Isolate: A Novel of the Grand Illusion by L. E. Modesitt Jr.: Political Intrigue, Engrossing

Industrialization. Social unrest. Underground movements. Government corruption and surveillance.

Something is about to give.

Steffan Dekkard is an isolate, one of the small percentage of people who are immune to the projections of empaths. As an isolate, he has been trained as a security specialist, and he and his security partner Avraal Ysella, a highly trained empath, are employed by Axel Obreduur, a senior Craft Minister and the de facto political strategist of his party.

When a respected Landor Councilor dies of “heart failure” at a social event, because of his political friendship with Obreduur, Dekkard and Ysella find that not only is their employer a target, but so are they, in a covert and deadly struggle for control of the government and economy.

Steffan is about to understand that everything he believed is an illusion.

One of the reasons I love L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s work is the level of detail and thoughtfulness that is woven throughout each novel. And even if the novel is part of a series, he always makes certain that the novel can be read as is, without the reader missing a beat. While this novel is the first in a duology, he created the same impression, a book full of detail, thoughtfulness, and readability. 

In “Isolate”, he has created a world full of political intrigue, change, and layers of society much like ours but where there are boundaries for women and those not in power. Not dissimilar from our world but in this novel, includes those with talents, both empaths and those immune to their power. The details in both the political system, in the intrigue, and in the stratification of society makes for an engrossing and satisfying read. 

It is not the world building alone that makes the story so interesting. It would not work without the engaging characters, Steffan and Avraal in particular. The story is told from Steffan’s point of view as he learns the truth of the various political intrigues but also develops the friendships between him and those around him, especially Avraal. Every character in the novel is developed throughout the story, showing us who they are through their actions rather than telling us. You learn the most about Steffan and Avraal by their interactions with each other but also by the man they work for, Councilor Axel Obreduur. It absolutely shows Modesitt’s skill and experience, in how he demonstrates the characters through their interactions with each other. 

The political intrigues that Steffan deals with and his role in disrupting those intrigues is what makes the story so wonderful. Unfortunately, I don’t want to give anything away but be assured that those intrigues and Steffan’s abilities make for a grand novel that is completely engrossing. 

If you’re a fan of L.E. Modesitt Jr. and his other work, this one will be equally satisfying. The magic is subtle but well used and both the story and the politics make for an incredibly interesting story. I totally suggest you check out the book.  Remember, if you do want to purchase the book, contact us at Duncan’s Books and More and we can order for you direct from the publisher. 

5 out 5 political intrigues. 

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