The Lost Gate (Mither Mages Series #1)

The Lost Gate (Mither Mages Series #1)

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by Orson Scott Card

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Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them.  While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form


Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them.  While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.

He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins, and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father.  Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.

There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow.   There is a secret library  with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English — but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books.  While Danny’s cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see.

Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny  as well.  And that will lead to disaster for the North family.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

Sara Sklaroff
…entertaining…seems neatly set up for its sequel.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher

“This ambitious tale is well crafted, highly detailed, and pleasantly accessible.” —Publishers Weekly

“The author of Ender's Game brings his masterful storytelling to a new series that should find favor among his many fans as well as readers looking for more stories in the Harry Potter vein.” —Library Journal

The Lost Gate is without question a fun and entertaining journey that readers will definitely want to continue. I for one, can't wait to read more about Danny, Wad, gate magic, and the Mither Mages...” —Fantasy Book Critic

“Card is a formidable storyteller with many strengths, particularly that of making the reader like and identify with his protagonists. He shows us that whether a boy is the offspring of ancient gods or some nascent military genius, he's still subject to the same self-doubt and awkwardness we remember from our own childhood efforts to understand and cope with a sometimes alien-seeming world.” —The Miami Herald

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Tom Doherty Associates
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Mither Mages Series , #1
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The Lost Gate

A Novel of the Mither Mages

By Orson Scott Card

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2010 Orson Scott Card
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-9341-8



Danny North grew up surrounded by fairies, ghosts, talking animals, living stones, walking trees, and gods who called up wind and brought down rain, made fire from air and drew iron out of the depths of the earth as easily as ordinary people might draw up water from a well.

The North family lived on a compound in a sheltered valley in western Virginia, and most of them never went to town, for it was a matter of some shame that gods should now be forced to buy supplies and sell crops just like common people. The Family had spliced and intertwined so often over the centuries that almost all adults except one's own parents were called Aunt and Uncle, and all the children were lumped together as "the cousins."

To the dozens and dozens of North cousins, "town" was a distant thing, like "ocean" and "space" and "government." What did they care about such things, except that during school hours, Auntie Tweng or Auntie Uck would rap them on the head with a thimbled finger if they didn't come up with the right answers?

School was something the children endured in the mornings, so they could spend the afternoons learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family.

It was their heritage, but not every child inherited. Great-uncle Zog was notorious for muttering, "The blood's too thin, the blood's too thin," because it was his considered opinion that the Norths had grown weak in the thirteen and a half centuries since the Evil One closed the gates. "Why else do we have so many weaklings who can't send their outself more than a hundred yards?" he said once. "Why else do we have so few children who can raise a clant out of anything sturdier than pollen and dust, or heartbind with one of their clan? Why do we have these miserable drekkas like Danny in every generation? Putting them in Hammernip Hill hasn't made us stronger. Nothing makes us stronger."

Danny heard this when he was eleven, when it wasn't a sure thing yet that he was a drekka. Plenty of children didn't show any talent till they were in their teens. Or so Mama said, reassuring him; but from Great-uncle Zog's words Danny began to doubt her. How could it be "plenty" of children who showed no talent when Danny was now the only child in the Family over the age of nine who couldn't even figure out whether he had an outself, let alone send it out to explore. When the other kids used their outselves to spy on Danny's school papers and copy them, he couldn't even detect that they were there, let alone stop them.

"Drive them away, can't you?" demanded Aunt Lummy. "You're the only decent student in this school, but they're all getting the same marks as you because you let them cheat!"

"I know how they're doing it," said Danny, "but how can I drive them away when I can't see them or feel them?"

"Just make yourself big," said Aunt Lummy. "Hold on to your own space. Don't let them crowd you!"

But these words meant nothing to Danny, no matter how he tried to act them out, and the cheating went on until Lummy and the other Aunts who taught the school were forced to make separate tests, one for Danny and one for all the others at his grade level. The instant result was that by age twelve, Danny was soon the only student in his grade level, the others having been put back where they belonged. In the outside world, Danny would have been doing ninth grade work, two years ahead of his age.

The other kids resented him more than ever, and therefore taunted him or froze him out as a drekka. "You're not one of us," they said — often in those exact words. During free time they refused to let him come along on any of their escapades; he was never chosen for a team; he was never told when one of the Aunts was sharing out cookies or some other treat; and he always had to check his drawer for spiders, snakes, or dog poo. He got used to it quickly, and he knew better than to tell any of the adults. What good would it do him? How much fun would he have if some adult forced the others to take him along? What kinds of pranks would they do if they had been whipped for pooing his clean clothes?

So in this idyllic world of fairies and ghosts, gods and talking animals, Danny was a profoundly solitary child.

He knew everybody; everybody was kin to him. But he had been made ashamed of everything he did well, and even more ashamed of everything he could not do, and he regarded even those of the cousins who treated him kindly as if their kindness were pity. For who could genuinely like a boy so unworthy, whose existence meant no more than this: that the bloodlines of the North family were weak and getting weaker, with Danny the weakest of them all.

The irony was that Danny had been kept as a child apart since he was born — but for the opposite reason. His father, Alf, a Rockbrother with an affinity for pure metals, had found a way to get inside the steel of machines and make them run almost without friction, and without lubrication. It was such a useful and unprecedented skill that he had been made ruler of the Family, and was therefore renamed as Odin; but Danny called him Baba.

Danny's mother, Gerd, was only slightly less remarkable, a lightmage who had learned to change the color of reflected light so that she could make things nearly invisible, or hide them in shadows, or make them glow as bright as the sun. For years Alf and Gerd had been forbidden to marry by old Gyish, who was then the Odin, for fear that the joining of two such potent bloodlines might create something awful — a gatemage, which the Norths were forbidden ever to have again, or a manmage, which all the Families were sworn to destroy.

But when Gyish retired after losing the last war, and machine-mage Alf was made Odin in his place, the Family voted almost unanimously to allow the marriage. Danny's birth was the result, as close to a royal child as the Norths had had in many generations.

In his early childhood, Danny was pampered by all the adults. He was the golden boy, and great things were expected of him. He had been bright as a child — quick to read, clever with all the family languages, dextrous with his fingers, an athletic runner and leaper, curious to a fault, and clever of tongue so he could make almost anyone laugh. But as he got older, these traits could not make up for his utter lack of harmony with any of the magics of the Family.

Danny tried everything. He gardened alongside the cousins who had a way with herbs and trees and grasses — the ones who, as adult mages, would continue to make the North farms so astonishingly productive. But the seeds he planted grew weakly, and he could not feel the throbbing pulse of a tree.

He roamed the woods with those who had a way with animals — the ones who, if they could only form a deep bond with wolf or bear or (failing everything grand) squirrel or snake, would become Eyefriend or Clawbrother and roam the world in animal shape whenever they wished. But the creatures ran from him, or snarled or snapped at him, and he made no friends among the beasts.

He tried to understand what it meant to "serve" stone or water, wind or the electricity of lightning in the air. But the stones bruised his fingers and moved for him only if he threw them; the wind only blew his hair into a tangled mop; and storms and ponds left him wet, cold, and powerless. Far from being precocious, with magic he was slow. Worse than slow. He was inert, making no visible progress at all.

Yet, except for the loneliness, he didn't hate his life. His long rovings in the woods were a pleasure to him. Since neither tree nor animal was drawn to him, he simply ran, becoming swift and tireless, mile after mile. At first he ran only within the limits of the family compound, because the trees that guarded the perimeter would snatch at him and then give the alarm, bringing the adult Seedguards and even Uncle Poot, the only Sapkin in the Family right now, to warn him not to leave.

But during this past winter — perhaps because the trees were dormant and less alert — he had found three different routes that allowed him to avoid the sentinel trees entirely. He knew that as a probable drekka he was being watched — Danny never knew when the outself of some adult might be following him. So he took different routes to these secret passageways each time. As far as he knew, he had never been seen leaving. No one had challenged him about it, at least.

Liberated now, he would run and run, miles in whatever direction he chose. And he was fast! He could cover miles and still be home by suppertime. He would only stop when he came to a highway, a fence, a house, a factory, a town, and from the shelter of the woods or hedges or weeds he would watch the drowthers go about their lives and think: I am by nature one of them. Without affinities or powers. Living by the labor of their hands or the words of their mouth.

With one slight difference: Drowthers didn't know they were bereft of all that was noble in the world. They had no sense of lost heritage. The North family ignored them, cared nothing about them. But if Danny tried to leave, all the Family secrets would be at risk. The stories told on dark nights, of traitors, of wars between the Westilian families, all ended the same way: Anyone who defied the Family and fled the compound without permission would be hunted down and killed.

In these twilight times Norths may not have all the power they used to have before Loki closed the gates, before the centuries of war with the other families. But they were superb hunters. Nobody evaded them. Danny knew he took his life in his hands every time he left. He was insane to do it. Yet he felt so free outside the compound. The world was so large, so full of people who did not despise him yet.

They have no talents like ours, and yet they build these roads, these factories, these houses. We have to import their machines to air-condition our homes. We tie in to their internet to get our news and send emails to the trusted rovers the Family sends out into the world. We drive in cars and trucks we buy from them. How dare we feel superior? None of these things are in our power, and when the Westilian families ruled the world as gods of the Phrygians, the Hittites, the Greeks, the Celts, the Persians, the Hindi, the Slavs, and of course the Norse, the lives of common people were nasty, brutish, and short — nastier, shorter, and more brutal because of our demands on them.

The world would be better if there had never been such gods as these. Taking whatever we wanted because we could, killing anyone who got in our way, deposing kings and setting up new ones, sending our disciples out a-conquering — who did we think we were? In the long-lost world of Westil, where everyone was talented, it might have been fair, for everyone might have had a chance. But here in Mittlegard — on Earth — where only the few Westilian families had such powers, it was unjust.

These were the thoughts that Danny was free to think as he watched the teenagers come out of the high schools of Buena Vista and Lexington and ride off in buses or drive off in their cars. At home he never let himself think such things, because if he did his face might reveal his repugnance or dismay at something that a relative did or some old story of an ancestor's adventures. His only hope of having any kind of useful life was to convince them that he could be trusted to be allowed out into the world, that his loyalty to the Family was unshakeable.

Meanwhile, he pored over the books that children were allowed to read, especially the mythologies, trying to understand the real history of the Westilians from the tantalizing tales the drowthers had collected. He once asked Auntie Uck which of the tales from Bulfinch's Mythology were true, and she just glared at him and said, "All of them," which was just stupid.

Somewhere there were books that told the true stories. He knew that family histories were kept — histories that went back thousands of years. How else could the adults make their cryptic references to this or that person or event in the distant past? All the adults knew these histories, and someday the other cousins would be given these secrets — but not Danny, the one best suited to read, understand, and remember. If he ever learned the truth about anything, he would have to find it out himself.

Meanwhile, he had to stay alive. Which meant that as much as he loved to run outside the compound, he only did it now and then, when he couldn't stand to be confined in his loneliness another day; when it began to seem that it might be better just to go up to Hammernip Hill, dig his own grave, lie down in it, and wait for someone to come up and finish the job.

When he was analytical about it, he realized that running outside the compound was a kind of suicide. A game of Russian roulette, without any idea of how many chambers there were in the revolver, nor how many bullets there might be. Just run to a secret passageway and keep on running — that was how he pulled the trigger.

His life was not unrelenting solitude and hostility, of course. There were aunts and uncles who had loved him from childhood on, and they seemed to love him still, though some were certainly more distant now. And since Baba and Mama themselves had never particularly doted on him, certainly he could detect no difference in their indifference now. In many ways his life at home was normal. Normalish, anyway.

And maybe he would find a way to make himself useful to the Family so they would let him live.

He had tried to get them to let him become the family computer expert. "Let me set up a local area network," he said. "I've been reading about it online. We could have computers in every house, in every room, and they could share the same internet connection so we wouldn't have to pay the cable company a dollar more."

But all they could think to say was, "How did you learn about these things?"

"I googled them," he said.

The result was that the family made a new rule that kids could access computers only with an adult in the room, and you had to be able to demonstrate at any moment just how the stuff you had on the screen was related to the classroom assignment you were supposed to be doing.

"Thanks a lot, drekka," Lem and Stem said as they beat him up a little behind the haybarn the next day. They were particularly annoyed because Danny's inquiry had led to Auntie Tweng finding their files of pornography, which got them a screaming tongue-lashing from their drekka mother, Miz Jane, and a whipping from one of Uncle Poot's most savage hickories.

So now Danny was trying to make himself useful by helping train the kids who were just learning to create clants with their outselves. Not that Danny knew anything about clanting, but since the kids couldn't see their own clants, Danny watched how the clants took shape and then reported to them on their results. Pure observation, but because Danny was doing it, an adult was free to do something else.

The trouble was that the three children whose clants he was supervising were Tina, Mona, and Crista, and instead of working on their assignment — to make their clant as close to lifesize as possible — they were remaining under a foot in height and trying to make themselves as voluptuous as they could. All three girls were just starting to develop as women in their real bodies, but the miniature female bodies they were forming out of fallen twigs, leaves, and nutshells were shaping up with huge breasts and exaggerated hips. Forest fairies, a drowther would have called them. Or sluts.

"I'll report this, you know," said Danny. But it was wasted breath — none of them was good enough at clanting to be able to hear anything through their clants. They could see, however — the outself could see whether it was formed into a clant or not — and one of them noticed Danny's lips moving.

Almost at once, all three of the forest fairies turned to face him. Two of them flaunted their chests; the other turned around, thrust her buttocks toward him, and waggled it back and forth. They could not have made their contempt more clear.

Danny didn't care. It was better than getting beaten up by Lem and Stem. But it was his responsibility to make sure they worked on what they were supposed to work on. He had no authority himself, and even if he had, he couldn't have done anything if they chose to defy him. Adults could use their own outselves to give the girls' clants a shove, which they would feel in their own bodies as well. But Danny had no outself, or hadn't found one, anyway. The only thing he could do was find an adult and report them — but by the time an adult arrived, they'd be working on what they were supposed to work on, and the adult would be annoyed at Danny.


Excerpted from The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card. Copyright © 2010 Orson Scott Card. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead. Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win these two top prizes in consecutive years. There are seven other novels to date in The Ender Universe series. Card has also written fantasy: The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of fantasy novels set in frontier America; his most recent novel, The Lost Gate, is a contemporary magical fantasy. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.  Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.

Brief Biography

Greensboro, North Carolina
Date of Birth:
August 24, 1951
Place of Birth:
Richland, Washington
B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981

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The Lost Gate (Mither Mages Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 267 reviews.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
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.
Aurelia_Literary_Reviews More than 1 year ago
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}
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
The_Unvarnished_Truth More than 1 year ago
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...
Theadric More than 1 year ago
I have always heard how great Mr. Card's books are, so I figured I'd give this book a go. It started off promising and I found myself looking forward to getting more into the book. However, within a hundred pages I found myself rolling my eyes at the crass humor and hoping it would end. It went from gross bathroom humor to the main character stripping and literally parting his cheeks for security guards. Following this occurs an episode of a young - yet legal - woman who nearly molests the main character, whom is only 14 years old. It's shameful and surprising that an author of such renown caters to the ubiquitous smut crowd that exists now.
FantasyFanMC More than 1 year ago
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!
Soti More than 1 year ago
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.
alexia561 More than 1 year ago
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!
Melhay More than 1 year ago
Danny North is a young mage of 11 years of age, yet he is considered a drekka because he has shown no signs of using or having magic. Danny is a mage in a commune of the North mage clan where all are related and have been imprisoned here on our Earth for the last thirteen and a half centuries as the gates to Westil where locked and closed by Loki. And it's a given by all the warring families if any have a Gatemage they are to put them to death (with the thanks to Loki's trickster ways and closing the gates), yet secretly all the families hope for one to open the Great Gate back to their home land. Danny, unknowingly for years has been creating gates, and gets found out by the Greek girl. Danny is now on the run for his life, and needs to learn what he can from a world that knows nothing of making gates. I fear this was one of those books where the hype raised my expectations a little to high. As I enjoyed reading the book, it wasn't as out there as I had thought it would be. Orson has created a society where the people are from another world and full of magic, yet the magic is failing them and they are not as strong as they where when they where considered gods years ago. They are in need of the Great Gate to strengthen them once again, and to return to their home land. Yet they are exiled here on Earth. This book is the journey of Danny North to learning about drekka's, or normal people with no magic. Yet, Danny finds his way to other orphans of magic and to a wonderful home of people who take care of him and teach him what they can. What we have here is a young boy turning into a young man, learning what he can of what he can do magically, what are the good and bad things to do with his powers. Then we have another character we follow through the story. This character has lived within a tree for years, maybe centuries. Finally he births from the tree as a young boy, with no true memories of the past. He shows up in a town where he is taken in by a kitchen lead cook who realizes he has great powers. This is the character I actually enjoyed following the most. The mystery behind Wad, and the magical abilities he has, and the double life he lives in this wondrous home of the Kind and Queen. I think I would like to read the next book in this series when it comes out as to the curiosity it left in me. I'm curious as to why this families where exiled here in our world, what Wad will do now with what has happened to him, and what Danny will learn next and how to handle all the screaming inside him now. Will the families come after Danny or will he be safe in the future? I am curious. This book is a Young Adult read, and I think young boys will enjoy this read. I would say the book seems to be geared for young adults from about thirteen and older.
colmin More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 11 months ago
A great, light read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it so far
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Krept forward.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry I took so long! I was busy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She pads in "Greetings"
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wakincade More than 1 year ago
After listening to the audiobook, I was incredibly happy to have discovered this new series. I always enjoyed Card's Ender's Game series, but this trip into a magical world made up of the remnants gods left behind was great. Fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series will find this to be another great escape from one heck of a story teller.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for a young reader interested in mythological characters.