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Scholar by L.E. Modesitt Jr

A bit slow to start but still good.

This is the first book of a five part series following Quaeryt as his friendship with the ruler of Telaryn, a country within what will become Solidar, starts to move his status in the world from a scholar to something much more. He has hidden Imager abilities and he uses these in conjunction with his native intelligence to investigate political problems in a recently conquered country.

So this book is set nearly a thousand years before the first trilogy in the Imager portfolio and shows the rise of Solidar and how imaging abilities became somewhat socially acceptable. Imager’s can basically create anything though there are conditions based on physics that severely limit what a person can do. I like that Quaeryt is a slightly older protagonist, he’s in his late twenties, early thirties and has already led an interesting life. He’s worked for years on building his abilities in secret and cultivating his friendship with Bhayar and once an opportunity arises to show his competence, he embraces it with open arms.

As always in Modesitt books there is a lot of focus on day to day activities. In this book there is a lot of reading reports and tracking down people. I did find these parts a little slow but they were still interesting. The final part has definitely a more military flavour, involving patrols and a campaign towards the end. There is still a lot of waiting around, dealing with supplies etc but from what I’ve read that is actually pretty realistic.

It is a promising start to the series and has the embers of what is going to be a very political and military based series.

4 stars

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