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Heartfire: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume V Mass Market Paperback – May 15 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

Heartfire: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume V + Alvin Journeyman: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume IV + The Crystal City: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume VI
Price For All Three: CDN$ 28.90


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (May 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812509242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812509243
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 16.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"With delicacy and insight, incorporating folk tales and folk magic with mountain lore and other authentic details, Orson Scott Card has evoked a vision of America as it might have been."-Greensboro Tribune-Review

From the Back Cover

"With delicacy and insight, incorporating folk tales and folk magic with mountain lore and other authentic details, Orson Scott Card has evoked a vision of America as it might have been."-Greensboro Tribune-Review

Peggy is a Torch, able to see the fire burning in each person's heart. She can follow the paths of each person's future, and know each person's most intimate secrets. From the moment of Alvin Maker's birth, when the Unmaker first strove to kill him, she has protected him.

Now they are married, and Peggy is a part of Alvin's heart as well as his life.

But Alvin's destiny has taken them on separate journeys. Alvin has gone north into New England, where knacks are considered witchcraft, and their use is punished with death.

Peggy has been drawn south, to the British Crown Colonies and the court of King Arthur Stuart in exile. For she has seen a terrible future bloom in the heartfires of every person in America, a future of war and destruction. One slender path exists that leads through the bloodshed, and it is Peggy's quest to set the world on the path to peace.

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Only the sound of Alvin's voice could draw Arthur out of his reverie. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I originally read this when it first came out, then re-read the series when I got the new book (The Crystal City) for Christmas. This one was not as good as the other books in this series.
The story started off very slow, with a lot of nonsense about Arthur Staurt and Audobon (who could have been left out of the book completely) and birds. While this was explained somwhat at the end of the book, it was still too much and too slow. The book does get better near the end, but by that time, there has been too much junk preceeding it to make it seem worthwhile. The dialogue between Denmark and Gullah Joe is particularly boring and painful to read.
I give this book three stars only because of the characters, which are still great, and the ongoing story of Alvin's quest to build the Crystal City, but it wasn't a great story on its own. If you've read the other books in the series, this one is worth reading just to continue the story, but just barely. I hope the next book can return to the great stories from the previous books, if not, then I hope it will at least be the last in this series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Make no mistake, I loved "Seventh Son" and felt that my whole appreciation of the fantasy genre was increased tenfold, and it was already quite high. The next two volumes were OK. I felt they were losing sight of the original storyline, but that it might pick up again in later volumes. I was wrong. I wrote a scathing review of the fourth book last year, and I had high hopes of redemption with "Heartfire," but this is one of the worst and strangest books I've ever read.
Where to begin. . .Another boring trial, new characters that do nothing, a heroine named "Chastity" who becomes, instead of a strong female, the girlfriend of Verity as soon as she joins the cast. Most laughable of all, the opinion that witch trials were necessary! In a world where magic is real, I suppose he means, but still. It makes no sense. Alvin goes along with the witch trial because he is in favor of religious government. An acceptable opinion, given proper arguments, which are not provided...
That Alvin and friends would go the New England Colonies to study an ideal society and government makes me twitch with anger. There is a line in "Heartfire" that talks about children in Puritan Massachusetts, something about how there wasn't the sound of an unhappy child anywhere. At first I thought Card was making a joke about how strictly children were treated; parents could and did whip their kids for talking out of turn or not following the rule "seen and not heard." But Card was actually seriously claiming that Puritan children were so well loved and cared for that one never heard them crying...
... I would have liked to read an intelligent defense of Puritanism, but Card does not provide one. There is a Quaker character in the book, but Card doesn't mention what happened to Quakers in the Mass. Bay Colony.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
HEARTFIRE, the fifth book in Orson Scott Card's "Tales of Alvin Maker" series, is a travesty. Card has ruined this formerly interesting history of an alternate America and Mormon allegory. HEARTFIRE kills the series that came before it like CHILDREN OF THE MIND destroyed the Ender Quartet and EARTHBORN wiped out the Homecoming novels.
At the end of ALVIN JOURNEYMAN, Alvin and Peg Guester were wed and travelled to the home of the Weavers in Appalachee. The beginning of HEARTFIRE sees them departed on separate journeys, Peg has gone to the Crown Colonies to find a way to stop the oncoming war over slavery, while Alvin is wandering around the Northeast and eventually finds himself on trial (again) for witchcraft in Puritan-controlled New England.
There is so much wrong with this novel. The plot is sloppily resolved, and indeed it could be said that Peg's half of the story isn't resolved at all but simply abandoned. Card wraps up Alvin's trial in a mere two pages as if he has grown tired of writing this installment. Calvin's redemption seems like it never progressed past the draft stage. In order to hide his shabby plot and silly characterization, Card stoops to a prurient sex scene where Calvin forces himself on a resisting-but-willing dame like something out of a romance novel (of course, that's what the awful cover art makes the book look like).
Alvin Maker is now essentially omnipotent, communicating telepathically with Peg across huge distances and able to run the entire length of the East Coast in a single night (funny how Card constantly talks about how the greensong is too weak now, but has Alvin perform such deeds). This makes Alvin considerably less interesting as a protagonist, as there are no surprises or suspense.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) this series has been particularly intriguing to me. I know that others have stated that it is loosely based on the experiences of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I would like to point out some of those interesting parallels as close as I understand them.
First, many of the characters in the book are based on, or composite characters of important figures in Mormon History. Of course Alvin Smith is based on the Prophet Joseph Smith. (who was also curiously named after his father even though he was not the first born son). Measure is clearly based on Hyrum Smith who stood stalwartly by Joseph's side until their martyrdom. Verily Cooper seems to be a composite character of Oliver Cowdry (an early supporter of Joseph Smith who helped in the Translation of the Book of Mormon) and Brigham Young (the successor to Joseph Smith, I wouldn't be surprised if in later books, Verily leads the disciples out west) and probably a prominent lawyer of the time who helped defend Joseph Smith in his numerous trials (sorry can't remember the name). Even Mike Fink *I think* is based on Porter Rockwell, a rough-around-the-edges personal bodyguard of Joseph Smith.
More intriguing are the parallel events that happen in Card's books and the life of Joseph Smith and events in the Book of Mormon. Moroni was the last prophet of the Book of Mormon (around 400 A.D. somewhere on the American Continent). Moroni appeared in angelic form at the foot of Joseph's bed when he was a boy of abt. 14 years to inform him of the whereabouts of the Book of Mormon. This experience is almost exactly duplicated by the appearance of the Red Prophet at the foot of Alvins bed in the first book.
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