Thursday, August 03, 2006

Alvin Maker

Over that past few months I have been reading the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card. The fantasy series spans 7 books, one of which has yet to be released.

Seventh Son
Red Prophet
Prentice Alvin
Alvin Journeyman
The Crystal City
Master Alvin (not yet released)

I didn't read these straight through. I read a few books and short stories in between some of the volumes of the Alvin Maker series. Mainly because I didn't enjoy being stuck in the same world for that long, and me and my fiancee went to the library, and I checked out 4 other books. Plus, I have been reading those silly sci-fi magazines.

The Tales of Alvin Maker series is set in an America where the revolutionary war didn't happen. As you might have guessed, being a fantasy series, magic works in this America. A lot of the magic is wrapped up in gifts that people are born with called "knacks". Mostly "knacks" are really just people being unnaturally skilled at something. Some are great at building things, others have incredible memory, and Alvin Maker can do just about anything.

Alvin is a "Maker", a man who is gifted at making things. His main opposition is in the form of the "Unmaker", who is not really a man, but more of an entity. The Unmaker is the destroyer of all things. When Alvin makes something he sets the Unmaker back in his work for ultimate destruction.

Sounds good, right?

Ok, maybe I don't make it sound that good, but as with most of Cards books, the characters are really well developed. It is hard not to enjoy the world that has been created, and even harder not to relate with all the well drawn characters. Card leaves very few characters unexplored, and it seem as if all of them play some major role in the over all story.

When I was reading the series I found that after Red Prophet, the best of the series, the story slows way down. When Alvin is young he learns some basic things about himself and his knack, and is involved in a war between the Reds and the Whites. After the war he moves to the town of his birth to be come a prentice blacksmith.

From Prentice Alvin to Heartfire, Alvin spends most of his time searching for where to build the Crystal City (a city he saw in a prophecy that he must build), learning how to be a maker, or getting arrested.

If it were not for Card's excellent writing style and his top notch character development, I would have stopped reading it a while ago. Even though I am a little relieved to be done with the series, I am still looking forward to the final installment.


Just a quick note. In my Stealth! Who Needs Stealth? blog, I said that you played as Sam Fisher and a clone of Sam Fisher. Well that was a mistake. You actually play as two other spies that have no names. I don't feel like going back and correcting that blog just I will just tell you here.

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