Friday, October 28, 2016

"Treachery’s Tools"

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes Adiamante, the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and Archform: Beauty. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.

Modesitt applied the Page 69 Test to Treachery's Tools, the tenth installment in the Imager Portfolio, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Treachery’s Tools, Alastar, who is the Maitre of the Collegium of Imagers, meets with High Holder Meinyt, possibly the only honest and pragmatic member of the High Holders’ Council of Solidar. He has just asked the High Holder why Cransyr, the head of the Council, seems to be trying to anger Alastar and then pick a fight with the Collegium and the factoring class of Solidar.
“Fairly put, directly said.” Meinyt nodded, took another swallow of lager, then set the beaker on the plain wooden square coaster that sat on the polished oak of the table. “The short answer is that I don’t know. Cransyr claims that the factors are out to destroy the High Holders and that Rex Lorien is behind it all. That doesn’t make sense. Lorien isn’t the brightest flame in the fire, but he’s not a clinker, either. Making you angry sounds stupid, and Cransyr’s anything but that.”

Alastar nodded and waited.

“I do know that Cransyr’s not fond of imagers. I don’t know why. Nualt claimed Cransyr’s family has hated them for generations, but he doesn’t know why, either. Cransyr also doesn’t care much for factors. Claims that they can do anything to make golds, and no one cares…”
This passage sets up the coming and largely hidden conflict that dominates the book, that of the impact of a profound economic and social change that is slowly transforming Solidar, and one in which Alastar and the few handfuls of imagers have to manage before it triggers an all-out civil war in which the aristocratic High Holders attempt to destroy the merchanting class – and the imagers – in order to maintain their position and to regain their previous “rights” and privileges.
Learn more about the author and his work at L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s website.

--Marshal Zeringue