From Publishers Weekly
Card's newest series opener can't decide whether it's a thought experiment featuring a nifty magic system, a YA urban fantasy, or a series of fantasy interludes, so it settles for performing all three tasks satisfactorily, if not spectacularly. Danny North, descendant of exiled mages from another world, is taken aback when he comes into his true powers as a gatemage. He could reconnect his people with their long-lost home world, but gatemages are usually killed to maintain a fragile peace among the exiled clans. Fleeing his home, Danny finds refuge and slowly explores his potential, planning to open the first Great Gate in 14 centuries. Meanwhile, on the far-off world of Westil, a young gatemage named Wad finds love, conspiracies, and betrayal in a remote castle while struggling to recall his hazy past. Though occasionally uneven and meandering, this ambitious tale is well crafted, highly detailed, and pleasantly accessible. (Jan.)
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Teenager Danny North has always suspected he was different from other members of his family, and you should know right off the bat that the members of Danny’s family are, or rather used to be, gods. Danny’s immediate relatives were formerly known as Odin, Thor, and Freya. For the past 14 centuries, ever since Loki closed the space-time gates that linked the planet Mittlegard (otherwise known as Earth) to far-off Westil, the once-powerful gods have existed as shadows of their former selves. But that could be about to change because Danny discovers that he possesses that rarest of gifts: he can create gates. Problem is, Danny’s family and the other families have a long-standing agreement that any “gatemage” will be killed immediately, to keep any one family from having the power to create gates and return to Westil (and regain its full powers). So Danny goes on the run, hiding among the drowthers (ordinary humans), but a mage as powerful as Danny can’t keep himself hidden for long, and soon he’s locked in battle with a powerful and dangerous opponent, with the fate of humanity at stake. Card has a lot on his plate, here: he’s creating not just a fictional world but also a mythology and an internally consistent magic system to go with it. But that’s the sort of thing he’s so very good at, and his legion of fans—especially devotees of his classic novel Ender’s Game, which also features a boy discovering his unique gifts—should enjoy this similar tale immensely. --David Pitt