L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Tor, Jul 20 2010, $27.99
Rhennthyl has come a long way since his time as an apprentice portrait artist when a fire unveiled his talent as an Imager. In L’Excelsis, Solidar he has become Captain, Third District of the Civil Patrol; Rhenn is also ranked as a Maitre D’Structure of Collegium Imago of Solidar; he has been married for five years to Sellora though they never sleep the night together due to his Imager nightmares that could burn down a room; and finally the pair has a delightful daughter Diestrya.
While war looms again between Ferrum and Jariola, an arsonist torched the grain warehouse of a Freeholder; the latest to be burned down almost all owned by Freeholders while High Holders seem suspiciously immune. Finally an explosion near Place D’Opera in the Second District left several dead including Factor Broussard D’Factorious and his family; who was the target of terrorists Workers for Justice. Commander Artois says be vigil. Rhenn is soon caught in the crosshairs as his work as an apprentice painter (see Imager) and as a liaison to the law (see Imager’s Challenge) makes him a target from a powerful adversary. This enemy knows Rhenn’s skills from their previous confrontations and needs to insure the Imaging Captain is neutralized to prevent his interference with a diabolical plot; killing him and his family is the only way to eliminate him.
The third Imager Portfolio is an exhilarating thriller that reads like a Victorian French fantasy, which stands alone, but is enhanced, by reading the previous two entries especially when the past comes home to roost. The story line is fast-paced while the locales are vivid; as expected from a former artist turned Imager. Readers will relish the latest entry as L.E. Modesitt, Jr. entertainingly ties the news together in a strong tale in which the hero knows he has come a long way, but learns how fast you can go in reverse.