Book Review: Princeps by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Four Stars)


Book Review: Princeps (Imager Portfolio #5) by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

(Four Stars)

“You will either break the world or it will break you.”

Another extended sermon on morals and actions disguised as an adventure fantasy. The pace is occasionally glacial and everything–even the disasters–are too easy and predictable. Still, excellent storytelling.

“And what right did you have to act as justice and executioner? No right at all, only the responsibility not to let a man who caused death after death keep doing it when no one else could or would stop it.”

Finally addresses his protagonist’s vigilantism. Even allows him to be troubled by the lawless monster he might become as the sole arbiter of guilt and innocence.

“Could it be that all evenings are good, because each offers us the possibility of affirming what we are and what we can be at our best? If there were no evil … could there be good? And what would good be worth?”

Extended meditations on beliefs, faith, doubt, and action. Created a religion as a hand puppet for his musings, but did a better job than many who create fantasy world religions merely to beat on ones in this world.

“Most people don’t care whether a governor gets the job done, only how it affects them.”

The voice and character Quaeryt is indistinguishable from Rhenntyl (hero of first trilogy).

“Most of life’s problems can be handled by being where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’re supposed to be doing.”

Quibbles: Inner dialogues shifts between first and second person. Confusing. Food: Potatoes. lots of mushrooms in improbable quantities, but not mention of onions. Needed one last proofreading; Modesitt’s beta readers failed him again.

“Governing isn’t just doing it well; it’s doing it in a way where no one is truly satisfied, but no one with power is fiercely dissatisfied.”