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Alvin Journeyman
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About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win these two top prizes in consecutive years. There are seven other novels to date in The Ender Universe series. Card has also written fantasy: The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of fantasy novels set in frontier America; his most recent novel, The Lost Gate, is a contemporary magical fantasy. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.

Reviews

YA‘At last, Book IV of this terrific series. Set in an alternate history, Card's frontier America is a land where wives' tales are fact and magic- in the form of hexes, beseechings, and "knacks"- really works. Alvin has the most powerful knack of all; he is a Maker, with power over the physical world. In this installment, he ignores a prophetic warning and falls victim to the manipulations of The Unmaker, an ancient enemy that seeks anarchy. While embroiled in a legal dispute that places him in jail, Alvin draws to him the people who will assist in his quest to build the Crystal City of his vision. Alvin Journeyman is the springboard for this quest that will be played out in future volumes. Knowledge of previous titles is beneficial, so be sure to have copies available of Seventh Son, Red Prophet, and Prentice Alvin.‘Robin Deffendall, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA

"The best fantasy series now in progress." --Publishers Weekly"At long last, Card returns to what promises to be his most notable creation, The Tales of Alvin Maker. . . . This superb and welcome book continues the saga at the same high level as before." --Booklist

The legal thriller wave laps at the shores of fantasy fiction in this fourth novel (after Prentice Alvin) in Card's popular series about natural-born mage Alvin Smith, who's the seventh son of a seventh son, and the magical early America in which he lives. Also returning are Alvin's equally talented brother Calvin, who's a scoundrel, the mixed-up little boy Arthur Stuart and Alvin's ladylove, Peggy Larner. Hatred of his brother and boundless ambition prompt Calvin to run off to England, where he meets an English barrister who so embarrasses him by seeing through his lies that he moves onto France, hoping to learn the arts of manipulation under the tutelage of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. Meanwhile, Alvin must leave his beloved town of Vigor Church because of a lovesick young girl's lies. Returning to Hatrack River, where he was born, he becomes embroiled in a trial for his life. Unfortunately, much of the novel's action stops during the trial, as Alvin languishes in his cell and Card jabs at lawyers and the justice system. The courtroom scenes prove something of a procedural joke, with truth finally served only because Alvin uses his magic to make everything come out right. This parable bogs down in its own folksiness, but fans of Card, who's won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, may love it dearly. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)

In an alternative 19th-century America, Alvin Smith's gift as a Maker-a rare magic that allows him to participate intimately in the act of creation-draws him into battle with the servants of the Unmaker. The fourth in a series that includes Seventh Son (St. Martin's, 1987), Red Prophet (Tor Bks., 1987), and Prentice Alvin (Tor Bks., 1987), this work explores the fundamental choice between good and evil-both the blessing and curse of humankind. The conversational tone of this engaging fantasy recalls the Silver John novels by the late Manly Wade Wellman. Card is a graceful and compassionate writer who is not afraid to tackle old-fashioned moral dilemmas from multiple viewpoints. Most libraries should consider this a priority purchase for fantasy collections.

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