Imager's Challenge: The Second Book of the Imager Portfolio

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9780765360908: Imager's Challenge: The Second Book of the Imager Portfolio

“Modesitt’s work shines with engrossing characters, terrific plotting, and realistic world-building.” RT Book Reviews

Still recovering from injuries received in foiling the plots of the Ferran envoy, Rhenn is preparing to take up his new duties as imager liaison to the Civic Patrol of L'Excelsis. No sooner has he assumed his new position than he discovers two things: That no one wants him there, and that someone wants him dead.

The Imager Portfolio is a magical world from the bestselling author of the Saga of Recluce. Imagers are the few in the entire world of Terahnar who can visualize things and make them real. They live separately from the rest of society because of their abilities, which make them both feared and vulnerable. Another innovative and enchanting series, it spans centuries and millennia in the refreshing Modesitt fashion that will delight his fans and new readers alike.


The Imager Portfolio
#1 Imager / #2 Imager’s Challenge / #3 Imager’s Intrigue / #4 Scholar / #5 Princeps / #6 Imager’s Battalion / #7 Antiagon Fire / #8 Rex Regis / #9 Madness in Solidar / #10 Treachery’s Tools / #11 Assassin’s Price (forthcoming)

Other series by this author:
The Saga of Recluce
The Corean Chronicles
The Spellsong Cycle
The Ghost Books
The Ecolitan Matter

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About the Author:

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes Adiamante, the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and Archform: Beauty. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1
On Vendrei, the twentieth of Erntyn, just before the bells rang out the seventh glass of the morning, I hurried across the quadrangle of the Collegium to the administration building to meet with Master Dichartyn—imager Maitre D’Esprit, the director of all security operations for the imagers of Solidar, the second-most senior imager of the Collegium Imago, and my immediate superior. The faint mist that had hovered above the grass earlier had lifted, and the morning was cooler than usual, perhaps foreshadowing the end of harvest and the coming chill of fall. Both moons were high in the morning sky, with Artiema close to full and Erion waning, although they were easy to miss in the white sunlight angling over L’Excelsis, sunlight that tended to turn the granite buildings of Imagisle a whitish gray.
As I reached the open door to Master Dichartyn’s firstfloor study, the first bell rang out from the tower of Anomen d’Imagisle.
“Come in, Rhennthyl.”
I entered the small room with its single desk and bookcase, and but two chairs. Master Dichartyn stood beside the narrow window with its louvered leaded glass panes cranked full open. He turned and nodded for me to close the door. His dark brown hair was shot with gray, more than even a few months before, it seemed to me, but the circles under his eyes did not seem quite so dark, and his narrow face was not quite so haggard. A faint smile rested on his lips.
I closed the door, but did not sit.
“How are you feeling, Rhenn?”
“Most of the soreness in my ribs is gone, and Master Draffyd feels that I’m ready. He did suggest that I wear the rib brace for another two weeks as a precautionary measure.”
“Given your ... tendencies, that’s doubtless wise.” He gestured toward the writing desk, on which rested a silver pin—the four-pointed star of the Collegium, encircled by a thin band of silver. “You’ve seen those, haven’t you?”
“Only on Master Poincaryt, sir. I wondered if he wore it because he was the head of the Collegium.”
Master Dichartyn shook his head. “You know we don’t wear images of rank ... not precisely. The pin merely signifies that you are a master imager, but not what class of master. We’ve found that it reduces misunderstandings for those imagers who have to work outside the Collegium. You wouldn’t be wearing it except for your assignment as Collegium liaison to the Civic Patrol of L’Excelsis.” He paused. “Go on. Put it on.”
I picked up the pin and fastened it onto my gray waistcoat— the same cut and style as worn by all imagers—at the same spot where Master Poincaryt had worn his, just below the point of the left collar of my pale gray shirt.
“Good. That’s where it belongs. Now ... take it off. You only wear it while you’re away from the Collegium and on duty with the Patrol—or going to or returning from such duty.”
“Yes, sir.”
“You’ll report to Commander Artois at eighth glass on Lundi. After that, I imagine you’ll have to be there at seventh glass. Do you know where the Patrol headquarters are?”
“They’re a block or so up Fedre from East River Road, aren’t they?”
“That’s right. Now ...” Master Dichartyn fingered his clean-shaven chin, not that any imager was bearded, as he often did when he was considering how to word something precisely. “Commander Artois is a solid, sometimes brilliant man. He doesn’t like the Collegium, but he does like imagers like you—too brave for your own good. He knows that you’ve taken out the Ferran and three other assassins.”
Master Dichartyn smiled wryly. “He also doesn’t like facts being kept from him, and he’s not terribly fond of surmises or other ideas that aren’t backed with solid evidence. This could present a certain problem for you.”
I could see that, because I often felt how things might go long before I could prove it. While I was usually right, I certainly wasn’t infallible, and that could prove difficult.
“Oh ... you might be interested to know that while you were recovering, the First Minister of Ferrum recalled their delegation to Ferrial for consultations and a proper period of mourning for the death of Envoy Vhillar.”
“Did Master Poincaryt have to suggest anything?” I wanted to know if the head of the Collegium had been required to use the threat of revealing that Vhillar had been a renegade imager.
“Apparently not.” There was a glint in Master Dichartyn’s eyes before he added, “The letter of sympathy for the unfortunate accident did mention that Master Poincaryt also sent his regrets for the loss of such an able envoy with talents that were far beyond his portfolio. That was sufficient, it appears.”
I nodded.
“From time to time, you will continue to meet with Maitre Dyana, Rhennthyl. Your skills in indirection may be adequate for the civic patrollers, but they leave something to be desired for someone who will need to deal with High Holders in the future.”
That was a veiled reminder and reprimand all in one. “Yes, sir.”
“Now ... so far as your new duties go ... you’ve studied the procedures manual of the Civic Patrol closely, but remember that events on the street seldom accommodate themselves to written procedures. I’m certain that you’ve considered this, but wherever possible, let the patrollers have the credit for what happens. If matters go badly, and it is your fault, take the blame. Take all of it. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir.” What that meant was that matters had better not go badly where I was involved.
“Do you have any questions?”
“No, sir.” I didn’t know enough about my new duties to have questions, and as in so many events of the past year, I had the feeling that by the time I knew enough to ask questions, it would be too late.
“Unless you run into extreme difficulties, I’ll see you here next Jeudi evening at half past five.”
“Next Jeudi at half past five.”
He nodded, and I inclined my head in return, then opened the door to the small study, a chamber most modest for the second-most powerful imager in Solidar, and perhaps in the entire world of Terahnar.
As I walked across the quadrangle to return to my quarters and to continue my studies of the procedures manual of the Civic Patrol, I couldn’t help but wonder over the circumstances that had brought me from a journeyman portraiturist to an imager Maitre D’Aspect. While I certainly hadn’t planned on being an imager, I knew that being an imager was far more palatable to my father than being an artist had been. As an imager, even as a low-level master, I had status, even a hint of power, and that was something my father the wool factor could appreciate, and now that I had a beautiful and acceptable young woman in Seliora interested in me, my mother was hopeful that, despite her Pharsi background, a marriage would be in the offing.
There were a few problems with being an imager that they did tend to gloss over, such as my having been wounded twice in the past year, and others that I hadn’t mentioned in any detail to them, such as my unresolved difficulties with High Holder Ryel, who was absolutely certain, sooner or later, to try to destroy me in some fashion or another, or the fact that Seliora’s family, while certainly wealthy, still possessed certain connections that were highly useful, but not necessarily totally legal.
Excerpted from Imager’s Challenge by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Copyright © 2009 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Published in 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Imager s Challenge takes up immediately after the conclusion of Imager . Still recovering from injuries received in foiling the plots of the Ferran envoy, Rhenn is preparing to take up his new duties as imager liaison to the Civic Patrol of L Excelsis. No sooner has he assumed his new position than he discovers two things. First, the Commander of the Civic Patrol doesn t want a liaison from the infamous Collegium, and soon has Rhenn patrolling the streets of the worst district in the city. Second, Rhenn receives formal notice that one of the High Holders, the father of a man Rhenn partly blinded in self-defense, has declared his intention to destroy Rhenn and his family. Rhenn s only allies are the family of the girl he loves, successful merchants with underworld connections. In the end, Rhenn must literally stand off against gang lords, naval marines, Tiempran terrorist priests, the most powerful High Holder in all of Solidar, and his own Collegium - and find a way to prevail without making further enemies and endangering those he loves. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780765360908

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Imager s Challenge takes up immediately after the conclusion of Imager . Still recovering from injuries received in foiling the plots of the Ferran envoy, Rhenn is preparing to take up his new duties as imager liaison to the Civic Patrol of L Excelsis. No sooner has he assumed his new position than he discovers two things. First, the Commander of the Civic Patrol doesn t want a liaison from the infamous Collegium, and soon has Rhenn patrolling the streets of the worst district in the city. Second, Rhenn receives formal notice that one of the High Holders, the father of a man Rhenn partly blinded in self-defense, has declared his intention to destroy Rhenn and his family. Rhenn s only allies are the family of the girl he loves, successful merchants with underworld connections. In the end, Rhenn must literally stand off against gang lords, naval marines, Tiempran terrorist priests, the most powerful High Holder in all of Solidar, and his own Collegium - and find a way to prevail without making further enemies and endangering those he loves. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780765360908

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