Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Princeps by L.E. Modesitt

Princeps returns us to the story of Quaeryt, who has thwarted the plots in Tilbor, and been rewarded for his efforts by being made Princeps of the area, and being wed to the lovely Vaelora, sister of Lord Bhayar. Quaeryt may be the perfect match for the strong-willed and intellectual woman, and as the story begins they are settling well into domesticity and he is doing an admirable job of keeping the place running smoothly.

Unfortunately, this idyl cannot last, and Bhayar soon needs Quaeryt to uproot his life once again to travel to Extela, where a volcanic eruption has devastated the old capital of Telaryn, to assume temporarily the post of Governor. Quaeryt and a regiment of troops make the long journey, with his wife by his side, and try to restore the city to some semblance of order. The previous governor and many of the city officials were  corrupt, and so Quaeryt faces some special challenges in establishing the only kind of rule he can - a just and orderly one. He has some difficulties with various High Holder and merchant factors, but seems to be succeeding despite this, when Bhayar has a new job for him.

He is to leave the city to a replacement governor and join Bhayar's troops on the border, where he will train a squad of imagers in the unfamiliar task of sabotaging the war plans of the Bovarians, who are determined to invade Telaryn.

The book moves steadily through Quaeyt's personal growth, and begins to lay the foundation for the future of imagers that we saw in the first few books of the portfolio. A wry and pleasant, yet philosophical, tale.

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