning power.

As i
Matthew Sampson
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Imager's Challenge suffers from many of the same weaknesses as Imager. A realistic look at life seems to be the aim here, which apparently means saturating the story with details that don't characterise, don't develop the plot and don't identify important points. I have enough boring details in my life that I don't need Rhenn's too. The book did become more interesting in the second half as the main character made some choices that were actually significant to the plot, but not enough to save th ...more
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Imager's Challenge continues the political intrigue started in Imager. Rhenn is learning that there is more to worry about and more to look for, even in the college that is supposed to be supporting him. As he continues to master his magical talents he must also learn the depths of the dangerous world that he lives in. The plot is becoming deeper as the books progress and I can't wait to see what the next Imager Portfolio will bring us. ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every bit as good as the first one, perhaps even better because of the greater resolution.
This book picks up right where the previous one left off, without missing a beat.

The same characters are developed even further, and our hero continues to rise.
See my review of the first book, Imager, and expect an even larger second helping.

Brit Hopper
Another fantastic installment

A fantastic addition to the Imager series. Loved the detailed behind the scenes political machinations throughout the series thus far. Great dialogue and character development. I'm going to stick with the series!
Eamonn Murphy
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in ‘The Imager Portfolio’ series. Like the first, it is set in the city of L’Execlsis in the country of Solidar. The technology is at about the level of Victorian England, the main methods of transport being horse-drawn cabs and railways. The latter are mostly used for freight. Society is well-organised and hierarchical with very wealthy landowners High Holders at the top, Merchants and manufacturers rising in importance, working folks and slum dwellers called Taudis at t ...more
Richard Rogers
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy books by this author, in general. He writes in a very glib way, with a rolling plot that just keeps moving. I especially like the characters (here and elsewhere) and like to see them figure things out and attack problems with the help of allies.

I don't love his long descriptions of the inconsequential (what Rhenn did on almost every day from the start of the book to the end, or the menu of almost every meal in the story) or strange dialog (random meetings turning into long paragraphs of
I was surprised by how this book went, for better and worse. Most of what happened in the first book is relegated to the background. This book is almost entirely focused from beginning to end on the justice system of the same city as the first book. The 25 year old protagonist is tasked with experiencing first hand how justice is carried out from beginning to end. For a majority of the book that means the protagonist is patrolling as a beat cop in the slums, which is not what I expected to be re ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I bought this entire 11 book series when it was on sale. I'll probably come back and re-rate the books depending on how the entire series plays out. I was a bit wary about book 1, because it didn't seem like it'd pass the Bechdel test or that women would be anything more than plot devices to help the male protagonist along. It definitely is a man's world and the amount of notable women featured isn't huge, but they ones that do are interesting secondary characters with developed personalities an ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imager's Challenge

In the IMAGER series, Modesitt has created a convincing society with complex relationships and interactions. There is an attempt in the various discussions that take place to envisage what might be the best form of government for a society. He hints that the most valuable members of society are those who actually WORK, especially the craftspeople, rather than those who have just inherited land, and abuse their power.
I love the leitmotif of always describing how the heroine is d
Brandon Mehl
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Earls
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
As with the first book in the series, I really enjoyed the world that Rhenn lived in. The day-in-the-life approach to writing is something that I never thought I would enjoy, but it is enjoyable, even if it is a bit boring at times. It's the boredom that gives the story its realism and I appreciate the stability that it brings to the world. This book puts a tidy conclusion on one of the major issues facing Rhenn, and the title of the book is fitting. I'm looking forward to finding out what's nex ...more
Nina Usherwood
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoying the series. Another interesting world. While it follows the author theme of a main character being placed situation where the protagonist see no way to protect themselve and the people they care about, the result of their action to protect lead to unexpected changes and the protagonist gaining power and position.

On to book 3
Nick A.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by the master of pragmatic fantasy

Loved this series almost as much as the Recluce books. Still manages to juggle an obvious feminist bias with the unyielding conservative values that keep me questioning my own life choices after every book. Hope to keep reading Mr. Modesitt for many years.
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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

Other books in the series

Imager Portfolio (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Imager (Imager Portfolio, #1)
  • 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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