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Prentice Alvin (The Tales of Alvin Maker) [Paperback]

Orson Scott Card
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jan 1991 The Tales of Alvin Maker
This is the third book about Alvin Maker. He has returned to the town of his birth and is now a blacksmith's apprentice. But he must also learn the arts of a Maker and he hopes that Peggy can help him. But Peggy can forsee only misery, and so Alvin is forced to hide the powers stirring inside him.

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Prentice Alvin (The Tales of Alvin Maker) + Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (3 Jan 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099612100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099612100
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 3 x 11 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,242,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the multi-award winning and bestselling author of a number of ground-breaking adult SFF novels. Ender's Game is his first YA cross-over novel in the UK.

Product Description


"A tribute to the art of storytelling. . . highly recommended."-"Library Journal""Card has uncovered a rich vein of folklore and magic here, to which his assured handling of old time religion and manifest love of children is admirably suited: an appealing and intriguing effort."-"Kirkus Reviews""A beguiling book. . . robust but reflective blend of folktale, history, parable and personal testimony, pioneer narrative. The series promises to be a story of deep delight."--"Publishers Weekly" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The third book in the acclaimed Tales of Alvin Maker series, by one of the world's best-loved SF/fantasy authors. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Always been a huge fan of OSC. Hugely enjoyed this one and the preceding ones in the Alvin series. After that it dropped off fast for me - got a bit too meandering
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best alternative history books 11 Jun 2001
A wonderful story! Does not let down after the first two parts. A worthy predecessor of Harry Potter saga - I mean, it's completely different environment etc, but the same feel of a kind magic, which makes parents to buy it "for children" - and then sneaking after bedtime to kid's room - to read it by themselves!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The quality of this series, initially excellent, begins to decline 19 Aug 2002
By Christopher Culver - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
PRENTICE ALVIN is the third volume of "The Tales of Alvin Maker", Orson Scott Card's alternate history of an America which looks quite different from our own and in which fol magic is real. After his travels with Ta-Kumsaw in RED PROPHET, the young protagonist finally reaches his birthplace Hatrack River, where he is to become an apprentice smith.

As with RED PROPHET, the first 40 or so pages introduces the reader to faraway events that nonetheless are to have great effects on Alvin's life. Having shown the turmoil of the Native Americans under the westward migration of White settlers, Card now turns to America's other suffering people, the Black slaves in the Crown Colonies and Appalachee, and a slave owner who receives terrible instructions from Alvin's archenemy, the Unmaker. Alvin may have caught a glimpse of his destiny as a Maker from Tenskwa-Tawa in RED PROPHET, but in PRENTICE ALVIN he comes to learn exactly how to harness his knack and how he will eventually build the Crystal City.

While I enjoy this series, I found PRENTICE ALVIN to be a low point. Alvin arrives in Hatrack River seeming like a normal 11 year-old boy, but you'd think his year-long adventure with Ta-Kumsaw in RED PROPHET, who took him from Lake Superior to Florida and everywhere in between, would have made more of a mark. And while the novel can be read speedily, it still seems too long and full of awkward meditations. The violent ending and unveiling of Peggy also seems unbelievable.

Nonetheless, these form no reason for me to not recommend The Tales of Alvin Maker, I find this an immensely entertaining series and PRENTICE ALVIN has its place.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The series continues with solid levels of quality 11 Jan 2004
By Jonathan Burgoine - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Alvin has begun his "prenticeship" and though he comes to Hattrack river mostly to speak to the girl, Peggy, who, as a torch, had the ability to show him his futures and is likely the only person who can help him figure out how to be a real Maker, she flees before he even arrives.

This is a split story for most of the duration, flickering from Alvin on one side, to Peggy on the other, and converging near the end. Alvin's apprenticeship is very interesting, but it is Peggy's story I'm really starting to enjoy more. Peggy is a torch - someone with the knack to see futures in the heartfires of folk, and her own future is intertwined with Alvin's. But when she sees that her own future is a loveless one if she waits for Alvin to arrive, she does the unthinkable - she runs away, to find a way to at least have love for Alvin, if not love from him. Her determination to thwart her own gifts of futuresight is a joy to read, and her strength of character - somewhat rare for female characters in a lot of fantasy works - is a nice change. Very enjoyable.

So is where the tale ends, with a bit more magic than usual, and a set-up for the next story that I'm glad I didn't have to wait years for - like all the other folk who've been reading this series since book one.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whole Alvin Maker series comprises Card's best work 3 May 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
These books are some of Card's best work. In my opinion they are better books than his more famous Ender series. They do for North America what The Lord of the Rings did for England - they create a new mythology for a geographical area (although in this case the mythology is also an alternate history). Card weaves an invented fantasy universe with American folklore of all kinds, from native tribal religion to European and American folk superstition and sorcery. Alvin, a young immigrant, is born under a host of omens and signs. He is the seventh son of a seventh son, and becomes intertwined with the destiny of the American frontier. He finds that he is the most important figure in the battle against that which he calls the Unmaker. Throughout the course of the book he attempts to quell the tide of entropy by "making" things. He unites people of many races, and tries to bind humanity together as he becomes increasingly aware of the spirit around him that ties everything - the land, the people, and the unfolding of history - together
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best American fiction in print 8 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Card can hold his own with America's best fiction writers, and this series proves it. A reader below compares the Alvin Maker series to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. That's a good starting point, but Card's work is much more humane, and relies much more on human interaction as opposed to magic or fantasy.
Underneath all of Card's works is a complex philosophy of individualism, self-determination, and humanism You see it in his creations of Jane in Ender's Game, Peggy here in the Maker series, and Patience in Wyrms. This is, at its core, a philosophy that captures the essence of the American world-view. It's also one that I and many others share, and it's a pleasure to see these themes gently woven into the fabric of all his stories. Card, you are the best. Keep going!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy continuation to the series 16 April 2002
By Jerry Ball (Dexter Circle) - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This third book to the "Maker" series gets back on track with the tale of Alvin Miller/Smith/Maker. New characters, such as Calvin Planter and Arthur Stuart, are introduced and utilized to good effect, unlike some characters introduced later in the series (such as the annoying Balzac in "Alvin Journeyman"). Each chapter contains an interesting development, and the book has several nice twists.

The only note of caution I have is for the series in general. Card has a way of turning his protagonists into supermen. Think, for example, of Lanik Mueller in "Treason," Bean in "Ender's Shadow" or Jane in "Children of the Mind." I don't know whether this is a way for him to wriggle out of plot problems or whether it's his own predilections. Regardless, he begins to do it here as well, and it becomes more pronounced in "Alvin Journeyman" and "Heartfire." That detracts from both the humanity and the believability of the story.
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