The Crystal City (Alvin Maker Series #6)

The Crystal City (Alvin Maker Series #6)

by Orson Scott Card
3.9 37

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Overview

The Crystal City (Alvin Maker Series #6) by Orson Scott Card

Using the lore and the folk-magic of the men and women who settled North America, Orson Scott Card has created an alternate world where magic works, and where that magic has colored the entire history of the colonies. Charms and beseechings, hexes and potions, all have a place in the lives of the people of this world. Dowsers find water, the second sight warns of dangers to come, and a torch can read a person's future -- or their heart. In this world where "knacks" abound, Alvin, the seventh son of a seventh son, is a very special man indeed. He's a Maker; he has the knack of understanding how things are put together, how to create them, repair them, keep them whole, or tear them down. He can heal hearts as well as bones, he can build a house, he can calm the waters or blow up a storm. And he can teach his knack to others, to the measure of their own talent. Alvin has been trying to avert the terrible war that his wife, Peggy, a torch of extraordinary power, has seen down the life-lines of every American. Now she has sent him down the Mizzippy to the city of New Orleans, or Nueva Barcelona as they call it under Spanish occupation. Alvin doesn't know exactly why he's there, but when he and his brother-in-law, Arthur Stuart, find lodgings with a family of abolitionists who know Peggy, he suspects he'll find out soon. But Nueva Barcelona is about to experience a plague, and Alvin's efforts to protect his friends by keeping them healthy will create more danger than he could ever have suspected. And in saving the poor people of the city, Alvin will be put to the greatest test of his life -- a test that will draw on all his power. For the time has come for him to turn to his old friend Tenskwa-Tawa, the Red Prophet who controls the lands to the west of the Mizzippy. Now Alvin must take the first steps on the road to the Crystal City that was shown to him in a vision so long ago.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780641787850
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date: 11/10/2003
Series: Alvin Maker Series , #6
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

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

Hometown:

Greensboro, North Carolina

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1951

Place of Birth:

Richland, Washington

Education:

B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981

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The Crystal City (Alvin Maker Series #6) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Alvin Maker series is one of Orson Scott Card's best works, and the latest volume, The Crystal City, maintains the high quality of the rest of the series. The storyline, set in an alternate history 19th century America, revolves around Alvin, a 'Maker' with God-like powers. Card lays on the Biblical references thick, but they aren't offensive, even to a devoted atheist like me. The Crystal City features many characters from previous episodes, as well as historical figures we will all easily recognize (you won't have to read far to find Abe Lincoln), as Alvin tries to lead slaves from their captivity in Egypt, er, Louisiana (what did I tell you about the biblical references?). After books four and five in the Alvin series seemed to get sidetracked from the main storyline (Alvin's dream of building a crystal city), the plot gets back on track, as you can plainly tell from the title alone. I thought the last two episodes of the Alvin series were a little too dry, with characters that spent too much time talking and not enough doing (or making, if you will). Although some of the characters in The Crystal City also tend to run on, at least the story moves along briskly enough. Card breathes life into his frontier America setting, where everyone has a magic-like 'knack,' and he populates the tale with interesting characters. Card's prose even mirrors the era he portrays in an almost Twain-like manner. I recommend this book highly, although it is not as good as the first three in the series (but better than the fourth and fifth). You should read them all, because none of it will make much sense without the rest of the storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nearly three hundred pages in, and I'm wondering where the book went that should have come between the fifth and this one. The unexplained plot reversals and familiarity with and reference to previously un-introduced characters is distracting, to say the least.
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This was a major letdown compared with the other books in the series• The author referenced major plot points that he never wrote about• Consequently, it was as though half the book was missing• Card might as well have added a disclaimer saying: "I couldn't push back the deadline for this book anymore, and so I churned this out• It seems pretty clear, atleast to me that he's running out of ideas for and interest in this series•
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is great but it seems to have a few incosistancies (sorry can't spell) with the peevious book.
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