Contrarian by L. E. Modesitt Jr.: Phenomenal Political Intrigue

In Contrarian, protests against unemployment and poor harvests have become armed riots as the people sink deeper into poverty. They look to a government struggling to emerge from corruption and conspiracy.

Recently elected to the Council of Sixty-Six, Steffan Dekkard is the first Councilor who is an Isolate, a man invulnerable to the emotional manipulations and emotional surveillance of empaths—but not the recent bombing of the Council Office Building by insurrectionists.

His patron, the Premier of the Council, has been assassinated, leaving Dekkard with little first-hand political experience and few political allies.

Not only must Dekkard handle political infighting, and continued assassination attempts, but it appears that someone high up in the government and corporations has supplied arms and explosives to insurrectionists.

Insurrectionists who have succeeded in taking over a naval cruiser that no one can seem to find.

In Contrarian by L.E. Modesitt Jr., the author has created a phenomenal political intrigue with his continuation of The Grand Design. L.E. Modesitt Jr. has brought the trilogy to a stunning ending that wraps up many of the main storylines from the previous two books. Contrarian continues the legal and political intrigues of the previous novels with a build in the conflict that engages readers and keeps me intrigued throughout. 

I also love the main characters, Steffan and Avraal. They are written with complexity and the dynamic between them is loving. I like how realistic their relationship is portrayed in the book. I also appreciated how Steffan’s abilities are explained and grow in this novel. While those abilities don’t always take center stage, they are explored well. I also enjoy that this book wraps up the plot from the previous books but there is room for more to be done in this universe. 

 I also like the dynamics and the politics among the Council. This is very much a spotlight on how American politics work and sometimes don’t work. The author creates a compelling novel that explores what is currently happening in our nation today and while this is fiction, it does develop some ideas that our current leaders could use.  I love how the legalities and politics are developed and how much it reminds me of how politics should work, to the betterment of the people.

If you like novels of political intrigue with subtle magic like Empaths and Isolates, this is the novel for you. It has phenomenal political intrigue set in a fabulous fictional world. I do recommend reading the first two books as there is much referenced in this novel from the previous two. It draws the trilogy to a wonderful and successful conclusion that will leave readers satisfied. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 councilors 

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