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Heartfire: Tales of Alvin maker, book 5 Paperback – 5 Apr 2001

3.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (5 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841490326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841490328
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.3 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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 Description

Book Five of The Tales of Alvin Maker.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Seems like we (and Alvin) think that Alvin is headed round the bend - he's so busy trying to be 'good' and keep sane, he's heading nowhere.
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.... ****
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Format: Hardcover
I've followed Orson Scott Card's career from his first professional sale of science fiction. Reading his short work was aptly described as "playing pattycake with Baby Huey." If you seek out these early works, you can see a writer who worked his way through a brilliant apprenticeship to become a solid talent.
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.
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By A Customer on 2 Sept. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, he's done it again. Orson Scott Card blows off yet another series. As he's previously done to the Ender series and the 'Earth' novels, he turns in an utterly horrible novel in the middle of his series.
'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.
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Format: Hardcover
Card's not doing much exposition at this point: either you know what Alvin's about or you don't. Not much knackery going on either, compared to some of the other books in this series. Alvin brings Calvin back from the dead: nothing new there. Wonderful character development, as usual, both fictional and historical (John Adams, John C. Calhoun, John-James Audubon). Lots of loose ends, of course, given that this is a series. At this point I suspect Card hasn't any more of a clue as to the final form the Crystal City will take than Alvin does. I, for one, will enjoy the discovery process over the next few installments. A warning to those who are picking this up midstream: if American history is not your strong point, you might want to either look elsewhere or commit to a fair amount of catching up, 'cause at least 50% of the enjoyment of this series is already knowing what REALLY happened and comparing it to the "Alvin" version.
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By A Customer on 15 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Orson Scott Card to my mind is one of the most visionary writers of present time . His Alvin Maker/Smith series started off being further acknowledegement of this genius .However after the first three there is a little doubt cast over how visionary this series is becoming . The characters are vividly written with Alvin in particular being quite brilliant but this book meanders down the same clueless path the fourth installment took. Leaving us uncertain how his relationship with his brother Calvin will end nor how the crystal city will ever come to be . Card's work is excellent without doubt , perhaps he could give a bit more direction to his next book however , if there is one of course .
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