Like a lot of Card's recent series installments, this book drags without any real point. The characters are sort of drifting towards an eventual destination, but Heartfire is a mess, without most of the elements that normally distinguish Card's work.
The plot: Alvin goes on trial, again; Calvin gets in trouble, again; and everyone has long conversation about what interesting characters they are. Alvin decides that the Crystal City should have fair laws. Alvin's trial and Calvin's goofing around each turn out ok, and Alvin picks up some more disciples.
Back in the good old days, Orson Scott Card novels were full of original premises, difficult moral dilemmas, and were gripping the whole way through. Recently, _Pastwatch_ met all these criteria, and was well worth 5 stars. On the other hand, _Heartfire_ feels like it is just marking time until 1846, when Alvin will presumably lead his people West. At this rate, it looks like a long, boring wait.