Rex Regis: The Eighth Book of the Imager Portfolio
L. E. Modesitt Jr.
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The saga of the Imager Quaeryt, Commander in the forces of Lord Bhayar, reaches a new climax as the great struggle to unify the continent of Lydar enters its final phase in L.E. Modesitt's Rex Regis, Book 8 in The Imager Portfolio.
Only the land of Khel remains uncommitted to Bhayar's rule. Their decision could mean a lasting peace, or more conflict across an already war-ravaged realm.
While the conqueror of Bovaria awaits emissaries to arrive with news of Khel's decision, other weighty matters occupy Bhayar, his sister Velora, and her husband Quaeryt—not the least of which is the fulfillment of Quaeryt's dream to create the world's first Imager academy, where the magical abilities of these powerful casters may be honed, managed, and put to the service of the common good.
But before that dream may be realized, or Khel's fateful choice made known, the spectre of high treason threatens to unravel all that Quaeryt has achieved, catapulting him toward a fateful confrontation with Bhayar's most powerful military leaders.
Some twenty yards down the corridor was an archway into a large chamber that stretched some fifteen yards toward the river. Wide windows overlooked a roofed terrace beyond, the roof clearly being necessary so that those on the terrace could enjoy the breezes and the river view in late afternoon. Nephyl gestured toward a settee and the chairs flanking it, all facing the river. Quaeryt guided Vaelora to the far end of the settee, then stood beside the chair, waiting for the holder and his wife to take their places, seating himself as they did, with Mergiana taking the place beside Vaelora.
After a moment he recalled that the High Holders had wanted at least a gold a barrel for flour, but the price had been eight silvers before the eruption, and that had been in spring in the north. Two quints later, at the headquarters holding, Quaeryt found Zhelan outside the dilapidated stables that held first company’s mounts. “Zhelan … I need your help, again…” “Sir? ” “Have you been able to purchase grain and flour for first company and Eleventh Regiment? ” “I did, sir, until Subcommander Ernyld requested that we requisition that through his clerks.
Why not? Is anyone else using it? ” “No. ” Quaeryt laughed. “Just purchase or order solid and simple table desks, chairs, or cases, and chests? Where, might I ask? ” “You’re almost being disrespectful, dearest. I have made inquiries of the staff and the serving maids. ” “Aren’t most of them from Paitrak’s house holding? ” “Not all of them. Some came from other High Holders. Some are locals who heard that Bhayar was fair and paid as promised. ” You should have known. “Why don’t you come with me when I leave for headquarters, then?
Quaeryt grinned at his wife. “You don’t believe that Bovarians are behind this, do you? ” “I don’t know who or what is, but if Myskyl’s in full revolt against Bhayar, one regiment won’t make a difference, not when he has six, and I can trust Khaern to protect you and the remaining imagers. Besides, if there is a revolt or plot, I’ll have to figure out how to deal with it without destroying Bhayar’s own regiments. Otherwise, everything will fall apart in any case. ” “Why can’t people be loyal? ” Vaelora shook her head.
Lead the way to the side entry. ” Khalis led the way along the brick-paved lane to the entry on the north side of the hold house. As they neared, Quaeryt could see that another brick lane angled up from a pier and boathouse on the river some ten yards lower than the side terrace that appeared to serve as a receiving portico. No one appeared on the unroofed terrace, which had four gray stone pillars on the east side and four on the west river side. Three wide steps ran from the paved lane up to the portico terrace.