*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Endgames – Book 12 of the Imager Portfolio series by L.E. Modesitt Jr #Brainfluffbookreview #Endgamesbookreview

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When I saw this offering on NetGalley, I immediately requested it and was delighted to be approved – see my review of the first book, Imager. No… I haven’t read all eleven of the previous books in this series – I think I got as far as eighth book. However, although I have a few issues with this book the fact that I hadn’t read the previous two in this particular story arc wasn’t a problem.

Solidar is in chaos. Charyn, the young and untested ruler of Solidar, has survived assassination, and he struggles to gain control of a realm in the grip of social upheaval, war, and rioting. Solidar cannot be allowed to slide into social and political turmoil that will leave the High Holders with their ancient power and privilege, and the common people with nothing. But the stakes are even higher than he realizes.

I always enjoy Modesitt’s protagonists and Charyn is no exception. He has the steady good sense and even temperament that is the hallmark of many of this author’s main characters. As ever in a Modesitt book, we get a progression of everyday details alongside the ongoing drama which tends to build slowly. I don’t know anyone else who writes fantasy in quite so much detail and gets away with it. However, the question has to be with this particular offering – is there just too much detail silting up the pace?

Unfortunately, I would have to say yes. While there were still many elements that I enjoyed and I found it difficult to put this book down, I also found myself skipping the love letters that passed between two of the main characters, along with the long-winded philosophical questions they discussed. I don’t dive into a high fantasy adventure to read several pages about the nature of evil being discussed between the protagonists – I would rather it was played out within the action. However, it wasn’t a dealbreaker and at no time was I tempted to DNF the book because I still cared about the characters and I really wanted to know how it was going to work out.

I was surprised at where the story went, with real poignancy during the aftermath of the action. This is one of the aspects that Modesitt handles really well – because we are pulled into his stories by following the day to day routines of his characters, it matters when bad things happen to them. Overall though I enjoyed this one and know that the next time I have an opportunity to get hold of another Modesitt book, I will jump at it. He may not always get the balance absolutely right, but he remains one of my favourite authors.

While I obtained an arc of Endgames from the publisher via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
7/10

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11 responses »

  1. Oh my! I’m aware of Modesitt’s Recluce saga that counts – if I’m not mistaken – 20 books, and now you mention this other series reaching 12 books… To call this writer “prolific” is certainly the understatement of the century! 😀 😀

    • Yes – and there’s something about this writer than pulled me in anyway. I’m conscious that if I’d resorted to skimming so regularly throughout most other books, I would have flung it across the room in disgust as a DNF – not this one though. It didn’t even cross my mind…

  2. I’ve heard of Modesitt, but have never read any of his books. Sure sounds like he’s incredibly prolific!

    “Endgames” does sound very intriguing! The protagonist, from your description of him, also sounds like “a capital fellow”! 🙂 And the cover really rocks!! I’m glad you mentioned the slower pace, though, and the fact that it was because of passages dedicated to philosophical speculations. I might actually like those. However, I remember my experience with “Anna Karenina”, some years back. That book also had these passages full of philosophical speculations. Some of them were interesting, but they all slowed down the pace. And then Tolstoy threw in some incredibly BORING sections of discussions about farming methods in Russia at the time…… Well, I DEFINITELY did NOT finish this one! (Plus, I don’t like to read books about infidelity, having been cheated on myself.)

    As you know from my comment on your previous post, I’m adding this book to my Goodreads shelves!

    • Oh I’m soooo glad to meet something else who feels the same as I do about books where adulterers and cheaters are given a free pass! I was also on the wrong side of a triangular relationship and LOATHE those sorts of books!

      As for Modesitt – he’s a really interesting writer – and I still recommend The Ghosts of Columbia as his outstanding duology – though I do love his writing anyway:))

  3. I can’t believe how easily you manage to step into a series mid way – it’s impressive. I’m not sure that these books are quite for me but I’m glad you’re enjoying them.
    Lynn 😀

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