I was a little confused at first because it starts like a timeline but it does make a little sense as a progressing of the main character life. After that, the story was great and thoroughly enjoyed it!
First of all, I am not a fan of the narrator's portrayal of the main character. The story is long and seems convoluted (it's not in the end, the author just takes a very long time to come to the climax of the story and thus reveal the point of the conflict in the book). I am an avid listener and consumer of audiobooks, but I could not keep track of many of the auxiliary characters, and therefore plot points, throughout this tale. I would recommend reading this book versus listening to it so that the names of the characters discussed are more clearly identified and separated from one another. I did enjoy the personal aspects to the main character's story, but the technical and political portions (where the conflict within the novel plays out) did not lend themselves to being easily consumed and digested as I was driving around running errands or back and forth to work or recreational activities. This is a book best served by print not audio.
Once again, Modesitt has me chasing all of his books in another series!
Imager is well thought out, and has an even pace to it. While all of Modesitt's books tend to be recognizable in many ways by his writing style, and his attention to details that most other authors frankly don't do, (because they can't. I mean this guy knows details to crafts that I never even began to think about!), his new Imager series is a whole new look at fantasy magic and life in another time or world. While I have seen comments regarding these books as being somewhat disheartening, I am glad that I decided to check it out myself, and believe that this series is as good as, if not better, then the Recluse series.
My only complaint is that Modesitt tends to drop characters after 3 stories (he proves me wrong with books 4-7), and I hope that he will go back and revisit these characters from the first 3 books.
Constant reader. Likes imaginative work, not formulaic filler.
A narrator with emotional maturity and the talent to portray characters as something other than pompous or petulant would have allowed Modesitt's storytelling to reach the audience. As it is, the story is buried under the dreary, annoying fakery of a man who has no concept of how to identify with characters or audience. On the positive side, his diction is good. If I were Modesitt, I would sue to have the series reproduced with a new narrator.
In the words of Elvis "A little more action." The book was well written in terms of consistency and fleshed out characters. However it reads like a combo of Dickens' "Great Expectations" and a treatise on the political events that led to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Mind you that WW I is not included in the book, that is saved for some future books (I assume)! What little action there was in the story was repetitive and very prosaic. Despite the name and description, do not look for this to be a story of magic and excitement, but of a slow progression of a student through school.
I am getting tired of books that only act as introductions to long series. I guess the subtitle of this one should have been a tip off: "The First Book of the Imager Portfolio." Make the first book an exciting story in itself, rather than a simple introduction of characters and world. It can be done! See "The Fellowship of the Rings" or "Hard Magic." They both manage exciting self contained story arcs while being undeniable starts to a great series.
The reader did a great job of voicing the characters. There was some similarity in voice between the various students, but nothing unacceptable.
I would have greatly collapsed the repetitive "student works hard at learning subject until grudging respect given by teacher" sequences, the "student feels bump on magical shields, sees shadowy figure running away" sequences, and the "student asks master question and is told he isn't ready to know answer" sequences. These things all happened multiple times with minimal other supporting story elements. Admittedly the book would have been much shorter.
I don't have an issue with slow character driven stories (I *liked* "Great Expectations"), but I do have an issue with books that serve primarily as a way to make you buy the next book to get the real story. It's also annoying to have a book that invents an alternate world with different words for occupations, foods, days of the week, units of measurement, etc, but to have all those things be simply different words for the exact same concept in English. Even the "magic" in the book is very prosaic, used for little more than moving substances from point A to point B. Read the manner in which the main character is instructed to detect poisons, and you'll see it's identical to how a "real world" person would detect a poison, except instead of moving substances with hands, substances are moved with "imaging."
A lover of Classics, humorous literature, bizarre fantasy and crazed crime and Sci-fi.
Once again L.E. Modesitt has produced a world of magic that is stunning to behold. The Imager Portfolio of which "Imager" is the first book, is set in a world in which the principle magic is "imaging", a power that allows those with the gift, to bring images from their mind into reality. But of course all magic has a price.
Imager begins in the city of L'Excelsis on the continent of Solidar on the world of Terahnar. Solidar is the only place in Terahnar where the Imagers are free to live without constant persecution as they provide vital services to the governing body of Solidar.
It is into this world of political intrigue, war, fighting Factoridges, vengeful High Holders and scheming artisans that Rhennthyl, former journeyman portraiturist and newly found Imager must walk. Rhennthyl must navigate the new world of the Collegium Imago and learn his skills fast before his lack of skills get him killed.
The Imager Portfolio is a fascinating series that encompasses a world where the main characters deal with playing the proverbial "Great Game". From assassinations to acts of subversive intrigue the Imager Portfolio is certain to keep the listener interested. This book would be recommended for upper age teens and adults and is a fantastic and gripping read or listen.
Read-a-holic, bibliophile, book nut whatever you want to call it thats me.
So far I have listened to the Imager at least 3 times. The story has a good rhythm, and is interesting. Some of his other books describe his world a little better but the characters and settings are well rounded and enjoyable.
This was a first time listening to William Dufris as well as an introduction to Modesitt. Bought it on a trail to see how it would go, and found a new favorite author and narrator!
No I prefer longer listens giving me to ability to relax and not feel rushed or like there is something missing. Modesitts writing style needs the extra time to get all the descriptions in and immerse you into his world.
As stated in other reviews, the book is slow to start, but in my opinion, that slow start adds to the success of the book and the series. We learn about Imaging as Rhenn does, we see how the "World" works, starting from the Master/Journeyman/Apprentice relationship, the "Family" as it applies to both business and apprenticeships... and the failures of both. And then we learn of the first of the magic's of this world, the imaging... the small act of making some paint... the accidental acts of lighting a lamp... and later, more deliberate acts.
I was disappointed in this book and really didn't enjoy it. Some of the core ideas were interesting but I just couldn't get into the story. There was little character development, so you didn't feel like you actually knew them and hence felt no empathy for them. There was very little description in the text (apart from the food and wine strangely!) and overly long dialog between characters. I found the writing particularly clunky.
The narration was OK but not great. I guess he did the best he could with the material.
I persisted with the story after reading some other reviews that said the last section was quite exciting. Unfortunately I didn't find it so and wish I hadn't wasted my time!
I won't be reading any more of the series. After just listening to Patrick Rothfuss's 'Name of the Wind' and 'The Wise Man's Fear' perhaps anything I listen to is going to be disappointing...
The concept of the story seemed intriguing, and some parts of the story were entertaining, but the majority of the story was boring. I felt like I was back in school and learning all kinds of boring historical facts. The interesting parts were the character relationships. The narrator did not do a great job of differentiating characters. There were many times that I could not tell the voice of one character from another. But the narrator did have a pleasant, entertaining narrative. I won't be listening to the sequels.