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This is the fifth novel in Orson Scott Card's popular Alvin the Maker series, based on an alternate America where some people are born with knacks, which resemble magical abilities. The protagonist of the series, Alvin, is a maker who not only can fix things (such as restoring a wounded bird to health with his doodlebug) but is also something of a natural leader. Alvin and his small band of followers are on a quest to build the Crystal City, a place where those who have knacks can live in safety from the people who sometimes burn them as witches. While Alvin visits the nearly holy province of New England to find out just how cities work, his wife Margaret, traveling under the name Peggy, journeys to the kingdom of Camelot, which was formerly known as Charleston, South Carolina. There she hopes to persuade the exiled King Arthur to help her abolish the practice of slavery. Heartfire is an excellent midseries novel that's sure to delight fans of Alvin. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fifth in Hugo and Nebula winner Card's immensely popular Tales of Alvin Maker, this installment of alternative American history centers around two grievous social wrongs. Arthur Stuart, exiled King of England, reigns in Camelot (Charleston), capital of the slaveholding southern Crown Colonies; in New England, meanwhile, "witchers" connive to execute anyone with the "knack," the ability to connect to the powers of the universe. Just before civil war erupts, telekinetic Alvin and his historical friends, such as John James Audubon, and legendary ones, such as riverman Mike Fink, set about to abolish New England's antiwitch laws, while Alvin's wife and mentor, Margaret, uses her ability to read human souls to offer the hope of freedom to the Colonies' slaves and to heal Alvin's malevolent brother before he can kill her husband. Card's antebellum settings, dialogue and historical figures seem authentic and thoroughly researched, and, as always, he offers excellent differentiation of characters. However, Card is as occasionally windy and preachy as ever, and the plethora of lengthy philosophical and/or psychological digressions make for considerably less fictional sizzle than fizzle. Consider this a good bet for fans of the series, but not for a wider readership.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I would have given this book an additional star if it wasn't for the terrible art on the cover. I was embarrassed to read this novel in public. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by tommy z
Although this is arguably the best book in the series since the first one, the ending leaves you wanting more and yet still feeling satisfied. 4.5 stars.Published on July 7 2003 by Emily J. Jensen
Having looked forward to this installment of the Alvin series for a long time, I was quite disappointed when reading the short and seemingly pointless result. Read morePublished on May 20 2003
This is a very good Alvin book. It seems a little watered down, but plenty happens in these pages. Alvin is journeying with his friends, but not with his wife. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2002 by Howard S. Shubs
This the an excellent series. I have had quite a hard time putting them down, however, since I have read them from start to finish I have found quite a few Red Herrings. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by Mike
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) this series has been particularly intriguing to me. Read morePublished on July 5 2001 by Christine Rasmussen
Once again, we visit the alternate America of 150 years ago that Card created, where history has taken some odd turns, partly because of talents called "knacks. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2001 by Sharron Albert