Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Imager's Challenge (Imager Portfolio, #2)

Imager's Challenge (Imager Portfolio, #2)

Series: Imager Portfolio (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4761146,371 (3.8)5
Rhenn prepares for his liaison duties only to encounter hostility from his new commander and a threat from a vengeful High Holder, a situation for which he becomes a lone defender against gang lords, naval marines, and terrorist priests.
Title:Imager's Challenge (Imager Portfolio, #2)
Info:Publisher Unknown, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Imager's Challenge by L. E. Modesitt


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This is the second book in a series regarding Rhennthyl, who is an imager. The story includes a multiplicity of problems that Rhenn has to overcome. He has the capability to imagine things into existence or modify matter at will. He is intelligent and has a romance with a beautiful woman who is a Pharsee. The story covers how he and Seliora deal with the challenges that they overcome. The author provides commentary on religion, politics, and life. I liked the story and the wisdom incorporated into the storyline. It is a long book in a series of long books, so there is a significant time investment involved in reading these books. The author could have shortened the stories by providing less detail about outfits, food, and physical appearances but these details paint a picture of the story. ( )
  GlennBell | May 1, 2022 |
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 the bottom. The Collegium Imago – the College of Imagers – is a power in the land but by no means the only one and they have to tread carefully.

Imagers can manipulate matter with their minds and ‘image’ into existence objects that were not there before, albeit with a cost in energy and a cost, too, for the surrounding matter. They can do this over a limited distance so, for example, image caustic soda into the eyes of someone shooting at them. Some can also image force fields to use as shields and make themselves invisible.

After the events of ‘Imager’, our hero, Rhennthyl, is promoted. He will now be the liaison between the Imager Collegium and the Civic Patrol, essentially the police force of L’Excelsis. The officers in the Patrol don’t like him but he fares better on the streets with the ordinary cops. Rhenn has made a deadly enemy in High Holder Ryel, one of the most powerful men in Solidar. Certain slum leaders, called Taudischefs, are also out to get him but one is his friend, more or less. His girl-friend, Seliora, and her family are also strong allies. They are furniture manufacturers who made it out of the slums but still have some useful contacts therein. The College of Imagers, to which Rhenn belongs, seems mostly interested in keeping him quiet to avoid trouble with the High Holders and the Council. Not much support there.

The plot proceeds at Mister Modesitt’s usual steady pace. Rhenn’s daily life is narrated: his early morning runs, his meals, his patrols, his meetings with his girl-friend: everything. Meals are lovingly described and, every time he meets Seliora, we learn what she is wearing today. We are also privy to his own thoughts via the medium of first person narration. Over the course of many pages, the reader is drawn into the life of the protagonist and wants to know how it all turns out.

It is not flashy storytelling but it works and is even enjoyable. Modesitt is fantasy’s Anthony Trollope whose work was once described by Nathaniel Hawthorne as ‘solid fare, like beef and potatoes’. The author’s heroes are decent hard-headed chaps – hard hearted, too, when necessary – with magic powers. Their friends are ordinary people. Modesitt had a career in politics and is much concerned with how a society works economically and politically. He gives the novels a very realistic background and it is this solid under-pinning that makes his work different from most other fantasies. Stylistically, he is slightly too fond of tags to avoid the ‘he said, she said’ trap but not to any jarring extent. His usual alternative is ‘I offered’ and ‘he returned’. James Blish would have him boiled in oil but I don’t really mind. The book is written in very clear prose and reading it induces a state of mild contentment. Like eating meat and potatoes really.

There aren’t too many surprises in the plot because as we follow Rhenn’s thoughts, it isn’t too hard to guess what he might do next. However, when he is surprised we are, too. This is notable when he gets some idea of how other people see him. There is also a nice revelation right at the end of the book.

I spend a lot of time reviewing short stories, where one is thrown into a strange world for a few pages and then, with the next story, taken into one entirely different. For me, it is nice, cosy even, to settle into one well-wrought fantasy world for a hundred thousand words or so of easy, pleasant reading. Judging by the popularity of Modesitt’s many books, I am not alone. ( )
  bigfootmurf | Apr 29, 2019 |
Explores some of the slightly more morally grey areas, about having the ability to wield enough power to 'get things done'. I'm quite happy that at one stage, I was slightly chilled by the actions of the always loveable Rhenn. ( )
  BookFrivolity | Apr 23, 2016 |
Excellent world building. Lots of explanation in the process and perhaps some unnecessary regarding the political tensions with other countries as lent nothing to this book. Being a long series, it likely will be brought up in another book, but probably will be all re-explained again. Definitely was rooting for the relationship of Rhenn and Seliorca and enjoyed seeing him advance in his Imager career. ( )
  skraft001 | Apr 26, 2015 |
I first read this about 5 years ago when it came out & gave it 3 stars. I'm bumping it up to 4 stars. Modesitt weaves a great mystery through his unique magical fantasy world. It's very realistic in many ways as it explores balances of power, money, influence, & public perceptions. Power certainly comes in many forms & isn't the panacea it is in simpler novels. The method of magic, imaging, is uniquely handled & the growth of the main character is excellent.

This book should definitely be read after the first, if you possibly can. He fills in a bit, but the situation & character growth won't come across nearly as well. This world is every bit as complex as his Recluce series with a similar, if slightly higher level of technology. Highly recommended. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. E. Modesittprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aher, JackieMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Rhenn prepares for his liaison duties only to encounter hostility from his new commander and a threat from a vengeful High Holder, a situation for which he becomes a lone defender against gang lords, naval marines, and terrorist priests.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.8)
1 1
2 3
3 36
3.5 4
4 52
4.5 2
5 22

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 185,236,236 books! | Top bar: Always visible