Profile: Fantasy, Political Fiction
After reading both Scholar and Princeps, I honestly think I was wrong about Modesitt’s motivations behind abandoning the ‘present-day’ progression of his Imager Portfolio series. Pinceps is the second book in the Portfolio to follow Quaeryt, an imager that lived hundreds of years before the events ofImager. In my review of Quaeryt’s first novel, Scholar, I accused Modesitt of fighting off stagnation by radically shifting the setting and the protagonist. But now I’m beginning to think that he wrote a huge amount of backstory for the island nation of Solidar and was getting frustrated at being unable to use it in Rhennthyl’s storylines.
Princeps continues to flesh out the formation of Solidar, as the restless city-states of the continent are gearing up for full-fledged war. But the primary focus of these books is increasingly an ongoing treatise on the value of intellectualism, the dangers of populism and an indictment of racial intolerance.