Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's Shadow Series #2)

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Overview

The War is over, won by Ender Wiggin and his team of brilliant child-warriors. The enemy is destroyed, the human race is saved. Ender himself refuses to return to the planet, but his crew has gone home to their families, scattered across the globe. The battle school is no more.

But with the external threat gone, the Earth has become a battlefield once more. The children of the Battle School are more than heroes; they are potential weapons that can bring power to the countries ...

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Overview

The War is over, won by Ender Wiggin and his team of brilliant child-warriors. The enemy is destroyed, the human race is saved. Ender himself refuses to return to the planet, but his crew has gone home to their families, scattered across the globe. The battle school is no more.

But with the external threat gone, the Earth has become a battlefield once more. The children of the Battle School are more than heroes; they are potential weapons that can bring power to the countries that control them. One by one, all of Ender's Dragon Army are kidnapped. Only Bean escapes; and he turns for help to Ender's brother Peter.

Peter Wiggin, Ender's older brother, has already been manipulating the politics of Earth from behind the scenes. With Bean's help, he will eventually rule the world.

Shadow of the Hegemon is the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Shadow Series.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
One of the more pleasant literary surprises of 1999 was Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow, a self-styled "parallel novel" that recapitulates the central events of Ender's Game from the perspective of Bean, the child genius -- and genetic wild card -- who served as Ender's second-in-command during the genocidal war with the Formics. Bean's story now continues in Shadow of the Hegemon, a moving, richly imagined sequel that is clearly one of the major science fiction novels of the season.

Shadow of the Hegemon begins in the turbulent aftermath of the Formic War. The nations of Earth, no longer united by a common enemy, have grown both fearful and aggressive. Deeply entrenched rivalries -- cultural, religious, ethnic -- proliferate, and the world stands on the brink of geopolitical chaos. Against this backdrop of mounting political tension, a singular event occurs: Most of the surviving members of Ender Wiggin's victorious platoon are kidnapped. The motive behind that kidnapping is immediately clear. Some unidentified power hopes either to utilize this concentration of strategic genius or keep that genius out of the hands of political rivals.

In Shadow of the Hegemon, Card once again addresses large, fundamental questions: Who will govern in the problematic future that is coming? Will that future be dominated by humane moral imperatives or by heedless, expedient ambition? As the novel winds its way toward a provisional answer, three brilliant -- and very different -- figures rapidly dominate the narrative. The first is Achilles, a teenaged psychopath with a gift for manipulation and an indomitable will to power. The second is Peter Wiggin, older brother of the absent, legendary Ender. Peter has spent many years influencing events behind the scenes and faces the prospect of stepping onto the political stage without the aid of an elaborately constructed mask. The third figure, of course, is Julian Delphicki, a.k.a. Bean.

Bean, like most of the characters, is little more than a child. But he is a fiercely brilliant child, the unexpected product of an illegal genetic experiment that will end, inevitably, in tragedy. Three elements dominate Bean's life: his relentless opposition to Achilles and his designs, his love for his mentor and de facto mother, Sister Carlotta, and his determination to save the life of his friend and former platoon mate, Petra Arkanian.

Shadow of the Hegemon explores complex questions of faith, loyalty, and ethical responsibility without becoming dry, boring, pompous, or didactic. On the contrary, it is a thoughtful, thoroughly entertaining novel that asks hard questions and never settles for easy answers. It is one of Orson Scott Card's most impressive achievements and deserves the attention of a large, appreciative audience.

--Bill Sheehan

Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. His book-length critical study of the fiction of Peter Straub, At the Foot of the Story Tree, has been published by Subterranean Press (www.subterraneanpress.com).

From the Publisher
"The characterizations are first class, and the fast-paced action features one hair-raising episode after another....Shadow of the Hegemon is so nicely integrated into the rest of the Ender canon that readers will be completely enthralled."—Booklist

"Shadow of the Hegemon is an ideal book with which to start your science fiction year."—Rocky Mountain News

Elizabeth Weise
In Shadow of the Hegemon, the abilities of Bean and the others to outthink their captors and undermine their plans make for a page-turning read.
USA Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This fine follow-up to Ender's Shadow features that novel's hero, Bean (now a young man), wrestling with Card's trademark: superbly real moral and ethical dilemmas. In a world between wars, filled with ambitious countries jockeying to carve up their neighbors, the children of Battle School are the strongest asset a nation can possess. The greatest of the children, "Ender" Wiggin, has gone off to colonize a new world. The second best, Bean, is hunted by a young psychopathic genius, Achilles, who schemes to conquer Earth with the aid of Ender's soldiers. Peter, Ender's brother, who was too ruthless to make it to Battle School, also works to rule the planet, but through more peaceful, political means. Bean must decide if becoming Peter's shadow and guiding him to become Hegemon will help defeat Achilles, and if one boy's megalomania will make a better world than another's. Children playing at war as if it were a game recalls Card's most famous work, Ender's Game, which won both a Hugo and a Nebula award. The complexity and serious treatment of the book's young protagonists will attract many sophisticated YA readers, while Card's impeccable prose, fast pacing and political intrigue will appeal to adult fans of spy novels, thrillers and science fiction. (Jan. 2) Forecast: Card is immensely popular; this is one of his best novels. Like Ender's Game, it will soar on genre lists and should flirt with, and perhaps woo, regular lists. Tor will ensure this through a $300,000 ad/promo campaign including a nine-city author tour. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
This sequel to Ender's Shadow (Tor, 1999/VOYA Voyages, February 2000) continues the story from Bean's viewpoint and takes place in roughly the same time period as the beginning of Speaker for the Dead (Tor, 1986/VOYA August/October 1986). Ender has left the planet, but Bean and the other members of Ender's Dragon Army are suddenly the targets of kidnappers. Bean barely escapes being blown up—twice—but Petra Arkanian, another of Ender's "jeesh," is not so lucky. She is captured by the psychopathic Achilles, Bean's enemy from his days in the streets of Rotterdam. Achilles is using Petra and other Battle School alumni to help him determine how to take over the world militarily. Meanwhile, Locke, also known as Peter Wiggin, Ender's brother, is working on his own plan to control the world by more peaceful means and become Hegemon, with Bean as his shadow, or background aide. As always with Card, brilliant young people face deadly peril, participate in fast-paced action and heroic deeds, and deal with genuine moral dilemmas with intelligence and thoughtfulness. Some issues are left unresolved, paving the way for another sequel, which no doubt will be welcomed warmly by the many fans of Card and of this series. VOYA CODES: 5Q 5P J S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Tor, 363p, . Ages 14 to Adult. Reviewer: Sarah Flowers SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
KLIATT
The sixth in the Ender series, this takes up Bean's story where Ender's Shadow left off. Achilles has kidnapped all of Ender's jeesh except Bean and is planning to use them to conquer the Earth. He has repeatedly tried to kill Bean. In an eerily plausible scenario, Achilles will begin his war in India and Pakistan. Bean goes to Thailand to try to stop Achilles and to mount Petra's rescue. By the conclusion, Petra is rescued, Achilles is dead, Bean knows that genetic factors limit the length of this life, and Peter Wiggin is the new Hegemon. As stated in the afterword, there are two more sequels planned for this story line alone. Must reading for those who follow the series. Reading at least Ender's Game and a few of the others will be necessary to understand the character interactions here. (Ender series) Category: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Tor, 452p., $6.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Sherry S. Hoy; Libn., Tuscarora Jr. H.S., Mifflintown, PA SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
Library Journal
After the defeat of the Hive Queen by Ender Wiggin and the other children of Battle School, the young soldiers return home in time to take part in yet another war--of ideas and politics, of power and treachery. The sequel to Ender's Shadow (LJ 9/15/99) continues the tale of Bean, formerly Ender's second-in-command and now an important tactician and aide to Peter Wiggin, a political philosopher and the future Hegemon. The author's graceful storytelling and engaging cast of youthful characters add an extra dimension to an already gripping story of children caught up in world-shaking events. Recommended for sf collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-No wonder smart kids love the Ender saga so much: Card's young heroes are not just consistently smarter than adults, they are Masters of the Universe. This sequel to Ender's Shadow (Tor, 1999) finds the wars over, with Ender in self-imposed exile off-planet. The remaining students of Battle School, now young teens, are trying to adjust to their civilian status when they are suddenly abducted-all except Bean, who escapes and goes into hiding with Sister Carlotta, the nun who raised him. Concluding that the mastermind behind the kidnapping is none other than Achilles, a homicidal megalomaniac from his past, Bean forms an uneasy alliance with Peter Wiggin, the most respected political mind in the world. With the help of coded messages from Bean's old friend Petra (now Achilles's prisoner), Bean and Peter close in on the villain, changing the paths of world powers on their way. Fans of the series will continue to overlook the implausibility of whole countries being turned over to teenagers who proclaim to know it all, but might be a bit disappointed in Peter as the good-guy candidate for ruler of the world. Achilles, a sort of evil James Bond, is the more interesting of the two, but that is typical of the moral dilemmas Card suggests to his readers. With two books still to come about Bean, it would be wise to stock up on all Card's books; enthusiasts may want to revisit the earlier stories while waiting for the next installment.-Jan Tarasovic, West Springfield High School, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812565959
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 11/27/2001
  • Series: Ender's Shadow Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 88,229
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and it’s many sequels that expand the Ender Universe into the far future and the near past.  Those books are organized into the Ender Quintet, the five books that chronicle the life of Ender Wiggin; the Shadow Series, that follows on the novel Ender’s Shadow and are set on Earth; and the Formic Wars series, written with co-author Aaron Johnston, that tells of the terrible first contact between humans and the alien “Buggers”.

Card has been a working writer since the 1970s. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 — the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelet version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog.

 

The novel-length version of Ender’s Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of  the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.

 

Card was born in Washington state, 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, he runs occasional writers’ workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.

He is the author many sf and fantasy novels, including the American frontier fantasy series “The Tales of Alvin Maker” (beginning with Seventh Son), There are also stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart’s Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card’s recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old.  

 

Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card,  He and Kristine are the parents of five children and several grandchildren.

Biography

Any discussion of Orson Scott Card's work must necessarily begin with religion. A devout Mormon, Card believes in imparting moral lessons through his fiction, a stance that sometimes creates controversy on both sides of the fence. Some Mormons have objected to the violence in his books as being antithetical to the Mormon message, while his conservative political activism has gotten him into hot water with liberal readers.

Whether you agree with his personal views or not, Card's fiction can be enjoyed on many different levels. And with the amount of work he's produced, there is something to fit the tastes of readers of all ages and stripes. Averaging two novels a year since 1979, Card has also managed to find the time to write hundreds of audio plays and short stories, several stage plays, a television series concept, and a screenplay of his classic novel Ender's Game. In addition to his science fiction and fantasy novels, he has also written contemporary fiction, religious, and nonfiction works.

Card's novel that has arguably had the biggest impact is 1985's Hugo and Nebula award-winner Ender's Game. Ender's Game introduced readers to Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a young genius faced with the task of saving the Earth. Ender's Game is that rare work of fiction that strikes a chord with adults and young adult readers alike. The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, also won the Hugo and Nebula awards, making Card the only author in history to win both prestigious science-fiction awards two years in a row.

In 2000, Card returned to Ender's world with a "parallel" novel called Ender's Shadow. Ender's Shadow retells the events of Ender's Game from the perspective of Julian "Bean" Delphinki, Ender's second-in-command. As Sam to Ender's Frodo, Bean is doomed to be remembered as an also-ran next to the legendary protagonist of the earlier novel. In many ways, Bean is a more complex and intriguing character than the preternaturally brilliant Ender, and his alternate take on the events of Ender's Game provide an intriguing counterpoint to fans of the original series.

In addition to moral issues, a strong sense of family pervades Card's work. Card is a devoted family man and father to five (!) children. In the age of dysfunctional family literature, Card bristles at the suggestion that a positive home life is uninteresting. "How do you keep ‘good parents' from being boring?" he once said. "Well, in truth, the real problem is, how do you keep bad parents from being boring? I've seen the same bad parents in so many books and movies that I'm tired of them."

Critical appreciation for Card's work often points to the intriguing plotlines and deft characterizations that are on display in Card's most accomplished novels. Card developed the ability to write believable characters and page-turning plots as a college theater student. To this day, when he writes, Card always thinks of the audience first. "It's the best training in the world for a writer, to have a live audience," he says. "I'm constantly shaping the story so the audience will know why they should care about what's going on."

Card brought Bean back in 2005 for the fourth and final novel in the Shadow series: Shadow of the Giant. The novel presented some difficulty for the writer. Characters who were relatively unimportant when the series began had moved to the forefront, and as a result, Card knew that the ending he had originally envisioned would not be enough to satisfy the series' fans.

Although the Ender and Shadow series deal with politics, Card likes to keep his personal political opinions out of his fiction. He tries to present the governments of futuristic Earth as realistically as possible without drawing direct analogies to our current political climate. This distance that Card maintains between the real world and his fictional worlds helps give his novels a lasting and universal appeal.

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

Read an Excerpt

SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON (chapter:1 PETRA )

To: Chamrajnagar%sacredriver@ifcom.gov

From: Locke%espinoza@polnet.gov

Re: What are you doing to protect the children?

Dear Admiral Chamrajnagar,

I was given your idname by a mutual friend who once worked for you but now is a glorified dispatcher—I'm sure you know whom I mean. I realize that your primary responsibility now is not so much military as logistical, and your thoughts are turned to space rather than the political situation on Earth. After all, you decisively defeated the nationalist forces led by your predecessor in the League War, and that issue seems settled. The I.F. remains independent and for that we are all grateful.

What no one seems to understand is that peace on Earth is merely a temporary illusion. Not only is Russia's long-pent expansionism still a driving force, but also many other nations have aggressive designs on their neighbors. The forces of the Strategos are being disbanded, the Hegemony is rapidly losing all authority, and Earth is poised on the edge of cataclysm.

The most powerful resource of any nation in the wars to come will be the children trained in Battle, Tactical, and Command School. While it is perfectly appropriate for these children to serve their native countries in future wars, it is inevitable that at least some nations that lack such I.F.-certified geniuses or who believe that rivals have more-gifted commanders will inevitably take preemptive action, either to secure that enemy resource for their own use or, in any event, to deny the enemy the use of that resource. In short, these children are in grave danger of being kidnapped or killed.

I recognize that you have a hands-off policy toward events on Earth, but it was the I.F. that identified these children and trained them, thus making them targets. Whatever happens to these children, the I.F. has ultimate responsibility. It would go a long way toward protecting them if you were to issue an order placing these children under Fleet protection, warning any nation or group attempting to harm or interfere with them that they would face swift and harsh military retribution. Far from regarding this as interference in Earthside affairs, most nations would welcome this action, and, for whatever it is worth, you would have my complete support in all public forums.

I hope you will act immediately. There is no time to waste.

Respectfully,

Locke

Nothing looked right in Armenia when Petra Arkanian returned home. The mountains were dramatic, of course, but they had not really been part of her childhood experience. It was not until she got to Maralik that she began to see things that should mean something to her. Her father had met her in Yerevan while her mother remained at home with her eleven-year-old brother and the new baby—obviously conceived even before the population restrictions were relaxed when the war ended. They had no doubt watched Petra on television. Now, as the flivver took Petra and her father along the narrow streets, he began apologizing. "It won't seem much to you, Pet, after seeing the world."

"They didn't show us the world much, Papa. There were no windows in Battle School."

"I mean, the spaceport, and the capital, all the important people and wonderful buildings . . ."

"I'm not disappointed, Papa." She had to lie in order to reassure him. It was as if he had given her Maralik as a gift, and now was unsure whether she liked it. She didn't know yet whether she would like it or not. She hadn't liked Battle School, but she got used to it. There was no getting used to Eros, but she had endured it. How could she dislike a place like this, with open sky and people wandering wherever they wanted?

Yet she was disappointed. For all her memories of Maralik were the memories of a five-year-old, looking up at tall buildings, across wide streets where large vehicles loomed and fled at alarming speeds. Now she was much older, beginning to come into her womanly height, and the cars were smaller, the streets downright narrow, and the buildings—designed to survive the next earthquake, as the old buildings had not—were squat. Not ugly—there was grace in them, given the eclectic styles that were somehow blended here, Turkish and Russian, Spanish and Riviera, and, most incredibly, Japanese. It was a marvel to see how they were still unified by the choice of colors, the closeness to the street, the almost uniform height as all strained against the legal maximums.

She knew of all this because she had read about it on Eros as she and the other children sat out the League War. She had seen pictures on the nets. But nothing had prepared her for the fact that she had left here as a five-year-old and now was returning at fourteen.

"What?" she said. For Father had spoken and she hadn't understood him.

"I asked if you wanted to stop for a candy before we went home, the way we used to."

Candy. How could she have forgotten the word for candy?

Easily, that's how. The only other Armenian in Battle School had been three years ahead of her and graduated to Tactical School, so they overlapped only for a few months. She had been seven when she got from Ground School to Battle School, and he was ten, leaving without ever having commanded an army. Was it any wonder that he didn't want to jabber in Armenian to a little kid from home? So in effect she had gone without speaking Armenian for nine years. And the Armenian she had spoken then was a five-year-old's language. It was so hard to speak it now, and harder still to understand it.

How could she tell Father that it would help her greatly if he would speak to her in Fleet Common—English, in effect? He spoke it, of course—he and Mother had made a point of speaking English at home when she was little, so she would not be handicapped linguistically if she was taken into Battle School. In fact, as she thought about it, that was part of her problem. How often had Father actually called candy by the Armenian word? Whenever he let her walk with him through town and they stopped for candy, he would make her ask for it in English, and call each piece by its English name. It was absurd, really—why would she need to know, in Battle School, the English names of Armenian candies?

"What are you laughing for?"

"I seem to have lost my taste for candy while I was in space, Father. Though for old times' sake, I hope you'll have time to walk through town with me again. You won't be as tall as you were the last time."

"No, nor will your hand be as small in mine." He laughed, too. "We've been robbed of years that would be precious now, to have in memory."

"Yes," said Petra. "But I was where I needed to be."

Or was I? I'm the one who broke first. I passed all the tests, until the test that mattered, and there I broke first. Ender comforted me by telling me he relied on me most and pushed me hardest, but he pushed us all and relied upon us all and I'm the one who broke. No one ever spoke of it; perhaps here on Earth not one living soul knew of it. But the others who had fought with her knew it. Until that moment when she fell asleep in the midst of combat, she had been one of the best. After that, though she never broke again, Ender also never trusted her again. The others watched over her, so that if she suddenly stopped commanding her ships, they could step in. She was sure that one of them had been designated, but never asked who. Dink? Bean? Bean, yes—whether Ender assigned him to do it or not, she knew Bean would be watching, ready to take over. She was not reliable. They did not trust her. She did not trust herself.

Yet she would keep that secret from her family, as she kept it in talking to the prime minister and the press, to the Armenian military and the schoolchildren who had been assembled to meet the great Armenian hero of the Formic War. Armenia needed a hero. She was the only candidate out of this war. They had shown her how the online textbooks already listed her among the ten greatest Armenians of all time. Her picture, her biography, and quotations from Colonel Graff, from Major Anderson, from Mazer Rackham.

And from Ender Wiggin. "It was Petra who first stood up for me at risk to herself. It was Petra who trained me when no one else would. I owe everything I accomplished to her. And in the final campaign, in battle after battle she was the commander I relied upon."

Ender could not have known how those words would hurt. No doubt he meant to reassure her that he did rely upon her. But because she knew the truth, his words sounded like pity to her. They sounded like a kindly lie.

And now she was home. Nowhere on Earth was she so much a stranger as here, because she ought to feel at home here, but she could not, for no one knew her here. They knew a bright little girl who was sent off amid tearful good-byes and brave words of love. They knew a hero who returned with the halo of victory around her every word and gesture. But they did not know and would never know the girl who broke under the strain and in the midst of battle simply . . . fell asleep. While her ships were lost, while real men died, she slept because her body could stay awake no more. That girl would remain hidden from all eyes.

And from all eyes would be hidden also the girl who watched every move of the boys around her, evaluating their abilities, guessing at their intentions, determined to take any advantage she could get, refusing to bow to any of them. Here she was supposed to become a child again—an older one, but a child nonetheless. A dependent.

After nine years of fierce watchfulness, it would be restful to turn over her life to others, wouldn't it?

"Your mother wanted to come. But she was afraid to come." He chuckled as if this were amusing. "Do you understand?"

"No," said Petra.

"Not afraid of you," said Father. "Of her firstborn daughter she could never be afraid. But the cameras. The politicians. The crowds. She is a woman of the kitchen. Not a woman of the market. Do you understand?"

She understood the Armenian easily enough, if that's what he was asking, because he had caught on, he was speaking in simple language and separating his words a little so she would not get lost in the stream of conversation. She was grateful for this, but also embarrassed that it was so obvious she needed such help.

What she did not understand was a fear of crowds that could keep a mother from coming to meet her daughter after nine years.

Petra knew that it was not the crowds or the cameras that Mother was afraid of. It was Petra herself. The lost five-year-old who would never be five again, who had had her first period with the help of a Fleet nurse, whose mother had never bent over her homework with her, or taught her how to cook. No, wait. She had baked pies with her mother. She had helped roll out the dough. Thinking back, she could see that her mother had not actually let her do anything that mattered. But to Petra it had seemed that she was the one baking. That her mother trusted her.

That turned her thoughts to the way Ender had coddled her at the end, pretending to trust her as before but actually keeping control.

And because that was an unbearable thought, Petra looked out the window of the flivver. "Are we in the part of town where I used to play?"

"Not yet," said Father. "But nearly. Maralik is still not such a large town."

"It all seems new to me," said Petra.

"But it isn't. It never changes. Only the architecture. There are Armenians all over the world, but only because they were forced to leave to save their lives. By nature, Armenians stay at home. The hills are the womb, and we have no desire to be born." He chuckled at his joke.

Had he always chuckled like that? It sounded to Petra less like amusement than like nervousness. Mother was not the only one afraid of her.

At last the flivver reached home. And here at last she recognized where she was. It was small and shabby compared to what she had remembered, but in truth she had not even thought of the place in many years. It stopped haunting her dreams by the time she was ten. But now, coming home again, it all returned to her, the tears she had shed in those first weeks and months in Ground School, and again when she left Earth and went up to Battle School. This was what she had yearned for, and at last she was here again, she had it back . . . and knew that she no longer needed it, no longer really wanted it. The nervous man in the car beside her was not the tall god who had led her through the streets of Maralik so proudly. And the woman waiting inside the house would not be the goddess from whom came warm food and a cool hand on her forehead when she was sick.

But she had nowhere else to go.

Her mother was standing at the window as Petra emerged from the flivver. Father palmed the scanner to accept the charges. Petra raised a hand and gave a small wave to her mother, a shy smile that quickly grew into a grin. Her mother smiled back and gave her own small wave in reply. Petra took her father's hand and walked with him to the house.

The door opened as they approached. It was Stefan, her brother. She would not have known him from her memories of a two-year-old, still creased with baby fat. And he, of course, did not know her at all. He beamed the way the children from the school group had beamed at her, thrilled to meet a celebrity but not really aware of her as a person. He was her brother, though, and so she hugged him and he hugged her back. "You're really Petra!" he said.

"You're really Stefan!" she answered. Then she turned to her mother. She was still standing at the window, looking out.

"Mother?"

The woman turned, tears streaking her cheeks. "I'm so glad to see you, Petra," she said.

But she made no move to come to Petra, or even to reach out to her.

"But you're still looking for the little girl who left nine years ago," said Petra.

Mother burst into tears, and now she reached out her arms and Petra strode to her, to be enfolded in her embrace. "You're a woman now," said Mother. "I don't know you, but I love you."

"I love you too, Mother," said Petra. And was pleased to realize that it was true.

They had about an hour, the four of them—five, once the baby woke up. Petra shunted aside their questions—"Oh, everything about me has already been published or broadcast. It's you that I want to hear about"—and learned that her father was still editing textbooks and supervising translations, and her mother was still the shepherd of the neighborhood, watching out for everyone, bringing food when someone was sick, taking care of children while parents ran errands, and providing lunch for any child who showed up. "I remember once that Mother and I had lunch alone, just the two of us," Stefan joked. "We didn't know what to say, and there was so much food left over."

"It was already that way when I was little," Petra said. "I remember being so proud of how the other kids loved my mother. And so jealous of the way she loved them!"

"Never as much as I loved my own girl and boy," said Mother. "But I do love children, I admit it, every one of them is precious in the sight of God, every one of them is welcome in my house."

"Oh, I've known a few you wouldn't love," said Petra.

"Maybe," said Mother, not wishing to argue, but plainly not believing that there could be such a child.

The baby gurgled and Mother lifted her shirt to tuck the baby to her breast.

"Did I slurp so noisily?" asked Petra.

"Not really," said Mother.

"Oh, tell the truth," said Father. "She woke the neighbors."

"So I was a glutton."

"No, merely a barbarian," said Father. "No table manners."

Petra decided to ask the delicate question boldly and have done with it. "The baby was born only a month after the population restrictions were lifted."

Father and Mother looked at each other, Mother with a beatific expression, Father with a wince. "Yes, well, we missed you. We wanted another little girl."

"You would have lost your job," said Petra.

"Not right away," said Father.

"Armenian officials have always been a little slow about enforcing those laws," said Mother.

"But eventually, you could have lost everything."

"No," said Mother. "When you left, we lost half of everything. Children are everything. The rest is . . . nothing."

Stefan laughed. "Except when I'm hungry. Food is something!"

"You're always hungry," said Father.

"Food is always something," said Stefan.

They laughed, but Petra could see that Stefan had had no illusions about what the birth of this child would have meant. "It's a good thing we won the war."

"Better than losing it," said Stefan.

"It's nice to have the baby and obey the law, too," said Mother.

"But you didn't get your little girl."

"No," said Father. "We got our David."

"We didn't need a little girl after all," said Mother. "We got you back."

Not really, thought Petra. And not for long. Four years, maybe fewer, and I'll be off to university. And you won't miss me by then, because you'll know that I'm not the little girl you love, just this bloody-handed veteran of a nasty military school that turned out to have real battles to fight.

After the first hour, neighbors and cousins and friends from Father's work began dropping by, and it was not until after midnight that Father had to announce that tomorrow was not a national holiday and he needed to have some sleep before work. It took yet another hour to shoo everyone out of the house, and by then all Petra wanted was to curl up in bed and hide from the world for at least a week.

But by the end of the next day, she knew she had to get out of the house. She didn't fit into the routines. Mother loved her, yes, but her life centered around the baby and the neighborhood, and while she kept trying to engage Petra in conversation, Petra could see that she was a distraction, that it would be a relief for Mother when Petra went to school during the day as Stefan did, returning only at the scheduled time. Petra understood, and that night announced that she wanted to register for school and begin class the next day.

"Actually," said Father, "the people from the I.F. said that you could probably go right on to university."

"I'm fourteen," said Petra. "And there are serious gaps in my education."

"She never even heard of Dog," said Stefan.

"What?" said Father. "What dog?"

"Dog," said Stefan. "The zip orchestra. You know."

"Very famous group," said Mother. "If you heard them, you'd take the car in for major repairs."

"Oh, that Dog," said Father. "I hardly think that's the education Petra was talking about."

"Actually, it is," said Petra.

"It's like she's from another planet," said Stefan. "Last night I realized she never heard of anybody."

"I am from another planet. Or, properly speaking, asteroid."

"Of course," said Mother. "You need to join your generation."

Petra smiled, but inwardly she winced. Her generation? She had no generation, except the few thousand kids who had once been inBattle School, and now were scattered over the surface of the Earth, trying to find out where they belonged in a world at peace.

School would not be easy, Petra soon discovered. There were no courses in military history and military strategy. The mathematics was pathetic compared to what she had mastered in Battle School, but with literature and grammar she was downright backward: Her knowledge of Armenian was indeed childish, and while she was fluent in the version of English spoken in Battle School—including the slang that the kids used there—she had little knowledge of the rules of grammar and no understanding at all of the mixed Armenian and English slang that the kids used with each other at school.

Everyone was very nice to her, of course—the most popular girls immediately took possession of her, and the teachers treated her like a celebrity. Petra allowed herself to be led around and shown everything, and studied the chatter of her new friends very carefully, so she could learn the slang and hear how school English and Armenian were nuanced. She knew that soon enough the popular girls would tire of her—especially when they realized how bluntly outspoken Petra was, a trait that she had no intention of changing. Petra was quite used to the fact that people who cared about the social hierarchy usually ended up hating her and, if they were wise, fearing her, since pretensions didn't last long in her presence. She would find her real friends over the next few weeks—if, in fact, there were any here who would value her for what she was. It didn't matter. All the friendships here, all the social concerns, seemed so trivial to her. There was nothing at stake here, except each student's own social life and academic future, and what did that matter? Petra's previous schooling had all been conducted in the shadow of war, with the fate of humanity riding on the outcome of her studies and the quality of her skills. Now, what did it matter? She would read Armenian literature because she wanted to learn Armenian, not because she thought it actually mattered what some expatriate like Saroyan thought about the lives of children in a long-lost era of a far-off country.

The only part of school that she truly loved was physical education. To have sky over her head as she ran, to have the track lie flat before her, to be able to run and run for the sheer joy of it and without a clock ticking out her allotted time for aerobic exercise—such a luxury. She could not compete, physically, with most of the other girls. It would take time for her body to reconstruct itself for high gravity, for despite the great pains that the I.F. went to to make sure that soldiers' bodies did not deteriorate too much during long months and years in space, nothing trained you for living on a planet's surface except living there. But Petra didn't care that she was one of the last to complete every race, that she couldn't leap even the lowest hurdle. It felt good simply to run freely, and her weakness gave her goals to meet. She would be competitive soon enough. That was one of the aspects of her innate personality that had taken her to Battle School in the first place—that she had no particular interest in competition because she always started from the assumption that, if it mattered, she would find a way to win.

And so she settled in to her new life. Within weeks she was fluent in Armenian and had mastered the local slang. As she had expected, the popular girls dropped her in about the same amount of time, and a few weeks later, the brainy girls had cooled toward her as well. It was among the rebels and misfits that she found her friends, and soon she had a circle of confidants and co-conspirators that she called her "jeesh," Battle School slang for close friends, a private army. Not that she was the commander or anything, but they were all loyal to each other and amused at the antics of the teachers and the other students, and when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with an antisocial element in school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik.

Then one day she came home from school to find the front door locked. She carried no house key—no one did in their neighborhood because no one locked up, or even, in good weather, closed their doors. She could hear the baby crying inside the house, so instead of making her mother come to the front door to let her in, she walked around back and came into the kitchen to find that her mother was tied to a chair, gagged, her eyes wide and frantic with fear.

Before Petra had time to react, a hypostick was slapped against her arm and, without ever seeing who had done it, she slipped into darkness.

SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON Copyright © 2000 by Orson Scott Card

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Table of Contents

I. VOLUNTEERS 9
1. Petra 11
2. Bean 23
3. Message in a Bottle 33
4. Custody 47
5. Ambition 59
II. ALLIANCES 73
6. Code 75
7. Going Public 95
8. Bread Van 107
9. Communing with the Dead 131
10. Brothers in Arms 159
III. MANEUVERS 181
11. Bangkok 183
12. Islamabad 197
13. Warnings 211
14. Hyderabad 239
15. Murder 267
IV. DECISIONS 287
16. Treachery 289
17. On a Bridge 301
18. Satyagraha 317
19. Rescue 331
20.Hegemon 345
Afterword 359
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 199 )
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(120)

4 Star

(52)

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(18)

2 Star

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 200 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Great

    The Bean series is wonderful. Highly recommended.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Wonderful, a must read for every Ender fan

    This and the next two books in the Shadow parallel novels are among the best works Orson Scott Card ever wrote. Great adventure novels plus brilliant characters and a situation where a handful of smart teens have the fate of the world in their hands= irresistable series! These books also show different sides of every kid from Battle School as well as those who stayed behind. The explanation of how Peter became Hegemon proves that Card did his research- it's almost scary how possible some of the situations shown were. It'd be interesting to see wat would happen if Card wrote this book today... Anyway, read it if you haven't already! It's so worth it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    Read this book NOW

    Card has the uncanny ability to gives you four hundred plus pages pure suspense. From the first chapter on I was instantly glued to this book. This characters are so easy to undrstand and you end up caring for them and cheering for the good guy its hard to stop reading. Card includes wonderful details of the characters and the the details add such realism to the experience. The book is never predictable always changing directons and always leaving you excited to read whats to come up next.I loved this book and love the series an highly recommend it to any one who like science fiction and military novels. I had a hard time finding anything wrong with this and the only thing i could come up with is that some of the language is strong especially for how old the characters are. Children between the ages of seven and fourteen use harsh language seen in more mature books and movies. Otherwise thise book is flawless and will give you a good time. I would recomend reading the prequels to this book to fully understand all the little moments in the book but it could still be enjoyed with reading the previous books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    awesome

    wht more could i say just couldnt put it down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2003

    One of cards best

    I had a hard time getting into this book. When I finaly did it took me a week to read. I couldn't put it down. I have read three of cards book and I love to learn how they get out of situations.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Bean, or Julian Delphiki is on Earth after the war. Achilles ha

    Bean, or Julian Delphiki is on Earth after the war. Achilles has taken a seat of power and is trying to kidnap and kill members from Ender's squadron. Bean has gone into hiding and is trying to find a way to rescue his friend Petra. What I liked about this book is it contains action like the others but from a different angle. However, it tends to be a bit slow paced at times. Overall I think it's a great book and I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    Call me Hector...

    The book was great,if you love Enders Game or Enders Shadow, there wont be disappointments but its a tad different.Ist more for adults than for young adults, besides it gets a little too political at times. But all and all its very entertaining and will satisfy Enders and Enders shadow fans everywhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2006

    More?

    I enjoyed the book very much but I feel like i have been cut off. I think Orson Scott Card should continue with beans story one way or another. To me this story Just seems incompleted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2004

    Excellent, as usual

    Loved it. I'm amazed at how much the author knows about world events and cultures. These books are definitely not for people who don't want their minds jogged. I think this is one of the best books of the whole series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2004

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!

    this is a fantastic book i love books and i didnt really love reading these kinds of books until i read this one. tha author of the book is without a doubt one of the best there are just by the way he wrote one book and continued to write them but by a different character point of view,.. i will continue to read all of the ENDER'S GAME series ive already read,..ENDER'S GAME,..SHAWDOW OF HEGEMON,..AND ENDER'S SHADOW,.. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE A BOOK JUST ABOUT ACHILLIES THAT WOULD BE FANTASTIC TY FOR THE EXCELLENT BOOK!!!!! FROM RASHAWN

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2003

    The Best Author Ever!

    The book was great because it had so much action and big events that changed the world, people, and the way they thought.The last half of his books are the gratest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2003

    A must read

    For fans of Sci-fi this may be slightly disappointing from the space and alien oriented Ender's Game, but Card's depiction of the world in a few centuries is strikingly truthful to the present. His view is, especially in recent events, quite a possible, however unlikely as it may be, future world stuggle. His knowledge of Asian culture is very extensive (having years of experience myself in Asia) which i feel was a very important piece of this novel. Shadow of the Hegemon is indeed a must read, even those not very enthusiastic about Sci-fi, can appreciate the depiction of future (if not very like the present) politics of the world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2001

    Absent Ender, Battleschool grads are the weapons for world conquest

    The Formics are defeated and graduates of the IF Battleschool become the tools used by Achilles as he manipulates nations in his quest to dominate the Earth. Ender's Shadow gave insight into Bean, this book gets deeper into his life and persona while fleshing out the characters of Petra Arkanian, Sister Carlotta, Peter Wiggin and numerous others. While it is less sci-fi than most would hope for, it generates interest in politics and world history as it extrapolates a potential future. Card's talent for making his characters human and (generally) likable shines through. Shadow of the Hegemon is a great, fast read,holding the reader captive, particularly those familiar with the family of associated novels that precede it. As with the others, it leaves the reader asking, 'What's next, and do I have to wait long?'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2001

    Good, But Not Great, Sequel to Ender's Shadow

    It was obvious that Ender's Shadow was not going to be a one-shot spin-off deal; Card envisioned it as the first of a three- and then four-book saga separate from the original Ender quartet. The stage was set for Shadow of the Hegemon - Achilles was just too juicy of a villian, and there were still so many unanswered questions about what happened to Peter and the Battle School children. However, I was more than a little disappointed with the direction this novel took; it felt like a throwback to Cold War-era espionage novels (I hope Card wasn't attempting to mimic Tom Clancy). The author also made a terrible mistake that really disrupted the flow of the story more than once - he included too much of his research (military history in this case) into the novel, as though he were trying to impress the reader with his extensive knowledge of another subject. That was a Michael Crichton thing to do, and I felt it backfired in the hands of a far superior storyteller like Card.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2001

    Card Continues To Dominate Sci-Fi

    Orson Scott Card has yet to fail in creating a believable story plot that pulls you right in. Characters previously set in the backgrounds of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are now further developed, giving the Ender-veteran a new outlook on the characters' personalities and points of view. The story starts fast and never slows down, yet still giving the reader enough detail to enable them to visualize every escape, every assassination, every confrontation and emotion as they read this masterpiece. This author has taken a single story and created an entire history of a universe that may yet come to be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2000

    One of the best in the Sci-Fi names today!

    <B><I>This time the battlefield is set firmly on terra firma, Earth!</I></B> Ender and his sister, Valentine are not around. The intelligent children from Battle School were trying to blend back into life on Earth when they were kidnapped, except for Bean. He, his family, and his neighbors were bombed! Bean went into hiding with Sister Carlotta. Ender's brother, Peter Wiggin, was their only hope. <BR><BR> Peter may only have been a teen, but his intelligence at politics and pulling strings were as great as any of the Battle School Grads were at commanding! He held two names on the nets. Both were well known and had much influence. He was 'Locke', known as a peacemaker, and he was 'Demosthene'. He would help retrieve the brilliant children. But Petra was the most important and she was held prisoner by Achilles! Peter intended to rule the world...and soon. He would become the Hegemon. But first, he and Bean must become alliances to defeat Achilles, before he manages to destroy all the nations! <BR><BR> ***** <I>Orson Scott Card's deep thinking strategies on national and global politics, as well as, on national and global military tactics are proven once again to the Sci-Fi reading public! </I><BR><BR> The story mainly follows Bean, with Petra and Peter as secondary characters. But my vanity makes me like Petra the most. After all, change the <I>P</I> in her name to <I>D</I> and you have <I>MY</I> name! But more than that, I enjoyed watching her (as a 14 year old) using logic against grown men who trained in psychiatry. Petra has a way of seeing things more clearly than most. Here is a story that will hit the best seller lists almost immediately! <B><I>It is not only excellent, it is awesome! </I></B>*****

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Free ipadp

    Kiss hand than post this on three different books then look under pillow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2014

    Free ipad

    Kiss hand then post this on three seperate books then look under your pillow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Good

    Shut up two

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Free ipad

    Kiss your hand and post this on three different books thrn look under your pillow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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