Xenocide (Ender Quintet #3)

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Overview

The war for survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the hearts of a child named Gloriously Bright.

On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought.

Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become ...

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Overview

The war for survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the hearts of a child named Gloriously Bright.

On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought.

Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become adults. The Startways Congress so fears the effects of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered eh destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there. The Fleet is on its way, a second xenocide seems inevitble.

Among the most acclaimed and successful books of the genre, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead have both won Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel. The third book continues the saga of Ender Wiggin, as he struggles to preserve no less than four different intelligent alien lifeforms. A national bestseller in hardcover. "Quite powerful."--Locus.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The finest science fiction series of the past decade." —The Columbus Dispatch

"The best writer science fiction has to offer.' —The Houston Post

"As a storyteller, Card excels in portraying the quiet drama of wars fought not on battlefields but in the hearts and minds of his characters....This meaty, graceful, and provoking sequel to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead stands as a brilliant testimony to his thoughtfulness." —Library Journal

"Hugo and Nebula-award winner Orson Scott Card demonstrates again that he belongs in the company of such older masters of science fiction as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert and Ursula K. Le Guin." —Magill Book Reviews

"The best science fiction novel of the year." --Nashville Banner

New York Times Book Review
Knowledge of what happened in the first two novels is essential to understanding this sequel. In fact, the three books form one long tale in which characters and concepts grow and deepen. Despite the epic confrontations called for in the plot, very little actually happens. The real action is philosophical: long, passionate debates about ends and means among people who are fully aware that they may be deciding the fate of entire species, entire worlds. Inevitably there are slow patches. . . . In the right hands, science fiction is afine medium for philosophical speculation; its imaginative worlds offer endlessly flexible settings for the statement of these and for their illustration and development. Mr. Card might have been wiser to compress his argument into a single book. But those who choose to follow him from start to finish will find that a novel of ideas can also be a novel of suspense.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Card returns to the highly popular, award-winning story of Andrew ``Ender'' Wiggin, the boy wonder who saved humanity from alien invasion and, guilt-ridden over his near-total destruction of the alien species, has now become a sort of traveling conscience. This third Ender novel picks up where Speaker for the Dead left off: on the planet Lusitania, Ender and the other human colonists strive to neutralize the ``descolada,'' a possibly sentient virus that adapts itself rapidly to every attack. Meanwhile, tensions are rising between the colonists and the indigenous ``pequeninos,'' who rely on the descolada for their survival; and the fleet sent by Starways Congress to destroy the rebellious colony closes in with its doomsday weapon. With the help of their family, their pequenino friends, and Jane (an artificial intelligence living in the galactic computer network), Ender and his sister Valentine race against time to resolve these crises. The plot is sometimes compelling, but the novel's many flaws make the book more often dull and irritating. Card's style is openly didactic, and when his characters do veer away from lengthy philosophical and scientific ruminations, they venture into contrived personality conflicts and endless self-deprecation. Some, notably Ender, Valentine and the wonderchild Wang-mu, are simply too good to be true--too smart, too reasonable, too kind and generous. The reader quickly tires of such impossible perfection. (July)
Publishers Weekly
As the penultimate story in the series that began with the impeccable Ender's Game, this volume is essential for fans but neither the book nor audio rise to the level of the first two volumes. The planet Lusitania is home to a small Portuguese colony, a newly discovered sentient race called the Pequininos, the last surviving Hive Queen of the Buggers, and Descolada, a virus that will destroy the human race if it gets off-planet. Because of the virus, a starship fleet is dispatched to destroy Lusitania. On the distant Chinese world of Path, a young pious girl influences history by uncovering secrets kept well-buried for millennia and in the process sealing the fate of both Lusitania and Path. The sanctimonious tone used by the girl's reader has great depth and fits the character so perfectly that she creates a fully dimensional, aggravating character. The pacing is as uneven as the cast's ability to maintain their Chinese and Portuguese accents. The music is randomly placed throughout and loses its effectiveness. A great deal of talent went into this production and while the good parts dominate, this is still a weaker effort in the series. Available as a TOR paperback. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As an armed fleet from Starways Congress hurtles through space toward the rebellious planet Lusitania, Ender Wiggin, his sister Valentine, and his family search for a miracle that will preserve the existence of three intelligent and vastly different species. As a storyteller, Card excels in portraying the quiet drama of wars fought not on battlefields but in the hearts and minds of his characters. Above all, Card is a thinker--and this meaty, graceful, and provoking sequel to Ender's Game ( LJ 2/15/85) and Speaker for the Dead ( LJ 2/15/86) stands as a brilliant testimony to his thoughtfulness. A priority purchase.
School Library Journal
YA-- A fitting culmination to the marvelous trilogy that began with Ender's Game (1985) and continued in Speaker for the Dead (1986, both TOR). Once started, Xenocide is almost impossible to put down. It continues the conflicts with the Penuininos (the alien race infected with a deadly virus); the Hive Queen and her workers; and the humans, including Ender, on Lusitania. What makes this title so fascinating are the new characters introduced here: Gloriously Bright and her father/mentor Han Fei-tzu, two of the ruling class on the planet Path. Their Chinese heritage, combined with their ``possession'' by obsessive-compulsive disorder, makes for an intriguing situation. The philosophical nature of this novel may be frustrating for some readers, and hardware fanatics may be disappointed by a solution that ventures into the more speculative realms of physics. For everyone else, however, Xenocide successfully pulls together all of the various themes Card has explored in this series. It will appeal not only to his fans, but also to readers of the speculative fiction of David Brin and Greg Bear. A thought-provoking, insightful, and powerfully written volume that no library should be without. --Cathy Chauvette & John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
From the Publisher
"The finest science fiction series of the past decade." —The Columbus Dispatch

"The best writer science fiction has to offer.' —The Houston Post

"As a storyteller, Card excels in portraying the quiet drama of wars fought not on battlefields but in the hearts and minds of his characters....This meaty, graceful, and provoking sequel to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead stands as a brilliant testimony to his thoughtfulness." —Library Journal

"Hugo and Nebula-award winner Orson Scott Card demonstrates again that he belongs in the company of such older masters of science fiction as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert and Ursula K. Le Guin." —Magill Book Reviews

"The best science fiction novel of the year." --Nashville Banner

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812509250
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Series: Ender Quintet Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 43,371
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Orson Scott Card

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.

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

XENOCIDE (Chapter 1: A PARTING)

Today one of the brothers asked me: Is it a terrible prison, not to be able to move from the place where you’re standing?

<You answered …<

<I told him that I am now more free than he is. The inability to move frees me from the obligation to act.>

<You who speak languages, you are such liars.>

Han Fei-tzu sat in lotus position on the bare wooden floor beside his wife’s sickbed. Until a moment ago he might have been sleeping; he wasn’t sure. But now he was aware of the slight change in her breathing, a change as subtle as the wind from a butterfly’s passing.

Jiang-qing, for her part, must also have detected some change in him, for she had not spoken before and now she did speak. Her voice was very soft. But Han Fei-tzu could hear her clearly, for the house was silent. He had asked his friends and servants for stillness during the dusk of Jiang-qing’s life. Time enough for careless noise during the long night that was to come, when there would be no hushed words from her lips.

“Still not dead,” she said. She had greeted him with these words each time she woke during the past few days. At first the words had seemed whimsical or ironic to him, but now he knew that she spoke with disappointment. She longed for death now, not because she hadn’t loved life, butbecause death was now unavoidable, and what cannot be shunned must be embraced. That was the Path. Jiang-qing had never taken a step away from the Path in her life.

“Then the gods are kind to me,” said Han Fei-tzu.

“To you,” she breathed. “What do we contemplate?”

It was her way of asking him to share his private thoughts with her. When others asked his private thoughts, he felt spied upon. But Jiang-qing asked only so that she could also think the same thought; it was part of their having become a single soul.

“We are contemplating the nature of desire,” said Han Fei-tzu.

“Whose desire?” she asked. “And for what?”

My desire for your bones to heal and become strong, so that they don’t snap at the slightest pressure. So that you could stand again, or even raise an arm without your own muscles tearing away chunks of bone or causing the bone to break under the tension. So that I wouldn’t have to watch you wither away until now you weigh only eighteen kilograms. I never knew how perfectly happy we were until I learned that we could not stay together.

“i“My desire,” he answered. “For you.”

“You only covet what you do not have.’ Who said that?”

“You did,” said Han Fei-tzu. “Some say, ‘what you i cannot have.’ Others say, ‘what you i should not have.’ I say, ‘You can truly covet only what you will always hunger for.’”

“You have me forever.”

“I will lose you tonight. Or tomorrow. Or next week.”

“Let us contemplate the nature of desire,” said Jiang-qing. As before, she was using philosophy to pull him out of his brooding melancholy.

He resisted her, but only playfully. “You are a harsh ruler,” said Han Fei-tzu. “Like your ancestor-of-the-heart, you make no allowance for other people’s frailty.” Jiang-qing was named for a revolutionary leader of the ancient past, who had tried to lead the people onto a new Path but was overthrown by weak-hearted cowards. It was not right, thought Han Fei-tzu, for his wife to die before him: her ancestor-of-the-heart had outlived her husband. Besides, wives i should live longer than husbands. Women were more complete inside themselves. They were also better at living in their children. They were never as solitary as a man alone.

Jiang-qing refused to let him return to brooding. “When a man’s wife is dead, what does he long for?”

Rebelliously, Han Fei-tzu gave her the most false answer to her question. “To lie with her,” he said.

“The desire of the body,” said Jiang-qing.

Since she was determined to have this conversation, Han Fei-tzu took up the catalogue for her. “The desire of the body is to act. It includes all touches, casual and intimate, and all customary movements. Thus he sees a movement out of the corner of his eye, and thinks he has seen his dead wifemoving across the doorway, and he cannot be content until he has walked to the door and seen that it was not his wife. Thus he wakes up from a dream in which he heard her voice, and finds himself speaking his answer aloud as if she could hear him.”

“What else?” asked Jiang-qing.

“I’m tired of philosophy,” said Han Fei-tzu. “Maybe the Greeks found comfort in it, but not me.”

“The desire of the spirit,” said Jiang-qing, insisting.

“Because the spirit is of the earth, it is that part which makes new things out of old ones. The husband longs for all the unfinished things that he and his wife were making when she died, and all the unstarted dreams of what they would have made if she had lived. Thus a man grows angry at his children for being too much like him and not enough like his dead wife. Thus a man hates the house they lived in together, because either he does not change it, so that it is as dead as his wife, or because he i does change it, so that it is no longer half of her making.”

“You don’t have to be angry at our little Qing-jao,” said Jiang-qing.

“Why?” asked Han Fei-tzu. “Will you stay, then, and help me teach her to be a woman? All I can teach her is to be what i I am—cold and hard, sharp and strong, like obsidian. If she grows like that, while she looks so much like you, how can I help but be angry?”

“Because you can teach her everything that I am, too,” said Jiang-qing.

“If I had any part of you in me,” said Han Fei-tzu, “I would not have needed to marry you to become a complete person.” Now he teased her by using philosophy to turn the conversation away from pain. “That is the desire of the soul. Because the soul is made of light and dwells in air, it is that part which conceives and keeps ideas, especially the idea of the self. The husband longs for his whole self, which was made of the husband and wife together. Thus he never believes any of his own thoughts, because there is always a question in his mind to which his wife’s thoughts were the only possible answer. Thus the whole world seems dead to him because he cannot trust anything to keep its meaning before the onslaught of this unanswerable question.”

“Very deep,” said Jiang-qing.

“If I were Japanese I would commit seppuku, spilling my bowel into the jar of your ashes.”

“Very wet and messy,” she said.

He smiled. “Then I should be an ancient Hindu, and burn myself on your pyre.”

But she was through with joking. “Qing-jao,” she whispered. She was reminding him he could do nothing so flamboyant as to die with her. There was little Qing-jao to care for.

So Han Fei-tzu answered her seriously. “How can I teach her to be what you are?”

“All that is good in me,” said Jiang-qing, “comes from the Path. If you teach her to obey the gods, honor the ancestors, love the people, and serve the rulers, I will be in her as much as you are.”

“I would teach her the Path as part of myself,” said Han Fei-tzu.

“Not so,” said Jiang-qing. “The Path is not a natural part of you, my husband. Even with the gods speaking to you every day, you insist on believing in a world where everything can be explained by natural causes.”

“I obey the gods.” He thought, bitterly, that he had no choice; that even to delay obedience was torture.

“But you don’t i know them. You don’t love their works.”

“The Path is to love the people. The gods we only obey.” How can I love gods who humiliate me and torment me at every opportunity?

“We love the people because they are creatures of the gods.”

“Don’t preach to me.”

She sighed.

Her sadness stung him like a spider. “I wish you would preach to me forever,” said Han Fei-tzu.

“You married me because you knew I loved the gods, and that love for them was completely missing from yourself. That was how I completed you.”

How could he argue with her, when he knew that even now he hated the gods for everything they had ever done to him, everything they had ever made him do, everything they had stolen from him in his life.

“Promise me,” said Jiang-qing.

He knew what these words meant. She felt death upon her; she was laying the burden of her life upon him. A burden he would gladly bear. It was losing her company on the Path that he had dreaded for so long.

“Promise that you will teach Qing-jao to love the gods and walk always on the Path. Promise that you will make her as much my daughter as yours.”

“Even if she never hears the voice of the gods?”

“The Path is for everyone, not just the godspoken.”

Perhaps, thought Han Fei-tzu, but it was much easier for the godspoken to follow the Path, because to them the price for straying from it was so terrible. The common people were free; they could leave the Path and not feel the pain of it for years. The godspoken couldn’t leave the Path for an hour.

“Promise me.”

I will. I promise.

But he couldn’t say the words out loud. He did not know why, but his reluctance was deep.

In the silence, as she waited for his vow, they heard the sound of running feet on the gravel outside the front door of the house. It could only be Qing-jao, home from the garden of Sun Cao-pi. Only Qing-jao was allowed torun and make noise during this time of hush. They waited, knowing that she would come straight to her mother’s room.

The door slid open almost noiselessly. Even Qing-jao had caught enough of the hush to walk softly when she was actually in the presence of her mother. Though she walked on tiptoe, she could hardly keep from dancing, almost galloping across the floor. But she did not fling her arms around her mother’s neck; she remembered that lesson even though the terrible bruise had faded from Jiang-qing’s face, where Qing-jao’s eager embrace had broken her jaw three months ago.

“I counted twenty-three white carp in the garden stream,” said Qing-jao.

“So many,” said Jiang-qing.

“I think they were showing themselves to me,” said Qing-jao. “So I could count them. None of them wanted to be left out.”

“Love you,” whispered Jiang-qing.

Han Fei-tzu heard a new sound in her breathy voice—a popping sound, like bubbles bursting with her words.

“Do you think that seeing so many carp means that I will be godspoken?” asked Qing-jao.

“I will ask the gods to speak to you,” said Jiang-qing.

Suddenly Jiang-qing’s breathing became quick and harsh. Han Fei-tzu immediately knelt and looked at his wife. Her eyes were wide and frightened. The moment had come.

Her lips moved. Promise me, she said, though her breath could make no sound but gasping.

“I promise,” said Han Fei-tzu.

Then her breathing stopped.

“What do the gods say when they talk to you?” asked Qing-jao.

“Your mother is very tired,” said Han Fei-tzu. “You should go out now.”

“But she didn’t answer me. What do the gods say?”

“They tell secrets,” said Han Fei-tzu. “No one who hears will repeat them.”

Qing-jao nodded wisely. She took a step back, as if to leave, but stopped. “May I kiss you, Mama?”

“Lightly on the cheek,” said Han Fei-tzu.

Qing-jao, being small for a four-year-old, did not have to bend very far at all to kiss her mother’s cheek. “I love you, Mama.”

“You’d better leave now, Qing-jao,” said Han Fei-tzu.

“But Mama didn’t say she loved me too.”

“She did. She said it before. Remember? But she’s very tired and weak. Go now.”

He put just enough sternness in his voice that Qing-jao left without further questions. Only when she was gone did Han Fei-tzu let himself feel anything but care for her. He knelt over Jiang-qing’s body and tried to imagine what was happening to her now. Her soul had flown and was nowalready in heaven. Her spirit would linger much longer; perhaps her spirit would dwell in this house, if it had truly been a place of happiness for her. Superstitious people believed that all spirits of the dead were dangerous, and put up signs and wards to fend them off. But those who followed the Path knew that the spirit of a good person was never harmful or destructive, for their goodness in life had come from the spirit’s love of making things. Jiang-qing’s spirit would be a blessing in the house for many years to come, if she chose to stay.

Yet even as he tried to imagine her soul and spirit, according to the teachings of the Path, there was a cold place in his heart that was certain that all that was left of Jiang-qing was this brittle, dried-up body. Tonight it would burn as quickly as paper, and then she would be gone except for the memories in his heart.

Jiang-qing was right. Without her to complete his soul, he was already doubting the gods. And the gods had noticed—they always did. At once he felt the unbearable pressure to do the ritual of cleansing, until he was rid of his unworthy thoughts. Even now they could not leave him unpunished. Even now, with his wife lying dead before him, the gods insisted that he do obeisance to them before he could shed a single tear of grief for her.

At first he meant to delay, to put off obedience. He had schooled himself to be able to postpone the ritual for as long as a whole day, while hiding all outward signs of his inner torment. He could do that now—but only by keeping his heart utterly cold. There was no point in that. Proper grief could come only when he had satisfied the gods. So, kneeling there, he began the ritual.

He was still twisting and gyrating with the ritual when a servant peered in. Though the servant said nothing, Han Fei-tzu heard the faint sliding of the door and knew what the servant would assume: Jiang-qing was dead, and Han Fei-tzu was so righteous that he was communing with the gods even before he announced her death to the household. No doubt some would even suppose that the gods had come to take Jiang-qing, since she was known for her extraordinary holiness. No one would guess that even as Han Fei-tzu worshiped, his heart was full of bitterness that the gods would dare demand this of him even now.

O Gods, he thought, if I knew that by cutting off an arm or cutting out my liver I could be rid of you forever, I would seize the knife and relish the pain and loss, all for the sake of freedom.

That thought, too, was unworthy, and required even more cleansing. It was hours before the gods at last released him, and by then he was too tired, too sick at heart to grieve. He got up and fetched the women to prepare Jiang-qing’s body for the burning.

At midnight he was the last to come to the pyre, carrying a sleepy Qing-jao in his arms. She clutched in her hands the three papers she had written for her mother in her childish scrawl. “Fish,” she had written, and “book”and “secrets.” These were the things that Qing-jao was giving to her mother to carry with her into heaven. Han Fei-tzu had tried to guess at the thoughts in Qing-jao’s mind as she wrote those words. i Fish because of the carp in the garden stream today, no doubt. And i book—that was easy enough to understand, because reading aloud was one of the last things Jiang-qing could do with her daughter. But why i secrets? What secrets did Qing-jao have for her mother? He could not ask. One did not discuss the paper offerings to the dead.

Han Fei-tzu set Qing-jao on her feet; she had not been deeply asleep, and so she woke at once and stood there, blinking slowly. Han Fei-tzu whispered to her and she rolled her papers and tucked them into her mother’s sleeve. She didn’t seem to mind touching her mother’s cold flesh—she was too young to have learned to shudder at the touch of death.

Nor did Han Fei-tzu mind the touch of his wife’s flesh as he tucked his own three papers into her other sleeve. What was there to fear from death now, when it had already done its worst?

No one knew what was written on his papers, or they would have been horrified, for he had written, “My body,” “My spirit,” and “My soul.” Thus it was that he burned himself on Jiang-qing’s funeral pyre, and sent himself with her wherever it was she was going.

Then Jiang-qing’s secret maid, Mu-pao, laid the torch onto the sacred wood and the pyre burst into flames. The heat of the fire was painful, and Qing-jao hid herself behind her father, only peeking around him now and then to watch her mother leave on her endless journey. Han Fei-tzu, though, welcomed the dry heat that seared his skin and made brittle the silk of his robe. Her body had not been as dry as it seemed; long after the papers had crisped into ash and blown upward into the smoke of the fire, her body still sizzled, and the heavy incense burning all around the fire could not conceal from him the smell of burning flesh. That is what we’re burning here: meat, fish, carrion, nothing. Not my Jiang-qing. Only the costume she wore into this life. That which made that body into the woman that I loved is still alive, i must still live. And for a moment he thought he could see, or hear, or somehow i feel the passage of Jiang-qing.

Into the air, into the earth, into the fire. I am with you.

XENOCIDE Copyright © 1991 by Orson Scott Card

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 378 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2003

    Pretty good, but not Card's best

    I really enjoyed 'Speaker', but 'Xenocide' left me sort of disappointed in the end. 350 pages of this sizeable novel are all philosophical rambling about the Descolada and things in general. It's not that some of it isn't clearly intriguing, but it gets tiring, and quite frankly, not a lot HAPPENS in this novel to pick it up. When something DOES happen, it can be really quite spectacular--Card crafts these moments extraordinarily well--and just for these moments 'Xenocide' may be worth the read, but be prepared think about alot more in reading this novel.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Loved it

    This book is the third in a series of 4. But it is arguable that there are more and there are but here not the main 4. In the series there is Enders Game, Speaker for the dead (3000 years after the first one), Xenocide, Children of the mind. There ones only going to be three but the last one were too long and he has to split it into two. In no doubt in my mind that he is my favorite author.
    I loved it, although I do like all of the books in this is my favorite. It is my favorite because it has the most in-depth of them all. The reason it does it because it has the main climax of all the stories. So in this they haft to find out how to fix their main problems. How they do this is what makes it so great. How he can think of all this and make it believable is what makes him such an amazing.
    Even thought this book was written many years ago I think that it has such advance technology in it that it could be believable today. Not crap that would be pointless and stupid he puts things in his books that would make seams and would be applicable today.
    But I do haft to argue that people wouldn't like this because it is very confusing and it makes you think a lot and people just like simple books. That's what makes it so great in my opinion because it is a challenge to me and it gets me to use my imagination in ways that I never have before. So to cap it all I loved this book and I hope you will too after you read all the first books otherwise it will make no sense.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Demosthenes

    This book is a good book. It picks up straight where "Speaker for the Dead" left off. I must stress, the book is rather confusing and meaningless if you haven't read the previous books. To be fair, it is a bit slow at times and may be confusing if you don't pay attention to the book and the concepts explained/proposed. Another thing is that you must keep an open mind to that which Card writes. He expresses philosophical concepts that may seem impossible and probably are. But that's okay, it's fiction. If you want science fiction that fits all of the perameters of known science you should give up searching for it. You will never find it. The point of science fiction is to surpass the limits of all known science and to stretch to the farthest corners of your imagination. Who cares if his fiction is unlikely? Was not Columbus's idea that the Earth was rounded rejected by many? -Demosthenes

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Premise gone WILD!

    Ender started with a bang, slowed to a crawl in Speaker and then completely spiraled out of control in Xenocide. It's almost as if Orson Scott Card became really enchanted by his kitschy attempt to inject philosophical depth into his writing, and along the way forgot that he was supposed to be crafting an interesting story. The resulting mess of fiction is marked by the most lazy and unlikely plot solutions, creating a rank pile of BS that stinks through to the end. SPOILER ALERT In 3000 years, no one has managed to advance interstellar travel, but hey - lets get three or four laymen in a room to wish really hard and we'll invent wormholes! We have no way to synthesize a cure to this odd disease, so lets go into an alternate reality and imagine it so it will exist! I know, we'll have the one cripple wish himself healthy and create an alternate version of himself who is cured! Hey, no one in this book is interesting, so let's send Ender to into the netherverse and have him accidentally create new versions of his long dead brother Peter and sister Val. If I weren't reading this crap on my nook, I would have used this book as kitty litter.

    3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Xenocide

    It has taken me a long time to come up with my final review of this book for you guys. Finally though, I've got it. So here goes:
    This book shows not only useful life lessons, advanced knowledge, and an amazing story, but is constantly making the reader want- no, have- to keep going. But many books are like this, as you notice. This however, was in a different way. Oh yes, it keeps on your toes, wondering about what's to happen next, just like a normal book. But this entire series is going to stay with you all your life, i promise. And this book is where that really comes out. So if i and a majority of others were so fascinated by this wonderful book, does that mean its comepletely flawless? No. Never. This book was probably the slowest and most confusing and avanced book of the ender series. I am inclined to believe that the majority of this vocabulary is for college students. However, if you are willing enough to understand this book, and if you truly love it, you will make sure you get something from it, learn from it. So overall, this book is highly reccomended to readers of all ages... if you think you're up to it. ;) :DDDDDDD

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    Fantastic Read...

    I have read Enders Game and Speaker for the Dead. Xenocide is the rest of speaker for the dead. It picks up right where Speaker left off and is so far I've enjoyed it equally as well as the prior. If the overview of this story makes you curious read Speaker for the dead first it will make a lot more sense. You don't HAVE to read Enders Game that one can stand alone. These two Speaker and Xenocide are part one and part two of a story...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Ben..?

    You still there?

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Dip's review

    Hi, my pen name is Dipilodorkus and i love books.

    This is a series that i personaly read when i was a child and as to be expected i did not realy get some of the realy deep and detaild sections of this series but i was still thouroly entertaind by it. It wasnt until ten years later that i picked up these books again and truely READ them and realised how deep and wonderfull this series is. I recomend this book and the other three too any and all book lovers on this earth who enjoy a good story.

    May you live in peace.
    - Dipilodorkus

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    I'm a fan

    I actually really enjoyed this book. There are parts that don't live up to the typical "Ender's Game" standards, but the book makes up for that by for the first time really going in depth about the philosophical and moral issues presented by the series. Card also manages to keep alive his recurring theme of an off-world impending military assault closing in on Ender. Card knows how to keep me interested. At points I found myself staying up until 4 in the morning because I couldn't put the book down. I recommend this book, and this series for that matter, to anyone who can read. It's just that good.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Too deep

    I read this book but it gets really deep, if you can understand what I am saying. This is not a action packed story. Lots of into the character's minds along with the Queen and the piggies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    Orson Scott Card's third novel in the Ender Series is very sophi

    Orson Scott Card's third novel in the Ender Series is very sophisticated and wordy. It is worth a read but be prepared to read &quot;Children of the Mind&quot; afterward.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    Keep them in order!

    Although the author says each book stands alone, I find it really helps to read the series in order. Xenocide is a natural follow-on to Ender's Game, but there are books in between. I found the book fascinating from an anthropological perspective, and certainly a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2013

    It's certainly not as good as the first two books. The story is

    It's certainly not as good as the first two books. The story is still cohesive, but it pales compared to the previous two books.  So, honestly, this rating only reflects it's value against the other books in the series, thus far.  It's not my favorite in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    A great read

    Full of ah-ha moments and challenges to ways of thinking

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    Dissapointing finale

    Had to force myself to finish this book. After finishing i wished i would have bailed sooner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    2 stars

    2 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Pretty good but could be better

    Sure i rated this 5 stars but it could be better liie it needs less talking and more excitin moments

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    got sample

    Is it any good.i read first book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Kind of slow moving but good.

    Just a little slow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    I loved it!

    It was a deep, thought provoking read. I enjoyed it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 378 Customer Reviews

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