Assassin's Price

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Assassin's Price

Postby Jimbo1 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:04 am

Another excellent installment to the Imager Portfolio! There is just no world building like Mr. M's world building. Now I have to wait for the next one. (Sigh)
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby loki51 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:52 pm

Mr Modesitt, just finished this. Generally enjoyed it but this is the only Imager or Recluce novel I am unlikely to re-read (almost ever other I have read at "least" twice, most many more). I'm trying to decide why this book missed the mark for me, or I should say generates no interest in revisiting at a later date. Will keep it general and basically spoiler free. The main character is a ruler and is not an Imager. The whole story takes place in around 3 months I believe. The main character is also held to a fairly small area with minor travel. The interactions the main character has with others seems to be a far smaller scope then the rest of your stories. It is almost like it was written in a play format and leaning toward a mystery. I'm not saying these are bad things, just that they differ from all the rest in either series so might be part of the problem for me at least.

I have to assume these changes were a deliberate effort on your part to "change it up" so to speak. Care to share any thoughts about this book and why the rather major shift (to me) in tone or structure. Maybe I'm missing something or overstating it, but I am curious. I also wish to note that if there is a sequel novel I plan to eagerly read it. Your characters and world building make these worth reading, the question is more about what makes them enjoyable to RE-READ :)
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby lmodesitt » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:20 pm

I have to say that I don't think that there's any real change in tone, either of dialogue or description, but the scope is, as you noted, more focused. One of the reasons for this is that rulers, despite all too much fantasy [erroneously, I think] to the contrary, actually inhabit a restricted world. This was brought home to me when I worked in Washington. And it's often not the happiest world, creature comforts notwithstanding, where every word can mean either nothing or have multiple meanings, where no one can be completely trusted, and where your friends and family can often be more deadly than your avowed enemies.

This sort of restrained grittiness isn't everyone's cup of tea, but that was the story I needed to tell.

The other aspect of Assassin's Price is that it's told from the viewpoint of a man who's not an imager. There were several reasons why I did this. First, the focus on the imagers in the first ten books creates a misleading feeling of their omnipresence in society, when the vast majority of people know of them, but seldom encounter them, and I wanted to put them in perspective. Second, Charyn's story can't be told from an imager's point of view. I know. Initially, I tried to write the book from the point of view of different imagers. None of them worked.

I didn't write the book the way I did just to "change things up." I wrote it the way I did because it was the only believable way to tell this particular story. Also, it would have been a cop-out to turn Charyn into an imager.

Those are the best answers I can give.

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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby Silver_Phoenix » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:54 am

Unfortunately, I have to agree with loki51 in that this book didn't work for me. I can understand that rational you present, but I think the "misleading feeling" is yours alone. When I read an IP book, I want to read about imagers. You could have called this book "powerless" and been more acurate.

I just couldn't invest myself in the main character and without the imager focus it reads like historical fiction...
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby Jimbo1 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:33 am

I respectfully disagree. I found sufficient imaging to keep the story clearly in this world view, while presenting a different aspect of that world.

I've found all of the author's stories in his different series to be driven by character (and characters), regardless of their special talents. It's character that drives the tales, not talent, IMHO.
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby loki51 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:23 am

First I wish to thank Mr Modesitt for his reply, it is a joy to actually interact with my favorite writer (extant). I see why the Rex could not be an imager, prior books have made strong points that the people distrust the imagers and would not accept one as a ruler. For me the story would have been more enjoyable if maybe he had a friend who was an imager or he interacted more with Malyna
Spoiler: show
](as an imager).[/spoiler Perhaps these are planned as part the sequel, maybe Malyna has potential as a wife. It was indicated she would not be suitable (due to being an imager) but is that an actual law?[spoiler]
In the "Recluce" series you have rulers with "Blacks" as wives, even if that is frowned upon. So would it be possible for the Rex to have an imager as a wife. It would make sense that the Rex could use the abilities of an imager close for protection if nothing else and of course there is imager blood in the Rex's linage already.

The younger brother is also a problem for me. Having a younger brother myself, the friction part is easy to understand :lol: But the fact Charyn became Rex with little to no training himself, you would think he would make some effort to train/utilize his brother to avoid the same problems. Yes the short time frame does compress some potential actions, but Charyn (and the reader) are given clear indications that the brother and his training/attitudes could represent serious future problems. I know he has a lot on his plate but you would think he would take some kind of action or that his clearly very sharp mother would "suggest" something.

There will be a sequel to "Assassins Price", won't there :? Will this be a 2 or 3 book arc? If I have the time line right you are coming up close on where the first book ("IMAGER") started. While you can (and have already) overlapped your book timelines it does make it more difficult.
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby JTass » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:59 pm

I just downloaded my copy from Audible. Looking forward to starting it on my commute home today.
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby stephenheath » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:06 pm

I have to disagree with all the others, while I love all of the recluse and imager books, I REALLY enjoyed this one because the imagers were peripheral rather than the main focus... I mean, there's 200 of them in the whole population, to the point most people aren't even aware of them, but every book we learn everything about them... it's really nice to have the background and yet see the big event (which I assume basically takes place in the next book, this is lead up to it) unfolding. I love the magic/imaging too, but the timespans for recluse/imager are epic, and a lot of non-magic stuff impacts the world too. It was what I loved about Queart (ok, I admit it, I can't remember the proper spelling and I'm too lazy to look it up), not JUST his ass kicking when called to battle, but the administration and logistics that went with it and how he made his abilities work for him in dealing with those problems.

And on a side note... thank you so much for continuing to write instead of retiring Mr. Modesitt... there's nothing like the feeling when Amazon sends me a new hardcover you've written (well, except for one Terry Brooks has written.. I go back with both of you two many decades to give either of you up :) ).
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Re: Assassin's Price

Postby lmodesitt » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:41 pm

As I've noted elsewhere, I am working on the sequel to Assassin's Price, but it will be a while before I'm ready to say much about it, except that Charyn is the protagonist.

Even in worlds with magic, not everything is about the magic, as Stephen Heath has pointed out, nor should it be. Because, if it is, then there's the danger that all the people in the entire rest of the world become mere spear-carriers to the magic wielders, and they can easily become a fairy-prince aristocracy. Charyn's complete story is vital because, without him, the Solidar of Rhennthyl would never have happened, and without telling the story from his viewpoint, it would look like deus ex machina. At least, as the author, that's what I believe. When the sequel is published, you all can make that judgment.

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