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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: Scholar 
25th-Nov-2011 04:53 pm
Read Irresponsibly
This is the fourth book in the Imager series, pushed back in time 500 years. Our hero this time is Quaeryt, a politically astute scholar who is amazingly skilled at everything to which he puts his hands or his mind. He questions Lord Bhayar, the ruler of the country (essentially the king), a little too much about the military structure used by one of the governors, and ends up in the north end of nowhere trying to find out the answers.

As is usual with Modesitt's Imager series, there are plenty of situations for Quaeryt to use his imaging skills or show off his observation/logic skills. There are bullies, thieves, traitors, and then plenty of battle scenes for the final third of the book. And unfortunately, by that time, we-as-readers had already been told the answers, so all I was waiting for was how it was going to get resolved. The last three pages wrapped up the entire plot so neatly and completely that Modesitt really did not have to write a sequel here. (There is one planned and listed in the front of the book.)

I enjoyed this book, though not as much as the second book in the origial Imager Portfolio trilogy. The first half of the book was interesting and enjoyable, especially once Quaeryt got north and started meeting some of the more interesting people. Unfortunately, the second half of the book was too long for too little content. The battle scenes were too often and for too little point, and the repetition of "No, I'm not a chorister." got quite old quite quickly. So I'll recommend this for anyone wishing to continue the series, but not for anyone wanting to start into the Imager universe. Start with Imager, and go from there.


-- New-to-me books read in 2011 (as opposed to re-reads) --

January
Little Dee vol 2
Little Dee vol 3
Unusual Suspects
Harvest Moon
The Black Stallion (yes, I know, I should have read it with Black Beauty)
Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name, with a pre-finished commentary here
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Fang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love
Must Love Hellhounds
Truthseeker

February
Dark and Stormy Knights
Tortall and Other Lands
River Marked (2/28 - it arrived a day early)

March
Questionable Content, vol 1
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Lifeblood
Magic Bites
Skinwalker, A Jane Yellowrock Novel
Running with the Pack
Magic Burns
Blood Cross

April
"Skyblaze" Adventures in the Liaden Universe #17
Kings of the North
Goblin Tales
Do Not Sniff the Bees, Two Lumps book 6
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Mercy Blade
The Initiate Brother

May
Angelology
City of Pearl
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses

June
After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar
Magic Slays
Ghost Ship (e-ARC)
Warbreaker

July
Quarter Share
Half Share
Full Share
"Intelligent Design" (short story in the Liaden Universe, published online at Baen)
Heroes in Training
Serenity: Better Days
Serenity: Those Left Behind
Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
Tiger's Curse
Calamities of Nature, vol 1
Troubled Waters
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
In Fury Born

August
Naked City
Unnatural Issue
Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Summers at Castle Auburn
"Kin Ties" (short story in the Liaden Universe, found here)
Flying Blind
Archangel
Hunger Games
The Shape-Changer's Wife
A Matter of Magic

September
One Salt Sea
"Guaranteed Delivery" (short story of the Liaden Universe, found here)
Wayfinder
Double Share as an audiobook from PodioBooks.Com
Cast in Ruin

October
Captain's Share (as an audio book)
Land of Painted Caves
Owner's Share (as an audio book)
Beauty and the Werewolf
A Beautiful Friendship
Mastiff

November
Down These Strange Streets
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
"The Space at Tinsori Light," Liaden short story found here
Prized
The Wild Ways
Kris Longknife: Daring
Scholar

-- Books abandoned rather than completed in 2011 --

February
Sing the Four Quarters, by Tanya Huff

August
Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi

October
Gamestorming (gave it to a co-worker)

-- Books Still in Progress --
These are books that I haven't totally given up on, I've just... put them aside... for now.
The Brand Within
If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails
Swords and Dark Magic
Battlestations
Wise Man's Fear
Comments 
25th-Nov-2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
Heh - I just thought of this reading your thoughts - I wonder if how much of a rehash of Parafaith Wars Modessitt is going to do.
26th-Nov-2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
I only read the first Parafaith book, so I don't have an educated answer for you. From what I recall, though, I don't think that this is the same thing... mostly... To quote Achaosofkittens, Modesitt likes to solve the same problem multiple times. So I'm not surprised that we keep seeing the same Imager-based moral dilemmas regarding assassinations and violence.
26th-Nov-2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Ayup. It is a consistent theme through most of his sci-fi - or rather he has about 3 different themes that he uses.

At least I enjoy the three themes and don't mind seeing them applied again and again and again and again....
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