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Hart's Hope Paperback – August 2, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


“A fantastic tapestry woven around wholly believable characters.” ―Fantasy Review

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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (August 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765306786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765306784
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By S. Pflueger on August 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Full of cruelty, brutality, pain, and anguish.
The strange way of telling little stories within the larger one threw me at first. I was expecting this to be a device only in the prologue. After reading for a while, I got into the flow of the story telling. I easily became enraptured of this tale and read it vigorously throughout the day and night. The style of the book seems biblical, with the names and the little titles throughout each chapter remincent of biblical names/titles. His new ideas were sharp and refreshing, in other words not a fantasy novel I had read before.
The basic fantasy constructs are there: Nobles, witches, wizards, and magic. The plot has epic proportions, but has Card's brevity and simplicity of description.
The worst and best part of the novel is the ending. The reader is left hanging at the end, but if you are able to come to the (almost) inevitable conclusion, then you will be satisfied. (Otherwise it leaves you pulling your hair.)
The villianess of the story is evil yet abused in such a way that she should be pitied for her situation, but still justly delt with in the end. Great and powerful, abused and flawed. The debate over her abuse makes this book less black and white, and more shades of gray.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on November 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The most lingering question you will have after reading 'Hart's Hope' is, 'What is evil, anyway?' Is Evil a single act? A single retribution? A single greed? Or is Evil a festering wound that takes years to nurture, molding it as you would a lump of clay? If Evil is singular, can it be absolved? Where does Evil end, and where does it begin?

'Hart's Hope' is one of the best books I have ever read. It still clings to me like a sticky web, trailing from my fingers as I pass my hand across all that I own, all that I am. And I ask myself, "What If?"

When Palicrovol defeats the bad King Nasilee, he only has to force the king's daughter Asineth to marry him and consummate the marriage in order for him to rule Burland. Palicrovol's single act of mercy in not killing Asineth as he was told he should do would eventually become his undoing. Instead of killing her, Palicrovol sends Asineth away with the powerful wizard Sleeve, but not before he has tagged Asineth with the name 'Beauty'.

Beauty's thirst for vengeance and power over the man who defiled her is legend, overpowering even the bonds of motherhood when she gives birth to a ten-month child, a bad omen. Obtaining magical powers through her child, Beauty sets out to challenge King Palicrovol.

Beauty leaves Palicrovol with his kingship, but takes over her father's city, renamed Inwit. She transforms Palicrovol's virgin bride into a hideous visage and renames her Weasel. Palicrovol, banished from the city, eventually finds himself spellbound to take a farmer's wife on the shores of a river.

The farmer's wife births a son named Orem. The majority of the story is about Orem's upbringing and adventure into Inwit, where Orem will meet his fate with Queen Beauty.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lucinda A. on November 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I think this is an incredibly original book. During the last ten years or so, I read lots of fantasies just to pass my time, and forgot most of them (which is what they probably deserved anyway). Not so with this story, which I read again recently. The first thing that captures the reader is the style of the writing: it is a letter written by one of the characters to another; but softly, without the reader noticing how, the perspective switches and all of a sudden we have a story narrated from an outsider's perspective. The ending brings it all back, in a manner that leaves you almost on the verge of frustration: you don't know exactly what will happen, the book doesn't tell you. Yet, you know the choices. In some sense, you can write your own ending. This is one of the beauties of this story: it includes the reader in it.
The characters are so interesting because they are, after all, very ambiguous. The character you would think was the hero at the beginning of the book has to commit rape to fulfill his destiny; the true hero is in fact an unwilling victim. The villain commits gruesome acts, but you understand her motives and you cannot help but feel that she, too, is trapped in something bigger than herself.
The theme of the story is downright bloody - like a dark secret that you would rather not know, yet it fascinates you. It leaves the reader with a feeling of uneasiness, perhaps because there's a strong taboo that gets violated in the book. The feeling of distress is compounded by the fact that the narrator of the story is supposed to be a character who tells only the truth. A great story.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Marc Balara on April 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was told that Orson Scott Card was a prolific writer. That may be true, but I'll tell you another thing about Mr. Card, based on this book (which is my first by him), he is a brilliant writer in addition to a prolific one.
It's a short book, but every chapter, every page, every word carefully guides you through a story that has your "heart" racing throughout. This book exuded more emotion in me than any 1000 page Fantasy book ever has.
Mr. Card creates a world in which magic, love, sadness, guilt, hope and dreams are so intertwined that without any of them, none can exist. I suppose that's what life is all about. Imagine, a fantasy book teaching the ways of reality.
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