Heartfire: Tales of Alvin maker, book 5 Paperback – 5 Apr 2001
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The most important work of American fantasy since Stephen Donaldson's original Thomas Covenant trilogy. (CHICAGO SUNTIMES)
History, legend, magic, dreams: Card stirs them into a rich brew with a remarkably authentic flavour (LOCUS)
Book Five of The Tales of Alvin Maker.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
We keep losing the thread of why he's wandering and have to be reminded occasionally of his aim.
OK, there were some nice touches in there, Audobon & Balzac especially, but I thought the trial was a bit too glib - I reckon that the pro-slavery contingent would have just taken over and had a hanging there & then in real life.
But, if Alvin really is the second coming - I guess that makes it all OK.
Enough of picky - the book is a good, flowing read, as most of the Alvin series are - Card is a master story-teller, dragging you into the soul of his characters, willing you to keep reading.... ****
Card's Alvin Maker series is ambitious, there's no denying that. The first books in the series laid out nothing less than a coming-of-the-Messiah story set in an altenate North America where magic works and the Revolution didn't. Any writer who could bring that off deserved respect and Card had mine.
Until lately, that is.
In the terminology of the Alvin Maker universe, Card seems to have banked his heartfire, the spark of divinity that defines our talents and course in life. Where Seventh Son turned a pioneer family's struggle to find a new home into an epic tale, Heartfire lets an archetypical struggle between good and evil slide into being! ! a mere spat between bratty siblings.
Oddly enough, the book generated the most emotion in me in a way that I doubt Card intended - his description of the Puritan New England colonies. What was most chilling wasn't so much the description of the overbearing theocracy so much as the implicit assumption that such a theocracy would be admirable if only it didn't get 'out of hand.' It's one thing to describe psychic abilities in terms of theology when the characters are obviously steeped in their mythos, but when a Big Brother State is put up as something of a 'near-miss', well, thanks, but no thanks.Read more ›
'Heartfire' has none of the charm of the first books in the series. The main plot lines consist of slaves voluntarily trapping their 'spirits' (for lack of a better term), and Alvin's quest to help a girl with special powers.
As if that's not enough Card does nothing to advance his 'Crystal City' storyline. He saddles the reader with incredibly annoying characters..Mike Fink (I believe his name is) who swears and serves no purpose I can fathom..the frenchman-philosopher (whose name I can't recall)..ditto Fink..and Arthur Stuart, who becomes more and more annoying with each passing page. If I were Alvin I'd leave the annoying child behind.
If Card weren't so good at creating interesting fiction I'd stop reading him in a heartbeat. I don't know whether he gets bored with his series, or there are no new stories to tell, but just as with books 3&4 in the Ender series (awful), and books 4&5 (especially 5) in the Earthfall series, Card apparently quits on another series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great read in the Alvin series - can recommend to anyone wanting a well written and engrossing tale !Published on 18 Jan. 2014 by Brigadier99
ORSON SCOTT CARD IS A VERY GOOD WRITER AND I ENJOY EVERY BOOK HE PUTS OUT. ESPECIALLY THIS SERIES. HOWEVER IN THIS LATEST BOOK THE SUBJECT IS VERY GOOD AND WRITTEN WITH THE SAME... Read morePublished on 3 Sept. 1999
Wow, that went downhill quick. Alvin is no longer a vaguely interesting character in a well-drawn world, but a blatant Christ figure with nothing at all for the reader to relate... Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 1999
In this book, we see how Alvin gains followers. We are also shown parts of Alvin's world which we haven't been introduced to previously. Read morePublished on 24 Aug. 1999
GREAT! (that is) The whole serie of Alvin Maker is wonderfull, this might be one of the lesser good books in the serie, but it still totally wonderfull!Published on 30 July 1999
I love Card's style, and this series is excellent in most ways, but it does worry me that it is starting to turn into more and more of an alternative history of Mormonism. Read morePublished on 20 July 1999
This latest in the Alvin Maker series is, like all of Card's writing, entertaining, thoughtful and contains elegant prose. Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 1999
The Alvin Maker series is one of the few series I will rush out to buy in hardback. I have just been fascinated with the first four books. Read morePublished on 30 Aug. 1998