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Seventh Son [Audio Cassette]

Orson Scott Card
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1992 Tales of Alvin Maker
American Library Association “Best Books for Young Adults”

From the author of Ender’s Game, an unforgettable story about young Alvin Maker: the seventh son of a seventh son. Born into an alternative frontier America where life is hard and folk magic is real, Alvin is gifted with the power. He must learn to use his gift wisely. But dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

From the award-winning Ender's Game on, each of Card's last three novels has featured a secular saint, less a character than a catalyst to galvanize those around him into reexamining the thorny moral tangles in which they live. This first volume of the Tales of Alvin Maker introduces young Alvin Miller Jr., the seventh son of a seventh son, who lives on the frontier of an alternate early 19th century America, where folk magic such as faith healing and second sight really works. While Alvin embarks on his mythic struggle against the Unmaker of all things, he is watched over by a flesh and blood guardian angel; he is pursued by the rigid, zealous Reverend Thrower; and he is guided by the wandering Taleswapper, William Blake. This beguiling book recalls Robert Penn Warren in its robust but reflective blend of folktale, history, parable and personal testimony, pioneer narrative. The series promises to be (in Warren's phrase) a "story of deep delight."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA Set in the Northwest Territory in the late 18th Century, this is an American fantasy in the tradition of T. H. White's Sword in the Stone (Putnam, 1939). Mixing fantasy with philosophy and historical figures with imaginary ones, this first book in the ``Tales of Alvin Maker'' series succeeds on several levels. Alvin Miller, seventh son of a seventh son, is heir to great powers that he must learn to use and control. A rich cast of characters try either to help or destroy Alvin in his childhood. It is apparent that Alvin is the focus of gathering forces of good and evil preparing for battle. Readers will be left at the end of the book wondering what will happen to young Alvin in his coming apprenticeship. The sequel will be eagerly awaited. Mary Williams, Harris County Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific start to the series June 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reading the books in the Ender series above got me very interested in Orson Scott Card. In between Ender books, I decided to check out his acclaimed Alvin Maker series, especially when I found Seventh Son available for a bargain price to promote the release of the sixth book in the series, The Crystal City. Make a book cheap and I'll buy it.
I was expecting it to be well-written but I wasn't prepared for the level of detail that I would find. It takes place in a frontier land that feels similar to where I was raised in the southern United States, yet Card takes pains to portray the inhabitants respectfully. But in Card's world there are many differences: the largest being the level of magic present. Oh, sure, Southerners believe in folk remedies and the like, but not to the extent that the Millers believe in them.
The idea of a seventh son of a seventh son being special is not new, but it's never been taken to the lengths that Seventh Son takes it. The Alvin Maker series is about a very special little boy indeed. His presence confounds everyone from the miracle of his birth on. When a roof board--falling straight toward little Alvin's head--splits itself in two to avoid hitting him, things really start jumping. The idea of the "villain" of this book being the local reverend--and the mentor being a folk poet named William Blake--should give you an idea of where Card is coming from, even though he makes sure to paint the preacher in a bad light that is easily understandable to those who may take umbrage to such portraiture.
I found Seventh Son to be highly entertaining, although the ending is an obvious sequel opening. Card must have meant for this to be a series from the get-go. I admire his style and his abilities of characterization and I look forward to reading my next Orson Scott Card novel. (Astute readers will notice that this series is the source of the URL for Card's website.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here comes the maker April 10 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow, I picked up this book because I saw the latest book, The Crystal City, and figured why not pick up the first on and see how things go. I believe this was one of the best choices I have ever made. This is a relatively short novel but beware, once you finish the first one, you are going to search out the remaining volumes of the series.
The writing of Mr. Card is simply incredible. I have read a few of his books directed to writers and often his primary focus is on characterization. Now that I have delved into a novel and absorbed his use of his own tools, I say thank you.
This is an alternate history, which I normally avoid, but the slight elements of magic move it into the realm of fantasy where I feel much more comfortable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mormonism's Magical Roots Dec 13 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After buying Orson Scott Card's <Seventh Son> as a stocking stuffer for my son, I was surprised to discover that it was first published in 1987, the same year D. Michael Quinn's pathbreaking scholarly study, <Early Mormonism and the Magic World View>, appeared. Other reviewers have noted that many aspects of <Seventh Son> have analogs in the life of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism. I would have to agree. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and a student of early Mormonism), I can't help but feel that Card is here attempting to both understand and explain the cultural and religious landscape of early America that produced the spiritual visionary Joseph Smith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alvin Maker is a phenomenal series June 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Tales of Alvin Maker has definately escalated itself to my favorite book series. The reason this book gets four stars is it is boring compared to the others. Red Prophet was completely original and the best in the series. However, every saga needs it's begin, and Seventh Son had some very memorable characters like Taleswapper, Reverend Thrower, Armor-of-God Weaver and Lolla Wossiky. I highly recommend this series to anybody who a strong advocate of history and/or fantasy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Card's Enchantment Feb. 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Let me start by saying that I do not normally read "alternative history" novels. So my review cannot accurately compare Seventh Son against others in the genre. However, I can say that I heartily enjoyed this novel. I was a big fan of the Ender series and a friend bought me The Crystal Cave, thinking it was another Ender book. Well, before I could read the gift, I decided to go back and start the series at the beginning. For about 40 pages I was thinking that this was very slow and not anything like the Ender books. Then I started getting into the story and soaking in Card's excellent prose and character development. I began to appreciate Seventh Son, not in comparison to Ender, but on its own merit. The rest of the book flew by as I grew to know young Alvin more and more.
I like the way Card seems to capture the frontier life and presents us with characters of gray (not all good or all evil as with many fantasy novels). And although the characters, especially the younger ones, sometimes speak a little too "smartly," I do enjoy the way Card can turn a phrase or have a character speak a proverb that perfectly fits the situation. When talking about an inquisitive person, one character says "he would go into the mouth of hell just to find out why the Devil has such bad teeth." I loved that one.
What I most cherished about this book is the way that Card captures family. By this I mean, how he shows the mean and cruel things we do to other family members while still displaying that love is still at the root of it all. I wish there were more pages for development of the other family members (many of them blurred together) but with five more books to go in the series, Card has time.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!!!!
It's not like I have a jones for Old West/Magic novels (see my review for Mark Sumner's "Devil's Tower"), but I really enjoyed this book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by Kevin Mann
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the series
I first read this several years ago, but I recently got the new book and the series and thought I should re-read the others before starting it. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2004 by John Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative history/fantasy...worth reading!
Im a big fan of "alternative history" novels like "Guns of the South" etc...that is why I really got into the first two to three books of this series. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2003 by David Hellard
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice! Read it!
I loved Seventh Son. The characters are colorful and deep, none have only one dimension. The hero, Alvin Jr. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars And the Story is?
When I got done with this book I thought of it as a kind of preface perhaps, considering it just gives the background for the main characters - Alvin Miller Jr. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2003 by "num3n"
3.0 out of 5 stars Why a seperate volume? slow start, promises much
First off- the problems:
The book is written in a colloquial style (1800 USA) that, at first, is distracting and hard to read. Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2003 by D. H. Richards
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Destiny at his Watery Birth
Card's first book in the Alvin Maker trilogy lures and quickly hooks the reader into a realm of dark fantasy, set in frontier America. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2003 by Plume45
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy
I loved this book and have read the entire series. I wanted to write a review after seeing what someone said about this being based on the Book of Mormon. That's not true! Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2003 by N. Mordecai
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