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Nobody's Son Paperback – May 1, 2000

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A superlative work....Highly enjoyable."—Edmonton Journal
"Stewart's genius is his ability to give the ordinary, personal events of his characters the same dramatic weight as their epic clashes."—Horizons SF

About the Author

Sean Stewart is the author of seven novels, including two New York Times Notable Books. He lives in Monterey, California.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152022597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152022594
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,711,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sean Stewart is the author of the innovative I Love Bees and Beast search operas, two short stories, and seven previous novels: Galveston, Mockingbird, The Night Watch, Clouds End, Resurrection Man, Nobody's Son, and Passion Play. His novels have received the Aurora, Arthur Ellis, Sunburst, Canadian Library, and World Fantasy awards. He presently writes lots of things that have Non Disclosure Agreements attached so he cannot talk about them. Stewart is tall, energetic, uses big words easily, coaches his daughter's soccer team, is a great reader, has taught writing, and lives in Davis, CA, with his wife and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Nobody's Son" succeeds as both a fantasy and as a psychological study of an over-achieving hero who is four years old when his father deserts their family. Normally the phrase `psychological study' would be the kiss of death for a fantasy, but Sean Stewart's characters are the opposite of pretentious, navel-gazers. They're introspective, but they're also over-achievers and likeable to boot. His hero, Shielder's Mark is a shrewd young commoner who succeeds in shattering an age-old spell and winning the hand of a princess. He then blunders through the courtly landscape and into marriage, wears an awful hat through much of the book because the woman he loves made it for him (out of a corset and badly dyed leather), and forges his own demesne out of land that no one else would have because it was haunted. Sean Stewart tells his tale of "Nobody's Son" almost backwards---or at least his real story begins where most fairy tales end---in the `happily ever after.' Time itself shuttles backward, forward, round and round like an industrious orb-weaver. Shielder's Mark crosses a bridge that collapsed fifty generations past. He accidentally conjures up a dead hero and steals his sword. He loans his own sword to a man whose bones crumble to dust the next morning. In his `happily ever after,' Mark learns that he now must vanquish the ghosts he let back into the world when he destroyed the spell of the Red Keep. He also needs to learn that his "strange, proud, fierce, fox-faced" princess-bride, "chose him as much as he chose her." Read this Aurora Award winner for its engaging characters, for its wonderful, offbeat love story, and for the dire spell of the Red Keep, where Shielder's Mark must confront his own past and intervene in a patricide that took place before he was born.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Maxwell on December 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a fantasy story which starts where most end: when the hero vanquishes the evil in the land and goes to claim his prize.
The Ghostwood has been the evil in the heart of the kingdom for a thousand years, and for most of that time, the best, bravest and most noble heros have gone to try and vanqish it, for the prize is no other than any wish they may make of the king. For all that time none of these great heros succeded or came back - till Shielder's Mark did.
And there's the problem, because Mark is no noble hero in the traditional sense, instead he is a pratical pesant with big dreams. Mark claims his princess and finds out how much the fairy tales *didn't* say.
This is a well written novel. Aimed for "young adults" it can be read by anyone who enjoys an original, well written fantasy story. All the characters have a depth and honesty to them that is refreshing, and the writing style is descriptive without going overboard.
Having read this book, I now plan to look up more works by this author, who appears to be a hidden gem of the fantasy/young adult market.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dan Dean on January 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been using the top 100 fantasy web pageto get ideas of what to read, and for the most part, the favorites of the masses have been helpful recommendations. This book was ranked rather high, so I kept an eye out for it... for two years. Nowhere to be found. Even here. Yet you can read here that its won some prestigeous awards. After finally finding a copy in a dusty library, I rushed home to read it aware that it had been built up in my mind for all this time- and it in no way disappointed! A decent culture, and fun delemas and situations, but what made this stand alone story really shine was the characters. Nothing steriotypical about them. They are real people in a very imaginative, yet realistic world. It may be tough at first to get used to his style, and the speaking habits of his characters, but twenty pages in it doesnt phase you, and by the end of the book you want more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Scott on February 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
At first glance, 'Nobody's Son' appears to be a typical young adult fantasy; one of those where the young nobody overcomes tremendous odds and becomes prominent. But it turns out to be so much more.
Our hero braves the evil enchanted forest where time exists for only one day. It has been foretold that once a man enters the forest, he must leave by midnight or he is trapped inside for eternity. The only way to lift the curse is to remove the evil dagger from the forest. Our hero overcomes innumerable odds and removes the dagger. He returns to the king's castle and demands his reward, the king's youngest daughter and a dukedom.
Stewart's story goes into much more depth than this seemingly basic plot. His characters are unforgettable. They linger in the mind days after finishing the book. Their relationships with each other are fascinating; particularly that between the young princess and her affianced.
This is a compelling story that will entertain. It goes beyond the surface-thin plots we see all too often in fantasy today. The story has depth and resonance. Magic Carpet Books is to be applauded for bringing this fantastic story back into print. It's a travesty that it had never before been printed in America. Sean Stewart is gradually gaining prominence in the literary (not just fantasy) community. He keeps improving with each book. You owe it to yourself to become familiar with this relatively new and powerful author. Recommended.
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