Customer Reviews for

The Lost Gate (Mither Mages Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Entertaining!

Danny North is a young man, growing up as an outsider in a powerful and mysterious magical family. His family isolates themselves in the mountains of western Virginia, practicing magic and teaching it to their children, but Danny is scorned for his lack of magical talen...
Danny North is a young man, growing up as an outsider in a powerful and mysterious magical family. His family isolates themselves in the mountains of western Virginia, practicing magic and teaching it to their children, but Danny is scorned for his lack of magical talents. As he get older he becomes more aware of the secrets and tensions wrapped up in his birth and the old legends of Loki. Loki long ago closed all the gates between Earth and the gods, trapping Danny's family on Earth. Soon, Danny must leave his family in order to discover his own power and challenge the ancient, evil gatekeeper.

This is the first book by Orson Scott Card that I have read, so I can't compare it to his others, but I will be reading more! The stories of Danny and Loki are expertly woven together, the characters are fascinating and widely varied, and there is a lot of fast-paced action with some thought provoking morality thrown in. I don't often dip my toes into the fantasy genre, but it made for a very nice change. I was thoroughly entertained by The Lost Gate and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

I listened to the audio version of Lost Gate, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Stefan Rudnicki. Having different readers to distinguish between the two different story threads was very helpful for keeping everything straight. Emily Janice Card reads with a fresh, young voice that makes a startling and interesting contrast to Stefan Rudnicki's deep, resonant voice.

posted by Frisbeesage on July 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Not One of Card's Better Efforts

Having read some of Card's excellent fantasy works (Enchantment, Treasure Box, Magic Street) I was very disappointed with this attempt to make a fantasy based on the Norse legends. The Norse gods have been trapped on Earth for centuries because the mischevious Loki had ...
Having read some of Card's excellent fantasy works (Enchantment, Treasure Box, Magic Street) I was very disappointed with this attempt to make a fantasy based on the Norse legends. The Norse gods have been trapped on Earth for centuries because the mischevious Loki had closed all the gates to return to the homeland. As a result, they are no longer immortal and can be killed. They settle in the countryside in the US where they live totally isolated from their modern neighbors.

Through the centuries they were at war with other god clans who fear that the Norse clan will have born a new gatemage, that is, one that create gates and possibly open the gate to the Norse homeland. Once there they will become powerful again and able to wipe out the other god clans.

Most of the people develop limited powers at an early age such as being able to project their astral selves as clants. Danny is the son of Thor and thought to hold great promise. He is smarter than all the other kids but for some reason he appears to have no powers.

Danny is always careful because the others would think nothing of killing him because he is a disappointment. Danny soon learns that he is in fact a gatemange and that really puts his life at risk. Since the other clans do not want anyone that could lead them home, they would want Danny dead. His own people would definately want him dead too. Danny's father actually knows Danny's secret and tells Danny that he needs to leave as he develops and learns to better control his power.

If the book sounds interesting, it is not. There are too many characters and the book jumps around to various places where the gods live. Danny's character bears a lot of similarities to several of Card's other characters (the main character in the Homebody series and in his book A Place Called Treason). Where the other characters were interesting, Danny is rather boring. As a matter of fact, most of the characters in the story are boring. I found myself slogging through the pages trying to get to the end. If Card is planning a sequel, I will not be getting it anytime soon.

posted by Kataman1 on December 20, 2010

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Entertaining!

    Danny North is a young man, growing up as an outsider in a powerful and mysterious magical family. His family isolates themselves in the mountains of western Virginia, practicing magic and teaching it to their children, but Danny is scorned for his lack of magical talents. As he get older he becomes more aware of the secrets and tensions wrapped up in his birth and the old legends of Loki. Loki long ago closed all the gates between Earth and the gods, trapping Danny's family on Earth. Soon, Danny must leave his family in order to discover his own power and challenge the ancient, evil gatekeeper.

    This is the first book by Orson Scott Card that I have read, so I can't compare it to his others, but I will be reading more! The stories of Danny and Loki are expertly woven together, the characters are fascinating and widely varied, and there is a lot of fast-paced action with some thought provoking morality thrown in. I don't often dip my toes into the fantasy genre, but it made for a very nice change. I was thoroughly entertained by The Lost Gate and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

    I listened to the audio version of Lost Gate, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Stefan Rudnicki. Having different readers to distinguish between the two different story threads was very helpful for keeping everything straight. Emily Janice Card reads with a fresh, young voice that makes a startling and interesting contrast to Stefan Rudnicki's deep, resonant voice.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not One of Card's Better Efforts

    Having read some of Card's excellent fantasy works (Enchantment, Treasure Box, Magic Street) I was very disappointed with this attempt to make a fantasy based on the Norse legends. The Norse gods have been trapped on Earth for centuries because the mischevious Loki had closed all the gates to return to the homeland. As a result, they are no longer immortal and can be killed. They settle in the countryside in the US where they live totally isolated from their modern neighbors.

    Through the centuries they were at war with other god clans who fear that the Norse clan will have born a new gatemage, that is, one that create gates and possibly open the gate to the Norse homeland. Once there they will become powerful again and able to wipe out the other god clans.

    Most of the people develop limited powers at an early age such as being able to project their astral selves as clants. Danny is the son of Thor and thought to hold great promise. He is smarter than all the other kids but for some reason he appears to have no powers.

    Danny is always careful because the others would think nothing of killing him because he is a disappointment. Danny soon learns that he is in fact a gatemange and that really puts his life at risk. Since the other clans do not want anyone that could lead them home, they would want Danny dead. His own people would definately want him dead too. Danny's father actually knows Danny's secret and tells Danny that he needs to leave as he develops and learns to better control his power.

    If the book sounds interesting, it is not. There are too many characters and the book jumps around to various places where the gods live. Danny's character bears a lot of similarities to several of Card's other characters (the main character in the Homebody series and in his book A Place Called Treason). Where the other characters were interesting, Danny is rather boring. As a matter of fact, most of the characters in the story are boring. I found myself slogging through the pages trying to get to the end. If Card is planning a sequel, I will not be getting it anytime soon.

    8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    don't even bother

    This book was infuriating...it started out interesting (good enough for me to buy it based on the sample I read), then got VERY slow, then sped up at the end. Contains very uneven pacing and too much detail on things that didn't matter (such as Danny's high school experiences). Not worth the money I paid for it. When I read the author's notes on how he wrote whole chapters in a single day or while on a plane, it made sense. My 9 year old could do a better job.

    7 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Of Gates, Gods & Magic

    OSC's latest creation, The Lost Gate gives us a compelling, rich story with the start of his new series The Mithermages. A delightful mix of urban and traditional fantasy, coming of age tale and a delicious twisted history of the ancient mythic gods.

    In Card's spin, these gods were once in fact profoundly powerful beings from another planet, with super-cool propensities for magic running through their blood. Beings who are still around, just a little quieter with gene pools that by this time are a little mixed and watered down. Which means it's very possible that you or I or my next door neighbor could have some very cool alien god powers that someone in the family forgot to mention. Ok, probably not my next door neighbor, he's a little... well un-godlike, but you get the idea.

    But, I digress... because this book is really about Danny, a member of the North family. Most of us know them as the Norse gods: Thor, Odin, Loki, that lot. But, who knew those North's were so interesting? I mean, fascinating in a historical, anthropological, even dramatic sort of way, sure. But Card takes us inside this once mighty clan as really, only he could have imagined. Stripped of most of their power, shunned and despised by other Westilian families, the old gods have become desperate and dangerous. Hiding out, living like barefoot simpletons in the backwoods of Virginia, the North's are willing to kill their own children if they show any potential of possessing a forbidden magic: the magic of gatemagery, which Loki misused so many centuries ago.

    We follow young Danny North, a child seemingly born with no magic whatsoever, as he is exploring his place in the world. When he discovers that he is in fact a notorious Gate Mage, he must flee the wrath and fears of his blood-thirsty family and try to learn how to master a long forbidden and secret form of magic on his own to stand any chance survival. The glimpses we get into the mind of a teen boy, are once more, just brilliant. Card doesn't hold back, giving us the awkwardness, the sense of humour, the fear, the hope, the confusion of a child with hormones starting to rage, and a whole hell of a lot on his shoulders with wit, grace and (all-though I never was I pre-teen boy, so I can't quite confirm this) what I imagine to be pretty damn near perfect honesty.

    From page one, there is almost an instant kinship with the boy, that never really lets up. We watch him stumble and make mistakes with a power that literally no one on earth is qualified to help him understand, and we desperately want to see him succeed. There are times when all that stumbling a bit much, and I was ready to get back to the heart of the story, but I came to realize that it was necessary to show Danny's character and how much of a lost little boy he really is. I also have to add that there are a few scenes in this book that are a touch graphic. It's marketed as adult fiction, but I can see it going over well with a young adult audience. Although Danny starts out quite young, it's definitely not middle grade or even tween fare.

    {Review Copy Courtesy of Publisher}

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2011

    Awesome, a must read

    Orson Scott Card does it again. He grabs yours attention and doesn't let go until the book is finished. As usual he leaves you eagerly awaiting the next installment.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Another great osc book

    I enjoyed this book tremendously. I didnt find any part slow like soe other reviewers.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Amazing!

    I had never read anything by this author and I was in love with this book the moment i started to read it. I devoured it and didn't sleep until i was done. I would love more from this world. I'm fascinated with his Loki and the rest of the world pantheon. I eagerly and hopefully await more.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    Amazing

    A truly great book I personally loved it and would recomend it to any teen reader

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    A fun read!

    I thought that this was a fun and fairly interesting take on the typical hero story. Almost none of the key ideas were strictly original,but Card does a good job fleshing out the characters, weaving an engaging plot, and building a mythology. Well worth the money as far as entertainment value goes, and I am looking forward to a sequel.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    Highly Recommended! must read!!

    This was my first experience with Card. I absolutely loved it. Very interesting take on the mythology/religion of the world. Page turner that I was unable to put down. Anxiously awaiting part 2.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Buyer Beware

    As a fan I hate to dislike this book so much. Not his best, not even one of his not so best. Download a sample first, if I had I could've saved money.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    not his best but good none the less

    Orson Scott Card is starting to get lost in the whirlpool of his mind. this book is more about philosophy then about his characters, but despite his best efforts, characters still shine through the gloom

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    The ideas presented in this book are amazing, and I would love t

    The ideas presented in this book are amazing, and I would love to see them developed further.  I really enjoyed when the main character, Danny, was helping the other kids at school with their problems.  How amazing it would be to be able to change a major challenge in another person's life without them even knowing it was you!  I actually enjoyed the mythological references, and it was neat to imagine being a "mage" of any kind.

    All that said, I despised the crudeness and unnecessary language and sexual references in this book.  What was even the point with the Lana character?  At the end of it all, she divorces Ced, and is heard from no more.  The entire purpose of the character was...  what?   Reviewers of the second book have said it gets even worse, so I will not bother.  The meaningful and amazing story lines that this author is capable of are simply not worth enduring the crudity and mental soft teen porn.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    I became interested in reading more Card after reading Ender's G

    I became interested in reading more Card after reading Ender's Game so I tried this one. The beginning of the book is too disconnected for my taste - I almost thought I was reading two different stories. There is also what I believe to be a low part in the story involving the library bathroom (where were the editors?) and I was really tempted to stop reading the rest of the book. Having said all that I'm glad I stuck with it as story lines got better and came together nicely at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2013

    Good read, but expect the usual flaws

    I think Orson Scott Card is like the George Lucas of authors. He's a fantastic "idea man" who can build wonderful worlds with compelling story lines... but he's incapable of writing believable human relationships. "The Lost Gate" features an Orson Scott Card staple -- a genius youngster with a gift for snappy banter. To Card's credit, he actually managed to have characters in this book with average, or below, intelligence as well, though they seem borderline cartoonish. I couldn't stand any one of Danny North's friends, and often found myself wondering why or how Danny was even friends with them in the first place. The easy answer is "they were friends because Card said they were in his text." But he never bothered to actually lay any groundwork in this regard. One moment they're strangers; the next they all say they care for each other and are carrying on like life-long chums. Much like Ender's Game and all related books, Card also manages to wiggle out from under having to portray a believable dynamic by creating an estranged relationship between Danny and his family. If you ever read Ender's Game, think back to Ender's relationship with his sister Valentine (supposedly the most important person in his life). Did their conversations ever give the vibe that they were particularly "close"? Nope. You could say that most of the times we saw them interact came after Ender was "damaged goods" and lost the ability to trust. That's fine -- except that seemingly sums up every single Card protagonist ever.

    The funny thing is though...despite all my griping, I did actually enjoy this book. I even went on to read the sequel, and am awaiting the final installment. The concept that drives the book (families of ancient gods still exist -- though in a weakened state -- and Danny holds the key for all these warring factions to regain their former power) is good enough to overcome Card's inability to make me feel anything of substance for his characters. Though perhaps that's because I knew to expect that going in...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Well written novel.

    OSC delivers again! I was very impressed by his characters - I'm always pulled into a novel when they think intelligently and even logically towards the situation they find themselves in. Excellent story - I'm looking forward to the series' future development.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Card at his best!

    Other posts have dealt with the plot, so I'll stick to style. Here I believe Card is writing at his best. His masterful characterization along with an ability to maintain tension and advance the plot is really excellent. There are actually two stories unfolding simultaneously, one on earth, and another on a different planet. Both are engaging and suspenseful. Although the plot is connected to ancient "Gods" and their descendants, Card makes this connection in a very beliveable way, one that does not require the reader to be familiar with any of the old gods and their legends. As usual, he allows the reader to get into the heads of interesting characters. Imagine what it would be like to be a descendant of ancient gods, with secrets and powers, how you would use or abuse those powers, how you would assess threats and opportunities, how you would value others and so on. Card delivers it all with a very easy to read prose and engaging pace. Can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

    Don't Miss This One!

    If you are looking for something other than the same recycled fantasy, you have found it. Orson Scott Card introduces us to a universe ripe with characters, events, and magic that does not just follow in the footsteps of others. If you have read all about Ender you know Card can be trusted, if not, this is a great place to get to know one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    This is a rather bad money twister of a book

    There is a total of 5 settings in this book, and a diffrent sub plot every settings. While their are many characters none of them stay long enough for them to make a impact. This book feels like a 13 year old middle schooler. Which i know for a fact since in middle school our class had to write books for a project. This a pitiful attempt to squeze money out of his fana.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another good read!

    Orson Scott Card is a legend for a reason, as he's a master at his craft! The man is a freaking genius when it comes to creating new worlds and stories! I got sucked into this book from the very beginning, and it kept my interest until the very end. There are actually two stories in this book, one about Danny North and one about Wad, a mysterious boy/man on Westil.

    Danny is a Drekka, one without magic, so he is looked down upon by the rest of his clan. The North clan were once worshipped as gods by humans, as they were very powerful mages. Their power has waned over the centuries, ever since Loki closed all of the gates leading back to their homeland of Westil. Little does Danny know, but he is a gatemage, with the potential to reopen the lost gates and return his clan to power! Of course, why he would want to help those that made him so miserable as a child is anyones guess. Danny runs away when he is discovered spying on a family meeting, as gatemages are supposed to be put to death immediately. He is surprisingly resourceful for a formerly sheltered child.

    Wad is another story altogether. Really liked his "introduction" to Westil, as it was unique. He has no memory of his past, and is taken in by the night cook at King Prayard's castle and quickly settles in. Very little castle intrigue escapes his notice, as he quietly observes everything around him. We don't really know who or what Wad is, but I had a good idea about halfway through his story.

    Gave this one a 4/5 as both Danny and Wad's stories are very good, and they mesh nicely. Card is an incredibly talented writer, with an incredible imagination! This book has it all; interesting characters, good plot, nice pacing. If you're a fan of fantasy, mythology, or just good storytelling, then this book is for you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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