Imager's Battalion, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. Fantasy. 512 pages. Hardback, sixth in the series (third in the Scholar series).
Quaeryt is now a subcommander in Lord Bhayar's army against Rex Kharst. As far as Imager history goes, this is the unification war for what becomes Solidar as well as explains the bigger Why there is an Imagisle school/residence for imagers in Rhen's time.
There is plenty of action in this book, and much like the first one (Scholar), the battles each build on the last, so that the small group of imaging undercaptains get a chance to develop their skills under Quaeryt's guidance and leadership. It's still focused a great deal on what Quaeryt can do personally with his imaging, but he is starting to note how imaging skills differ in each person. The conversations about shields definitely could have used more depth.
The interweaving of "The Chosen One" (ok, the "Lost One") mythology with Quaeryt's growing powers and reputation got pretty old at times. I was thankful that Modesitt kept Quaeryt's character in character
throughout those exchanges, though, because by the time they get to the bigger northern cities, the mythology angle was getting tedious for both Quaeryt and me-as-reader.
I liked the action and the interpersonal relationships that went along with the campaign, but I really didn't like how many names I had to keep in my head at one time. I got tangled up in which guy got killed at one point, so when Major So-and-So showed up later, I had to go back and check who had actually been killed. Argh.
I recommend this book to people who have been following the Imager series so far. You can start with either Imager
, but for your enjoyment and continuity's sake, don't start here.Books for 2013