Rhennythyl is the son of a wool merchant and is a journeyman portrait painter when he causes his master’s house to blow up. He discovers that he is an imager,one who can create things by imaging them. He goes off to the Collegium Imago on Imagisle and is trained as a covert imager (read spy).
There are three threads in the story:
- His training
- 5 attempts to assassinate him
- His family and his new girl friend ( a Pharsi although she is a 3rd generation local)
Most of the story is about his training. The questions that his teacher makes him think about are fascinating.
- Is our government good?
- Is it better than the others?
- What are the best characteristics of a covert imager?
- What is the real purpose of a quorum call?
- Why is government necessary?
I couldn’t put it down and will have to go back and re-read it to think more about his training.
The assassination attempts provide a bit of action and mystery which will have to be solved in a later book in the series.
His interplay with his family and his girl friend’s family is very well written.