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Rex Regis (The Imager Portfolio) by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765336347
Date: 07 January 2014 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Antiagon is defeated and only one land is not a part of the empire. But the Khellans are considering joining, if the terms are agreeable. It seems that everything is in place for the peaceful creation of a new realm. But there are still missing imagers and commanders that have never been completely trustworthy.

Quaeryt and Vaelora are returning to Variana. They travel with a small force, meeting High Holders and repairing the bridges along the way. This is a part of Quaeryt's plan to provide imagers a place besides as hidden killers. They are also builders, in some cases it is the only role they want to play. Building and repair is very important as Bovaria saw as little upkeep as possible.

Once back in Variana, Quaeryt is assigned a new role in the reconstruction and consolidation of the land. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any news from the North where Submarshal Myskyl is meeting with High Holders. This could simply a sign of winter or something completely different.

This the Eighth book of the Imager Portfolio, and the fifth that follows the adventures of Quaeryt. It is another solid entry in the series. As the final book, it isn't the best starting point for readers new to the series and world. It is recommended that new readers start with Scholar or Imager. The series is worth reading as it combines magic and early tech.

Modesitt Jr. develops the details that others ignore. He describes the minutia of daily activities that make his characters seem more real. Readers learn more about crafting and living than they thought they would as the stories progress. The great amount of detail also makes his works worth rereading as little details can be overlooked. His fantasy works are probably the novels I have reread the most.

With Modesitt Jr. an ending often leads to another beginning. This is the final book in the Quaeryt Imager Profile series. There are still many eras to explore that are hinted at within the series. The Imager Portfolio could match the Saga of Recluce if the stories continue to be released. Although with a couple new Recluce books on the horizon, it isn't likely to happen.

Mild spoiler ahead:

One thing that I am still thinking about is the nature and depth of the ability to image. Quaeryt is visited by an avatar of Erion. Is the avatar real or imaged? If an imager becomes powerful enough can he create a god that is a reflection of his needs and power? Or are there really gods in this universe? The evidence seems to suggest that it is a reflection of power, but some doubt is left. I also wonder about the historical sightings, are they also the work of an imager?

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