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Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1992

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Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 2) + Prentice Alvin (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 3) + Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1)
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Product Details

  • Series: Tales of Alvin Maker (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reissue edition (July 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812524268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812524260
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 4.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Card's fantasy series, "Tales of Alvin Maker," got off to a delightful bang with Seventh Son, which introduced an alternate early America where folk magics such as healing and dowsing really work. A nation still inchoate, its independent states are a crazy quilt, some rebellious while others remain loyal to a variety of European countries, some repressive while others grant native American Indians citizenship. This second volume finds an exiled Napoleon in Detroit, dreaming of empire and glory while Governor William Henry Harrison is plotting his own future on the graves of red Americans. Between these forces are the native followers of two brothers, the warrior Ta-Kumsaw and the pacifist prophet of the title, Tenskwa-Tawa. With its preachy tone, tepid mysticism and forced coincidences, this sequel, though interesting, doesn't live up to its predecessor. Card recently won the Hugo Award two years in a row, the first time a novel (Ender's Game) and its sequel (Speaker for the Dead) have both taken top honors.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Young Alvin Miller's magical talent for making things whole becomes the focus of a desperate race to prevent a bloodthirsty war between the Indians and the white settlers in North America. Set in an alternate world steeped in natural magic, this sequel to Seventh Son continues to demonstrate the author's love for American folklore. Recommended. JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

RED PROPHET takes us over a wide array of places and shows us incredible characters and sweep of history.
Christopher Culver
I do not understand why Mr. Card spent so much time talking about Hooch, when it ends up that he is not a major character and serves very little purpose for the plot.
This book is better than the first in the series and leaves me eager to re-read the next one, Prentice Alvin.
John Howard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on February 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book II of Card's Alvin Maker fantasy alternative history of frontier America covers some of the same ground as in Book I, Seventh Son, but now through different eyes. Rather than the mostly idyllic and rational vision of the white man's world-that-was-or-might-be, centered on Alvin's family, this story mostly gives us the Red man's view of white oppression versus working to live together. White's forest clearance vs. Red's forest custodianship is the most powerfully expressed metaphor of the contrast, while the black, Unmaker, rivers run through. Certain central events in Alvin's numinous awakening to his powers in the first novel are now seen from an unsuspected "other" side, not that of the Devil as the intolerant Rev. Thrower would have it, but from the native Shaw-Nee or Kicky-Poo side of the rivers. This book includes a version of Tippecanoe, the massacre that made William Harrison our President, that chills the blood. Card has an especially different take on liberty-loving Lafayette, an associate here of Napoleon rather than dead Washington! Really, these amazing shifts in view on American political icons are one of the great appeals of this series.

The other appeal, of course, is that Card is an imaginative teller of tales. He infuses this tale with a mythic, sometimes elegiac and mystical, quality, despite dialogue cast in backwoods provincial patois. Card is imagining a more hopeful frontier experience, among Hoosier "hill-billys," where the green hope of the Reds and their Napoleon is crushed finally. The story has become fiercer, bleaker and more desperate. It can be hard going because attention is not always on the central character, but digresses into sweeping quasi-historical tangents that only eventually feed back in to the "main story"--if that really is Alvin.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
RED PROPHET is the second book of Orson Scott Card's "Tales of Alvin Maker" and perhaps the best book in the series (out of the five released so far). It has unforgettable events, an epic sweep, and gives a sobering reminder of how white settlers wiped out the Native Americans.
For the first forty pages the reader is introduced to the world outside of the frontier town of Vigor Church, where most of the first book SEVENTH SON was set. There is a glimpse at the French Canadians in this alternate history, and the black heart of one William Henry Harrison, who in our world became president after his slaughter of the Indians at Tippecanoe. The novel's main plotline then begins with Alvin's setting out from Vigor Church to Hatrack River, the place of his tumultuous birth and where he now will become an apprentice smith. He is accompanied by his brother Measure and it isn't long before they are captured by Choc-Taw hired by Harrison to smear the reputation of the Red prophet Tenskwa-Tawa (formerly Lolla-Wossiky) and his brother Ta-Kumsaw. Alvin and Measure survive their capture and are rescued by Ta-Kumsaw. Then, on the shores of Lake Mizogan, Alvin begins to learn of his destiny as a Maker and the incredible city which he must build.
And this is only the beginning. RED PROPHET takes us over a wide array of places and shows us incredible characters and sweep of history. There is so much here that stays with the reader long after the novel ends, such as the anger of the townsmen at Tippecanoe, Alvin's travels all over this wide land, Eight-Face Mound, and Becky's mystical loom. Card has triumphed in creating such an enchanting novel.
While The Tales of Alvin Maker isn't of the highest quality in terms of prose, I'd certainly recommend this series, especially because RED PROPHET is part of it. This installment is not only captivating, but it also spurs one to read more about this era of American history, when settlers and Native Americans violently clashed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John D. Costanzo on April 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a wonderful book that deserves wider attention. It is set in an alternate early America, during the time of the Tecumseh and the Indian Wars. As much a frontier western as it is a fantasy, this novel will delight fans of both genres.
Card is an excellent writer who weaves his story with moral and religious overtones. He exposes the best and worst of the frontier Americans, as well as objectively showing the impossible and inevitable conflict with the Native Americans. Card doesn't ignore his characters. Alvin, Tecumseh (renamed Ta-Kumsaw) and his brother, the Prophet, are all deep and vividly portrayed characters. And William Henry Harrison, notorious in history for being the president with the shortest term, is portrayed here as the darkest of men.
If you want to read this book, you will have to read the first in the series, The Seventh Son, also a very good novel, but as you read it keep in mind that you have this one to look forward to. The Red Prophet is a well-written, highly entertaining and original story that ranks among the best fantasy fiction available.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lord Jeffrey of Starbucky on August 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Red Prophet lives up to the expectations that I had after reading The Seventh Son. All the wonderful things that I said about the first book continue to apply. We get to see a "what-if" America where magic actually works, and our history is revealed in alternate ways (like George Washington having been executed at the start of the revolution). This series has been a lifeline for me in the fantasy genra.

The good of Red Prophet:
1) Alvin is finally coming into his powers a little. No more accidental board splitting - now he runs to the melody of greensong and goes to places where no white man has ever been.
2) In this book, we run into historical celebrities like Napoleon, the Marquis De La Feyette, more from William Blake (Taleswapper), Andrew Jackson, and Tippy-Canoe Harrison. Its neat seeing the writer's interpretation of these historical figures, and they were well done, if not completely accurately (as the author states about Harrison, for example).
3) The characters are never, every one dimensional. The good guys aren't all good, and the bad guys - even the worst guys - have limits to their vileness. In fact, there's an ever-present feeling of the power of redemption throughout this book which I found appealing. I kept hoping that certain people would rise to the occasion - no spoilers though!

The bad of Red Prophet:

1)I would have liked to see even more of Taleswapper. He's the most interesting side-character in the entire series. I think Card avoids heavy usage of him because it requires incredibly diligent writing, and its just plain difficult. And I totally appreciate his work here.
2) I was disappointed with Alvin's dad and brothers when they did "a certain act". I thought that it was out of character and not really believable, and thus I felt led along a path, patiently counting the pages until the believable story began again.
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