Cover art for all 12 volumes by Donato Giancola
Every time a trilogy wraps up, we bake a cake at the Black Gate rooftop headquarters. Strangely, we don’t have a protocol for when a 12-book cycle completes, but we’re working on it.
L. E. Modesitt Jr.’s Imager Portfolio series opened with Imager in 2009, and around about book 8, Rex Regis, Tor started referring to it as “The New York Times Bestselling Imager Portfolio.” Modesitt has hit those rarefied heights before — the 20 books in his Saga of Recluse have sold over three million copies — but it was good to see him with another major success.
The final volume in the series, Endgames, arrived in February. This time the publisher refers to it as “the third book in the story arc that began with Madness in Solidar through Treachery’s Tools and Assassin’s Price” and, despite having counted several times, I make Endgames the fourth book in that sequence, but hey, whatever. You count any way you want Tor, and don’t let ’em give you any grief.
However you count his books, L.E. Modesitt deserves some serious respect. He’s produced more than seventy novels, including two science fiction series, the Ghost Books and Ecolitan Matter, four fantasy series, the Imager Portfolio, the Saga of Recluce, the Spellsong Cycle and the Corean Chronicles, and many popular standalone titles such as Solar Express, which Arin Komins at Starfarer’s Despatch calls utterly wonderful. All 12 volumes in the Imager Portfolio series are still in print, which is no mean feat. Here’s the description for the first one.
[Click the images for Imager-sized Images.]
Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant in L’Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar, he has spent years becoming a journeyman artist and is skilled and diligent enough to be considered for the status of master artisan — in another two years. Then, in a single moment, his entire life is transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire, and Rhenn discovers he is an imager — one of the few in the entire world of Terahnar who can visualize things and make them real.
He must leave his family and join the Collegium of Imagisle. Imagers live separately from the rest of society because of their abilities (they can do accidental magic even while asleep), and because they are both feared and vulnerable. In this new life, Rhenn discovers that all too many of the “truths” he knew were nothing of the sort. Every day brings a new threat to his life. He makes a powerful enemy while righting a wrong, and begins to learn to do magic in secret. Imager is the innovative and enchanting opening of an involving new fantasy story.
Here’s the complete list of titles in the Imager Portfolio.
1 Imager (2009)
2 Imager’s Challenge (2009)
3 Imager’s Intrigue (2010)
4 Scholar (2011)
5 Princeps (2012)
6 Imager’s Battalion (2013)
7 Antiagon Fire (2013)
8 Rex Regis (2014)
9 Madness in Solidar (2015)
10 Treachery’s Tools (2016)
11 Assassin’s Price (2017)
12 Endgames (2019)
All 12 volumes were published by Tor. Tor has also released two omnibus editions in ebook-only format:
The Imager Portfolio: Volume One (2017) [collecting volumes 1-3]
The Imager Portfolio: Volume Two (2017) [collecting volumes 4-8]
See all our recent coverage of the best in Series Fantasy here.