• Imager

  • The First Book of the Imager Portfolio
  • By: L. E. Modesitt Jr.
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,375 ratings)

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Imager  By  cover art

Imager

By: L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Narrated by: William Dufris
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Publisher's summary

Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant in L'Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar, he has spent years becoming a journeyman artist and is skilled and diligent enough to be considered for the status of master artisan - in another two years.

Then, in a single moment, his entire life is transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire and Rhenn discovers he is an imager - one of the few in the entire world of Terahnar who can visualize things and make them real.

Rhenn is forced to leave his family and join the Collegium of Imagisle. Because of their abilities (they can do accidental magic even while asleep), and because they are both feared and vulnerable, imagers must live separately from the rest of society.

In this new life, Rhenn discovers that all too many of the "truths" he knew were nothing of the sort. Every day brings a new threat to his life. He makes a powerful enemy while righting a wrong, and he begins to learn to do magic in secret.

Imager is the innovative and enchanting opening of an involving new fantasy story.

©2009 L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (P)2009 Tantor

What listeners say about Imager

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    766
  • 4 Stars
    397
  • 3 Stars
    133
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    34
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    632
  • 4 Stars
    265
  • 3 Stars
    97
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    22
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    629
  • 4 Stars
    280
  • 3 Stars
    93
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    21

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I didn't love it

Agree with some of the other reviewers that the beginning is VERY slow. Also, the script of the protagonist's father, teachers and mentors is so patronizing, coupled with the narrators tone of the characters, makes it difficult to stay engaged. Feels like being in Catholic school (no offense intended!). Yes it gets better as it goes but not that great really. Rather flat. I think I'll stop here and look at some other series I've had my eye on. Perhaps I'll come back to it later...

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20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting concepts

Modesitt comes up with some interesting worlds. This is no exception. I'm not thrilled with the narrator. He reads the main character as petulant and many of the older men as pompous. I can certainly see how he'd get that from the writing but it is a bit hard to identify with a pouty protagonist.
I've come to expect a bit of preaching in Modesitt's books and this is no different. It's good enough but not great.

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19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Imager kicks off a solid fantasy series.

The first 3 books of the Imager Portfolio follow the character of Rhennthyl as he grows from an innocent youth to a powerful Imager. L. E. Modesitt allows the reader to grow in their knowledge of Imaging and all of the politics around it just as Rhennthyl does. The benefits and dangers of Imaging are explained in detail and one can see why many social and political structures related to this powerful class of people would have evolved in such a world.

Terahnar is a rich complex place and more than just the "magic" that exists there. I found the economic structure and religous mythos to also be intruiging. L. E. Modesitt can take his detailed explanations of minutia a bit far at times and he does have a tendancy to focus on the various culinary dishes in detail. For me, that level of detail just made Terahnar seem more like a real world.

I enjoyed the first 3 books of the Imager Portfolio (the ones that follow Rhennthyl) and each one left me wanting more. I definitely recommend going at least that far into the series. I was disappointed when the 4th book did not continue on the same path as the first 3. The 4th book goes back into history a bit and I did not find the new main character to be interesting at all.

William Dufris does an excellent job on the narration.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Different

I really liked the concept of the magic system, but in this book it seems like the only two thing you really see are shields and how to kill with it. I would have like to seen it go even farther, because it is such a powerful tool. The story opens very slowly, the first three hours talks about Rhenn's painting journeymanship. I almost gave up the book it was so boring. The pace never really picks, but the story does get a bit more intriguing after Rhenn learns that he is an Imager. Rhenn is modest about his ability or at least how little he understands how powerful he really is. Along the way he taught more than just his imager skills and learns to use his mind and body. Rhenn is also very good a piecing together clues using logic and deduction. The world is set in a period where steam power and guns are used. The narrator is good, but not great. While I don't enjoy this style of fantasy it was good enough I did pick up the second book. If you like this book you might enjoy "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth the slow start.

Don't give up after the what seems like too long an introduction. You will be rewarded for having a better understanding of the characters and the interesting world of Terahnar. An interesting treatise on human nature - no matter from what world they originate.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The first in a series of - 5 Stars

A book that pulls you into a new world. I just completed the first three books, and rate all 5 stars, and I rarely give 5 stars. The story line kept pulling me in. I would think I would stop at the next chapter, but I want to hear more and more. Modesitt does a great job developing the characters and the story. A must read (listen).

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pleased, very pleased.

the book started out slow, as many have mentioned. however, i enjoyed being slowly immersed into the world this story takes place in and to the characters themselves.

once the introduction fades away and the story really takes off any amount of perseverance one puts into getting through the introduction pays off in a big way.

i am waiting very impatiently for the next installment of this tale to surface. i would highly recommend this book to any fantasy fans out there as a rare gem.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The Last third almost makes it worth it

I found it to be a good story, overall, but for me, there were a few major problems. The first of which was how nonchalantly the main character, Rhennthyl, who grew up in an upper-class, family with a peaceful lifestyle could so easily kill without much in the way of guilt and remorse. Even after our hero discovers his imager power and goes on to be trained by master imagers, he was never given anything but defensive training, yet he instinctively murders his attackers in very painful ways without a second of hesitation. Eventually, after he is to be trained as a master spy, there is a point in the story where Rhennthyl actually does get training in killing by practicing on death row criminals. This then is where Modesitt's character decides to have a problem with killing, but only after a one of the death row victims turns out to be a woman. I found Rhennthyl's ease at brutally killing his attackers to be inconsistent with his lifestyle and upbringing . If he had grown up on the streets and routinely fought to survive or even perhaps had been a soldier, I would have found it more believable. Also, the first two thirds of the book is very slow. I have to give Modesitt's writing all the credit for keeping me hanging in there until things finally got moving in the last third of the story. Frankly, I found the immense amount of set up and all the political lessons we as the listener/reader had to endure were just not needed. What do editors do now a days? I would have liked a little more attention paid to the world in which Rhennthyl lived. Until he was shot, I had been thinking of the fantasy world as something akin to medieval times. The use of a sniper's rifle made me have to rethink exactly what type of time period to mentally place the story. I think the Author should have established that for me. All in all, I would give the next Imager story a try, but it needs to hit a home run for me to read anymore after that.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An adequate book, with adequate production.

This audiobook was the epitome of an "adequate" fantasy. It hold my attention just enough to ensure that I finished it, but not enough to leave any lasting impression. There were some quaint ideas in here, but not too much as to be outright original.

In addition the production was similarly "OK". The reader, while not suited to the role, made a good attempt. However I feel that he gave many of the characters a strange tone at odds with what they are saying. Again its a matter of it being "good enough".

2.5/5 across the board.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good potential

This book had some interesting concepts. The magical ability’s come in the form of imaging this is where the Imager imagines an item in his mind and then it happens in the real world. This ability is not limited to items or just mere physical objects but can be applied to people. This is a world building book so it has a lot of detail about the world this book is taking place in, the people, how magic works, the different factions, and the relationships among people. This process was slow at parts, too much detail about mundane activity’s that had nothing to do with the progression of the story. Overall not bad, I would give this 3 ½ stars.

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3 people found this helpful