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Seventh Son: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume I [Kindle Edition]

Orson Scott Card
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults"

From the author of Ender's Game, an unforgettable story about young Alvin Maker: the seventh son of a seventh son. Born into an alternative frontier America where life is hard and folk magic is real, Alvin is gifted with the power. He must learn to use his gift wisely. But dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him.

Includes an excerpt of Orson Scott Card's new novel, THE LOST GATE!

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the award-winning Ender's Game on, each of Card's last three novels has featured a secular saint, less a character than a catalyst to galvanize those around him into reexamining the thorny moral tangles in which they live. This first volume of the Tales of Alvin Maker introduces young Alvin Miller Jr., the seventh son of a seventh son, who lives on the frontier of an alternate early 19th century America, where folk magic such as faith healing and second sight really works. While Alvin embarks on his mythic struggle against the Unmaker of all things, he is watched over by a flesh and blood guardian angel; he is pursued by the rigid, zealous Reverend Thrower; and he is guided by the wandering Taleswapper, William Blake. This beguiling book recalls Robert Penn Warren in its robust but reflective blend of folktale, history, parable and personal testimony, pioneer narrative. The series promises to be (in Warren's phrase) a "story of deep delight."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA Set in the Northwest Territory in the late 18th Century, this is an American fantasy in the tradition of T. H. White's Sword in the Stone (Putnam, 1939). Mixing fantasy with philosophy and historical figures with imaginary ones, this first book in the ``Tales of Alvin Maker'' series succeeds on several levels. Alvin Miller, seventh son of a seventh son, is heir to great powers that he must learn to use and control. A rich cast of characters try either to help or destroy Alvin in his childhood. It is apparent that Alvin is the focus of gathering forces of good and evil preparing for battle. Readers will be left at the end of the book wondering what will happen to young Alvin in his coming apprenticeship. The sequel will be eagerly awaited. Mary Williams, Harris County Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2163 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812533054
  • Publisher: Tor Books (September 15, 2003)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00413QAP6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Clever October 12, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I tend to read in spurts. I 'discovered' Card at the very beginning of his career, when I read Ender's Game in Analog. And I was taken by the story and wanted more. I kept up with Card through Songbird, continued buying his books and adding them to my unread piles, and occasionally dipping into them. I knew he was writing a saga entitled The Tales of Alvin Maker, but I didn't delve into them, waiting until the series was finished. But someone insisted I read Seventh Son recently, and I found myself entranced, again, with Card's vision. I forget, from spurt to spurt, just how well he writes. Here are fully-fleshed out people, with vision and pettiness mixed. Here, also, is an excellent ear for the spoken language. And most of all, here is a surprisingly clever alternate history of America, in which small magicks and hexes really work, and American Indian visions come true. It also isn't often that an alternate history takes place in the past, and makes you wish it were true.
But regardless of how clever the setting is, the people are are the most important: the family members full of love and fears; Talespinner, a man seeking his own visions and the teacher of young Alvin; devout Armor-of-God (what a wonderful name!), married into a family of magickers and unsure how to handle it; Reverend Thrower, a preacher tormented by his own temptations; and young Alvin Jr., a special boy full of magick he only begins to understand by the time this part of the story ends; and his father, filled with visions of Alvin's death by his own hands. The book is full of moral choices, without the preaching a lesser writer might force upon the reader: how one views the world, challenges to those views, what is right and wrong, and how does faith fit in, are all woven into the story seamlessly.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Orson Scott Card never disappoints December 4, 1999
By Amanda
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Seventh Son is set in the early 1800s--a tale of "a magical America that might have been." In this world, hexes and spells work. Alvin Miller Jr. is the seventh son of a seventh son, a very magical birth indeed. Alvin is no ordinary child--all his life, he has had a "knack" for making things (hence the name of the series, Alvin Maker). When a Presbyterian preacher from Scotland builds a church near the Miller homestead, things turn worse for young Alvin. The preacher alienates Alvin Sr. immediately, preaching that hexes and the like don't work and are just foolishness. The preacher, Philadelphia Thrower, is told by a Visitor that he must turn Alvin to God's way before he is fourteen years old. Thrower seems to hate Alvin, constantly trying to 'reform' the mischievous boy, making Sundays a nightmare. Then a wanderer named Taleswapper comes to town...
This is a really great book! I loved it, and I can't wait to read the next one. Once you pick it up, you can't put it down! Orson Scott Card is a wonderful writer. I've *never* been disappointed by one of his books. Seventh Son is a superb (did I spell that right?) novel!
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first book in Orson Scott Card's "Tales of Alvin Maker" series, SEVENTH SON introduces the reader to a remarkable alternate history in which early 19th-centrury America looks much different than our own and folk magic is real.
The novel opens with the tumultuous birth of Alvin Miller, a seventh son of a seventh son, as his family moves through Ohio hoping to start a better life in frontier territory. Alvin's heritage means he'll have great powers, and even from the start it becomes apparent that some force is moving against him. Through this slim first novel, we are acquainted with Alvin's boyhood and the world in which he lives, where hexes and beseechings are commonplace and actually work.
Card's alternate history is one in which the Restoration never happened in England, leaving the Puritans in power there and resulting in a very different America. The Stuart dynasty is in exile in the Southeast, New England is still run by fundamentalist Pilgrims, and the United States consists of only a few key states between. West of this, in what in our world would be Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, is the frontier where Alvin grows up.
SEVENTH SON is a very light opening to The Tales of Alvin Maker, and the action begins really from the second book, RED PROPHET, in which Alvin's destiny is revealed. Card gives one just enough here to see if it's right for the reader. For myself, I found Card's setting so fascinating that I went on to the rest of the series. I give the book only three stars for two reasons. One was I didn't like the fact that he made the first book so insubstantial compared to the subsequent novels. The second is that while the series is very good, Card's strength is his ideas, not his writing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seventh Son: The Magic and the Struggle December 14, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Seventh Son and would recommend it to anyone. It takes place in the colonial era of America, but there are many differences. For one, the old monarchs of England rule in the south after Oliver Cromwell took over, there is no United States of America, and most of what we consider colonial America is split into different countries. Also, many people seem to have some sort of magic or "knack." Here enters Alvin Miller, who is the seventh son of a seventh son, making him twice blessed. He was gifted with the possibility of becoming a Maker, someone who can make things out of thin air. The book is about Alvin as he grows from his birth and goes through the attempts on his life by what can only be called evil itself. Mostly he doesn't notice them because he has an unseen protector in the form of Peggy who was present at his birth.
I think this book is good because it puts the presence of magic in a place we already know-our past. It makes the possibility of magic seem more likely because it includes people from our history. One such person was Benjamin Franklin, who great scientific works made many people think he was a Maker. Another was Thomas Jefferson, a politician in the country of Apalachee. The list goes on. The way Card ties real people into his work of fiction lends their credibility to his book and its events. Everybody wants to believe that magic exists, and this book brings out that feeling in its readers, igniting the hope that there is real magic, even if its only things always knowing a lie, or being able to charm people into agreeing with you, or other such "knacks" that people have.
Also, like many other great stories, Seventh Son is a story about Good vs. Evil, Light vs. Dark, Creator vs. Destroyer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The most engaging book I have read this year.
I am in middle school library media specialist, I read a lot of Young adult novels. This tale has been the most engaging book I have read this year, I needed that. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Thomas Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars opening to a great series
perfect opening to one the greatest stories ever wrote. sets the world in a deep skillful way. story telling at its best.
Published 11 days ago by Chira B
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Average for Orson Scott Card
Published 11 days ago by William Shewman
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair warning: I thought the series fell flat and wish I hadn't started...
I'm not going to do a book report here. Everyone else does that. But I will tell you that I enjoyed this book, and the two after. Read more
Published 17 days ago by GadgetFanatic
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 17 days ago by Clive Rossiter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well Written- I hope the entire series continues to be as interesting
Published 17 days ago by Robert Nieves
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful series
I read this series in high school and loved it so much that I'm rereading it 6 years later!
Published 28 days ago by Heath
5.0 out of 5 stars What if magic rather than science?
An intriguing alternative American history, with well developed principal characters. Politicians will not be pleased with how their "knack" is portrayed (but who cares?)
Published 1 month ago by Bruce H. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars The first volume in one of my favorite fantasy series of all time
The first volume in one of my favorite fantasy series of all time! Card can spin an engaging tale.
Published 1 month ago by Loophole64
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
Really good. Another enjoyable Card book. Started out with the Ender series, now I'm reading everything I can find by him. Haven't been disappointed yet.
Published 1 month ago by Ashley
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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.

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