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Stonefather Audio Download – Unabridged

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 3 hours and 10 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Release Date: 31 Oct. 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ7EGW

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My first story by Orson Scott Card. Well I couldn't have asked for a more engrossing and well-constructed example of his work than this 112-page novella-length precursor to his new forthcoming multivolume fantasy saga the Mithermages series. I enjoyed `Stonefather' immensely and finished it in one sitting, as I expect all those in a similar position with no expectations of his style to do so also.

Having written an acclaimed guide on how to write fantasy, at the very least I expected Card to know a thing or two about fantasy, but admittedly, I was also preparing myself for something that could possibly be described as formulaic. This is exactly what I did find, but when the formula is this perfect I have no reason whatsoever to complain. The magical framework Card has created is both unique and fraught with complication, especially for our protagonist Runnel who finds himself hugely gifted in one particular branch of it. Unfortunately for him, the specialty of magic he unwittingly discovers he has a talent for is currently punishable by death should he or those closest to him be caught using it.

My only regret is that with such a modest page count, a great deal of characterization has been sacrificed. Rather than wishing for events in the lives of the main characters to advance, which is what I usually find myself doing while reading a fantasy novel, with `Stonefather' I was longing instead for characters and events to be fleshed out more, for something a little less one-dimensional. This is especially evident in the last twenty pages where events advance and culminate so rapidly the reader barely has time to appreciate Card's advancement of Runnel's skills and how quickly he alters the balance of power in the magical hierarchy of his world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x928f866c) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92896204) out of 5 stars Definitely interested in the series (3.5 stars) 28 Nov. 2008
By R. Kyle - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Stonefather" is our introduction to Orson Scott's new series, the Mithermages. It's the story of Runnel, an abused child from parents who'd just as soon forgot he existed in a village that's a few steps below third world even for a fantasy.

Runnel runs away from his village and discovers there's a whole new world out there. That includes friends, which is definitely a different concept for him. When he signs up as a servant in a stone mage's house, he quickly learns he's got some abilities of his own.

The short's rich in details of the world, but the story vehicle is one we've heard before time and again. "Stonefather" is still a hopeful tale that opens our eyes to a new world that I'm very much looking forward to exploring.

Rebecca Kyle, November 2008
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92896258) out of 5 stars Quintessential Card 6 Feb. 2009
By J. Brian Watkins - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Orson Scott Card hooked me with a neat little story in Omni magazine many years ago called "Fat Farm"--in fact, his short story collection Maps in a Mirror is among my favorite books. I had felt that his interests in writing fiction were waning as he pursued other artistic and commercial goals but was wonderfully surprised to discover this story, which is reminiscent of "A Planet Called Treason" and harks back to Mr. Card's powerful early work. Though ostensibly a fantasy, I suspect that the world of the Mithermages and the conflicts of its inhabitants will bear more than a passing familiarity with current world events.

Mr. Card is at his best when discussing Powers--he often utilizes creation themes and his characters, like all of us, have gifts waiting to be discovered. There are echoes of Jason Worthing lurking in this story of a young man who discovers that his life offers much more adventure than he had any reason to suspect. A young man from a hick town who comes to a realization of his pivotal position and stature, no doubt to play a major role in the promised series. With Power comes Choice and nothing is more evident in Mr. Card's writing than his care to portray the struggle to do good and to make wise choices.

There is joy and meaning in this story as well as evident mastery in the telling of it. I look forward to the remainder of the series with great interest and am grateful to have found this volume before it sold out. It is a must own for any fan of Mr. Card's work.

Highly Recommended
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92896534) out of 5 stars Great Start to a New Series, Only Wish It Was Longer 23 Feb. 2009
By James Rada, Jr. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
You can read the summary of the story in other reviews. This is just some of my impressions about the novella.

I've heard this was the start to a new series, which couldn't make me happier. I enjoyed Stonefather a lot more than some of Card's other novellas of late.

The story set up the magic system in this new fantasy world and had a typical Card hero (a young boy coming into his power and learning more about it).

Because it was a novella, I finished it in a day. So take a Saturday and sit down with this book. You won't be disappointed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92896a5c) out of 5 stars Stonefather, Storymage 23 Oct. 2009
By Lawrence Basgall - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Orson Scott Card has done it again. He has touched upon the dreams and desires of the lowliest in a desparate world. In Stonefather his storytelling is as fine as anything he has written. This tale of Runnel, a farmboy from the hills, who wanders onto an adventure and finds in himself the wherewithal to start a new life, takes on some of the same feeling as the early Alvinmaker Series and yet seems simpler in the telling. Mr. Card has created a new world that is more in the line with Middle Earth, minus fantastical creatures, than his other futurist or historical settings. Though a quick read, this little book is signature for Card in that it plucks the heartstrings that uplifts the reader. The world Mr. Card has created in Stonefather will appeal to readers who are inclined to read Fantasy and yet will not disappoint his fans.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92896a74) out of 5 stars Pleasant coming-of-age story 26 Jun. 2012
By Kat Hooper - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Runnel isn't appreciated by his family or his little village. His father abuses him, his siblings taunt him, and even his mother doesn't seem overly fond. So one day he walks to the edge of his village and just keeps going. He's never been outside of his village before, so everything is new. Eventually he comes to a city whose walls and bridges are crumbling. He's told that this is the city of the water mages, the magicians who cast out the stone mages that built the beautiful city. After the mage war, the victorious water mages will only allow one stone mage in the town. He lives in a grand house and is treated with respect, but he is spied upon and mistrusted because if he ever brings his colleagues back into the city, the water mages fear that they'll lose their ruling positions.

After meeting a friendly girl at the city's well, Runnel follows her home and finds employment in the home of the stone mage. There he learns about the history and politics of this strange city, and he learns a lot about himself, too. It seems that Runnel may have an affinity for stone.

Stonefather is a novella that introduces Orson Scott Card's MITHER MAGES series, which is aimed at young adults. As I've come to expect from Card, this story is beautifully written and contains deep and likable characters, a well-developed world with interesting magic, and an intriguing setting. This is a simpler, lighter and more relaxed read, though, than Card's ENDER series, which was full of drama, tension and, best of all, lots of ideas. Stonefather doesn't reach that level -- it's mostly a pleasant coming-of-age story -- but it did occur to me that the mage war may be an allegory for the Christian and Muslim conflict in Jerusalem. I have no idea if this is Orson Scott Card's intention, though.

As far as YA fiction goes, this is a good choice for a reader looking for a lovely low-stress read. In many ways it's similar to the YA fantasy of Ursula K. Le Guin and Shannon Hale. I think Stonefather bodes well for the MITHER MAGES series and I will likely give the first novel, The Lost Gate, a try.

Stonefather has been published by Subterranean Press. The cover art, by Tom Kidd (one of my favorites) is stunning. I read the book in audio format (published by Blackstone Audio). It's narrated by Janice Card, Orson Scott Card's daughter. She does a terrific job with Stonefather. The gorgeous cover art is viewable when you download the audio version with an Audible app.

Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
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