Review: Scholar by L.E. Modesitt

4 out of 5
This is the fourth in the Imager series but it is not a continuation of the story from the first 3 books. This book takes us into the past and shows us a world before Imagers were given a role in society. This jumping back to the past is a common idea in Modesitt’s various series. The main character, Quaeryt, is a scholar and advisor to the King. Like so many of Modesitt’s other main characters he is a modest man from a common background who uses his many skills to fix what he sees as wrong. This earns him the respect and fear of some and the hate of others. As always this main character has high moral standards and yet sees himself as just a common man doing his best. He knows he is an imager and he knows that is a rare skill but outside of self-defense and getting a small amount of loose change he doesn’t use his abilities to further his own aims but the aims of the King. As always the writing is superb. Modesitt takes us into a full and interesting world filled with intrigue and action. He is also able to do something more authors should be doing, tell a story in one book while still leaving interesting ideas for future books. It makes for a satisfying reading experience. Despite his characters tending to fall into the same mold, Modesitt is able to create enough variety in the settings and plot to keep the story interesting. Also common to Modesitt’s work is the feeling that the climax sneaks up on the reader. His main characters seem to make connections that are not obvious to the reader until the end. They ask questions that appear to be unanswered right up to the climax when it becomes obvious the character figured it out several chapters earlier and didn’t tell us. This particular book didn’t have Modesitt’s usual focus on some type of crafting skill, focusing on Quaeryt’s writing and organizing skills instead. I would suggest reading the first three Imager novels before reading this just too get an idea of the ideas behind Imager. As always Modesitt’s books are best read in order of publication.

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