Four centuries after its founding, Solidar's Collegium of Imagers is in decline, the exploits of its founder, the legendary Quaeryt, largely forgotten. The Collegium is so lacking in leadership that the dying Maitre must summon Alastar, an obscure but talented senior imager who has little knowledge of politics in the capital, as his successor.
When Alastar arrives in L'Excelsis and becomes the new Maitre, he finds disarray and lack of discipline within the Collegium, and the ruler of Solidar is so hated by the High Holders that they openly refer to him as being mad. To make matters worse, neither Rex Ryen nor the High Holders have any respect for the Collegium.
Soon Alastar finds himself in the middle of a power struggle, with Ryen demanding that the Collegium remove the strongest High Holders and the military leadership in turn plotting to topple Ryen and destroy the Collegium. At the same time, Ryen is demanding that the High Holders pay a massive increase in taxes while he initiates a grandiose building project. And all that, Alastar discovers, is only a fraction of the problems he and the Collegium face.
©2015 L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (P)2015 Tantor
"Modesitt once again delivers an engrossing power struggle negotiated by a virtuous and talented man committed to achieving the greater good by way of the least harm." (Kirkus)
I love the whole series this is the new story set between the first story & the second story. How the process to current story happened. Just read it.
I would have thought by now this series would have become mundane and boring but much to my delight it's another great read/listen.
Compared to the rest of the imager series this book lacked direction. It almost felt like when a long running TV show hacks together a bunch old clips and calls the montage a show. It even failed at that. I repeatedly found myself saying "this is really slow I don't care about toast or the color of lager" I have read a large number of modesitt's books and he usually comes in at an entertaining 4 starts. He missed the mark on this one.
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