Compelling tales abound in this continuation of the Imager Portfolio series. Modesitt’s well-crafted, character-driven story is sure to engage readers. His prose is thick with description, characters discuss military strategy with the finest of detail and Vaelora is a fabulous female protagonist worthy of the crucial part she plays. The Imager books are stimulating, best suited for readers who enjoy an intellectual challenge. Inclusion of the female imagers of Antiago takes Modesitt out of his comfort zone, making his talents truly shine.
Quaeryt’s successes on the battlefield, though personally distasteful to him, have earned him a promotion and some leverage with Lord Bhayar. Their close but uneasy friendship becomes strained by the demands of war. And when Quaeryt and Vaelora are sent as emissaries to the nation of Khel in an attempt to cement the alliance between the nations, they discover more than they expected, in the form of hostile imagers from neighboring Antiago. (TOR, Jun., 464 pp., $27.99)